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Driver Compatibility


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My ATI Radeon x850PRO is fully supported by the Catalyst 6.2 for 9x driver and software. I can even install ATI Multimedia Center 9.08 with the DVD setup.exe downloaded from an XP machine and get the DVD player working fine. The decoder installs with the normal DVD cd checker. It'll check to be sure I have the supported ATI cd in the cd drive, but it will not download the decoder's setup.exe on 9x. But if I point it to the setup.exe I put on the hard drive that I previously saved to a cdr from an XP install, it will use that to install the DVD decoder. Just running the setup.exe alone doesn't work. I must use the ATI decoder cd check installer and direct IT to run setup.exe. The current Cyberlink decoder that is used for XP installs runs fine with MMC 9.08.

Don't know about later versions of the x series, but x850's work. They claim it's a beta driver but it works perfectly. I get the ATI Control Panel, WDM drivers, Smartgart, the whole works.

The previous Catalyst 5.9 also includes the beta driver for the x850, for those that prefer the older driver. However, the automatic setup does not work in 5.9. You've got to run the installer then let it tell you it didn't find a supported product, run the WDM setup from the folder it left behind, then update the display adapters from Device Manager using Have Disk and directing it to the folder with the beta driver. Gotta pick it from a list. Try not to pick the wrong one! Then you run setup for the Control Panel. You won't get Smartgart with the 5.9's. MMC 9.08 installs perfectly as above. Gotta install the DAO thing first for MMC either way.

No reason to use the 5.9's though. The 6.2's work fine and setup does it automatically.

You have to check the Autoexec.bat in sysedit with ATI on 9x to be sure it sets up the path statement correctly. If you already have a Path statement there, it messes it up by doubling up on things. So edit that before restarting following the driver installation.

Some good useful information here on the ATI front, thanks. I'm still not sure on the Nvidia side though as to how far up on their graphics cards one can go and with what drivers. Anyone got faster cards than 6200 working reliably under 9x? models after

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Well, the x850PRO is listed in the inf's of only one of the extracted folders of either Catalyst 5.9 or 6.2 for 9x/Me. It is not listed in the standard inf. This is why the 5.9's setup doesn't automatically install it. That was corrected in the Catalyst 6.2 setup installer, which automatically detects the card and gets the driver from that beta driver folder's inf. It then installs the full ATI Control Panel and Smartgart support.

It is described as beta support, but I enjoyed full speed gaming fun and great DVD playback, as well as the full 2D support. As far as I could tell the driver worked just as well on 98SE as the XP drivers work on XP.

Haven't looked at the various inf's for a long time since everything is automatically done by ATI's setup in the 6.2's, but I recall that there were newer cards than my x850 in there as well.

So it's pretty good support there unless you have a really new card. ATI added a lot of the cards when they released the Catalyst 6.2's for 9x/Me. This is not the same as the original Catalyst 6.2! Maybe that's what made you think some of the newer cards aren't supported. This Catalyst 6.2 is one that came out much later than when ATI released the Catalyst 6.2 for XP.

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Some good useful information here on the ATI front, thanks. I'm still not sure on the Nvidia side though as to how far up on their graphics cards one can go and with what drivers. Anyone got faster cards than 6200 working reliably under 9x? models after

6800GT(nv40, AGP) also works under Win98se.

I am sure it works with GA-7S748-L(SIS748 + SIS963L) and GA-K8U-939(ULi M1689).

If you want better dx9.0c support, you will need unstable forceware 81.xx for better performance.

The problem is, most dx9.0c games do not support Win98/me :(

(Since dx9.0c, MS updates directx and SDK every 2 months, but only the first edition of dx9.0c SDK supports Win98/me officially)

When you play old games, old forceware 6x.xx are stable than 81.xx.

But 6 series never beat FX series on backward compatibility :no:

Compared with FX series, the advantage of 6 series should be better 16x FSAA performance.

(With forceware 56.64, you can also enable OpenGL 16x FSAA support for FX series with Rivatuner)

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Yeah, I've read about that (5000, 6000, 7000 series being better). However that's tough to do when you've got let's say a 6600GT and the release notes never say they support that card until the 8000 series (81.98) driver.

That, even though the Gigabyte card I have has the 7000 series drivers on the included cd and their website. Kind of confusing as far as what to do.

I've noticed that my ATI Radeon x850 Pro seems to handle 98SE better than the Gigabyte NVidia 6600GT does. I think it's all in the drivers. One thing the NVidia card can't handle is proper Windows 98SE shutdown. The card does fine with the Standard PCI Graphics Adapter (VGA). However once I install any NVidia Driver I must choose Restart instead of Shutdown, and after Windows is through exiting the desktop I push the power button on my case for 4 seconds and shut it down manually like that. If I just tell Windows to Shutdown, it will exit the desktop but then just turn off the monitor while the computer keeps humming along. So then I need to hold down the power button again to turn it off. Sometimes that way will result in Windows ScanDisk running when it starts up, telling me to choose Shutdown you bad guy. Sometimes it just starts up fine though. So to avoid any problems I just shutdown by selecting Restart and turn it off myself.

Also, with the NVidia driver the Windows 98 splash screen is reduced to a smaller resolution. Looks weird. It starts full screen then changes resolution and reduces in size. This only starts happening when installing an NVidia driver. The Microsoft Standard driver handles shutdown and the splash screens normally. But who wants to use that driver? 8 bit resolution anyone?

I didn't notice any problems while actually within Windows. Now, the ATI card and drivers exhibit none of these problems, and they're the ones with the so called beta driver when using the Catalyst 6.2. Go figure. The card works perfectly with ATI's beta but the NVidia's acts funky with any of their release versions.

It made no difference whether I used the various 7000 series drivers or the 81.98's. Same problems. So I just installed the latest (81.98) and lived with it.

I lived with it while I used the computer with the NVidia card, but am glad my fancy Antec case has the ATI card. That other case is just for a backup. Nearly identical components, but annoying because it has a noisy power supply and fans. I like the Antec quietness! Antec has the Tru-Blue 480 and the other one is a Thermaltake "Silent" Surepower 480. Yeah, I can turn down the fan speed but that makes things too hot so I leave it noisy. The Antec one is a bigger case so the low automatic fan speed still keeps it cool enough.

Funny that the NVidia card and drivers in XP exhibit no problems. It just doesn't deal properly with Windows 9x. Well, livable but not perfect like the ATI card and drivers.

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Thanks Eck. These shut-down problems with Nvidia drivers - which you describe well - cause me problems sometimes too, but their frequency can be reduced by disabling NvCpl at boot. So far only Nero seems affected by this disabling, but i found a workaround for that (start the Nero app directly rather than through the Nero control panel app.)

Maybe i'll consider upgrading to a Radeon card.

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  • 2 weeks later...

WDM drivers...

i use WDM on tv tuner and soundcard. When i run Ultima online i can hear strange sound (bzzzz), when i turn off DX9 sound acceleration it vanish. This bug indicated more problems especially with 3d games.

As i know some upgrades of w98 were giving better wdm support, but is there another way how to upgrade it further? There is possibility that it is caused by rather old driver interface contained in w98 (after using w98 2 ME it vanished for a short period)

Edited by Offler
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  • 1 month later...

VIA CPU to AGP Driver bug

In Via hyperion pack is also listed driver which handle communication between processor and graphics slot. Installer in windows 9x is copying default version of this driver which is originally developed for AGP 1.0 slot.

Look closer at Cpu to AGP controller in your device manager and try to reinstall driver - choose driver manually and take a look at (not only compatible but) all drivers this type which are installed in system. You shall find driver listed as "Cpu to AGP 2.0/3.0"

If your system has AGP 4x or higher bus install this driver, even when windows shall display error message that that driver is not compatible with your hardware.

Some issues that have been fixed and some system improvements by this:

- system was unable to play FLV video and display TV tuner output throught same renderer at the same time

- VMR9 performance improved

- 3d performance improved (not measurable by 3d mark but visible in game Prey)

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  • 2 weeks later...

Is somebody smart to make driver packages for all of us.

Example to make:

1. ATI_driver.zip (With last drivers and modiffied *.inf files to work under win98SE)

2. Nvidia_driver.zip (-II-)

3. LAN_drivers.zip

4. ATI_Chipsets , Intel_Chipsets and more

5. Sound Card Drivers etc.

Who know here to work with *.inf codes? :hello:

We don't need setups to install new driver!We can do it handy!

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It's not that easy.

Editing INFs or repacking installers are not the problem, we do it here all the time.

But video and audio drivers [especially] for NTx OSes rely upon WinNTx APIs [not found or very different (read not compatible) in 9x OSes] to work properly, therefore those do not work in 9x OSes.

Therefore each driver has to be tested to work with 9x OSes, and that is possible only if you have the appropriate hardware device installed in your computer.


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Offler, you repeatedly declare that Windows 95 is out when it comes to WDM drivers, but I thought that the kernel installed by the USB updates did support WDM. What's the story on that? I'd like to know for whenever I get another Win95 license and try to install it on my new PC (which I still have to buy).

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Disable the Nvidia Panel, eh? I'll try that next time, which will be soon. I've been getting familiar with Linux and have noticed the almost unusable 3D games problem while using the ATI 3D drivers. They just fancied things up in the latest version with an official ATI Catalyst Control Center. But 3D gaming still is too slow to play. Looks great, but the frame rate is too slow to bother playing anything (at least, in OpenGL 3D).

I've heard that NVidia does not suffer that difficulty so I plan to switch back to my noisy fan box (drat) and put 98SE on it with Vista (gotta buy another license I guess, another drat) and OpenSUSE Linux.

I could just format and swap the videocards. A lot cheaper that way! Vista should activate fine with only the videocard changed.

A shame though, since the ATI card has 256MB memory and the NVidia is 128MB. If ATI fixed the 3D problem that is the better card. It certainly is for Windows, and should be for Linux too if not for that driver problem. The driver gives nice support for fancy OpenGL 3D Compix/XGL effects but not for gaming. I have to leave that stuff off anyway because that turns off Direct 3D rendering in games. They really need to work more on that stuff rather than control panels.

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I looked inside VIA Hyperion drivers setup (v4.49) and extracted the CPU to AGP Controller drivers for different windows versions. Here's what I found:

- Win95 driver is a VXD - not interested, I have Win98SE

- Win98 driver and WinME driver are the same. No difference.

- WinNT50 (Win2K) driver is not there. I don't know what driver is installed on WinNT50 systems. Maybe WinNT51 version.

- WinNT51 (WinXP) driver and WinNT52 (Win2003) driver are the same, except that WinNT52 driver does not have the .CAT file.

- Win98 driver is a miniport driver.

- WinNT5x driver is a filter driver. The driver (VIAAGP1.SYS) needs NTOSKRNL.DLL and HAL.DLL, so it's not possible to install it on Win98 systems.

I also looked at ATI Catalyst driver for WinNT5x. There are several SYS files. All of them require NTOSKRNL.DLL, HAL.DLL and STREAM.DLL to load.

I just installed CPU to AGP Controller driver for Win98. (This is the first time I install this driver.) I'm using latest Omega drivers for ATI and Win98. I opened the Advanced SmartGART properties and pressed the "Retest All" button. After restart, AGP read & write are still off but Fast Write is now enabled. :)



Edited by Marius '95
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I beg to differ.

The Windows 95 folder's VXD driver, the one that if you update the PCI to PCI driver manually you select the AGP (2.0 3.0 Support), IS the one you want for the AGP to work correctly on 98SE/ME.

The one in the 98SE folder loads the Sys driver that does not activate AGP read/write speeds on 9x.

I do this all the time. I extract the latest Hyperion Pro driver. I copy the AGP folder to C:\AGP. I update the PCI to PCI device, directing Windows to the Win95 folder in that AGP folder and choosing the one with AGP 2.0 3.0 Support. I choose NOT to restart the computer. Then I delete the big Via folder and just run the Via Hyperion installer normally, choosing not to install or update the AGP driver. Then I reboot, install the USB 2.0 driver and I'm all set. I just install the WDM ATI Driver, and the ATI Catalyst 6.2 for 98/Me, check the path statement in Sysedit to fix what ATI wrote if it doubled up on things, restart twice so the ATI WDM stuff is fully installed, and done!

That's the only way I've managed to get the AGP setup properly on my 9x systems. You don't need an older Via 4-in-1 unless you're using a really older motherboard, like KT-133 stuff.

Having AGP Fast Writes turned on will do nothing for you if you're using the PCI bus, which is what the sys 9x driver does. I don't think it does much except cause instability even on AGP. Mine gets automatically set to Fast Writes off and AGP reads and writes on with the vxd Windows 95 AGP Via driver on 98SE/Me.

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