VOGONS


First post, by Pertinax

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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.

Reply 1 of 3, by derSammler

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Pertinax wrote on 2020-01-30, 12:37:

The only change made to the hardware is the 5.25 inch floppy drive that is working fine

As always with such errors, the first step should be to revert any changes you did from the time it was still working correctly. Then check if the error is still there. It makes no sense to try other things first if you don't revert what's possibly causing the error.

Last edited by derSammler on 2020-01-31, 12:20. Edited 1 time in total.

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Reply 2 of 3, by i2lgames

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I have seen this thing happen due to a power supply going bad. Is the cd-rom playing audio tracks or read in the same time with the hard drive when this happens? Do you have a way to measure the power output of the molex connectors?

Reply 3 of 3, by Pertinax

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derSammler wrote on 2020-01-30, 12:45:
Pertinax wrote on 2020-01-30, 12:37:

The only change made to the hardware is the 5.25 inch floppy drive that is working fine

As always with such errors, the first step should be to revert any changes you did from the time it was still working correctly. Then check if the error is still there. It makes no sense to try other things first if you don't revert what's possibly causing the error.

Ok, before i disconnected the 5.25 floppy, I did a test in Need for Speed 2 without Glide, so in software rendered mode. I played 2 races, let another race run for an hour, and browsed through the car info slideshows for 10 minutes, all fine. I did another test, in Glide mode, with the floppy drive disconnected, and the system freezes again while browsing the car info. I also ran Tomb Raider 2 again for an hour, with the floppy drive connected, and it works fine. It seems like the freezes happen during use of Glide, and not during use of software rendering or Direct3D. Not sure though, Tomb Raider not freezing could be luck.

i2lgames wrote on 2020-01-31, 11:37:

I have seen this thing happen due to a power supply going bad. Is the cd-rom playing audio tracks or read in the same time with the hard drive when this happens? Do you have a way to measure the power output of the molex connectors?

A modern power supply can still be connected to this system, am I right? Might as well try that, but the floppy drive is not the thing that is causing this. It is probably the graphics card. Even though it is weird because the menus of the game are not in 3D, but they still use Glide I guess? It doesn't happen when running the game in software rendering.

Now I will try Carmageddon 2 in Glide and see what happens (NFS 2 lacks Direct3D).

Edit: Carmageddon freezes. Hexen 2 in GL freezes, in software mode it doesn't. It is clear that it has something to do with Glide. Doing ANOTHER clean install, and this time I will try an older DirectX, and maybe other Voodoo drivers,