Windows 95 - S3 Virge Issues

Discussion about old PC hardware.

Windows 95 - S3 Virge Issues

Postby Smack2k » 2017-12-02 @ 15:06

Before I even go through the issue I am having, want to relate that the first Virge DX Card I mention here was installed on this same PC for a while with a Voodoo1. I had removed it and the Voodoo to put the Voodoo in another machine.

I have two 4 MB Cardex S3 Virge DX cards. Both are doing the same thing on my Penium 166 PC running Windows 95 OSR2. Initially I went to reinstall the S3 Card in my existing Windows build (that had the S3 and Voodoo in it before they were removed and an ATI Rage II+ DVD was installed), installed the same drivers I had used previously. Upon reboot the PC logged into Windows and the card seemed fine. After moving around a little bit at 1024x768 (the same resolution I had this card at when it was paired with the Voodoo) the computer locks up / freezes. Subsequent reboots and Windows locks immediately as its about to prompt for Network Login. I removed and re-added the drivers, tried other drivers, no luck.

I completely rebuilt and reinstalled Windows to the same hardware / motherboard / HDD (CF Card in an IDE Adapter) / etc. and the same issue happened once I installed the S3 Drivers. I removed the card and drivers and reinstalled with a second S3 Virge DX Cardex card with 4 MB memory and the same damn thing happened again.

I had added a CT1740 SB 16 ISA Card with a Waveblaster attachment to the PC when I was reinstalling the S3 Card at the start of this, but even removing the SB Card from Windows, shutting it down, pulling the card out and booting Windows up again sees the same issues.

I can boot into Safe Mode with no issues each time with the S3 card installed and with or without the SB Card. That is how I was able to completely remove the SB Card and test without it thinking it was an issue, but it didnt seem to make a difference...

Anyone have any ideas what the F&&K is going on here? A complete reinstall didnt help! I did have the SB card in the machine during the Windows OS install, but never installed any drivers or setup files for it as I wanted to do that once the S3 Card was done. Windows did install some SB stuff when it saw the card on the first and second card installs, but I went into Safe Mode both times and removed it all, shut down the PC and then pulled the SB Card out as well as removing the S3 Card from Device Manager again. Booted back up and as soon as the S3 Drivers are installed (various versions) the system wants to reboot. You login and it will lock within 30 seconds of moving around and any reboots afterward lock at the start of the Network Login prompt. So to me, that took the SB card out of the equation. Maybe I am wrong?
User avatar
Smack2k
Member
 
Posts: 347
Joined: 2013-1-27 @ 18:58

Re: Windows 95 - S3 Virge Issues

Postby Smack2k » 2017-12-03 @ 02:45

A little more info...

Seems like when I try to use 16-Bit Color, the machines asks for a reboot and hangs after the reboot...
User avatar
Smack2k
Member
 
Posts: 347
Joined: 2013-1-27 @ 18:58

Re: Windows 95 - S3 Virge Issues

Postby derSammler » 2017-12-03 @ 09:26

I had similar issues with a ViRGE 325 card long time ago. It would work in DOS but freeze in Windows (often with pixel mess) at anything higher than 640x480 / 256 colors. The card was simply defect.
derSammler
Oldbie
 
Posts: 1355
Joined: 2017-4-14 @ 11:30
Location: Germany

Re: Windows 95 - S3 Virge Issues

Postby Smack2k » 2017-12-03 @ 17:15

Its happening on two Virge DX 4 MB Cards, Virge 325 Card and a Trio64V+ with 4 MB in it.....

When this card was in the system with a Voodoo1 it was fine at 1024x768 at 16-Bit Colors

Now it will go to 1024x768 with 256 Colors, but wont go to anything with 16-Bit Colors.....its the same across the board for the other cards...

In the Display Control Panel that comes with the Cardex Drivers for the card, there are monitor configuration options...its set to Super VGA Monitor (1024x768) (48KHz)....I dont know if that is correct or not or its causing an issue....
User avatar
Smack2k
Member
 
Posts: 347
Joined: 2013-1-27 @ 18:58

Re: Windows 95 - S3 Virge Issues

Postby Jo22 » 2017-12-03 @ 19:41

What are the RAM specs of that ViRGE 325 ?

I've seen quite a few cards which had slow RAM chips installed in
their sockets (something like 70ns access time).

These were ripped from Trio 64 cards, I suppose.
"Time, it seems, doesn't flow. For some it's fast, for some it's slow.
In what to one race is no time at all, another race can rise and fall..." - The Minstrel

//My video channel//
User avatar
Jo22
l33t
 
Posts: 2551
Joined: 2009-12-13 @ 07:06
Location: Europe

Re: Windows 95 - S3 Virge Issues

Postby Ampera » 2017-12-04 @ 05:44

I have an S3 Virge/VX 4MB PCI that I got with a Socket 8 board (It was all out of a Gateway 2000, so it's mostly OEM parts). I had intended to use an ATI Mach64/GX 2MB card, but decided just for shits to put the Virge in. I had a Voodoo 1 anyways, so 3D wasn't a main issue. Well this was pretty cool. The 4MB meant I could go all the way up to 1280x1024x16 (iirc), and while I was thinking this was all cool, I tried to close a fullscreen window. I shit ye not it took 3-5 friggin seconds to scroll off. So obviously this was piss slow memory. The Mach64/GX went in, and that S3 card has just been sitting there. Even at 1024x768x16 the card was WAY too slow. My Mach64/GX was zippy compared to the Virge, which is strange because I have a Trio32 VLB in my 486, and that thing is pretty zippy too with 2MB (It can't do 1024x768 or 1280x1024 because of refresh rate issues, but it can do a resolution slightly above 1024x768 just fine) and can update the screen faster. I have even put upgraded memory in that thing.

However, it never crashed on me. It ran everything fine, went up to the highest reaches it could go, and was still fine. My board has solid caps which don't tend to go off ass easily, but honestly I would suggest it to be maybe a faulty DAC or faulty VRAM. Perhaps it corrupts massively after a certain point and shits the system. Since it's a bunch of S3 cards in the same system it could be some strange bus based incompatibility leading to memory corruption.

I can only suggest basic stuff like checking passives, cleaning connections, that sort of thing. Slow memory just makes the card slow (painfully in my case) and doesn't tend to cause outright crashes.

Anyways, I wish you luck on your endeavors. The S3 Virge is just the sort of crazy failure shite I love. Mostly to own as a joke and mock on rare occasion, but it was a hand played in the card game that was the early 3D accelerator market, and deserves some minor attention for that.
User avatar
Ampera
Oldbie
 
Posts: 901
Joined: 2016-11-16 @ 22:31

Re: Windows 95 - S3 Virge Issues

Postby Smack2k » 2017-12-04 @ 11:50

Jo22 wrote:What are the RAM specs of that ViRGE 325 ?

I've seen quite a few cards which had slow RAM chips installed in
their sockets (something like 70ns access time).

These were ripped from Trio 64 cards, I suppose.


The Virge 325 is a Diamond Stealth 3D 2000 Card, which is listed online at 55 MHZ Memory Speed and the chips on the board have a 40 at the end, so 40ns access time?

Ampera wrote:I have an S3 Virge/VX 4MB PCI that I got with a Socket 8 board (It was all out of a Gateway 2000, so it's mostly OEM parts). I had intended to use an ATI Mach64/GX 2MB card, but decided just for shits to put the Virge in. I had a Voodoo 1 anyways, so 3D wasn't a main issue. Well this was pretty cool. The 4MB meant I could go all the way up to 1280x1024x16 (iirc), and while I was thinking this was all cool, I tried to close a fullscreen window. I shit ye not it took 3-5 friggin seconds to scroll off. So obviously this was piss slow memory. The Mach64/GX went in, and that S3 card has just been sitting there. Even at 1024x768x16 the card was WAY too slow. My Mach64/GX was zippy compared to the Virge, which is strange because I have a Trio32 VLB in my 486, and that thing is pretty zippy too with 2MB (It can't do 1024x768 or 1280x1024 because of refresh rate issues, but it can do a resolution slightly above 1024x768 just fine) and can update the screen faster. I have even put upgraded memory in that thing.

However, it never crashed on me. It ran everything fine, went up to the highest reaches it could go, and was still fine. My board has solid caps which don't tend to go off ass easily, but honestly I would suggest it to be maybe a faulty DAC or faulty VRAM. Perhaps it corrupts massively after a certain point and shits the system. Since it's a bunch of S3 cards in the same system it could be some strange bus based incompatibility leading to memory corruption.

I can only suggest basic stuff like checking passives, cleaning connections, that sort of thing. Slow memory just makes the card slow (painfully in my case) and doesn't tend to cause outright crashes.

Anyways, I wish you luck on your endeavors. The S3 Virge is just the sort of crazy failure shite I love. Mostly to own as a joke and mock on rare occasion, but it was a hand played in the card game that was the early 3D accelerator market, and deserves some minor attention for that.


I am leaning more and more towards the motherboard or something else as well as its hanging the OS at different times, doing different things. I installed IE4 and the other required items for getting the machine to access DHCP / DNS / Network Drive Share from a 2003 Server (winsock / IE4 / Dial-Up Networking 1.3 / DS Client) and the system will hang now at various points when opening different folders or options. But when the machine is in Safe Mode or set to just 16 Colors and 800X600, NONE of the issues exist and the system acts as it should. Go to 256 Colors (which I thought was working before) at 800x600 and it will hang within 1-2 minutes of loading, just by simply opening control panel, right clicking on Start and choosing explore, etc. And the fact that this card was in this system before with a Voodoo1 and it worked perfect. I had it at 16-Bit colors and 1024x768 and it was fine. I was also thinking it could be the CF Card being used as the HDD, but the fact that it runs fine at 16 Colors and 800x600 kind of takes that idea away, as if it was the HDD, it would hang / crash no matter what.

I have reseated every connection in the system (Cards, Cables , Power, RAM) with no luck. The System RAM and the VRAM on the Virge DX are both the exact same RAM that have been in the system when it was working fine as well. I am going to download and try one other version of the Cardex Drivers for the system and see what happens. After that, I am shopping for a new Socket 7 Motherboard.....
User avatar
Smack2k
Member
 
Posts: 347
Joined: 2013-1-27 @ 18:58

Re: Windows 95 - S3 Virge Issues

Postby fitzpatr » 2017-12-04 @ 14:37

Try Windows 98 and corresponding drivers to see if that makes any difference.
MT-32 Old, CM-32L, CM-500, SC-55mkII, SC-88Pro, SC-D70, MU2000EX
P4EE 3.4GHz/P4C800-E/4GB Ballistix Tracer DDR-500/HD3850/Audigy 2ZS Platinum
PIII-1.4S/TUSL2-C/Voodoo5 5500/MX300
K6-III+/450/GA-5AX/G400 Max/Voodoo2 SLI/CT1750/MPU-401AT/Audigy 2ZS
fitzpatr
Member
 
Posts: 254
Joined: 2016-10-30 @ 06:50
Location: Canada

Re: Windows 95 - S3 Virge Issues

Postby Smack2k » 2017-12-04 @ 22:23

I may have to give that a shot. I am trying one more set of Cardex drivers I found. Hopefully the last shot works

May also try a normal IDE drive to see if that makes a difference and the CF card is causing issues. But only at certain resolutions I am doubtful.

EDIT - No luck with drivers....I am giving up on this one....going with an IDE Drive to see what happens!!
User avatar
Smack2k
Member
 
Posts: 347
Joined: 2013-1-27 @ 18:58


Return to General Old Hardware

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: anderswk, Google [Bot], jaZz_KCS, Ozzuneoj, PARKE, Roman555, Vipersan and 11 guests