SB16 (formerly ES688) crashes 486 system, need help solving it.

Discussion about old sound cards, MIDI devices and sound related accessories.

Re: SB16 (formerly ES688) crashes 486 system, need help solving it.

Postby appiah4 » 2017-11-02 @ 10:30

keropi wrote:OK....
I know it's not an answer you are looking for but this motherboard does not really worth the effort to use it - even if it was not a clone/cheap one (it certainly is a budget mobo don't know if it really is a clone) the fact that it has no L2 cache at all is a red flag... is there something special about it?


Oh no, not particularly. Aside from the idea of doing a fun underdog PC with an interesting processor, there is nothing special about this motherboard for me, it's just that I have it and I wanted to use it.

If it won't work, so be it, I will dump it.

I just wish I could make sense of what it is or what is wrong before I do. Like I said, a few more tests with the memory (with FPM and 30pin sticks if I can get some - they could always be useful anyway) and then it goes into the trash. I'll start over and do a P133 build instead.
A500:Rev6|512K+RTC|ACA500+|HxC/df1|C1084S
1994:PCI597-1|P133|32MB|Trio64|ES1868/S2
1997:S1573S|K6-2/400|64MB|M220|V2-SLI|CT4500/32M
2000:GA-BX2000|P3-700E|256MB|GF2GTS|MX300
DELL:GX110LP|PIII1000|512MB|G450|ES1938S/X3M
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Re: SB16 (formerly ES688) crashes 486 system, need help solving it.

Postby CkRtech » 2017-11-02 @ 10:43

Sorry if someone mentioned this before, but have you tried pressing Ctrl-F1 (or Alt-F1... or Shift-F1) on the main screen of the BIOS?

AMI BIOS put hidden menus in there at some point, but I don't know when they started doing that. Wondering if this would give you better access to advanced settings.
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Re: SB16 (formerly ES688) crashes 486 system, need help solving it.

Postby appiah4 » 2017-11-02 @ 10:45

CkRtech wrote:Sorry if someone mentioned this before, but have you tried pressing Ctrl-F1 (or Alt-F1... or Shift-F1) on the main screen of the BIOS?

AMI BIOS put hidden menus in there at some point, but I don't know when they started doing that. Wondering if this would give you better access to advanced settings.


No, and it's the first time I'm hearing this. I will do this first thing when I am home tonight. Well, after I put in a stick of FPM memory, of course.
A500:Rev6|512K+RTC|ACA500+|HxC/df1|C1084S
1994:PCI597-1|P133|32MB|Trio64|ES1868/S2
1997:S1573S|K6-2/400|64MB|M220|V2-SLI|CT4500/32M
2000:GA-BX2000|P3-700E|256MB|GF2GTS|MX300
DELL:GX110LP|PIII1000|512MB|G450|ES1938S/X3M
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Re: SB16 (formerly ES688) crashes 486 system, need help solving it.

Postby appiah4 » 2017-11-02 @ 20:58

CTRL/ALT/SHIFT F1 did nothing.

But I have found some closure nonetheless.

After doing pretty much all I can with the available BIOS options, it occured to me that I never tried booting witht he Fail-Safe Defaults. So I did just that, and what do you know, shit just works.

Works as in, works incredibly slowly, but doesn't crash.

So slow in fact, that I immediately have a hunch about what made a difference. I reboot into the BIOS and surely enough along with pretty much everything else, Internal CPU Cache is also disabled. I enable it, reboot, and surely everything crashes with memory errors once again.

So, there you have it. One or more of the BIOS, the board, the CPU, the ISA controller or the RAM controller on this board is/are severely gimped in such a way that the CPU cache and DMA transfers don't work. Somehow.

If this rings any bells for anyone, let me know. Otherwise, I'm through with it.
A500:Rev6|512K+RTC|ACA500+|HxC/df1|C1084S
1994:PCI597-1|P133|32MB|Trio64|ES1868/S2
1997:S1573S|K6-2/400|64MB|M220|V2-SLI|CT4500/32M
2000:GA-BX2000|P3-700E|256MB|GF2GTS|MX300
DELL:GX110LP|PIII1000|512MB|G450|ES1938S/X3M
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Re: SB16 (formerly ES688) crashes 486 system, need help solving it.

Postby appiah4 » 2018-1-05 @ 07:15

Apologies for necroposting but I have been poring through usenet in search for a fix to this in my idle time, and I came across something particularly interesting.

This conversation at comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.action in 1995 regarding Doom sound fx crashes on certain 486 hardware, all related to AMI BIOS motherboards was particularly interesting. Some people on the discussion also found out that disabling Internal Cache fixed the issue and it appears to be widely agreed on that it's a BIOS issue regarding DMA access and RAM utilization.

Ultimately, there was this one post that seems to have figured out a fix that won't cripple the system completely:

Path: bga.com!news.sprintlink.net!uunet!in1.uu.net!jaxnet.jaxnet.com!jax!rbourne

From: rbo...@jax.jaxnet.com (Rob Bourne)

Newsgroups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.soundcard.tech,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.action,comp.sys.ibm.pc.soundcard.misc,comp.sys.ibm.pc.soundcard.games

Subject: Re: Do SB FX crash your system?

Followup-To: comp.sys.ibm.pc.soundcard.tech,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.action,comp.sys.ibm.pc.soundcard.misc,comp.sys.ibm.pc.soundcard.games

Date: 13 Mar 1995 22:34:00 GMT

Organization: JaxNet BBS (904) 292-4567

Lines: 18

Message-ID: <3k2h8o$4h8@jaxnet.jaxnet.com>

References: <D3vIx7.2xr@freenet.niagara.com> <3hlb8h$ian@newstand.syr.edu> <3hs9c6$plc@grissom.powerup.com.au> <3ia3u2$t1r@sun.rhbnc.ac.uk> <3ial9q$djq@decaxp.harvard.edu> <3j1kta$3np@sun.rhbnc.ac.uk> <3jee43$i3m@woodstock.socs.uts.EDU.AU> <3jo04a$g0n@fantasy.barwonwater.vic.gov.au>

NNTP-Posting-Host: jax.jaxnet.com

X-Newsreader: TIN [version 1.2 PL2]

Xref: bga.com comp.sys.ibm.pc.soundcard.tech:9486 comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.action:65813 comp.sys.ibm.pc.soundcard.misc:6514 comp.sys.ibm.pc.soundcard.games:5516



Rex Foord (r...@barwonwater.vic.gov.au) wrote:
: I too have been having problems with a SB16 card purchased as
: part of CL's multimedia CDROM kit.

: I runs the diags ok, seems to work ok in windows, but dos games
: are having a real hard time. In some games only the sound FX
: works and no music, or its the other way round.!! I have tried
: various settings ie differing irq's, dma etc, have changed video
: cards (from an S3 to a ts et4000) booted up with a bare bones
: system, no drivers etc. All to no avail.

I had the same problem. I read turning off the cache would allow it to work.
No good. I played around with the other settings and found turning on
"hidden refresh function" (defaults to off) cured the problem.

Lot's of luck

Rob


I do not know if my BIOS actually has this option, but I am eager to find out so I will actually put this PC back together just to see if I can fix this issue. I did actually obtain a VLB Socket 1 motherboard with a DX-66 OD in the process, but I would much rather be able to use this little board instead if I can.

So the saga lives on..
A500:Rev6|512K+RTC|ACA500+|HxC/df1|C1084S
1994:PCI597-1|P133|32MB|Trio64|ES1868/S2
1997:S1573S|K6-2/400|64MB|M220|V2-SLI|CT4500/32M
2000:GA-BX2000|P3-700E|256MB|GF2GTS|MX300
DELL:GX110LP|PIII1000|512MB|G450|ES1938S/X3M
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