# VOGONS

## 3 (+3 more) retro battle stations

### Reply 320 of 611, by feipoa

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Not entirely.

In October 1998, I ordered a custom Dell Precision Workstation 410, which was a dual PII-400 with Ultra2-LVD SCSI. http://aoaforums.com/frontpage/images/stories … recision410.jpg I didn't get it until December. I used it for some time then thought that I really don't all this speed. So I pulled my hyper 486 back out, installed NT4 and ran the two via a KVM. I'd use the 486 as the primary, but when I needed more power, I'd boot up the PII-400, e.g. for DivX videos, Photoshop, and sometimes compiling with Borland. I didn't pull the 486 from service until around 2005 because of a move. I then tried to re-introduce the 486 in 2011 and noticed how substantially more demanding the internet had become in those 6 years. It was only good for e-mail and a few websites if I had the patience.

Did you try driver revision 0.42 ? I don't recall the installation procedure because it has been many years now, but I'm pretty sure I just used the Device Manager and supplied the drivers, "have disk".

### Reply 321 of 611, by pshipkov

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Good times.

Win9x does not recognize the Promise adapters using the standard approach with "find new hardware".
So i tried forcing things with "unknown device" + the driver. Which went nowhere.

retro bits and bytes

### Reply 322 of 611, by pshipkov

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Ok,
NT4 + SP6 + Promise Ultra133 TX2 + driver 2.00.0.43

PROMISE to PROMISE -> 6,527 Kb/s
PROMISE to IDE -> 2774 Kb/s
IDE to PROMISE -> 2774 Kb/s
IDE to IDE -> 1,730 Kb/s

Will check tomorrow with UMC's NT4 driver and see if numbers change.

retro bits and bytes

### Reply 323 of 611, by feipoa

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Thank you for the results. The numbers are looking very similiar now, so I'm not sure why the synthies were favouring your system so much more.

Mine:
Promise Ultra100 to IDE PIO-4 -> 2786 Kbyte/s
IDE PIO-4 to Promise Ultra100 -> 2512 Kbyte/s

Yours:
PROMISE Ultra133 to IDE -> 2774 Kb/s
IDE to PROMISE Ultra133 -> 2774 Kb/s

Not sure why there is the 250 KB/s discrepency, but I think there's enough hardware variance to acount for this.

Also, your DOS, UMC driver (speed 17) IDE to IDE -> 2,219Kb/s
As expected this is a bit slower (550 KB/s) than Promise-to-IDE, and it is nice to see this quantified.

Your Promise to Promise results are also similar for different OSes:
DOS PROMISE to PROMISE -> 7126 kb/s
NT4 PROMISE to PROMISE -> 6,527 Kb/s

Today I received a Lexar 600x 8 GB CF card and I've begun installing Win95c and NT4 onto it. Unfortunately, I cannot clone my existing Maxtor drive because the data alone exceeds 8 GB. Once I get this setup without the Promise, I'll also explore the UMC driver option to see if it works now.

You are using a 16 GB CF card? Is it all visible in DOS when a) using no driver, b) using the UMC driver?

50/50 chance that the "NT" UMC driver will work in NT4. At best, I think it is expecting NT 3.51.

### Reply 324 of 611, by pshipkov

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feipoa wrote on 2021-06-25, 08:18:
Thank you for the results. The numbers are looking very similiar now, so I'm not sure why the synthies were favouring your syst […]

Thank you for the results. The numbers are looking very similiar now, so I'm not sure why the synthies were favouring your system so much more.

Mine:
Promise Ultra100 to IDE PIO-4 -> 2786 Kbyte/s
IDE PIO-4 to Promise Ultra100 -> 2512 Kbyte/s

Yours:
PROMISE Ultra133 to IDE -> 2774 Kb/s
IDE to PROMISE Ultra133 -> 2774 Kb/s

Not sure why there is the 250 KB/s discrepency, but I think there's enough hardware variance to acount for this.

Also, your DOS, UMC driver (speed 17) IDE to IDE -> 2,219Kb/s
As expected this is a bit slower (550 KB/s) than Promise-to-IDE, and it is nice to see this quantified.

Your Promise to Promise results are also similar for different OSes:
DOS PROMISE to PROMISE -> 7126 kb/s
NT4 PROMISE to PROMISE -> 6,527 Kb/s

Today I received a Lexar 600x 8 GB CF card and I've begun installing Win95c and NT4 onto it. Unfortunately, I cannot clone my existing Maxtor drive because the data alone exceeds 8 GB. Once I get this setup without the Promise, I'll also explore the UMC driver option to see if it works now.

You are using a 16 GB CF card? Is it all visible in DOS when a) using no driver, b) using the UMC driver?

50/50 chance that the "NT" UMC driver will work in NT4. At best, I think it is expecting NT 3.51.

Recognized volume size:
Late 486 BIOSes see the CF cards in full. The largest i have is Lexar 32Gb 1066x. So don't know where is the limit. Online search can reveal it if curious.
Late DOS versions can address up to 2 Gb. I hard-stick to the DOS rules, so i can use the allocated partitions in different hardware configurations. Cannot remember testing expanded volume boundaries with custom DOS IDE drivers.

Will see tonight where the unruly UMC IDE circus train ends ... 😀

retro bits and bytes

### Reply 326 of 611, by pshipkov

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I have only UMC IDE driver for NT3.5.
It does not work with NT4.
Not sure if the driver frameworks are actually compatible between 3.5 and 4.
Some vague memories that the driver model changed a some stuff was moved to kernel level. Have to refresh my memory about all that.
Were you able to get the 3.5 driver somehow working in NT4 ?

---

CF card not recognized in DOS ?
Retro hardware + CF cards = the national lottery.

retro bits and bytes

### Reply 327 of 611, by feipoa

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I've definitely used either NT4 drivers in NT3.5, or NT3.5 driver in NT4. I forget which now.

I haven't installed NT4 on my 8 GB CF card yet. I received an "inaccessible boot device" error. Did you have any issue installing NT4 on the CF card connected to your MB controller? I didn't run into this when installing NT4 via the Promise Ultra100.

### Reply 328 of 611, by pshipkov

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Will try to get the umc driver working tomorrow.

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This is unusual.
So far nt4 installation processs has been 100% reliable under such conditions.
The only issues I am aware of:
- drivers for most ultra ata controllers require sp4 or later
- raid controllers + CF cards + nt4 = no go

Just the other day I installed nt4 on one of the 16gb 50mb/s SanDisk Ultra cards attached to the UUD's on board ide.
The system is configured to the tightest possible bios timings. I was initially concerned that it won't go through, but was just fine.
If installation went through and hangs after restart, what happens if you set bios settings to some conservative values.
Shot in the dark here, since I don't have much details, but still ...
Any file system issues or bad sectors on the CF ?
These devices are flaky and often fail.
At least two die every year here.

retro bits and bytes

### Reply 329 of 611, by feipoa

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Did you have to hit F6 to manually select the standard PCI IDE controller?

During installation, I get to that blue screen that says 64 MB RAM, and NT Multiprocessor kernel. I'm not sure if that "multiprocessor kernel" is messing it up. I didn't select it at any point during the install. I hit F5 to tell NT what type of PC I have, I selected Standard PC, but still get that "multiprocessor kernel" message during install. About 20 seconds later the BSOD occurs, "inaccessible boot device".

I had no issue with W95c.

Adjusting the BIOS speed settings didn't help.

Does NT4 need to reside within the first 4 GB of HDD real-estate? I have 4096 MB as W95c, then the rest, like 3500 MB is unallocated for NT4. Perhaps I need to get an NTFS partition on there first, then install?

### Reply 330 of 611, by feipoa

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What's the difference between "Standard PC" and "Standard PC with C-step i486"?

EDIT1: I ultimately put the CF card into my i430tx system and installed NT4. While still in the 430tx system, I rebooted after NT4 installed, but NT4 wouldn't boot. It hangs at the point where it should just get started to boot, right after going through the Ultra100's BIOS and HDD auto assignment. I'm not sure why it wouldn't boot. I have W95c on the first 4 GB of this CF card and I went to install NT4 on the second 4 GB. Doing install, NT4 sets the NT4 partition to active, so I'm not sure why it won't boot. An issue with the partitioning scheme used on the Biostar vs. that of the Promise Ultra100? I don't recall running into this issue before.

So looks like I'm stuck with w95c for these tests and won't be able to check the UMC driver in NT4.

I still don't understand why I could not install NT4 on the CF card while installed in the Biostar. If I place my 32 GB Sandisk card back into the Promise100, I have no trouble running NT4. I hope the XTIDE BIOS will let me take that 32 GB CF card and run it normally while connected to the MB's IDE port.

EDIT2: I tested the UMC v3.1 DOS driver, or UM8673.SYS. Speedsys now shows buffered read = 6353 KB//s and Linear read speed = 25,231 KB/s. Without the driver, I get 4750 KB/s in PIO-4 mode. However, if you boot to Windows after loading the DOS driver, you will be using compatibility mode paging. How are you handling this? Are you manually having to remark out UM8673 in config.sys before loading Windows?

The DOS driver also inserts some lines to system.ini Are you commenting these out? Booting Windows with them present will yield an error and you won't be able to boot into Windows.

132BitDiskAccess=on2device=c:\windows\system\int13.3863device=c:\windows\system\um8673.386

I then tried to install these:
Install.exe
Itewin95.dll
Umc86b.inf
Umc86b.mpd

But upon reboot of Windows, I am faced with numerous errors, e.g. fatal exception FF occurred at... or The following error occurred while loading the device VNETSUP Error 6107. Could not set up instance data. I put the PIO mode back to PIO-3 in the BIOS, but I still could not get into Windows. The option popped up to restore the backup registry, I did, and it worked, but I'm back to using the Standard PCI IDE dual channel IDE driver.

I went to run ATTO disk bench, but it wouldn't open. Gave me some error. Perhaps my fresh W95 install is missing some files. RoadKil ran though and my max speed is 5.83 MB/s.

### Reply 331 of 611, by maxtherabbit

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feipoa wrote on 2021-06-26, 08:43:
The DOS driver also inserts some lines to system.ini Are you commenting these out? Booting Windows with them present will yiel […]

The DOS driver also inserts some lines to system.ini Are you commenting these out? Booting Windows with them present will yield an error and you won't be able to boot into Windows.

132BitDiskAccess=on2device=c:\windows\system\int13.3863device=c:\windows\system\um8673.386

The SiS 496 IDE driver did the same, however they work on Windows 95 and 98. Obviously not NT compatible

### Reply 332 of 611, by pshipkov

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feipoa wrote on 2021-06-26, 08:35:

Did you have to hit F6 to manually select the standard PCI IDE controller?

Never had to do that so far.

feipoa wrote on 2021-06-26, 08:35:

During installation, I get to that blue screen that says 64 MB RAM, and NT Multiprocessor kernel. I'm not sure if that "multiprocessor kernel" is messing it up. I didn't select it at any point during the install. I hit F5 to tell NT what type of PC I have, I selected Standard PC, but still get that "multiprocessor kernel" message during install. About 20 seconds later the BSOD occurs, "inaccessible boot device".

Yes, this is a problem.
MP kernel will not work on your 486 PC.
Never had such issue with NT4 afaicr.
This is final NT4 version, correct ?

feipoa wrote on 2021-06-26, 08:35:

Does NT4 need to reside within the first 4 GB of HDD real-estate? I have 4096 MB as W95c, then the rest, like 3500 MB is unallocated for NT4. Perhaps I need to get an NTFS partition on there first, then install?

NT4 can create max 4gb partition during setup and some of the disk tools are limited to that size, but it can actually access up to 7.8Gb.
If your combined partitions exceed the 7.8Gb limit - vanilla NT4 (and its setup) will misbehave.
SP4 is needed to make NT4 address more than 7.8Gb

My simple formula for retro MS operating systems:
partition 1: 504Mb for DOS/Win9x, system files only, no apps and other stuff
partition 2: 2Gb NT4 only
the rest is whatever.
Linux fits seamlessly without destroying existing setup, as grub is more flexible.

retro bits and bytes

### Reply 333 of 611, by pshipkov

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feipoa wrote on 2021-06-26, 08:43:
What's the difference between "Standard PC" and "Standard PC with C-step i486"? […]

What's the difference between "Standard PC" and "Standard PC with C-step i486"?

EDIT1: I ultimately put the CF card into my i430tx system and installed NT4. While still in the 430tx system, I rebooted after NT4 installed, but NT4 wouldn't boot. It hangs at the point where it should just get started to boot, right after going through the Ultra100's BIOS and HDD auto assignment. I'm not sure why it wouldn't boot. I have W95c on the first 4 GB of this CF card and I went to install NT4 on the second 4 GB. Doing install, NT4 sets the NT4 partition to active, so I'm not sure why it won't boot. An issue with the partitioning scheme used on the Biostar vs. that of the Promise Ultra100? I don't recall running into this issue before.

So looks like I'm stuck with w95c for these tests and won't be able to check the UMC driver in NT4.

I still don't understand why I could not install NT4 on the CF card while installed in the Biostar. If I place my 32 GB Sandisk card back into the Promise100, I have no trouble running NT4. I hope the XTIDE BIOS will let me take that 32 GB CF card and run it normally while connected to the MB's IDE port.

EDIT2: I tested the UMC v3.1 DOS driver, or UM8673.SYS. Speedsys now shows buffered read = 6353 KB//s and Linear read speed = 25,231 KB/s. Without the driver, I get 4750 KB/s in PIO-4 mode. However, if you boot to Windows after loading the DOS driver, you will be using compatibility mode paging. How are you handling this? Are you manually having to remark out UM8673 in config.sys before loading Windows?

The DOS driver also inserts some lines to system.ini Are you commenting these out? Booting Windows with them present will yield an error and you won't be able to boot into Windows.

132BitDiskAccess=on2device=c:\windows\system\int13.3863device=c:\windows\system\um8673.386

I then tried to install these:
Install.exe
Itewin95.dll
Umc86b.inf
Umc86b.mpd

But upon reboot of Windows, I am faced with numerous errors, e.g. fatal exception FF occurred at... or The following error occurred while loading the device VNETSUP Error 6107. Could not set up instance data. I put the PIO mode back to PIO-3 in the BIOS, but I still could not get into Windows. The option popped up to restore the backup registry, I did, and it worked, but I'm back to using the Standard PCI IDE dual channel IDE driver.

I went to run ATTO disk bench, but it wouldn't open. Gave me some error. Perhaps my fresh W95 install is missing some files. RoadKil ran though and my max speed is 5.83 MB/s.

"Standard PC with C-step i486" is the right config for your UUD board = single legacy CPU, no ACPI.

Never ran the UMC DOS driver installers - cannot comment on what they do.

retro bits and bytes

### Reply 334 of 611, by pshipkov

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maxtherabbit wrote on 2021-06-26, 15:02:

The SiS 496 IDE driver did the same, however they work on Windows 95 and 98. Obviously not NT compatible

I never had to do SIS 96# drivers so far.
Do you see any advantage there ?

retro bits and bytes

### Reply 335 of 611, by pshipkov

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UMC driver for NT3.5 crashes NT4 hard if the OS is on a partition inside a CF attached to Promise controller.
There is no crash if the CF card is attached to the on-board UMC controller, but then performance is as reported before.
In fact - there is no indication anywhere inside NT4 that the driver is "on".
I am thinking to pencil down for now on the UMC IDE exploration.

retro bits and bytes

### Reply 336 of 611, by feipoa

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The Multiprocessing kernel thing happened on the i430TX as well, but at least the OS installed, just couldn't boot. I don't recall ever having this issue and I've setup NT4 at least a hundred times. The version of NT4 I'm using is the one which came with my Dell 410 Workstation. I think it is SP1. I don't have any other version of NT4. I normally install SP1 then install SP6a. The CF card is under that 7.8 GB limit.

Isn't "Standard PC" also without ACPI? C-step i486 had the same installation issue.

pshipkov, are you commenting these out of your system.ini file in w95, or does your system work with these present?:
32BitDiskAccess=on
device=c:\windows\system\int13.386
device=c:\windows\system\um8673.386

### Reply 337 of 611, by pshipkov

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feipoa wrote on 2021-06-26, 21:29:

The Multiprocessing kernel thing happened on the i430TX as well, but at least the OS installed, just couldn't boot. I don't recall ever having this issue and I've setup NT4 at least a hundred times. The version of NT4 I'm using is the one which came with my Dell 410 Workstation. I think it is SP1. I don't have any other version of NT4. I normally install SP1 then install SP6a. The CF card is under that 7.8 GB limit.

Isn't "Standard PC" also without ACPI? C-step i486 had the same installation issue.

I use vanilla MS NT4 and so far so good.
My SP installation process is slightly different - NT4 installation, then SP4, then SP6. Otherwise weird things can happen in some P3 class hardware configurations.

"Standard PC" is for ACPI and "modern" Pentium (and later) class CPUs from Intel, DEC, AMD, SGI, ...

feipoa wrote on 2021-06-26, 21:29:
pshipkov, are you commenting these out of your system.ini file in w95, or does your system work with these present?: 32BitDiskAc […]

pshipkov, are you commenting these out of your system.ini file in w95, or does your system work with these present?:
32BitDiskAccess=on
device=c:\windows\system\int13.386
device=c:\windows\system\um8673.386

As i mentioned - these lines are not present in my Win95 system.ini (attached here).
It represents properly installed and visible Win9x drivers, as seen in the screenshot.

#### Attachments

• Filename
SYSTEM.INI
File size
1.79 KiB
Public domain
Last edited by pshipkov on 2021-06-27, 03:52. Edited 1 time in total.

retro bits and bytes

### Reply 339 of 611, by feipoa

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As i mentioned - these lines are not present in my Win95 system.ini (attached here).
It represents properly installed and visible Win9x drivers, as seen in the screenshot.

When did you mention that? I did a search for "system.ini" in the past 5 pages of this thread and didn't find you answer this until now.

When I use the DOS Install4.exe installer, it also writes those 3 lines to my system.ini file. Perhaps there is a way to say "no" to the Windows 3.1 drivers that I have overlooked?