Voodoo2 DOS Glide Troubleshooting

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Voodoo2 DOS Glide Troubleshooting

Postby AngieAndretti » 2019-4-04 @ 19:48

I've built myself a beloved new retro Win98SE/DOS PC around an ASUS P2B-D motherboard and a 1GHz Coppermine PIII CPU. Primary GPU is nVidia GeForce2 GTS and I also have a pair of Voodoo2's in SLI. Overall I've gotten the machine pretty well squared away and stable - and may I say that you guys here have been quite helpful already without my saying so until this point - but I have one issue I've been unable to make any progress on troubleshooting myself: Windows-based Glide games work just fine, statically-linked DOS games designed for the original Voodoo card also work, but I cannot get the system working with DOS-based Glide EXE's that were actually designed for the Voodoo2!

When running a non-statically-linked DOS Glide app, the screen goes black and the Voodoo2's appear to have engaged but there is no output/sound/etc. Examples of games tested would include Screamer 2 and Descent 2. In both cases the Voodoo patch works fine but the Voodoo2 patch just hangs up. I've even downloaded an old Glide 2&3 diagnostics kit that provides 64 small test EXE's in the Glide 2 folder, 32 for DOS-mode and 32 for Win9x, that test basic functions of the Voodoo2 cards - and I get the same result running these basic tests - the Windows tests work but the DOS tests hang. I can usually CTRL+ALT+DEL, close program, and recover the system to the Windows desktop but the DOS application always hangs.

The Voodoo2's are Diamond Monster 3D II's, each with 12mb RAM, and I'm using the FastVoodoo2 4.6 drivers. I have also tried the last reference drivers, 3.02.02 I believe, with identical results. I should also mention that I'm running the "Unofficial Service Pack 3" for Win98SE and I haven't tested this without it installed but I believe that Phil of PhilsComputerLab ran USP3 on his Win98SE Voodoo2 SLI PC project shown on YouTube - but he definitely had Screamer 2 and Descent 2 working in that video! I've verified that Glide2x.ovl exists in the Windows directory, which is included in the path variable (and copying the file to the game's folder makes no difference either.)

I'm stumped. Does anyone have any ideas please??
AngieAndretti
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Re: Voodoo2 DOS Glide Troubleshooting

Postby meljor » 2019-4-04 @ 19:59

I can't recall if it was Screamer 2 or Screamer Rally (both are bitches to get working sometimes with 3dfx). I couldn't get a picture nomatter what when every other game worked fine.

The solution for me was to put the sli setup in the lowest 2 pci slots, working like a charm ever since (don't ask me why).

Also downloading a much older version of the glide2x.ovl and putting it in the game directory can work wonders. It's also the way to fix it for voodoo3 cards. Later ones can break game compatibility.

Also for dos games using a slower cpu can be helpful.
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
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Re: Voodoo2 DOS Glide Troubleshooting

Postby AngieAndretti » 2019-4-06 @ 08:13

That post was actually quite helpful because it gave me a new clue. I had no luck with older glide drivers and I went as far back as 1.02.50 (I actually lose functionality with older drivers - the Voodoo's don't even engage any longer), and I had already tried moving the cards around to some extent before, but the slow CPU thing got me thinking - I'd read somewhere that the latest reference drivers had supposedly fixed the fast CPU bug so I never considered it as an issue until now but if I disable CPU L1&L2 cache, effectively turning my PIII into something like a 386 in terms of performance, the problem applications launch! Still no go with Screamer 2 but Descent 2 and all the Glide DOS test apps work for the first time ever! Of course the system is practically useless in this configuration but it yields new information!

Now I found Phil's original video that made me want to build this thing:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-pmpdQ073-4&t=494s
and I see that he uses a PIII at 1GHz as well (his has the 133MHz bus whereas mine is 100 but otherwise identical CPU) and he has this stuff working, seemingly without any trouble. I know it may just come down to individual hardware combinations but it makes me wonder if there's a workaround, if we assume for now that the CPU being too fast is the root of the problem. Unfortunately my CPU has a locked multiplier but perhaps there are other ways to effectively slow it down temporarily at a software-level or other known ways to work around the fast CPU bug?

Only other thing of note is I see in his video that he places the Voodoo2 cards into non-adjacent PCI slots with a small sound card in between - but I assume he only does this for airflow reasons and I'd have to create a longer SLI cable so I'm going to leave that one alone unless someone here knows something I don't...
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Re: Voodoo2 DOS Glide Troubleshooting

Postby AngieAndretti » 2019-7-04 @ 07:30

UPDATE: I FOUND A SOLUTION!

Keeping FastVoodoo2 4.6 as the base driver installed, but replacing just Glide2x.ovl in the Windows directory with a very specific version actually resolves the problem and allows these newer DOS games/patches to run on my fast CPU without crashing.

Glide2x.ovl was sourced from the download "voodoo2_drivers_v3_03_00_beta_w9x_dx7.exe" available from PhilsComputerLab:
https://www.philscomputerlab.com/driver ... doo-2.html

Big thanks to Phil for hosting this - this is the only combination I've found that allows me to play these particular games on my system. Honestly, installing the whole 3.03 download instead of continuing to use FastVoodoo2 would probably work as well but I do like the FastVoodoo2 driver for everything else, and it was just the DOS Glide element that was having issues. Looks like the DOS fast CPU bug may be resolved only in this beta release.
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