VOGONS


First post, by Arbuthnot

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I'm trying to get Windows 3.11 up and running on my 486. With an old IDE disk it seems to be fine but I got a CF - IDE adapter and all seemed OK through installing DOS but I'm having endless hassle now. It got through the install once then kept crashing, I wiped it and started again and get "general protection faults" in winsetup. I've tried a different CF card. Does it sound like just a duff device?

Reply 1 of 19, by ElBrunzy

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Over time I made a collection of CF2IDE adapters, CF cards and IDE PCI cards. I ran into the problem you describe many times and it can be a real puzzle to find a working combination for a specific machine. If your 486 board has PCI, an IDE PCI adaptor is quite cheap and is often more verbose than BIOS to diagnose problem, also they would help you support larger capacity. Things you can try now is different DMA and PIO mode in your BIOS, try 40 or 80 wires IDE cables. What are your CF cards make and model ?

Reply 2 of 19, by kalohimal

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CF cards are not created equal, some do not implement the full sets of IDE protocol. For example, some implements the 16-bit IDE interface but not the 8-bit interface. Couple with half baked BIOS and you can run into problems. When one CF doesn't work, I would try another with different brand and capacity. The CF to IDE adapter is just simple straight connections of the pins without any IC in between (as oppose to SD to IDE adapter which has a chip to convert the protocol).

Slow down your CPU with CPUSPD for DOS retro gaming.

Reply 3 of 19, by Arbuthnot

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ElBrunzy wrote on 2020-08-06, 02:58:

Over time I made a collection of CF2IDE adapters, CF cards and IDE PCI cards. I ran into the problem you describe many times and it can be a real puzzle to find a working combination for a specific machine. If your 486 board has PCI, an IDE PCI adaptor is quite cheap and is often more verbose than BIOS to diagnose problem, also they would help you support larger capacity. Things you can try now is different DMA and PIO mode in your BIOS, try 40 or 80 wires IDE cables. What are your CF cards make and model ?

I have one old "Cisco" flash card from my networking days and one brand-new "Sandisk"; both are being equally temperamental. I've also got one of these "Transcend" ones but I've not tried that yet. No IDE I'm afraid so that's not an option. The BIOS also has no options for DMA etc.

Reply 4 of 19, by Arbuthnot

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kalohimal wrote on 2020-08-06, 06:02:

CF cards are not created equal, some do not implement the full sets of IDE protocol. For example, some implements the 16-bit IDE interface but not the 8-bit interface. Couple with half baked BIOS and you can run into problems. When one CF doesn't work, I would try another with different brand and capacity. The CF to IDE adapter is just simple straight connections of the pins without any IC in between (as oppose to SD to IDE adapter which has a chip to convert the protocol).

I've tried 2 brands, but I take your point - I've been bitten by cheap USB flash in the past and I always avoid it now. I managed to get everything installed from scratch again last night but I get random "exception in kernel" type errors that force a reboot. The old 400MB IDE disk seems to work OK so I don't think it's the PC.

Reply 5 of 19, by Jo22

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=Maybe it is related to FastDisk/32BDA?
If it accidentally finds your HDD to be compatible, weird things can happen:

http://www.os2museum.com/wp/how-to-please-wdctrl/

To enable/disable, open system.ini.
Look for [386 enh] block and add (unless available) :
32BitDiskAccess =

This will make the option available in Control Panel (386 Enhanced applet).

32BitDiskAccess = true
32BitDiskAccess = false

More info:
http://stephan.win31.de/w31mm_en.htm#32-Bit-Platte
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/32-bit_disk_access

"Time, it seems, doesn't flow. For some it's fast, for some it's slow.
In what to one race is no time at all, another race can rise and fall..." - The Minstrel

//My video channel//

Reply 6 of 19, by p6889k

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On my 386DX I'm successfully using this:

CF adapter: Syba IDE/PATA to CF Adapter
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001JTO782/ … 0?ie=UTF8&psc=1

CF Card: Transcend 8GB CompactFlash Memory Card 133x (TS8GCF133)
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000W05O5O/ … e?ie=UTF8&psc=1
I only use 512MB as that is all that the board can see.

I also tried various SanDisk cards and they didn't work.
I was also disappointed that Transcend TS512MCF200I 512MB Industrial Card also didn't work, it was giving me all sorts of write errors, even though it works just fine on newer HW:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004I66880/ … e?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Sinclair ZX Spectrum 48k, 48k+, 128k, +2
Amiga 1200, 68030/40mhz
386DX/33, ET4000, SBPro2, MT32
Dual PPro/200, Millennium II, Voodoo 2, AWE32, SC-55
etc.

Reply 7 of 19, by Arbuthnot

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Jo22 wrote on 2020-08-06, 12:25:
=Maybe it is related to FastDisk/32BDA? If it accidentally finds your HDD to be compatible, weird things can happen: […]
Show full quote

=Maybe it is related to FastDisk/32BDA?
If it accidentally finds your HDD to be compatible, weird things can happen:

http://www.os2museum.com/wp/how-to-please-wdctrl/

To enable/disable, open system.ini.
Look for [386 enh] block and add (unless available) :
32BitDiskAccess =

This will make the option available in Control Panel (386 Enhanced applet).

32BitDiskAccess = true
32BitDiskAccess = false

More info:
http://stephan.win31.de/w31mm_en.htm#32-Bit-Platte
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/32-bit_disk_access

I'll try that later, thanks!

Reply 8 of 19, by Arbuthnot

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p6889k wrote on 2020-08-06, 13:00:
On my 386DX I'm successfully using this: […]
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On my 386DX I'm successfully using this:

CF adapter: Syba IDE/PATA to CF Adapter
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001JTO782/ … 0?ie=UTF8&psc=1

CF Card: Transcend 8GB CompactFlash Memory Card 133x (TS8GCF133)
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000W05O5O/ … e?ie=UTF8&psc=1
I only use 512MB as that is all that the board can see.

I also tried various SanDisk cards and they didn't work.
I was also disappointed that Transcend TS512MCF200I 512MB Industrial Card also didn't work, it was giving me all sorts of write errors, even though it works just fine on newer HW:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004I66880/ … e?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Thanks mate, I'll check the model.

Reply 9 of 19, by deksar

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Tried to set the CF to "true-ide" mode? Read this: https://ozgur.kazancci.com/down/set-compact-f … d%20disk%29.txt

The file ATCFWCHG.COM is here: https://ozgur.kazancci.com/down/

Last edited by deksar on 2020-08-06, 14:05. Edited 1 time in total.

Reply 10 of 19, by Arbuthnot

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deksar wrote on 2020-08-06, 13:32:

I'd never heard of that, thanks - I'll look into it.

Reply 11 of 19, by SodaSuccubus

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Don't cheap out with CF cards.

Iv had TERRIBLE luck trying to get those cheep transcend/generic brand CF cards working. Lots of errors reading the C drive, file corruption and other oddities.

Get something from a big name brand like SanDisk and you should be fine. Iv used a 16gb SanDisk Extreme for years without issue ever since.

Same with the CF Adapter. Give the one from Startech a try. They're generally regarded as a trusted company.

Last edited by SodaSuccubus on 2020-08-06, 13:58. Edited 1 time in total.

Reply 12 of 19, by Jo22

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Arbuthnot wrote on 2020-08-06, 13:14:
Jo22 wrote on 2020-08-06, 12:25:
=Maybe it is related to FastDisk/32BDA? If it accidentally finds your HDD to be compatible, weird things can happen: […]
Show full quote

=Maybe it is related to FastDisk/32BDA?
If it accidentally finds your HDD to be compatible, weird things can happen:

http://www.os2museum.com/wp/how-to-please-wdctrl/

To enable/disable, open system.ini.
Look for [386 enh] block and add (unless available) :
32BitDiskAccess =

This will make the option available in Control Panel (386 Enhanced applet).

32BitDiskAccess = true
32BitDiskAccess = false

More info:
http://stephan.win31.de/w31mm_en.htm#32-Bit-Platte
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/32-bit_disk_access

I'll try that later, thanks!

You're welcome. 🙂

Please also keep in mind that older versions (pre-WfW 3.11, like Win 3.1) can also run in Standard-Mode (via Win /S or Win /2)..
It's by no means ideal for a 486, but it almost always works.

"Time, it seems, doesn't flow. For some it's fast, for some it's slow.
In what to one race is no time at all, another race can rise and fall..." - The Minstrel

//My video channel//

Reply 13 of 19, by Arbuthnot

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SodaSuccubus wrote on 2020-08-06, 13:53:
Don't cheap out with CF cards. […]
Show full quote

Don't cheap out with CF cards.

Iv had TERRIBLE luck trying to get those cheep transcend/generic brand CF cards working. Lots of errors reading the C drive, file corruption and other oddities.

Get something from a big name brand like SanDisk and you should be fine. Iv used a 16gb SanDisk Extreme for years without issue ever since.

Same with the CF Adapter. Give the one from Startech a try. They're generally regarded as a trusted company.

It's a Sandisk that I'm having problems with at the minute (that and the Cisco one before it). The larger Transcend card is put aside for my Linux on 486 project. It is a generic reader from eBay though.

Reply 14 of 19, by Arbuthnot

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deksar wrote on 2020-08-06, 13:32:

Tried to set the CF to "true-ide" mode? Read this: https://ozgur.kazancci.com/down/set-compact-f … d%20disk%29.txt

The file ATCFWCHG.COM is here: https://ozgur.kazancci.com/down/

That utility returns "error #7" when I try it, and I found a forum thread from 2006 (!) with people having the same problem, saying that SanDisk no longer support that. So I guess that's out... thanks anyway, worth a shot!

Reply 15 of 19, by Arbuthnot

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Jo22 wrote on 2020-08-06, 12:25:
=Maybe it is related to FastDisk/32BDA? If it accidentally finds your HDD to be compatible, weird things can happen: […]
Show full quote

=Maybe it is related to FastDisk/32BDA?
If it accidentally finds your HDD to be compatible, weird things can happen:

http://www.os2museum.com/wp/how-to-please-wdctrl/

To enable/disable, open system.ini.
Look for [386 enh] block and add (unless available) :
32BitDiskAccess =

This will make the option available in Control Panel (386 Enhanced applet).

32BitDiskAccess = true
32BitDiskAccess = false

More info:
http://stephan.win31.de/w31mm_en.htm#32-Bit-Platte
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/32-bit_disk_access

That mode was already disabled by default so I guess that's not it, worth trying though.

Reply 16 of 19, by Jo22

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Ok, was just an idea, after all. 😅
If the original driver doesn't work (it's ancient), then you could also try the MicroHouse driver (works with any HDD brand) or any other third party driver.
They usually support HDDs up to 8GB..
http://win31.de/edrivers.htm

Anyway, that's just another idea/workaround.
Hope you find the culprit.

"Time, it seems, doesn't flow. For some it's fast, for some it's slow.
In what to one race is no time at all, another race can rise and fall..." - The Minstrel

//My video channel//

Reply 17 of 19, by GigAHerZ

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I have always used the cheapest ebay CF cards i can get my hands on and had no problems with any of those cards... never...

"640K ought to be enough for anybody." - And i intend to get every last bit out of it even after loading every damn driver!

Reply 18 of 19, by Arbuthnot

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Jo22 wrote on 2020-08-06, 20:24:
Ok, was just an idea, after all. :sweatdrop: If the original driver doesn't work (it's ancient), then you could also try the Mic […]
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Ok, was just an idea, after all. 😅
If the original driver doesn't work (it's ancient), then you could also try the MicroHouse driver (works with any HDD brand) or any other third party driver.
They usually support HDDs up to 8GB..
http://win31.de/edrivers.htm

Anyway, that's just another idea/workaround.
Hope you find the culprit.

So I dug out a 128MB "disk-on-module" from an old CAD machine and tried that. DOS installs fine, but when I was installing Windows I hit a few problems. First time it crashed out trying to create virtual memory; I've got 64MB RAM so probably don't need that so I disabled it and got the installation to complete. Trying to install some Windows programs caused another crash, but just clicking about in the desktop seemed quite stable. Dropped back to DOS and installed Heretic and had an hour on that, no problem - so it really seems to be Windows that is playing up! I've tried 2 versions of 3.11 from Winworld but I don't believe there's anything wrong with them. Guess I'll try the old 400 MB HDD again.

Reply 19 of 19, by Arbuthnot

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GigAHerZ wrote on 2020-08-07, 08:12:

I have always used the cheapest ebay CF cards i can get my hands on and had no problems with any of those cards... never...

Maybe I'll try it with Win 95 to try and rule out the adapter / cards. DOS seems OK, it really is just 3.11 that's playing up.