Trying to find drivers for a Zenith Data Systems laptop

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Re: Trying to find drivers for a Zenith Data Systems laptop

Postby dionb » 2018-1-30 @ 11:34

SammyFox wrote:I've managed to get sound working in windows, but not ms-dos, and opl3 doesn't work but at this point that's to be expected.

I guess that's not my dream 486 gaming lappy (that keyboard sucks too) :c

So which drivers did Windows install for the sound? That should be a good clue to where to look for DOS...
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Re: Trying to find drivers for a Zenith Data Systems laptop

Postby bellarmine » 2018-2-01 @ 10:14

Hi Sammy, got a bit of good news for you.

I managed to get the sound working in plain-jane DOS! Here is some background:

- These laptops have no MIDI / FM synth / OPL3, only digital sound support (16bit Stereo 44khz).

- The Crystal "cs4231a.zip" driver "cyclone3d" provided from this link below, works fine in 311, but I can't get the DOS emulation driver to work:
http://www.soundcard-drivers.com/drivers/66/66506.htm

- I actually found an ENGLISH copy of the MS Windows Sound System driver disks with real-DOS support! Download the file from the 2nd post, credit goes to "alexanrs":
https://www.vogons.org/viewtopic.php?f=46&t=44626

To install WSS: 1st floppy has to be on a physical FLOPPY disk (weird setup program). So:
- Extract all 5 disks
- copy disk 1 to a 3.5"floppy
- copy and combine disks 2,3,4,5 into one directory
- Run SETUP in windows from the floppy
- When SETUP asks for disk2, specify the directory where the rest of the WSS files are.

This will give you Windows and Windows Dos Box sound. To get real-DOS sound, either:

- Run WSSXLAT.EXE, this is the DOS SoundBlaster emulation driver. Works fine in real DOS with SimCity Classic and SimFarm.
- Run WSSCNFG.EXE, this will setup WSSXLAT.EXE in your Config.sys with some switches (also sets up a complicated DOS boot menu, so backup your Config.sys first)

NOTES on WSSXLAT.EXE:
- When running DOS games in real DOS, or DOS under Windows, use SoundBlaster - IO=220, IRQ-10, DMA=1 in game settings.
- I cannot see any difference loading WSSXLAT.EXE from config.sys with the switches, or loading it without any switches from the DOS prompt or autoexec.bat
- On my laptop at least, WSSXLAT.EXE acts a tad 'flaky'. Sometimes it says "sound hardware not found". Rebooting / resetting the laptop helps.
- After loading WSSXLAT.EXE, if you load Win311 the sound sometimes doesn't work in Windows (driver errors). Restarting Windows helps.

Well Sammy, that's about it for my sleuthing so far. I'll keep you posted on further discoveries, let me know if you find anything else out as well.

By the way, I also have the ZENITH NoteFlex system reference in a help file, and the Western Digital Paradise 256 color video drivers for win31, let me know if you need either, or anything else comes to mind.

Cheers! :cool: Bellarmine
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Re: Trying to find drivers for a Zenith Data Systems laptop

Postby SammyFox » 2018-2-01 @ 14:05

Man, thanks! I'll try the WSS drivers when I have some free time this weekend (hectic work schedule, heh). On your z-noteflex have you notice the screen going all "fizzy" when trying to use 16-bit colors? Technically the graphics chip has 1mb memory which supports 640x480 with 16bit colors (and 800x600 with 256 colors) but when I try to use the 16-bit color mode the screen gets all fizzy. That'd be the first time I ever encounter a lcd screen that literally can't show more than 256 colors!
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Re: Trying to find drivers for a Zenith Data Systems laptop

Postby bellarmine » 2018-2-03 @ 04:59

Hi Sammy,

You're welcome! Here are a few more random thoughts I have so far:

I just found a FAQ on installing the sound drivers (1st link), also some specs and literature on the machine (2nd link scroll to bottom):
http://www.noet.at/sss/zds/notebooks/43.htm
http://www.noet.at/sss/zds/notebooks/

From the FAQ, it 'seems' they say to install BOTH the Crystal CS4231A.zip AND the WSS drivers......?? From my testing I think that should work, I'll check tonight or tomorrow, perhaps it might work better? (can't tell yet). You'd have to remove the Crystal SOUND.SYS from config.sys before doing the WSS install.

By the way, are you using Win31 or w9x? I wouldn't recommend installing the WSS drivers in w9x. I THINK all you need for DOS support is the WSSXLAT.EXE file. Use DOS Expand.exe to de-compress it from the disks.

Small correction to my last post: When you copy the WSS disks to your hard drive, copy and combine ALL 5 into a directory, not just the last 4.

Regarding the video, again, are you running w311 or w9x? I've never been able to get more than 256 colors in 311 (no drivers). Regarding the 'fizzy', yes mine 'fizzes' (lol!) at 16bit color as well. However I can only get 16bit color with an external monitor, as my DSTN LCD only supports max 256 colors (yep, first time for a 256-only LCD). So your Active-Matrix semi-supports 16-bit? Nice! Too bad about the fizz, must be a hardware / DAC issue I'm guessing.....:o)

Until next time Sammy!

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Re: Trying to find drivers for a Zenith Data Systems laptop

Postby SammyFox » 2018-2-04 @ 21:40

I'm running windows for workgroups 3.11

I've got the drivers up and running for windows but for some reason it didn't install the dos drivers. They're in the installation directory I've made but they're still compressed.

While I'm here, could you do me a favor and try to find on yours what pcmcia drivers it is using? I have a pcmcia scsi card with an external 8x panasonic cd-rom drive but I can't get it to work because it's missing the pcmcia drivers and cardsoft isn't detecting the correct drivers either, I guess it's just too new for the lappy's hardware? I forget if Win9x shows device IDs in the device manager
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Re: Trying to find drivers for a Zenith Data Systems laptop

Postby bellarmine » 2018-2-05 @ 08:55

Hi Sammy,

Ok, a few quick notes before I go to bed:

Here's a photo below of my Win98SE Device Manager. You're right, it doesn't show the Class IDs unfortunately.

I've also included two archives, one of WD Win311 256color video drivers, and a small compilation of drivers, notes, and the Zenith System reference I've collected over the years.

See the README.TXT for some more info, they both fit on floppies.

If you run ZINFO.EXE (directory 03 in my zip), it gives you some info on your Noteflex hardware. I've included mine for reference. If you also see in the readme in Q129812.ZIP file (directory 09-PCMCIA), it says the PCIC is Cirrus Logic based. That's all I can find.

About the sound, I'm not sure how you installed the WSS drivers. Did you pick "WSS Compatible" during setup? After install WSSXLAT.EXE should be in the directory you installed WSS into. Anyway, I've included both WSSXLAT.EXE and the WSSCNFG.EXE config.sys configurator. All you should need is WSSXLAT.EXE. Just run it in DOS and it should work. If it doesn't work at first, reset the system (rest button above the power button) and try again a few times. Settings will be IO220-IRQ10-DMA1.

Finally Sammy, could you tell me what drivers you are using in W311 to get 16bit colors? I find that amazing, I couldn't even try that until I loaded Win98SE.

Until next time, hope the zip file and System Reference are useful!

Bellarmine


Zenith Z-Noteflex Win98SE Device Mgr.jpg
Win98SE Device Manager on my NoteFlex (llike my wallpaper...:o)

Zenith Z-Noteflex 486 files.zip
Zenith Z-NoteFlex notes and drivers (see README.TXT in root)
(917.94 KiB) Downloaded 9 times

90c24 (WD w311 Video).exe
Western Digital Paradise W31 256color Video Drivers (self-extracting)
(606.89 KiB) Downloaded 5 times
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Re: Trying to find drivers for a Zenith Data Systems laptop

Postby lolo799 » 2018-2-05 @ 13:15

SammyFox wrote:While I'm here, could you do me a favor and try to find on yours what pcmcia drivers it is using? I have a pcmcia scsi card with an external 8x panasonic cd-rom drive but I can't get it to work because it's missing the pcmcia drivers and cardsoft isn't detecting the correct drivers either, I guess it's just too new for the lappy's hardware? I forget if Win9x shows device IDs in the device manager

Try this utility to identify the PCMCIA chipset:
viewtopic.php?f=62&t=30840&p=285316&hilit=tellme#p285316

Reading the post above, you'll probably need sscirrus.exe from the Cardsoft install floppy.
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Re: Trying to find drivers for a Zenith Data Systems laptop

Postby SammyFox » 2018-2-06 @ 13:01

I got the sound working in dos at last! And the PCMCIA card manager up and running, although now I have to figure out why the laptop hangs trying to load the pcmcia scsi cdrom driver when the cdrom drive is switched on, but the hardest is now behind me.

bellarmine wrote: Finally Sammy, could you tell me what drivers you are using in W311 to get 16bit colors? I find that amazing, I couldn't even try that until I loaded Win98SE.

I used some self-extrator I found I don't remember where, I'll upload it here. Also thanks a lot for the z-noteflex stuff, I'd been looking for the battery reset and zinfo utilities for ages.

It supports up to 1024x768 with 256 colors and 640x480 with 16-bit colors (64k colors). A 15-bit colors (32k colors) mode is available for 640x480 too.
Attachments
svga857.exe
Paradise SVGA Windows 3.x drivers
(617.45 KiB) Downloaded 2 times
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Re: Trying to find drivers for a Zenith Data Systems laptop

Postby bellarmine » 2018-2-10 @ 04:21

Congratulations Sammy! Glad to hear it. Hope you can get your SCSI CD-ROM working, then you'll be all set.

Thanks a lot for the 16-bit color 3.11 drivers, I appreciate it! I tried them in 311 with an external monitor, but for some reason no joy above 256 colors. I only get 16bit color with an external monitor in w98se. You're lucky you got an Active Matrix screen, even if it is 'fizzy'.....:^) I'm guessing it fizzes in 15bit color as well?

For fun, here's a screenshot of two of my favorite old sound apps, running in Windows for Workgroups 3.11:
- WinPlay3 - 2.3B5 for Win3.1 (a win9x version is also available)
- WinGroove 0.A4-Beta2 (runs on 31 / 9x / XP)

>> With WinPlay3, you can play MP3 files on a 486 machine. The best part is you can adjust the quality settings to match your CPU and it remembers them permanently (unlike MS Media Player in 9x). I can get away with 16bit / half qual / mono, or 16bit quarter qual / stereo on my Noteflex (see settings in my screenshot). A Pentium should be able to do full quality (only just).

>> With WinGroove, you can play MIDI files with very very nice quality Wavetable synthesis. All you need is a sound card - MIDI capability is not necessary. Two best things about this, it installs a wave driver so you can play MIDI and Wave simultaneously, so yes you CAN play those Windows games with MIDI and Sound (slowly...:^). The other is it is highly configurable, and it is the most efficient software wavetable I have ever seen! Using the settings shown in my screenshot, you get very nice quality and polyphony from any MIDI file and can still use the computer.

It is amazing how it takes our 486 / Pentium laptops all they can do to just BARELY handle playing software MIDI and MP3, something we take for granted now as background music using less than 1% of the CPU. Goes to show how much things have changed.

Resize ZEN311.jpg
Z-NoteFlex 486-75 running Windows for Workgroups 3.11, WinPlay MP3 player and WinGroove software wavetable MIDI synth


It's been fun Sammy. Let me know if you'd like an upload of those two apps, if you need a hand with your SCSI CD-ROM, or anything else that comes to mind.

Until next time - Cheers! :happy: Bellarmine
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Re: Trying to find drivers for a Zenith Data Systems laptop

Postby SammyFox » 2018-2-10 @ 06:00

mp3s sound a bit much for a 500mb hard disk for me but I know I'd love to try out wingroove!

And well for the cd-rom drive I assume there's some sort of conflict I can't fix from msdos. However I happen to have a iomega jaz traveller and I'd give it a shot but I'm not sure what drivers to get for it. I know that some site mentioned generic host drivers worked but I'm not sure which.
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Re: Trying to find drivers for a Zenith Data Systems laptop

Postby bellarmine » 2018-2-13 @ 06:16

No Problem Sammy. Yes MP3's do chew up a lot of space...:o) Do keep in mind that if you have a spare 2.5" laptop drive up to 2.1GB lying around, you can drop it in without needing any software overlay, the laptop sees it natively. Also let me know if you need a 16MB memory module, I MAY have a spare I could send you (have to check).

Here's WinGroove, along with some Web pages from the author Hiroki Nakayama's old website. In his words, "The Fastest Software Wavetable Synth all over the World!", which I agree with....:^). You'll also need the info in the bitmap included:
WinGroove MIDI SoftSynth v0.A4.zip
WinGroove MIDI SoftSynth v0.A4 - runs on a 486, w31 to XP (updated with XP Install Readme)
(1.46 MiB) Downloaded 4 times


Let me know if it works ok, I think installing it in XP can occasionally be problematic, though I believe I have that licked. See the XP readme inside archive. You will need to install its MIDI device driver when asked, if you wish to play MIDI files with anything other than it's own built-in player, works fine.

Regarding Iomega, here are 3 websites. 1st is a goldmine of tips and tricks, 2nd has a download link, and 3rd is a manual of sorts.
http://home.netcom.com/~deepone/zipjaz/
http://www.vcfed.org/forum/showthread.p ... W311-Win95
http://www.retrocomputing.org/cgi-bin/s ... d=retroorg

Hope you enjoy WinGroove, it sounds great. Until next time Sammy - Cheers!

Bellarmine
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