First post, by Pertinax
Hi there, first a short introduction. I have abuilt a retro machine for dual booting to DOS 6 and Windows 98 SE. Right now I have some issues with the Windows 98 side.
The machine is a Pentium 3 socket 370 (933 mhz) with 256 MB memory, a 32 GB CF card as C drive and a 40 GB IDE Maxtor for games. The graphics card is a Voodoo 4500 AGP 2x (doesn't work on 4x). My system used to ran perfectly without issues for 6 months. However, after I installed a 5,25 inch floppy drive, I had to change the IDE cables. I ordered a long 70 cm IDE cable from an amiga store, so it is probably UDMA33. The Maxtor HDD and the cd-rom drive are connected on it. Most games would freeze after a few minutes. The game and Windows, there was no way of returning to Windows. Mouse wasn't moving either. I did a reinstall, and the problem was still there. SO now I replaced that long cable with a normal length 80 pole IDE cable. I STILL get the warning I am not using a 80 pole cable on the secondary IDE channel, even though I am (Both HDD and cd-rom are on this), but the freezing problem is still there in Need for Speed 2 SE (Glide version) and sometimes Tomb Raider II.
I just ran Quake 2 for 1 and a half hour, game was fine, no freeze, nothing. I put the cd in, and it froze. I restarted and tried playing with the cd in, for music, and again it ran for more than an hour without problems. When I try Need for Speed, the freezing happens in game too, but also when I am browsing the car info and videos that are on cd. As soon as it loads the next car, it freezes. But the music from cd continues.
At first I thought it was a cable issue, as a 70 cm IDE cable is not officially supported by the UDMA standard because of interference, but with the better cable, problem still persists, with some games. Other games work fine. Quake 2 also works fine usually even with cd inside. I tried running everything with the case open, in case of a overheating gpu, but it doesn't help. GPU doesn't feel hot when it freezes. I am all out of ideas of trying. Only thing I can think of is that I have a two faulty IDE cables, or my CD drive is suddenly broken, but only in a few games. Is there a way to at least isolate the problem to the cd-rom drive?
PS: Need for Speed 4 has the same issue in Glide mode. I will try Need for Speed 2 in software mode now to see if it keeps running for an hour without crashing. I only know of a 100% certain way to recreate the freeze, and that is browsing through the car information and media (videos and pictures) in the in game menu of Need for Speed 2. The freezing in Tomb Raider and Quake 2 is not always 100% recreatable. The only change made to the hardware is the 5.25 inch floppy drive that is working fine (together with a 3.5 inch floppy drive). The long IDE cable has been replaced with the original cable from before this issue. I only use the latest original Voodoo drivers, DirectX 8.1 and only official Microsoft updates to Windows 98 SE. Thank you.