EMM386 Hell: Win3.x won't start (unless..)

Discussion about old PC hardware.

EMM386 Hell: Win3.x won't start (unless..)

Postby appiah4 » 2019-8-14 @ 11:45

I am finalizing the setup of my 486 DX33 and I'm having a strange issue.

Windows 3.x won't start with EMM386 loaded unless I exclude the ENTIRETY of C000-F7FF range.

Believe me, I've tried trimming that block from either end, or trying to find holes in it, it doesn't work.

I've used MSD to check and it shows C000-C7FF and F7FF-FFFF as reserved for ROM and the rest being available for UMB, and the computer works perfectly with just NOEMS HIGHSCAN X=C0000-C7FF but Windows 3.x won't load, it hangs after splash screen.

The only ways I got Windows to work are:

A) X=C000-F7FF
B) WIN /S

Neither of which is ideal. I tried 3.1 and 3.11 for Workgroups.

I'm using Ontrack Disk Manager if that's relevant.

Otherwise, I'm completely stumped.

(The CPU I am using is lacking one pin, S1 (A27) in case that's also relevant)

Someone please help :(

AUTOEXEC.BAT and CONFIG.SYS below..

Code: Select all
@ECHO OFF
PROMPT $p$g
PATH C:\WINDOWS;C:\DOS;C:\UTILS\VC;C:\COMPRESS\PKZIP250
SET TEMP=C:\DOS
LH C:\DOS\MSCDEX.EXE /S /D:OPTICAL
LH C:\DRIVERS\CTMOUSE.EXE /R2
LH C:\DOS\DOSKEY.COM
LH C:\DOS\SMARTDRV.EXE /X


Code: Select all
BUFFERS=40,0
FILES=40
DOS=UMB
LASTDRIVE=H
FCBS=4,0
DOS=HIGH
STACKS=9,256
DEVICE=C:\DOS\HIMEM.SYS /TESTMEM:OFF
DEVICE=C:\DOS\EMM386.EXE NOEMS HIGHSCAN X=C000-C7FF
DEVICEHIGH=C:\DRIVERS\VIDECDD.SYS /D:OPTICAL
A500:+512K|ACA500+|C1084S
i386:Am386SX-25|4M|TVGA9000B|ES688/OPL
i486:U5S-33|8M|GD5428|ES1868/MUNT-Pi
i586:P133|32M|S3T64+/MX2|V1|CT3980/32M
i686:K6-2/400|64M|V2/SLI|CT4500/32M
S370:P3-1200|384M|GF4Ti4200|MX300
S754:A3700+|2G|X1950PRO|SB0350
User avatar
appiah4
l33t
 
Posts: 3698
Joined: 2017-2-19 @ 07:36

Re: EMM386 Hell: Win3.x won't start (unless..)

Postby Jo22 » 2019-8-14 @ 19:17

"X=C000-F7FF"

That's the best I found in this respect.. :(
https://www.atarimagazines.com/compute/issue167/12_Elephantine_memory.php

Edit: Windows 3.x also needs some free KB below 1MB for itself, you know.
In Enhanced mode, it uses several virtual device handlers, for HDD, keyboard, display, etc.
which perhaps require the space below under 1MB for double buffering, too, etc.
That being said, I'm speaking under correction here.
"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: 3712
Joined: 2009-12-13 @ 07:06
Location: Europe

Re: EMM386 Hell: Win3.x won't start (unless..)

Postby appiah4 » 2019-8-14 @ 22:30

Jo22 wrote:"X=C000-F7FF"

That's the best I found in this respect.. :(
https://www.atarimagazines.com/compute/issue167/12_Elephantine_memory.php

Edit: Windows 3.x also needs some free KB below 1MB for itself, you know.
In Enhanced mode, it uses several virtual device handlers, for HDD, keyboard, display, etc.
which perhaps require the space below under 1MB for double buffering, too, etc.
That being said, I'm speaking under correction here.


I've tried pretty much everything that guide says..

Ended up making a menu; one option boots with 526K Conventional Memory and can boot Windows, the other with 601K Conventional Memory but Windows hangs..

Maybe I should try an EMM386 alternative like QEMM or JEMM386..
A500:+512K|ACA500+|C1084S
i386:Am386SX-25|4M|TVGA9000B|ES688/OPL
i486:U5S-33|8M|GD5428|ES1868/MUNT-Pi
i586:P133|32M|S3T64+/MX2|V1|CT3980/32M
i686:K6-2/400|64M|V2/SLI|CT4500/32M
S370:P3-1200|384M|GF4Ti4200|MX300
S754:A3700+|2G|X1950PRO|SB0350
User avatar
appiah4
l33t
 
Posts: 3698
Joined: 2017-2-19 @ 07:36

Re: EMM386 Hell: Win3.x won't start (unless..)

Postby Jo22 » 2019-8-14 @ 22:46

Hi, additionally, you could also try Netroom by Helix.
It "cloakes" drivers and includes special mouse/keyboard drivers that take up no conventional/UMB memory.
Furthermore, it includes a special BIOS (by Award) that replaces your existing PC's PC BIOS in RAM.

More information here:
viewtopic.php?p=672240#p672240
viewtopic.php?p=623626#p623626
"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: 3712
Joined: 2009-12-13 @ 07:06
Location: Europe

Re: EMM386 Hell: Win3.x won't start (unless..)

Postby jaZz_KCS » 2019-8-15 @ 11:13

I can say that in these situations, QEMM helped me out a lot because its Stealth test was successfully able to detect the ranges that would be necessary to be excluded.

Be sure to run the setup and optimize procedures from within Windows.
User avatar
jaZz_KCS
Member
 
Posts: 442
Joined: 2017-8-10 @ 11:43

Re: EMM386 Hell: Win3.x won't start (unless..)

Postby NJRoadfan » 2019-8-15 @ 12:34

Post your CONFIG.SYS/AUTOEXEC.BAT
What chipset is on the motherboard?
What option ROMs are being used by cards? 486 machines should normally have C800-EFFF UMBs free with just the VGA and main BIOS present.

Don't forget the "RAM" option on EMM386. Also SMARTDRV can cause weird problems as well.

Another option to consider is a shadow memory unlocker for UMBs. There were a few utilities like UMBPCI that worked on 486 boards.
NJRoadfan
Oldbie
 
Posts: 949
Joined: 2012-5-26 @ 03:54
Location: Northern NJ

Re: EMM386 Hell: Win3.x won't start (unless..)

Postby Anonymous Coward » 2019-8-15 @ 13:01

Sounds like a buggy board or chipset. Have you checked newsgroups?
Will the highways on the internets become more few?
V'Ger XT|Upgraded AT|Ultimate 386|Super VL/EISA 486|SMP VL/EISA Pentium
User avatar
Anonymous Coward
l33t
 
Posts: 3104
Joined: 2008-3-20 @ 05:37
Location: Shandong, China

Re: EMM386 Hell: Win3.x won't start (unless..)

Postby appiah4 » 2019-8-16 @ 09:51

I never heard of Netroom but it's also worth a try. I will start out by giving QEMM8 a try first though.

NJRoadfan wrote:Post your CONFIG.SYS/AUTOEXEC.BAT
What chipset is on the motherboard?
What option ROMs are being used by cards? 486 machines should normally have C800-EFFF UMBs free with just the VGA and main BIOS present.

Don't forget the "RAM" option on EMM386. Also SMARTDRV can cause weird problems as well.

Another option to consider is a shadow memory unlocker for UMBs. There were a few utilities like UMBPCI that worked on 486 boards.


I posted the CONFIG.SYS and AUTOEXEC.BAT files in the original post.

Motherboard is an ECS 486UL-P101 with UMC UM82C491F/UM82C493F chipset:

Image

Expansion cards currently on the system are Cirrus Logic CL-GD5428 VLB 2MB, Sound Blaster 16 CT2290 ISA (with Dreamblaster S2), and a UMC UM82C863F/UM82C865F Multi-IO ISA

Image Image Image

(Ignore the busted cap on the CT2290, it has since been replaced and works 100% fine)

REMing SMARTDRV out fixes nothing.

I though UMBPCI only worked for Intel 4x0 PCI chipsets, does it work with VLB 486 boards?

Anonymous Coward wrote:Sounds like a buggy board or chipset. Have you checked newsgroups?


Hmm, that's possible.. Maybe I should also try to find a BIOS upgrade for my board, though those tend to be elusive for pre-Pentium stuff :/

The BIOS string for mine is: 02/07/94-UMC-491-2C4X2C31-00, which is strange because according to this site, Wimsbios and this site it belogs to an unidentified Chaintech.. The ECS 486UL-P101 is probably a clone.
A500:+512K|ACA500+|C1084S
i386:Am386SX-25|4M|TVGA9000B|ES688/OPL
i486:U5S-33|8M|GD5428|ES1868/MUNT-Pi
i586:P133|32M|S3T64+/MX2|V1|CT3980/32M
i686:K6-2/400|64M|V2/SLI|CT4500/32M
S370:P3-1200|384M|GF4Ti4200|MX300
S754:A3700+|2G|X1950PRO|SB0350
User avatar
appiah4
l33t
 
Posts: 3698
Joined: 2017-2-19 @ 07:36

Re: EMM386 Hell: Win3.x won't start (unless..)

Postby appiah4 » 2019-8-16 @ 23:17

I've done a 40 minute long system scan using F-PROT 3.16f and 2009 definitions, just in case a virus was blocking the bootblock and no, that's not the case.

Interestingly, when I launch NSSI it complains about a virus in the memory..

I'm starting to feel more and more like it's Ontrack Disk Overlay that's causing my issues?
A500:+512K|ACA500+|C1084S
i386:Am386SX-25|4M|TVGA9000B|ES688/OPL
i486:U5S-33|8M|GD5428|ES1868/MUNT-Pi
i586:P133|32M|S3T64+/MX2|V1|CT3980/32M
i686:K6-2/400|64M|V2/SLI|CT4500/32M
S370:P3-1200|384M|GF4Ti4200|MX300
S754:A3700+|2G|X1950PRO|SB0350
User avatar
appiah4
l33t
 
Posts: 3698
Joined: 2017-2-19 @ 07:36

Re: EMM386 Hell: Win3.x won't start (unless..)

Postby jaZz_KCS » 2019-8-17 @ 10:34

EZ-Drive overlay does NOT show up in NSSI / does not get NSSI annoyed about a possible virus in memory. I do not know about On-Track, though. This is one of the reasons I do recommend EZDrive instead of ontrack. That and the facts that both the 32Bit drive access driver is far better, and it uses far less memory.
Normally, if NSSI is annoyed by a possible memory virus, I always run F-Prot with newest definitions and usually find something like a Tai-Pan Virus that is either in memory or at the end of EXE files (sometimes even in NSSI itself.)
User avatar
jaZz_KCS
Member
 
Posts: 442
Joined: 2017-8-10 @ 11:43

Re: EMM386 Hell: Win3.x won't start (unless..)

Postby appiah4 » 2019-8-17 @ 13:23

I already did that scan with F-Prot and it found nothing.. what else may be worth trying as an antivirus?
A500:+512K|ACA500+|C1084S
i386:Am386SX-25|4M|TVGA9000B|ES688/OPL
i486:U5S-33|8M|GD5428|ES1868/MUNT-Pi
i586:P133|32M|S3T64+/MX2|V1|CT3980/32M
i686:K6-2/400|64M|V2/SLI|CT4500/32M
S370:P3-1200|384M|GF4Ti4200|MX300
S754:A3700+|2G|X1950PRO|SB0350
User avatar
appiah4
l33t
 
Posts: 3698
Joined: 2017-2-19 @ 07:36


Return to General Old Hardware

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: AlessandroB, CrFr, danijelm, Google [Bot], jammaster, jaZz_KCS, kixs, Vynix, WinSxS and 11 guests