VOGONS


First post, by MisterArgent

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Hello! I've got a question for you all. I've got a Dolch PAC ruggedized computer (P1/32MB RAM/Chips and Technologies 82C451?) I've been trying to restore and I'm having a difficult time with finding video drivers for Win98 in particular - Most of Windows' built-in CHIPS drivers actually cause horrible video corruption the second the system tries to display anything that isn't text mode, the Windows bootsplash or 640x480x16 colors though the GPU can apparently do 640x480x256 fine. There's a generic CHIPS SVGA driver that gets this 256 color mode working but certain stuff (Read: the original MDK) runs very lethargically so I'm assuming this setup isn't quite optimal; however all the leads i can find on a proper video driver set either are just generic scams or also cause display corruption under most circumstances. Would anyone happen to have any advice or leads on the matter? thanks!

(To be fair, Doom II and Rise of The Triad both run quite fine under the generic drivers with DisplayDoctor - however, the machine has a config that MDK should be more or less happy with. This confuses me.)

Reply 1 of 12, by tayyare

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Just a reminder, Doom and Rise of the Triad are DOS games, so have nothing to do with what your W9x drivers are. They don't have any need for any drivers, maybe just a VESA TSR (which display doctor really is). I don't know which MDK you are trying to run (there are both DOS and Windows versions) so I can not comment on what it will need. Do you have any means of determining how much video memory your machine have? Maybe it has only 1MB so, it's not supposed to go higher resolutions/color depths? You can try dos versions of Astra, Aida or HWinfo to check the capabilities of graphics chip/video RAM combo.

GA-6VTXE PIII 1.4+512MB
Geforce4 Ti 4200 64MB
Diamond Monster 3D 12MB SLI
SB AWE64 PNP+32MB
120GB IDE Samsung/80GB IDE Seagate/146GB SCSI Compaq/73GB SCSI IBM
Adaptec AHA29160
3com 3C905B-TX
Gotek+CF Reader
MSDOS 6.22+Win 3.11/95 OSR2.1/98SE/ME/2000

Reply 2 of 12, by MisterArgent

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Ah! Kinda funny, I shoulda figured that 🤣. Specifically, I should note that I'm playing the Win32 version of MDK! Really I more just wanna get video drivers that aren't generic ones loaded tbh - the 82C451 seems to only have 1MB VRAM from what I can tell so I'm not gonna be doing anything especially intensive on this thing but that's not really what it was designed for, 🤣. This is a very specific type of machine - network diagnostic type stuff seems to be more it's ballgame. Luckily Win98 recognized the ethernet card immediately so i was able to get it online with ease!

Also, a photo of the machine itself for anyone who's curious!
tumblr_nsol1gBfX21s65jcko1_1280.jpg

Reply 3 of 12, by Stiletto

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Got this from DriverGuide marked 82c451 but it doesn't mention it anywhere in the INF... instead, mentions 65545, 64310, 65548, 65550, 65554, 65555, 68554, 68555, 690000, 65560...

Yeah, I'd doublecheck with various utilities that the chip is being detected and identified correctly?

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    chips_82C451.zip
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"I see a little silhouette-o of a man, Scaramouche, Scaramouche, will you
do the Fandango!" - Queen

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Reply 5 of 12, by MisterArgent

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Hmm... gonna have to give that driver a shot when i get it loaded on the system! I'll edit this post once I have. The driver seems to only cover 6XXXX-series accellerators, sadly, like the other copies of CHIPS95 and CHIPS98 I've found.

Re: identifying utilities, CHIPS' own identifier, some DEBUG mumbo-jumbo and WHATVGA all seem to pin it down as an 82c451. Kinda funny, that's apparently a relatively early VGA clone chipset yet the machine itself dates to '96 or so... VBEMP is more or less my last resort for if I can't find drivers specifically for the 82c451, but won't it result in degraded performance vs. optimized drivers?

Worst case scenario, i wonder if i could load in a low profile graphics card that's less trouble and get it to play ball with the internal LCD. Being a PS/2 P70 or Compaq Portable-style luggable it seems to have some expansion slots, though most of em are taken up by specialty NICs right now.

Edit2: Under DOS rather than in a CMD.EXE window, WHATVGA identifies the chipset as a C&T 65545. ?!!

Edit3: Using the 65545 PCI driver from that bundle causes scrambled video output. Which diagnostic result should I believe, I wonder?

Edit4: fiddling with VBEMP, I kinda wonder if i now need to somehow find 65545 ISA or possibly AGP drivers. Did this card even have an ISA flavor? I've found packages that claim to contain VL/ISA drivers but they seem to just be identical to the PCI ones (down to identifying as PCI in the INF) and cause identical corruption issues.

As an additional note, the boot splash has a bit of text referring to the video chipset that might tell us a little more:
ba92275eeb.png

VGA Color TFT BIOS P/N=85-1001-0190
Version 2.7.5.I

Copyright (C) 1995 Chips and Technologies, Inc. All rights reserved

Reply 6 of 12, by oerk

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Installing an additional VGA card depends on the BIOS supporting it (instead of the built-in). Interfacing with the internal LCD depends on the standard being used - if it's VGA, you might be able to manage interfacing it with some soldering and DIY skills. If it's LVDS or something other, you're SOL.

It's entirely possible the video RAM is bad. That would explain the corruption issue.

Really like the form factor! Nice machine.

Reply 7 of 12, by matze79

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http://www.navozhdeniye.narod.ru/vbemp.htm

And 9x:
ftp://alter.org.ua/incoming/soft/vbe/win9x/vbe9x.htm

Try this Driver 😀

https://www.retrokits.de - blog, retro projects, hdd clicker, diy soundcards etc
https://www.retroianer.de - german retro computer board

Reply 8 of 12, by NJRoadfan

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A machine from that era will be using C&T 65XXX SVGA series drivers, the 82C451 is a much older VGA clone chipset. Many laptops used the chipset, so I would go driver hunting on OEM sites. I'd try 65550 and 65555 drivers if you can find them. Intel eventually landed up with the C&T assists, but they are useless for drivers. I remember the i740 being register compatible with C&T 65XXX, the Windows 3.1 drivers were branded that! Even those were glitchy.

Reply 9 of 12, by Stiletto

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Rereading the thread, NJRoadFan is absolutely right of course. Which means WHATVGA is giving an accurate reading in DOS (typically you should only run DOS-based hardware identification applications in "pure" DOS)

"I see a little silhouette-o of a man, Scaramouche, Scaramouche, will you
do the Fandango!" - Queen

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Reply 10 of 12, by MisterArgent

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oerk wrote:

Installing an additional VGA card depends on the BIOS supporting it (instead of the built-in). Interfacing with the internal LCD depends on the standard being used - if it's VGA, you might be able to manage interfacing it with some soldering and DIY skills. If it's LVDS or something other, you're SOL.

It's entirely possible the video RAM is bad. That would explain the corruption issue.

Really like the form factor! Nice machine.

I hope something ain't defective here. This is quite a nice machine... Thankfully, most of the diagnostics I've ran (in CheckIt! and the like) have all passed. There IS a driver that invokes the 640x480x256 mode properly -- that's the generic CHIPS SVGA driver baked into windows. I'm assuming that isn't quite optimal, though, as performance under certain programs (like the Win32 version of MDK) is subpar when the diagnostics menu in MDK indicates that it oughta run fine with the hardware it as.

I notice that the PCI version of VBEMP also causes similar garbage issues - so I'm betting I really do just need to track down an AGP/VL/????? version of the 65545 driver. Theoretically I should have known what sort of connection this thing's using already but Dolch PAC hardware tends to be very poorly documented, as niche ruggedized machines are wont to be. Had similar trouble identifying some aspects of my Itronix T5000 handheld's hardware.

Reply 11 of 12, by MisterArgent

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So, I dunno how frowned upon bumping is around here (and I'd like to apologize if it's not something that flies), but I'd like to drop a quick update in my search for drivers here. I've switched to NT4 and DOS 6.22/WFWG3.11 in search of actual 65545 VL drivers, and I've noticed CHIPS/Agilent REALLY likes bundling things that definitely aren't VL/ISA drivers in packages that claim to contain them. Sloppy, programmers. I found a package for WFWG3.11 that actually does contain VL drivers, but they're for a older (and incompatible) chipset in spite of the auto-extractor saying they're for all 6XXXX-series accellerators. blergh.

I had to wrestle the world's most aggravating setup program whilst getting said WFWG drivers to install, too - the program trips over itself like a fool and prompts for a nonexistant disk if you run it from anywhere but the root of the C: drive, and nowhere is it made clear that the program has to be ran from the root. I just love having a bunch of useless installer files cluttering that up, CHIPS. >.>

EDIT:This might be pertinent to the issues I'm having? (Asiliant bought out CHIPS) Also, "60 color mode"? Great proofreading, Asiliant, you goddamn wankers.

Reply 12 of 12, by Jo22

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Hi! Sorry for the necro, but I've looked for a c&t 68554 driver (Win 3.1) for my Compaq Armada SB laptop for a while..
Afer a while (rather: odyssey), I found an old Compaq SoftPaq (SP5658) that contains a working driver for Windows 3.1x and it works well (tested 800x600, 16M).

Maybe some of you can find it useful, too, maybe even on Windows 9x ?
It's not as good as a real Windows 95 driver, but faaaar better than VESA VBE and VBE9x, I assume.

The driver is compatible with CT 68554, 68555 & 6555x series chips. Maybe even more, not sure.

PRODUCTS AFFECTED:
Compaq Armada 1540 and 1590
Compaq Armada 1560 and 1592
Compaq Presario 1710SB
Compaq Armada 1570/1571/1572/1573/1598
Compaq Armada SB 5200/32/3.2/D
Compaq Armada SB 5200/32/3.2/DM
Compaq Armada SB 5233/32/4.0/DT
Compaq Armada SB 5233/32/4.0/DMT
Compaq Armada SB 5233/S/2100/D/0/1
Compaq Armada SB 5233/S/3200/D/M/2
Compaq Armada SB 6233/T/3200/D/0/1
Compaq Armada SB 6233/T/3200/D/M/2
Compaq Armada 1700 6266/T/4000/D/M/1
Compaq Armada 1700 6266/T/4000/D/0/1
Compaq Armada 1700 6233/T/4000/D/M/1
Compaq Armada 1700 6233/T/4000/D/M/2
Compaq Armada 1700 6233/T/4000/D/0/1
Compaq Armada 1700 6233/T/4000/D/0/2

Good luck! 😁

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    ct68554_68555_6555x_win31.zip
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    Notebook Windows 3.x Video Driver, 12 January 1998, 1.3.9 Rev A, US English
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