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old 286, what to do with it?

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Reply 20 of 50, by 5u3

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There is a freeware EMS memory manager called EMM286 (see attachment). It works on AT/286 systems and provides EMS according to the LIM EMS 4.0 specs, except for a few rarely used functions.
I use it frequently on my old machines (more often than EMM386, which I loathe with a passion), it is compatible with most of my games.

It is a good sign that your 286 board supports SIMMs, because that indicates the presence of a NEAT (or similar) chipset. These early chipsets often had amazing capabilities, like hardware EMS managers or the ability to assign UMBs without the need for DOS drivers.
Look into the BIOS setup, maybe you'll find something interesting there.

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  • Filename
    emm286.zip
    File size
    6.3 KiB
    Downloads
    556 downloads
    File comment
    EMM286, an EMS memory manager for AT/286 systems
    File license
    Fair use/fair dealing exception

Reply 22 of 50, by Amigaz

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5u3 wrote:
There is a freeware EMS memory manager called EMM286 (see attachment). It works on AT/286 systems and provides EMS according to […]
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There is a freeware EMS memory manager called EMM286 (see attachment). It works on AT/286 systems and provides EMS according to the LIM EMS 4.0 specs, except for a few rarely used functions.
I use it frequently on my old machines (more often than EMM386, which I loathe with a passion), it is compatible with most of my games.

It is a good sign that your 286 board supports SIMMs, because that indicates the presence of a NEAT (or similar) chipset. These early chipsets often had amazing capabilities, like hardware EMS managers or the ability to assign UMBs without the need for DOS drivers.
Look into the BIOS setup, maybe you'll find something interesting there.

Thanks and thanks for the interesting info also

I fired up the machine today with my crap OAK tech VGA card and she booted but the CMOS battery seems dead + the floppy, I switched floppy and went into the BIOS and set everything, stuffed the 4 simms sockets with 4 x 1mb 30pin simm's but now I get a memory error message but I can continue to boot after pressing F1
I booted with my MS DOS 6.2 floppys and ran fdisk, seems my hd/IDE controller is messed up or somethingsince fdisk doesn't seem to be able to store the RDB after I set a DOS partition on the original 80mb drive or my other >200mb harddrives
There's also a block with dip switches I think can solve my memory problem if they change the mem banks config's but where to find those setup instructions, 🤣

I'm going to post some screendumps so you guys who has some experience in old PC's can judge them 😀

My retro computer stuff: https://lychee.jjserver.net/#16136303902327

Reply 23 of 50, by keropi

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wolf3d on 286/12 would suck ....
🤣
maybe u can make it a true EGA machine amigo!

🎵 🎧 PCMIDI MPU , Orpheus , Action Rewind , Megacard and MK8330 soundcard website

Reply 24 of 50, by Amigaz

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keropi wrote:

wolf3d on 286/12 would suck ....
🤣
maybe u can make it a true EGA machine amigo!

Indeed, If I just can get a decent working HD controller, get the memory working properly, put a nice SB 2.0 it will be perfect for games up to 1990 without any speed probs 😁

My retro computer stuff: https://lychee.jjserver.net/#16136303902327

Reply 25 of 50, by butterfly

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Amigaz wrote:
Just found an old unknown PC model with this CPU in it […]
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Just found an old unknown PC model with this CPU in it

http://www.cpupages.com/store/index.php?id_item=154

It has some isa riser card which is mounted in one of the ISA slots on the mobo so I guess I can stuff the case with a newer mobo and use that riser card?

Can this ancient PC play any games after 1990?, 🤣

It can surely play most taito games arcade-to-PC conversions such as Bubble Bobble, Operation Wolf, Puzznic, Rastan, Volfied, Arkanoid, Arkanoid ]

avatar_58 wrote:

olden Axe and Prince of Persia.

avatar_58 wrote:

Throw it down a flight of stairs while giggling like a schoolgirl.

Hey! That's not a broken TV! It's a working PC and it can do all it used to do.

Reply 26 of 50, by Amigaz

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Ok, here's what the BIOS reports, have 4 1mb simm's installed

http://imageupload.com/out.php/i71430_P1010242.JPG

http://imageupload.com/out.php/i71431_P1010245.JPG

Maybe some of the dip switches here on the mobo can change the mem config since I cannot alter anything except how the memory is used in the BIOS

http://imageupload.com/out.php/i71432_P1010239.JPG

My retro computer stuff: https://lychee.jjserver.net/#16136303902327

Reply 27 of 50, by Amigaz

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wohhoo

fiddling with some dip switches now let's it find the HD but still get some mem errors during boot, maybe m y mem chips are of the wrong type

now I get "trying to recover allocation unit" at the end of "format C:" lolol

Dunno why I'm messing with this pre-historic 83mb Conner HDD 😵

My retro computer stuff: https://lychee.jjserver.net/#16136303902327

Reply 29 of 50, by DosFreak

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NO no one here wants a copyrighted copy of Windows that is illegal to download

Attachment deleted.

DOSBox Compilation Guides
DosBox Feature Request Thread
PC Game Compatibility List
How To Ask Questions The Smart Way
Running DRM games offline

Reply 30 of 50, by 5u3

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Ah, your pictures reveal a Suntac chipset. Unfortunately I can't come up with much info for these. Ancient reports suggest that some models and revisions had a rather "creative" way of organising the area between 640k and 1MB. Maximum memory supported is 5MB (1 MB onboard + up to 4 MB on SIMMs).

Ideas to resolve the memory errors:

  • Try different modules (e.g. 8/9-chip SIMMs vs 3-chip SIMMs).
  • Experiment with filling only one bank (two modules instead of four). Shift them around to find out whether the problem is caused by a module, one of the sockets or something different.
  • Those DIP switches seem to configure DRAM settings alright. This diagram looks quite similar to your board, maybe you're lucky and the settings correspond.

Hope this helps...

wd wrote:

Nice, do you happen to know how they map pages into the pageframe?

I've no idea... 😊
But there were several other managers around that worked the same way, so I reckon it's nothing very exotic.

Reply 32 of 50, by Amigaz

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5u3 wrote:
Ah, your pictures reveal a Suntac chipset. Unfortunately I can't come up with much info for these. Ancient reports suggest that […]
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Ah, your pictures reveal a Suntac chipset. Unfortunately I can't come up with much info for these. Ancient reports suggest that some models and revisions had a rather "creative" way of organising the area between 640k and 1MB. Maximum memory supported is 5MB (1 MB onboard + up to 4 MB on SIMMs).

Ideas to resolve the memory errors:

  • Try different modules (e.g. 8/9-chip SIMMs vs 3-chip SIMMs).
  • Experiment with filling only one bank (two modules instead of four). Shift them around to find out whether the problem is caused by a module, one of the sockets or something different.
  • Those DIP switches seem to configure DRAM settings alright. This diagram looks quite similar to your board, maybe you're lucky and the settings correspond.

Hope this helps...

wd wrote:

Nice, do you happen to know how they map pages into the pageframe?

I've no idea... 😊
But there were several other managers around that worked the same way, so I reckon it's nothing very exotic.

Thanks!!

It sure looks like my board except for the IDE/Floppy port which I don't have on my board

My retro computer stuff: https://lychee.jjserver.net/#16136303902327

Reply 33 of 50, by one

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wolf3d on 286/12 would suck ....
maybe u can make it a true EGA machine amigo!

naah, bought myself wolf3d for my 286/12MHz/1MB Ram at the ole days and it worked fine with the SB1.5 and my 256Kb mem VGA card. I even tried to upgrade that machine to 4MB Ram, but the SIPP (yes, it was evil SIPP-Ram these times) won't work. I was really pissed, because my cousin could run an EMS-emulator on his 286 (he've got SIMM already)..

Anyhow - I still have the original Wolfenstein 3D package here, the sys reqs on the package say: "640K RAM / Hard Disk Drive / VGA Graphics Card. Joystick and Mouse
Optional. Supports Sound Blaster, Adlib and 100% kompatible Sound Cards."

Wolfenstein rocked my 286, you have my word! We played it for months on our 286 machines. So it should do on an "actual" 286/VGA machine too.

Andiamo,
one

Reply 34 of 50, by Amigaz

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Still no success with the DIP switches, seems like my RAM modules aren't liked at all, must try and get some 3 chip modules and see if they work

My retro computer stuff: https://lychee.jjserver.net/#16136303902327

Reply 35 of 50, by Amigaz

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Bah, have now tried 4-5 different sets of 4 imb simm's with parity and non parity and tried chaning the dip switches but nothing changes the mem error
beginning to suspect a hardware failure

My retro computer stuff: https://lychee.jjserver.net/#16136303902327

Reply 36 of 50, by 5u3

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Amigaz wrote:

beginning to suspect a hardware failure

It could also mean your board only accepts 256k SIMMs. I regret I don't have enough info about the chipset, so I can't tell you.

Reply 37 of 50, by Amigaz

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5u3 wrote:
Amigaz wrote:

beginning to suspect a hardware failure

It could also mean your board only accepts 256k SIMMs. I regret I don't have enough info about the chipset, so I can't tell you.

Yep, might be worth tracking a bunch down

The scary thing about this PC is that it's been stored outside (!!!) several years it seems judging by all the rust on the PSU, serial/paralell port card connectors + alot of dead insects inside 😮
I had to decontaminate the whole case before I fire her up so maybe a complete rebuild of the computer + sparying some contact spray in all connectors could solve the problem if it's hw related since I there might be corrosion related problems

My retro computer stuff: https://lychee.jjserver.net/#16136303902327

Reply 38 of 50, by aelita

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DosFreak wrote:

NO no one here wants a copyrighted copy of Windows that is illegal to download

Attachment deleted.

my appologies, i figured being abandonware it woudnt matter, however that was my mistake

Reply 39 of 50, by Kreshna Aryaguna Nurzaman

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aelita wrote:
DosFreak wrote:

NO no one here wants a copyrighted copy of Windows that is illegal to download

Attachment deleted.

my appologies, i figured being abandonware it woudnt matter, however that was my mistake

Huh? Attaching a whole copy of Windows? I mean, isn't that really BIG? 😳

Never thought this thread would be that long, but now, for something different.....
Kreshna Aryaguna Nurzaman.