VOGONS


First post, by konc

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Hi all,

First let me make clear that I’m not expecting a direct solution for this since I believe I have, more or less, covered the basic troubleshooting. Of course there’s always a chance that I completely overlooked something important, so please feel free to shoot in the dark. I’m mostly looking for ideas and more things to try.

The problem: A P1 MMX on an Intel 430VX (Triton II) functioning for more than 5 years as my pure DOS 6.22 PC, with no problems or glitches whatsoever during this period. Until I added a Voodoo1, a known-good V1 pulled from another PC of mine.

The card is detected:

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But nothing, nothing at all using the card works. Every single thing, be it many games, demos, even the SDK tests, all result in a cyan screen and the PC completely frozen. Again, it’s pure DOS 6.22.

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Things I’ve tried so far, extensively as you will see and often on more than one PC:
-Is the card bad? Something happened to it during the transfer? Nope, I tried a second one (from a different manufacturer) as well.
-Could it be that, by some unfortunate coincidence, both cards have gone bad? Nope, they both work on 2 other PCs flawlessly.
-OK, so maybe it’s a software issue. I move the hard drive from the problematic PC to the 2 others and try the cards again. Guess what, they do function. So there’s nothing wrong with my .OVL used for example, the things I’m trying to run or any other software (albeit there’s not much to blame, standard DOS 6.22 & no weird TSRs, a clean boot holding SHIFT down didn’t help either)
-Maybe for some reason they don’t cooperate with the onboard S3 Trio 64V+ (already starting with the unlikely scenarios…) 2 different standalone cards later, same cyan screen in everything.
-Removed all other cards, unplugged all other devices (CDROM, floppy) and tried all PCI slots.
-Played with BIOS settings by trying the IRQs in auto, manual, reset settings to default.
-Disabled every possible device in BIOS (COMs, LPT, floppy, USB…)
-Upgraded the BIOS and re-tried configurations.
-Tried a different PSU, nothing changed. Put the PSU of the problematic PC in another, as expected cards work with it.
-Tried a different monitor, even though I was testing the card on other PCs using the same one, but at this point…
-In despair I also tried different SIMMs and pass-through cable, not to leave anything unchanged.

-And finally the best of all: I tried 2 different Voodoo2 cards on the PC in question. Yeah, like you probably imagined they work perfectly well.

And here I am pulling my hair and hoping for more ideas 😕 Has anyone ever encountered something similar? I’m starting to believe that this is one of the few real incompatibility cases.
Sorry for the length of this post, I wanted to give a complete report on how I attempted myself to troubleshoot this and save people from writing things already tried.

Reply 2 of 32, by konc

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Nice idea.
In the system that the card doesn't work, the spinning logo doesn't even appear and an identical file is produced from both "Tomb Raider" and "Trip" demo:

sst1Init Routines: InitCode $Revision: 8 $
sst1InitMapBoard(): BoardsInSystem = 1
sst1InitMapBoard(): vAddr:0x10400000 pAddr:0xfe000008 Dev:0x11 Board:0
sst1InitRegisters(): Setting TREX-to-FBI FIFO THRESHOLD to 0x8...
sst1InitRegisters(): Setting PRELIM FT-CLK delay to 0x8...
sst1InitRegisters(): Storing TREX0INIT0=0x5441
sst1InitRegisters(): Storing TREX0INIT1=0xf420
sst1InitRegisters(): Storing TREX1INIT0=0x5441
sst1InitRegisters(): Storing TREX1INIT1=0xf420
sst1InitRegisters(): Storing TREX2INIT0=0x5441
sst1InitRegisters(): Storing TREX2INIT1=0xf420
sst1InitRegisters(): Setting up FAST DRAM Configuration
sst1DeviceInfo: Board ID: Obsidian GE
sst1DeviceInfo: FbiConfig:0x2, TmuConfig:0x11
sst1DeviceInfo: FBI Revision:2, TMU Revison:1, Num TMUs:1
sst1DeviceInfo: FBI Memory:2, TMU[0] Memory:2
sst1DeviceInfo: Dac Type: ICS ICS5342
sst1DeviceInfo: SliDetect:0
sst1InitRegisters(): LFB Writes go through memory FIFO...
sst1InitRegisters(): TEXTURE Writes go through memory FIFO...
sst1InitRegisters(): exiting with status 1...
sst1InitVideo(): Enabling Video Clock...
sst1InitVideo() Setting up video for resolution (640, 480), Refresh:60 Hz...
sst1InitVideo(): Video Fifo Threshold = 23
sst1InitVideo(): pciFifoLwm:13 memFifoLwm:23 memFifoHwm:54
sst1InitVideo(): Enabling Memory FIFO (Entries=31231)...
sst1InitVideo(): Setting memory FIFO LWM to 0x861f (34335)
sst1InitVideo(): vInClkDel=0x0 vOutClkDel=0x2
sst1InitVideo(): Setting 24BPP video mode...
sst1InitVideo(): Setting FBI-to-TREX clock delay to 0x5...
sst1InitVideo(): Setting TREX#0 TREX-to-FBI clock delay to 0x5
sst1InitVideo(): Setting TREX#1 TREX-to-FBI clock delay to 0x5
sst1InitVideo(): Setting TREX#2 TREX-to-FBI clock delay to 0x5
sst1InitGrxClk(): Setting up 50 MHz Graphics Clock...
sst1InitSetVidClk(): Setting up 50.35 MHz Video Clock...
sst1InitVideo() exiting with status 1...

Putting the same card in another system and running Tomb Raider adds a couple more lines in the end (since the menu actually appears and I'm properly exiting the game instead of reseting)

...
sst1InitSetVidClk(): Setting up 50.35 MHz Video Clock...
sst1InitVideo() exiting with status 1...
sst1InitGammaRGB(): Enabling Video Clock...
sst1InitGammaRGB(): Setting GammaRGB = (1.70,1.70,1.70)
sst1InitGammaRGB() exiting with status 1...
sst1InitShutdown(): Shutting down SST-1 #0...
sst1InitShutdown(): Returning with status 1...

Reply 3 of 32, by clueless1

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To me it sounds like an issue with the PCI interface, maybe down to a chipset compatibility issue (try to find if someone else with a VX chipset has gotten Voodoo1 Obsidian working). Are there any other PCI-related settings in the BIOS such as burst mode, timings, wait states, etc? Maybe jumper settings on the board related to these?

The more I learn, the more I realize how much I don't know.
OPL3 FM vs. Roland MT-32 vs. General MIDI DOS Game Comparison
Let's benchmark our systems with cache disabled
DOS PCI Graphics Card Benchmarks

Reply 4 of 32, by konc

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The card appearing as "Obsidian" is in fact a common Diamond Monster, I don't know why it's identified as such.
The motherboard is neat, only a jumpers block to set multiplier/bus speed/voltage and, apart from leds and buttons headers, nothing else exists.

As for the BIOS, it's a rather limited AMI BIOS, the classic one for Intel boards. Here are all the settings (what's missing is the password and save/discard/reset to defaults menus), please feel free make a suggestion or ask for new photos displaying available options, anything...
I tried setting manually the PCI clock to 33MHz instead of the default/current "auto" and also in the PnP configuration tried both "Use BIOS setup" and "Use PnP OS" -just in case

i.imgur.com/XlfW8jY.jpg

Reply 5 of 32, by clueless1

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Did you try toggling the Video Palette Snoop? I don't see anything else that might help. More eyes needed. 😀

The more I learn, the more I realize how much I don't know.
OPL3 FM vs. Roland MT-32 vs. General MIDI DOS Game Comparison
Let's benchmark our systems with cache disabled
DOS PCI Graphics Card Benchmarks

Reply 6 of 32, by konc

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Yes, and every other option in all possible combinations 😀 It's been a while now that I'm trying to get this thing to work (it's part of the fun anyway), before running out of ideas and posting here.

Reply 7 of 32, by clueless1

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I have a couple of systems with weird limitations that seem to not have a fix/workaround. for example, one motherboard I have only works with a couple of PCI video cards. The rest don't post. Yet those cards work fine in other systems. Another example: US Navy Fighters won't run on certain OEM systems because it requires BIOS ROM Shadowing to be disabled or it conflicts with the PharLap DOS Extender and the game won't launch. Systems which do not allow you to disable this through the BIOS are incompatible with the game.

Not saying your situation is similarly unsolvable, but you should prepare for that possibility.

The more I learn, the more I realize how much I don't know.
OPL3 FM vs. Roland MT-32 vs. General MIDI DOS Game Comparison
Let's benchmark our systems with cache disabled
DOS PCI Graphics Card Benchmarks

Reply 8 of 32, by meljor

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Just to check if the combination can work i would use a harddisk with 98se on it and install v1 drivers, then run a windows glide game or even directx.

asus tx97-e, 233mmx, voodoo1, s3 virge ,sb16
asus p5a, k6-3+ @ 550mhz, voodoo2 12mb sli, gf2 gts, awe32
asus p3b-f, p3-700, voodoo3 3500TV agp, awe64
asus tusl2-c, p3-S 1,4ghz, voodoo5 5500, live!
asus a7n8x DL, barton cpu, 6800ultra, Voodoo3 pci, audigy1

Reply 9 of 32, by konc

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meljor wrote:

Just to check if the combination can work i would use a harddisk with 98se on it and install v1 drivers, then run a windows glide game or even directx.

Actually this is a very good idea. I'm gonna do it and report back.

Reply 10 of 32, by anthony

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you can play with drivers and bios settings forever. i don't see in log file lines related to dac init at all. check every pix address line and data line to dac.

(since the menu actually appears and I'm properly exiting the game instead of reseting)

how you was able to see game menu, if cyan screen appears every time glide app is launching?

Reply 11 of 32, by Deksor

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clueless1 wrote:

To me it sounds like an issue with the PCI interface, maybe down to a chipset compatibility issue (try to find if someone else with a VX chipset has gotten Voodoo1 Obsidian working). Are there any other PCI-related settings in the BIOS such as burst mode, timings, wait states, etc? Maybe jumper settings on the board related to these?

It's not, I used a diamond card in my pentium which had a vx chipset and never had a problem

Though I usee win98

Reply 12 of 32, by konc

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anthony wrote:

you can play with drivers and bios settings forever. i don't see in log file lines related to dac init at all. check every pix address line and data line to dac.

(since the menu actually appears and I'm properly exiting the game instead of reseting)

how you was able to see game menu, if cyan screen appears every time glide app is launching?

Please read again:

Putting the same card in another system and running Tomb Raider adds a couple more lines in the end

Which means that I also got a log file from a system where the card works. And they were identical, apart from the few lines at the end (when the game actually started).

So I'm not exactly sure what is it that you don't see in the log file, but it doesn't exist even when the cards works.
Also explaining what "check every pix address line and data line to dac" means would be helpful 🤣

Reply 13 of 32, by clueless1

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Deksor wrote:
clueless1 wrote:

To me it sounds like an issue with the PCI interface, maybe down to a chipset compatibility issue (try to find if someone else with a VX chipset has gotten Voodoo1 Obsidian working). Are there any other PCI-related settings in the BIOS such as burst mode, timings, wait states, etc? Maybe jumper settings on the board related to these?

It's not, I used a diamond card in my pentium which had a vx chipset and never had a problem

I hope I am wrong. But it could come down to vendor-specific issues.

@konc, is your VX board retail or OEM? OEM tend to have more of these weird issues.

The more I learn, the more I realize how much I don't know.
OPL3 FM vs. Roland MT-32 vs. General MIDI DOS Game Comparison
Let's benchmark our systems with cache disabled
DOS PCI Graphics Card Benchmarks

Reply 15 of 32, by konc

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clueless1 wrote:

@konc, is your VX board retail or OEM? OEM tend to have more of these weird issues.

Yes, it's an OEM Intel NV430VX board found, among others, in a Zenith Z-Station EL

I just finished testing with Win98. Replaced the HDD and installed Windows from scratch + drivers, nothing else changed on the machine.
Under Windows anything glide works. Even DOS demos, games and the SDK tests work when launched from within Windows.
Start -> Shutdown -> "Restart in MSDOS mode" or restarting -> F8 -> "Command prompt only" and running the same things that work under Windows, both result in the same cyan screen. Not even the spinning logo appears. Crazy.

Reply 16 of 32, by meljor

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It must be bios setting then? Something windows overrides...?

When you start a glide dos game in windows it works as well? Or maybe copy the glide ovl file from the working windows driver into the dos game directory and try again?

asus tx97-e, 233mmx, voodoo1, s3 virge ,sb16
asus p5a, k6-3+ @ 550mhz, voodoo2 12mb sli, gf2 gts, awe32
asus p3b-f, p3-700, voodoo3 3500TV agp, awe64
asus tusl2-c, p3-S 1,4ghz, voodoo5 5500, live!
asus a7n8x DL, barton cpu, 6800ultra, Voodoo3 pci, audigy1

Reply 17 of 32, by konc

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meljor wrote:

It must be bios setting then? Something windows overrides...?

I agree, but what? I don't see what else I could change.

meljor wrote:

When you start a glide dos game in windows it works as well? Or maybe copy the glide ovl file from the working windows driver into the dos game directory and try again?

Yes, everything under windows works, dos + win applications

So I run Tomb Raider (DOS game) from within windows. Works. Exit the game. Restart in MSDOS. Run the same .exe, hangs.
The HDD is freshly formatted and only installed windows+drivers (official) just for this test. The only glide2x.ovl existing on the disk is the one that was copied in \windows directory from the drivers installation and it's already in path, I didn't need to do anything with it (like copying it in game's directory -I tried it anyway but of course nothing changed). Removing it (renaming it) makes the application complain about it missing, so it's definitely the one used.

So maybe somebody who has a 430VX motherboard could try running something under pure DOS? If it doesn't work for another one too I'll just drop the idea, but I find it so weird that I still believe I'm missing something here. Especially since Voodoo2s work.

Reply 18 of 32, by meljor

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I run my v1 only on p1 systems (as i think they belong performance wise). In the past i used 430vx boards as i had nothing else, later i used 430hx and now 430tx, makes no difference as they all worked very well. In dos and in windows 95/98se.

So it is your setup that is acting weird, nothing to do with the 430vx.

asus tx97-e, 233mmx, voodoo1, s3 virge ,sb16
asus p5a, k6-3+ @ 550mhz, voodoo2 12mb sli, gf2 gts, awe32
asus p3b-f, p3-700, voodoo3 3500TV agp, awe64
asus tusl2-c, p3-S 1,4ghz, voodoo5 5500, live!
asus a7n8x DL, barton cpu, 6800ultra, Voodoo3 pci, audigy1