Umbherc.sys requirements ?

Discussion about old PC hardware.

Re: Umbherc.sys requirements ?

Postby idspispopd » 2017-11-23 @ 09:55

Jo22 wrote:
BitWrangler wrote:I can't see how you either disabled all RAM above 640k or only installed 640k in the 586 so there was no conflict with existing memory.

That's a good point. All I did was to not enable shadow memory.. The remaining memory was treated as extended memory which begins beyond 1MiB.

Memory between 640k and 1MB is usually not enabled by default, except for ROM shadowing. This is especially true for A000-BFFF which is reserved for video cards.

Since that question came up, just in case this is not common knowledge: A000-AFFF: EGA/VGA graphics modes. B000-B7FF: MDA/Hercules half mode (MDA only has 4kB so in that case only B000-B0FF). B800-BFFF: CGA (graphics and text modes - a true CGA card has 16 kB so actually B800-BBFF), EGA/VGA text modes, second Hercules page in full mode.

BTW, i doubt that a character ROM will make any difference. The character is not accessible by the CPU (not mapped on the ISA bus), it is only used by the video controller.

Perhaps you could try accessing the Hercules memory yourself? (Write, read again and compare.) debug.com should to the trick, but the CLI interface takes a moment to get used to.
I remember I had a memory monitor as a tiny TSR program (typed-in from a computer magazine). For some reason it wasn't compatible with the XT we used (machine hung when TSR got activated), but it worked on lates machines (286+). I can't find a trace on the web, though, and I don't know if I still have it somewhere.
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Re: Umbherc.sys requirements ?

Postby Jo22 » 2017-12-03 @ 01:23

idspispopd wrote:Perhaps you could try accessing the Hercules memory yourself? (Write, read again and compare.) debug.com
should to the trick, but the CLI interface takes a moment to get used to.
I remember I had a memory monitor as a tiny TSR program (typed-in from a computer magazine).
For some reason it wasn't compatible with the XT we used (machine hung when TSR got activated), but it worked on lates machines (286+). I can't find a trace on the web, though, and I don't know if I still have it somewhere.

Thanks for the suggestion! :)
I'm not vey familiar with debug, though, so I decided to actually use the HGC with an MDA monitor..

I'll do some testing this night and report back soon..
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Re: Umbherc.sys requirements ?

Postby Jo22 » 2017-12-03 @ 01:27

Okay, so let's start! ^_^

I've set-up my M35 along with a namless on-board CGA,
Winbond W68855AF Hercules compatible card and a Tandon TC0420.
Attachments
herc_cga_combo.jpg
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Re: Umbherc.sys requirements ?

Postby Jo22 » 2017-12-03 @ 01:42

When I entered MODE MONO, the DOS console switched from CGA card to Hercules
(a frozen image was still shown on CGA):

herc_cga_cli.jpg
MS-DOS Command Line Interpreter (CLI) on Hercules monitor.
herc_cga_cli.jpg (10.42 KiB) Viewed 75 times

herc_cga_nc.jpg
Norton Commander v1.0x


Afterwards, I ran my copy of Sketch which has built-in Hercules support.
To no surprise, it will mess-up CGA memory space, though.

I guess this is related to the fact that Sketch uses a lot of layers..
The text as seen in the picture is caused by a burn-in damage (not my fault):

herc_cga_skd1.jpg
Sketch on HGC (Full-Mode ?)

herc_cga_skd2.jpg
Sketch on HGC (Full-Mode ?)
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Re: Umbherc.sys requirements ?

Postby Jo22 » 2017-12-03 @ 01:46

Next test, MSD. Microsoft Diagnostics detects the Hercules as a primary video device.
Attachments
herc_cga_msd.jpg
Microsoft Diagnostics
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Re: Umbherc.sys requirements ?

Postby Jo22 » 2017-12-03 @ 01:54

Checkit. When I ran CheckIt! first time, it detected no Hercules card, just an MDA.
It detected 4KiB of RAM.
Attachments
herc_cga_chkit1a.jpg
herc_cga_chkit1b.jpg
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Re: Umbherc.sys requirements ?

Postby Jo22 » 2017-12-03 @ 02:00

Luckily, I remembered that in order for using Hercules cards, a TSR, MSHERC, was required..
So I executed it accordingly to the documentation.

herc_cga_chkit2a.jpg


When I ran CheckIt! second time, it detected the Hercules card.
It detected 64KiB of RAM.

herc_cga_chkit2b.jpg

herc_cga_chkit2c.jpg


And gave an error message..

herc_cga_chkit2d.jpg
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Re: Umbherc.sys requirements ?

Postby Jo22 » 2017-12-03 @ 02:33

.. which I shortly after found the reason for.

Apparently, MSHERC runs in full-mode by default.
Running it with the more or less undocumented /HALF parameter fixed it for me:

herc_cga_chkit3b.jpg

herc_cga_chkit3c.jpg


So when I ran CheckIt! a third time, it detected the Hercules card as intended.
It detected 32KiB of RAM.

herc_cga_chkit3a.jpg


The memory map looks like this:

herc_cga_chkit3d.jpg
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Re: Umbherc.sys requirements ?

Postby Jo22 » 2017-12-03 @ 02:46

Here are two more pictures of the memory map.

First, the memory map as shown in Hercules mode..

herc_cga_chkit4a.jpg
CheckIt!, MODE MONO


..and second, in CGA mode:

herc_cga_chkit4b.jpg
CheckIt!, MODE CO80
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Re: Umbherc.sys requirements ?

Postby Jo22 » 2017-12-03 @ 03:11

Okay, so I also tried umb.sys again.
No luck. :(

herc_cga_umbsys1a.jpg
Norton Commander displays config.sys

herc_cga_umbsys1b.jpg
umb.sys driver

Edit: I noticed a mistake of mine and fixed it (one "0" too much).
Unfortunately, it had no effect.

Edit: The same issue persists with all three cards I used last time.

Edit: I did a recording of the boot-up sequence and noticed an error message "Command line error !".
Probably caused by UMB.SYS: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yNg1paKXAIw
Does anybody know how to exactly use UMB.SYS ? :confused:
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Re: Umbherc.sys requirements ?

Postby Jo22 » 2017-12-04 @ 07:24

Things are getting weird.. Seriously. :-/

I gave IBM PC-DOS 6.1 a try, since it was mentioned along with umbherc.sys
at http://www.robvanderwoude.com/dosmem.php .

For some strange reson, the Winbond card was not detected as a Hercules card.
In a second test with MS-DOS 6.2 it was the same case, though, so it likely isn't related to PC-DOS.

Still, PC-DOS 6.1 didn't "fix" anything either when it comes to its own companion driver, umbherc.sys.

The other two cards, Epson Q205A and TD8088A were detected as beeing Hercules compatible, at least.
After waiting for 30 minutes anything to happen, I gave up.

My config.sys looks like this:

DEVICE=UMBHERC.SYS
DOS=UMB

No autoexec.bat.
Attachments
herc_cga_pcdos_umbherc_td8088a.jpg
TD8088A, umbherc.sys on PC-DOS 6.1
herc_cga_pcdos_umbherc.jpg
Winbond W86855AF, umbherc.sys on PC-DOS 6.1
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