VOGONS


First post, by _StIwY_

User metadata
Rank Member
Rank
Member

EDIT: Problem found, was the "DMA Mode" once on.

Hello, i build up a vintage pc with Windows 98 SE but i'm encountering a problem i never had before. The motherboard is a Gigabyte GA-6VXE7+ with Apollo Pro 133 chipset.

Everything works fine:

- PSU
- HDD have no bad sectors or problems ( diagnosis passed )
- Video card is fine ( 3Dmark and games runs fine )
- CPU is fine ( Prime95 Stress test passed)
- RAM is fine ( MemTest Stress test passed )

After the fresh installation i usually install motherboard drivers in the first place, but after the reboot Windows 98 SE gives "Explorer.exe" error immediately after the first screen, and the system hangs on forever. Or sometimes even BSOD.

Just to be clear WIn 98 SE runs flawlessy......until i install the Via 4in1, i really don't get what is the problem.

I tried the 4in1 4.35.....4.39...4.52...nothing changes.

Last edited by _StIwY_ on 2023-10-20, 14:07. Edited 3 times in total.

Reply 1 of 24, by _StIwY_

User metadata
Rank Member
Rank
Member

Looks like i found the problem, from a 2014 post in another thread:

borgie83 wrote on 2014-11-20, 11:09:

Recently I had a few Via 4in1 4.35 driver issues with my Gigabyte GA-6VXE7+ Rev 3.0 Via Apollo Pro board. I found that every time I installed the 4in1 drivers, I would encounter problem after problem. Mainly Windows 98 SE start up issues but also several AGP related issues. I then went into device manager and updated the "VIA CPU to AGP controller" under "System Devices" with the Viagart.vxd driver found in the AGP folder of the 4in1 4.35 drivers and my graphics card/start up issues were gone. Also graphics card performance improved by around 50%. Went from 3379 to 6385 points in 3DMark 2001SE. Who knows, may help you too 😀

Oh and before you go reinstalling Windows 98 for whatever reason, boot into "safe mode with command prompt" and go to the Windows\Command directory and enter "scanreg /restore". This will restore your registry to the last known error free start up point also avoiding any other problems the 4in1 drivers created for you. Then just reinstall your drivers again. Better than waiting around for Windows 98 to install again.

I have the same motherboard can't be a coincidence......i'll let you know.

Reply 2 of 24, by _StIwY_

User metadata
Rank Member
Rank
Member

Nothing! I am bashing my head trying this and that....nothing to do. Every time i install the 4in1 drivers, Win98 becomes unstable after the first boot already. So i formatted, again, and installed everything else ( audio card, usb 2.0 pci card, pci ethernet, video card.....etc ) and everything works fine. Then i put the Via 4in1 4.xx ( no matter the version ) and here we go again.....explorer.exe crashes at the boot / bsod / sometimes the registry gets corrupted aswell....etc.

I even followed the procedure the user before @borgie83 did, but without success.

I give up! I'm all ears about some tips, thanks.

Last edited by _StIwY_ on 2023-10-19, 09:30. Edited 1 time in total.

Reply 4 of 24, by _StIwY_

User metadata
Rank Member
Rank
Member
Repo Man11 wrote on 2023-10-18, 22:01:

Is your video card set to 2x or 4x in the CMOS settings? I would definitely try 2x if you haven't.

There are no options about AGP in the BIOS ( and yes it's the latest one ).

Reply 6 of 24, by _StIwY_

User metadata
Rank Member
Rank
Member
Garrett W wrote on 2023-10-19, 10:00:

Remove the USB2.0, Ethernet and Audio cards and try again.

Tried already. I forgot to say, yesterday at some point i got an error at "viagart.vxd" driver. The video card is a Voodoo 3 3000 AGP, so i tried to install everything else but the AGP VxD drivers, but i got the same unstable situation.

Reply 8 of 24, by STX

User metadata
Rank Member
Rank
Member

I found the manual for the motherboard on Gigabyte's website. That motherboard has DIP switches to configure the FSB. Ensure that they're set correctly for your particular CPU.

Ensure that your CMOS battery isn't mostly dead.

Reset the BIOS settings to defaults, and then change only the BIOS settings that really must be changed. Generally, you're less likely to encounter bizarre problems when your configuration is more typical. The only weird thing that I'd try would be changing the PNP OS Installed setting. Try the setting that's opposite of what you had been using. When I make significant BIOS settings changes, I also like to set Reset Configuration Data to BOTH in hopes that any old resource allocation glitches will be swept away when I save my BIOS settings, but I'm not actually sure that this helps the system to work better; it definitely makes me feel better though. Then reinstall Windows 98 SE.

The manufacturer recommends VIA 4-in-1 driver version 4.43, so try that one.

Lastly, if there's still instability, before you give up and trash the motherboard, try installing Windows XP SP2 or SP3. In either of these OS versions, you don't need to install the VIA 4-in-1 driver because a good VIA chipset driver is included. If your motherboard is still unstable with this OS, then it has a serious problem.

Reply 9 of 24, by _StIwY_

User metadata
Rank Member
Rank
Member
Garrett W wrote on 2023-10-19, 11:30:

Do you install any unofficial Service Packs or other patches/fixes/utilities for Win98SE prior to installing 4in1?

Nope, Win98 SE untouched iso....burned to a CD-R. The same i used and still use to format any vintage pc under my hands.

STX wrote on 2023-10-19, 12:00:
I found the manual for the motherboard on Gigabyte's website. That motherboard has DIP switches to configure the FSB. Ensure tha […]
Show full quote

I found the manual for the motherboard on Gigabyte's website. That motherboard has DIP switches to configure the FSB. Ensure that they're set correctly for your particular CPU.

Ensure that your CMOS battery isn't mostly dead.

Reset the BIOS settings to defaults, and then change only the BIOS settings that really must be changed. Generally, you're less likely to encounter bizarre problems when your configuration is more typical. The only weird thing that I'd try would be changing the PNP OS Installed setting. Try the setting that's opposite of what you had been using. When I make significant BIOS settings changes, I also like to set Reset Configuration Data to BOTH in hopes that any old resource allocation glitches will be swept away when I save my BIOS settings, but I'm not actually sure that this helps the system to work better; it definitely makes me feel better though. Then reinstall Windows 98 SE.

The manufacturer recommends VIA 4-in-1 driver version 4.43, so try that one.

Lastly, if there's still instability, before you give up and trash the motherboard, try installing Windows XP SP2 or SP3. In either of these OS versions, you don't need to install the VIA 4-in-1 driver because a good VIA chipset driver is included. If your motherboard is still unstable with this OS, then it has a serious problem.

I'm installing tons of games, everything is there and everything works fine. It's a really weird problem, never had this before.

Surely i won't trash the motherboard. I did pass every benchmark / stress test. It's not hardware related for sure.
Yes, the DIP switches are correctly set.
Yes, i have already changed the CMOS battery + updated the BIOS.

I let the motherboard without the battery for some minutes, then put it on again.

......what a weird problem!

This episode reminds me, back in the days when for some weird reasons aswell, my ADSL network connectionc was dropping off while using the optical CD burner! Never understood why to this day.

Reply 10 of 24, by STX

User metadata
Rank Member
Rank
Member
_StIwY_ wrote on 2023-10-19, 12:32:

This episode reminds me, back in the days when for some weird reasons aswell, my ADSL network connection was dropping off while using the optical CD burner! Never understood why to this day.

Not all PCI devices shared the bus well with others (e.g. VIA 686B and Sound Blaster Live!). A rock star engineer with a PCI protocol analyzer could've figured it out.

Reply 11 of 24, by _StIwY_

User metadata
Rank Member
Rank
Member
STX wrote on 2023-10-19, 12:50:
_StIwY_ wrote on 2023-10-19, 12:32:

This episode reminds me, back in the days when for some weird reasons aswell, my ADSL network connection was dropping off while using the optical CD burner! Never understood why to this day.

Not all PCI devices shared the bus well with others (e.g. VIA 686B and Sound Blaster Live!). A rock star engineer with a PCI protocol analyzer could've figured it out.

The modem was an external USB one. About the 4in1 problems, what's your thoughts ? The hardware runs fine, yet it's impossible to install these damn 4in1

Reply 12 of 24, by Joseph_Joestar

User metadata
Rank l33t
Rank
l33t

No idea if it would help in this particular case, but it's usually recommended to install the chipset drivers first, before any other device drivers, including those for the graphics and sound cards. Meaning, install the VIA 4-in-1 drivers right after doing a clean installation of Win98SE.

Might be worth a shot, if you haven't tried that already.

PC#1: Pentium MMX 166 / Soyo SY-5BT / S3 Trio64V+ / Voodoo1 / YMF719 / AWE64 Gold / SC-155
PC#2: AthlonXP 2100+ / ECS K7VTA3 / Voodoo3 / Audigy2 / Vortex2
PC#3: Athlon64 3400+ / Asus K8V-MX / 5900XT / Audigy2
PC#4: i5-3570K / MSI Z77A-G43 / GTX 970 / X-Fi

Reply 13 of 24, by _StIwY_

User metadata
Rank Member
Rank
Member
Joseph_Joestar wrote on 2023-10-19, 15:15:

No idea if it would help in this particular case, but it's usually recommended to install the chipset drivers first, before any other device drivers, including those for the graphics and sound cards. Meaning, install the VIA 4-in-1 drivers right after doing a clean installation of Win98SE.

Might be worth a shot, if you haven't tried that already.

This is what i always did , and always do, in order right after the format:

1- Motherboard drivers
2- Video / Sound card
3- Other cards ( NIC, usb pci..etc )
4- Everything else ( software, games....etc )

I would like to try older verison of 4in1 but first i wanna do an hdd image clone. I'll let you know, otherwise i just leave the PC as is, since runs well.

Reply 14 of 24, by Repo Man11

User metadata
Rank Oldbie
Rank
Oldbie

Some Gigabyte motherboards have hidden menus in the CMOS settings that are accessed by hitting ctrl/F1. It isn't mentioned in the manual for this board, so it likely isn't one of them, but if it were me I'd try it just to be sure.

"I'd rather be rich than stupid" - Jack Handey

Reply 15 of 24, by _StIwY_

User metadata
Rank Member
Rank
Member
Repo Man11 wrote on 2023-10-19, 16:14:

Some Gigabyte motherboards have hidden menus in the CMOS settings that are accessed by hitting ctrl/F1. It isn't mentioned in the manual for this board, so it likely isn't one of them, but if it were me I'd try it just to be sure.

Just tried, nothing.

Reply 16 of 24, by _StIwY_

User metadata
Rank Member
Rank
Member

I tried some desperate tweaks like disabling parallel / serial ports from the BIOS..............aaaaaand nothing.

So i attempted to use some older 4in1 versione aaaaaaaaaaaaand............... here we go again. This time i recorded a video where i show what happens after 4in1 installation....this time i used the suggested from manufacturer 4.43 version.

WIndows 98 goes crazy with bsod and various errors, corrupting files or whatever happens. Restoring the registry doesn't help......i have to format again.

Video:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/157D3SwUVJD9O … iew?usp=sharing

Reply 17 of 24, by _StIwY_

User metadata
Rank Member
Rank
Member

I found the problem.........looks like it's the damn DMA Mode

I re-formatted, and installed the 4in1 WITHOUT checking this box, and guess what......no problems at all anymore. Yet can't figure out now how properly activate the DMA mode.

Attachments

Reply 18 of 24, by marxveix

User metadata
Rank Member
Rank
Member

Windows98 has dma, use integrated one and enable dma from device manager or use older/newer dma driver from via, not that via 1.20a version.

For my old VIA motherboard i use older via modded 4in1 v4.17 or v4.23. I would try or use much older versions of Via 4in1 or use Windows98 dma.

Reply 19 of 24, by Garrett W

User metadata
Rank Oldbie
Rank
Oldbie

Do you have your HDD and ODE on the same IDE cable? That can lead to trouble sometimes, especially on quirky chipsets.

I prefer to use older versions of 4in1 on Apollo Pro133A. I've found 4.35 and 4.26 to work pretty well, a bit more headache free if you will.