VOGONS


First post, by Paddan1000

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I've been fiddling around with my 486 today, and I found out that I could save 15 Kb of conventional memory by replacing the CD-driver nec_ide.sys with sbide.sys in config.sys. Nec_ide.sys uses 25 Kb, but sbide.sys uses only 10 Kb. I had used nec_ide.sys since I have a NEC CD-unit, but Creative's sbide.sys seems to work just as well so I see no reason not to use that one from now on.

What other CD drivers are out there and is there any difference between them apart from their memory consumption, i.e. Is there a reason not to choose the most memory efficient one as long as it works?

I also have a problem of loading both nec_ide.sys and sbide.sys into the upper memory with DEVICEHIGH. Sbide.sys uses 9984 bytes of conventional memory, but my largest free upper memory block is 13488 bytes, so I see no reason to why it wouldn't fit in there.

Last edited by DosFreak on 2021-01-31, 13:40. Edited 1 time in total.

Reply 1 of 31, by Mau1wurf1977

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FreeDOS comes with a replacement for MSCDEX.EXE

This should also save you a lot of memory. And for the mouse there is CTMOUSE or a recent version of the Logitech mouse driver that comes with CLOAK.

But CTMOUSE is the smallest I believe.

Regarding the memory, make copies of your AUTOEXEC.BAT and CONFIG.SYS and run MEMMAKER. It analyses your startup files and will tweak them. Only run this after you have configured everything to your liking. Also remove any tweaks you have done on your own.

Reply 2 of 31, by Paddan1000

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Memmaker didn't give me any more memory than I had before, so I guess my config files were already optimized.
I'm already using CTMOUSE and it works fine, except that I have to load the driver twice at start-up to avoid an annoying bug that moves the cursor into a corner and freezes it. Something about the driver being in Mouse Systems mode the first time I load it and, as it is supposed to be, in Microsoft mode the second time I load it.
I was considering SHSUCDX, but I read in the DOS memory optimization thread that it's incompatible with some games, like Fade to Black and Gunship 2000.
But there might be a CD .sys driver for the config.sys that is smaller than sbide.sys. Do you have any to recommend?
And I still don't understand why sbide.sys won't load into upper memory. Memmaker wouldn't do it either.

Reply 3 of 31, by prophase_j

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You should read this thread Dos 6 conventional memory tricks

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Reply 4 of 31, by Mau1wurf1977

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I use that CD driver from Toshiba. Not sure if it's much smaller though.

Anyway, how much lower memory do you have available at the moment? ~ 600k is all you need I think.

What else are you loading? Creative likes to load a ton of things that aren't needed to play games. e.g. it loads a utility that allows wave playback under DOS and things like that.

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Reply 5 of 31, by swaaye

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My comments :

Stick to MSCDEX for DOS games for compatibility reasons. Those games were tested with it.

My favorite CDROM driver is an Acer driver that uses about 5KB resident.
ftp://ftp.nnz.ru/pub/drivers/bios%20%26%20fir … 6a/apicd214.exe

Reply 6 of 31, by Paddan1000

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I will try out the Toshiba driver and the Acer driver.
I have 596 Kb of free conventional memory right now, but I've spent a lot of time optimizing and the most important thing that needs correcting is the CD-driver that needs to either go into upper memory or use as little memory as possible.
But this thread isn't about conventional memory in general. I wanted to know specifically about CD-drivers and make a thread that is easy to find for future reference.

EDIT: Perhaps what I'm looking for should be called an IDE-driver and not a CD-driver.

Reply 8 of 31, by tikbalang

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1. UIDE + SHSUCDX

http://johnson.tmfc.net/dos/driver.html
http://johnson.tmfc.net/dos/shsucdx.html
http://adoxa.110mb.com/

uide.sys is a cd/dvd driver AND disk cache (no need to load smartdrive).
shsucdx.com is an mscdex.exe replacement with a smaller footprint.

2. VIDE-CDD + SHSUCDX

VIDE-CDD v2.15
ftp://ftp.bluefeathertech.com/computing/pccbbs/aptiva/
http://john.ccac.rwth-aachen.de:8000/ftp/mirr … /pccbbs/aptiva/

ESS PCI DOS Drivers
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Reply 9 of 31, by Paddan1000

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UIDE.SYS sounds interesting. Does it work in MS-DOS with MSCDEX.EXE and without glitches?

I couldn't find the Toshiba driver, but I tried the Acer driver. It worked well, uses only 5 Kb and loaded itself into upper memory, but now MSCDEX.EXE suddenly left upper memory and uses 27 Kb of conventional memory. It's back to optimizing...

Reply 10 of 31, by TheMAN

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the triones tricd.sys takes only 7888 bytes of memory and supports DMA mode... works only with intel 430 and 440 based motherboards
it doesn't have as wide compatibility as the oakcdrom driver, but it's worth a try for the small memory footprint and DMA mode support 😀

combine that with tridma.sys, and you can get up to UDMA/33 speeds from HDDs... this takes only an additional 4336 bytes of memory, not enough to be of concern considering that some of the other CD drivers takes up even more memory than the two triones drivers combined! they can be and should be loaded into upper memory to free up conventional memory also 😀

Reply 11 of 31, by swaaye

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Well the Triones idea sounds interesting but there probably aren't any benefits for DOS gaming. You just don't need that transfer rate. CDROMs aren't even going to come close to PIO4 in most cases. UDMA in DOS may also be something that could bring compatibility headaches in old games.

You can never be sure what DOS games do with hardware because they have full unrestricted access unlike Windows games. So it's best to use DOS drivers that the developers tested with.

@tikbalang

The Acer CD driver that I linked to is that VIDE-CDD driver. Interesting. But like I said some games definitely have problems with SHSUCDX. It's best to avoid it for DOS gaming.

Last edited by swaaye on 2011-07-30, 21:40. Edited 1 time in total.

Reply 12 of 31, by Paddan1000

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In the end, I decided to use the Acer driver VIDE-CDD.SYS and MSCDEX.EXE. Now I have 602 Kb of free conventional memory and everything went into the upper memory once I rearranged the boot order of the things in the config files.
UIDE.SYS didn't work. The on-screen messages during boot said that the CD initiated fine, but I couldn't access it. I tried with both MSCDEX.EXE and SHSUCDX.COM and it worked with neither.
I also tried VIDE-CDD.SYS and SHSUCDX.COM together, but SHSUCDX.COM refused to go into upper memory, despite there being plenty of room, so I went back to MSCDEX.EXE.
I'm completely lost to what makes a driver decide whether it loads into the upper memory or not. It seems completely random and has nothing to do with the amount of available space in the largest upper memory block. At least everything works now, so I won't try to fix what is not broken.

Reply 13 of 31, by TheMAN

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swaaye wrote:
Well the Triones idea sounds interesting but there probably aren't any benefits for DOS gaming. You just don't need that transfe […]
Show full quote

Well the Triones idea sounds interesting but there probably aren't any benefits for DOS gaming. You just don't need that transfer rate. CDROMs aren't even going to come close to PIO4 in most cases. UDMA in DOS may also be something that could bring compatibility headaches in old games.

You can never be sure what DOS games do with hardware because they have full unrestricted access unlike Windows games. So it's best to use DOS drivers that the developers tested with.

@tikbalang

The Acer CD driver that I linked to is that VIDE-CDD driver. Interesting. But like I said some games definitely have problems with SHSUCDX. It's best to avoid it for DOS gaming.

transfer speeds isn't the end of all be for drives... cpu utilization is... none of any old drives of any type could ever max out the IDE bus anyway, even though it can in theory because of major overheads

all of my toshiba drives were cpu hogs in PIO mode, no matter how fast the data is being transferred, and that's wasted resources that could better be used for the game instead

the triones drivers are fairly mature and were popular to an extent, so I'm sure some developers have tested their software with them, and so I wouldn't dismiss them before trying them first... if there's issues, that information needs to be shared, but we won't ever know without trying! the chicken or the egg...

Reply 14 of 31, by swaaye

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The thing is that most DOS games don't stream from a CD unless you do a minimum install or it has streaming video. And in these cases they usually designed the game for a measly 2-4x CDROM and a 486 CPU.

There's also CD Audio but that uses no CPU time because it is delivered analog style to the sound card by that separate cable.

The only time I think there would be potential for benefit would be during game install, but then you aren't going to max out PIO4 and the CPU has nothing else to do but copy anyway.

Reply 15 of 31, by TheMAN

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you definitely won't max out PIO4 if your CPU is too busy handling data between drives
sustained speeds could be higher with DMA mode because the CPU could do things it is required to do instead of handling data

Reply 17 of 31, by JoeCorrado

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Paddan1000 wrote:

I couldn't find the Toshiba driver,

Here you are:

http://www.uwe-sieber.de/files/toshv218.zip

And here is a link to a fine page with all kinds of goodies that you might find interesting:

http://www.uwe-sieber.de/util_e.html

-- Regards, Joe

Expect out of life, that which you put into it.

Reply 18 of 31, by Mau1wurf1977

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Having done a lot of testing with DOS games, especially those with Audio CD tracks, IMO the best driver is the ACER.

It's called VIDE or something like that. Small and plays all audio tracks, even the tricky games like Descent 2 that won't play with most other drivers. Wing Commander 3 is also a good test, many drivers crash the game.

My website with reviews, demos, drivers, tutorials and more...
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Reply 19 of 31, by LunarG

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TheMAN wrote:
transfer speeds isn't the end of all be for drives... cpu utilization is... none of any old drives of any type could ever max ou […]
Show full quote
swaaye wrote:
Well the Triones idea sounds interesting but there probably aren't any benefits for DOS gaming. You just don't need that transfe […]
Show full quote

Well the Triones idea sounds interesting but there probably aren't any benefits for DOS gaming. You just don't need that transfer rate. CDROMs aren't even going to come close to PIO4 in most cases. UDMA in DOS may also be something that could bring compatibility headaches in old games.

You can never be sure what DOS games do with hardware because they have full unrestricted access unlike Windows games. So it's best to use DOS drivers that the developers tested with.

@tikbalang

The Acer CD driver that I linked to is that VIDE-CDD driver. Interesting. But like I said some games definitely have problems with SHSUCDX. It's best to avoid it for DOS gaming.

transfer speeds isn't the end of all be for drives... cpu utilization is... none of any old drives of any type could ever max out the IDE bus anyway, even though it can in theory because of major overheads

all of my toshiba drives were cpu hogs in PIO mode, no matter how fast the data is being transferred, and that's wasted resources that could better be used for the game instead

the triones drivers are fairly mature and were popular to an extent, so I'm sure some developers have tested their software with them, and so I wouldn't dismiss them before trying them first... if there's issues, that information needs to be shared, but we won't ever know without trying! the chicken or the egg...

The lowest CPU utilization on any CD-ROM drive I've ever had, was the Creative Infra2400 unit, the one with build in IR sensor and a remote.
It hardly ever went over 15% CPU utilization, which made it SO much faster than other drives. This was mainly tested in Windows 98 though, and not DOS.

WinXP : PIII 1.4GHz, 512MB RAM, 73GB SCSI HDD, Matrox Parhelia, SB Audigy 2.
Win98se : K6-3+ 500MHz, 256MB RAM, 80GB HDD, Matrox Millennium G400 MAX, Voodoo 2, Waveforce 192XG.
DOS6.22 : Intel DX4, 64MB RAM, 1.6GB HDD, ELSA Winner 1000PRO, GUS 1MB, SB16.