Is my SVGA card dead?

Discussion about old graphics cards, monitors and video related things.

Is my SVGA card dead?

Postby georgeqgreg » 2018-1-18 @ 04:44

So, if anyone remembers the chronicles of me and my 486, well, you might like to know IDE on it is working again... I'm not sure why, it's the same controller as before. Maybe is was just in wrong?

So anyway, motivated by the working IDE (hooray, I can run software written after 1987...) I began rebuilding the computer. It was sure interesting. There's a few still issues to iron out, but one I wanna get sorted first, is the SVGA card.

See, I have two SVGA cards I can use in this computer. An ISA Tseng ET4000 and a VLB Trident TGUI9400. Despite Tseng's good reputation, and Trident's terrible one, the Trident card actually winds up being faster, I guess thanks to the VLB bus. (Well, VLB is so shitty, why would you use it if not for speed...) It also happens to be the card that was in my PC during my childhood.

But, when I installed the card into my PC, instead of seeing the boot screens on my monitor... I saw that my monitor couldn't even sync to what it's outputting.

Image

So, is my card dead? Or is there something else wrong? Maybe I just did something wrong? Maybe someone who knows more than me can tell.

(How did I know IDE was working? I had previously left the ET4000 in the computer without realizing it.)
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Re: Is my SVGA card dead?

Postby kixs » 2018-1-18 @ 07:39

So, is the VLB Trident TGUI9400 supposed to be in a working state - tested before?

I'd clean the VLB contacts on the card with a pencil eraser first. Then use a different slot. Also check the jumpers on the card if it has them.
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Re: Is my SVGA card dead?

Postby georgeqgreg » 2018-1-18 @ 23:22

It used to be working. But I think I'd taken it out before because it stopped? Can't remember.

Only 3 VLB slots on this PC. One's blocked off for reasons I forget, one has the I/O controller in it, and the bottom one has the card in it. And it's always been this way in the past.
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Re: Is my SVGA card dead?

Postby georgeqgreg » 2018-2-04 @ 07:00

Hey, so I found an eraser and rubbed it on the card, and then when inserting it, I noticed the slot's pins make like a college student when a card is inserted. So I carefully pushed the card until all the pins became depressed. And hey, the card works now! Never have I been so pleased to see the Trident BIOS screen. Hard to say whether it was the rubber or the pushing that did the trick, but hey! I'm one step closer to this computer being as it once was.
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Re: Is my SVGA card dead?

Postby Zup » 2018-2-04 @ 08:46

VLB slots are so long that they tend to flex the mainboard when you insert the card, so maybe some pins don't make good contact (and if make too much force, you may break the mainboard). I wonder why mainboard manufacturers didn't put a reinforcement below VLB slots.

Your mainboard and SVGA are old, so maybe they got some dust or rust. You've cleaned your SVGA, but I'd try to spray some contact cleaner on the slot the next time you have to disconnect that SVGA card. Now that it works, I'd leave it alone (to avoid more problems) so there is no reason to do it now.
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Re: Is my SVGA card dead?

Postby shamino » 2018-2-05 @ 17:16

I remember having a lot of flakiness with VLB slots even when they were new. Granted we had a really cheap 486 motherboard, so maybe they're not always as bad as I remember.
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Re: Is my SVGA card dead?

Postby yawetaG » 2018-2-05 @ 18:57

georgeqgreg wrote:See, I have two SVGA cards I can use in this computer. An ISA Tseng ET4000 and a VLB Trident TGUI9400. Despite Tseng's good reputation, and Trident's terrible one, the Trident card actually winds up being faster, I guess thanks to the VLB bus. (Well, VLB is so shitty, why would you use it if not for speed...) It also happens to be the card that was in my PC during my childhood.


The TGUI9400 is a pretty good card. I had the 9400CXi model in my 486 back in the day and never experienced any of the problems with Trident cards that get described on these forums...

Memory is expandable to 2 Mb if you can find the proper chips to go into the sockets on the card.
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Re: Is my SVGA card dead?

Postby georgeqgreg » 2018-2-22 @ 03:22

Yes I think have the CXi model. The card was working pretty well for a bit, I had changed the sound card (but didn't touch the video card) and had started getting pretty good at configuring DOS again... but no. The card has stopped working again, just on its own. HOORAY.
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Re: Is my SVGA card dead?

Postby georgeqgreg » 2018-2-24 @ 04:32

More constructively... uhh, I dunno, some rubbing alcohol? (It works for my NES and Genesis carts...)
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