VOGONS


First post, by thepirategamerboy12

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I just picked up a Socket 7/Pentium 166MMX computer in an AT case. It seems to work perfectly except for two annoying problems that I just can't seem to solve on my own for whatever reason.

1: I have tried two ESS AudioDrive ISA sound cards in the very bottom ISA slot, an ES1869F that it came with and an ES1688F I had lying around. With both cards, the volume is so extremely quiet on the speaker out that it's nearly inaudible even when turning my speakers and Windows volume sliders all the way up. Using the line out is entirely silent. I know the ES1688F works because I tried it on my HP Vectra 486 and it worked fine there.

2: For some reason, I can't seem to use a 40GB Western Digital IDE HDD and am currently stuck with the 2.5GB Samsung drive it came with. The AwardBIOS freezes when trying to detect it, so I set it to none and proceed to use EZ-Drive. EZ-Drive goes well, but after that the machine will not boot the drive when set to none and setting it to auto or a preset makes it freeze again.

I hope this can all be fixed, as this would make for a nice desktop for somewhat later Win95-era games. I'd appreciate any help from you all, thanks.

Last edited by thepirategamerboy12 on 2019-11-04, 20:57. Edited 5 times in total.

Reply 2 of 27, by Thermalwrong

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That era of PC will usually be stuck with an 8.4GB limit, maybe the drive has some compatibility jumper setting you could try.

Your sound problem could occur if you're using a power supply with no -5v rail and the card needs it, or maybe a bad -12v line on the PSU?

Reply 3 of 27, by thepirategamerboy12

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Thermalwrong wrote:

That era of PC will usually be stuck with an 8.4GB limit, maybe the drive has some compatibility jumper setting you could try.

Your sound problem could occur if you're using a power supply with no -5v rail and the card needs it, or maybe a bad -12v line on the PSU?

Do you think trying another ISA slot or using a PCI sound card would help? I have no other PSUs to try with this, so I hope its not bad somehow. Also, if that's the case that's kinda lame since even on my 486 I can use EZ-Drive and get 40GBs of FAT32 space.

Reply 4 of 27, by Badscrew

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This also can be a 32 GB limit, some of the boards were limited to that. If your hard disk has jumpers for 32GB mode, worth trying that. If this indeed is working, you'll only loose a 1/4 of the drive space which is not that bad.
On my W98 machine I'm using a 80 GB drive in 32 GB mode, loosing more than a half... I'm going to try it with a SD to IDE adapter and a 32 GB SD card soon.

Reply 6 of 27, by thepirategamerboy12

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Doornkaat wrote:

You could also try XTIDE Universal BIOS on an EEPROM in a NIC with socket.

Oh, really? I do have a D-Link PCI Ethernet card installed in this PC and it's working perfectly. Don't have an EEPROM burner atm, though.

Reply 7 of 27, by thepirategamerboy12

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Also, I tried the other ISA slot and the sound card issue remains. But I just discovered that in DOS mode the card works perfectly fine and I could hear the SBPro emulation very loud and clear. It's just in Win95 where it goes super quiet...

Perhaps this is a driver issue? Atm I'm just using the drivers Win95 comes with by default. And speaking of drivers, would anybody have Win95 drivers for the Trident TD9680? The driver archive here doesn't have them, and the Trident SVGA drivers Win95 comes with will only let me use up to 256 color and says I only have 1MB of VRAM even though it can go higher than 256 and actually has 2MB of VRAM.

Reply 8 of 27, by Doornkaat

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thepirategamerboy12 wrote:

Don't have an EEPROM burner atm, though.

Usually you won't need a burner - the card can program an EEPROM.
I haven't got the link handy but if you search for "Installing XTIDE Universal BIOS" you'll find instructions on how to install using a NIC and a compatible EEPROM.

Reply 9 of 27, by thepirategamerboy12

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Usually you won't need a burner - the card can program an EEPROM.
I haven't got the link handy but if you search for "Installing XTIDE Universal BIOS" you'll find instructions on how to install using a NIC and a compatible EEPROM.

I see. Well, I don't have any free EEPROMs, so I'd have to get one sometime.

Reply 11 of 27, by thepirategamerboy12

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Caluser2000 wrote:

You will need a drive type set for ezdrive to work. Try type 2 and save,

I tried that and it still freezes on drive detection with the HDD light stuck on the whole time.

Reply 13 of 27, by thepirategamerboy12

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Badscrew wrote:

This is exactly what's happening when I attach drives >= 30 GB to my P2 machine...

Well, I looked at the jumpers on this drive and all I see are CS (Cable Select), Slave, Master, Blank, and PM2.

Reply 15 of 27, by Badscrew

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Tou may have better luck with IDE-to-Compact flash interface and an appropriate size CF today. Older small HDDs in good nick aren't so easy to find anymore...

Reply 16 of 27, by thepirategamerboy12

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Badscrew wrote:

Tou may have better luck with IDE-to-Compact flash interface and an appropriate size CF today. Older small HDDs in good nick aren't so easy to find anymore...

Yeah, that's a shame. I have 8 and 10GB HDDs, but they're all being used in other machines. Probably the easiest way of getting a good 8GB HDD is by unlocking one from an OG Xbox you get for cheap at a thrift store or whatever, as this is what I did for my 486. It's kinda funny how I can use this 40GB drive in my 486 and get all the space, but not on this considerably newer machine. I really don't like IDE to CF adapters because I think you lose something by not hearing the HDD spinning, and they have little faults every now and then that I don't want to deal with.

Reply 17 of 27, by Badscrew

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I will be testing soon what I can only call "adapter extravaganza":
1) Full size ide - to notebook size ide adapter;
2) notebook size ide - to sd card adapter
3) sd card - to micro sd adapter
4) micro sd card
😁

Reply 18 of 27, by thepirategamerboy12

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So, I sorta got the sound card working in Windows. Turns out that the drivers for ESS cards that Windows 95 comes with aren't that great. The ES1688 drivers may be broken, as using the 688 drivers instead does give proper volume levels. But I've had some stability issues for some reason. Tested my SB16 and it works quite well, so I'm debating what to do as far as the sound card goes.

I also got proper drivers for the Trident 9680 from the link below. It still doesn't give me a proper VRAM count and DxDiag says the drivers are unsigned, but they do at least give me all the color depths.
http://ftp.mpoli.fi/pub/hardware/DISPLAY/TRIDENT/

Reply 19 of 27, by thepirategamerboy12

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Well, I fixed the HDD size limit! Someone else online has the same motherboard as me and found a newer PC Chips branded BIOS that works with it. Flashed it and now it detects all 40GB without needing a DDO. Shows the PC Chips logo instead of Energy Star, but it's worth it.

https://omgwtfbbq.ca/2017/08/building-a-vinta … -95-pentium-pc/

Edit: I'm actually having some performance issues with this BIOS.

Last edited by thepirategamerboy12 on 2019-11-04, 09:15. Edited 1 time in total.