VOGONS


First post, by NScaleTransitModels

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I just won a Socket 7 system in really good shape off ebay. It came with a really obscure Vision Top VT586VX(C) motherboard with a 430VX chipset, that has a P-MMX 233 and 64mb (4x16mb EDO) ram installed. Using a SD-IDE w/ adapter it installed 98 and NT 4.0 with no problems... but it stubbornly refuses to install 2000. At every attempt, right before the "welcome to setup" screen, it stops with "file hal.dll could not be loaded. The error code is 7" 🤬😤

I've tried, to no effect:
1. Replacing the 64mb w/ 32mb from a different system; very few people on old tech forums have had similar errors and replacing ram seemed to work for them
2. Memtest86 which had no errors
3. Rewriting the MBR on the SD card using fdisk /mbr
4. Replacing the CMOS battery with a new one; BIOS settings didn't save at all with a dead battery, though memory-related options already default to auto
5. Using a beta version of 2000 (build 2031)

Is there anything I can still try before I look for replacement motherboards?

Yes, I need 2000 to play back MPEGs (won't work right in NT4 and 98 when testing in PCem) and play certain games. Yes, I have installed 2000 with no problems on several other S5/S7/SS7 systems. No, I've never gotten any error even remotely similar on any computer ever before.

Thanks in advance
[attachment=-1]20201217_190352.jpg[/attachment]

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Reply 1 of 6, by darry

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NScaleTransitModels wrote on 2020-12-18, 03:49:
I just won a Socket 7 system in really good shape off ebay. It came with a really obscure Vision Top VT586VX(C) motherboard with […]
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I just won a Socket 7 system in really good shape off ebay. It came with a really obscure Vision Top VT586VX(C) motherboard with a 430VX chipset, that has a P-MMX 233 and 64mb (4x16mb EDO) ram installed. Using a SD-IDE w/ adapter it installed 98 and NT 4.0 with no problems... but it stubbornly refuses to install 2000. At every attempt, right before the "welcome to setup" screen, it stops with "file hal.dll could not be loaded. The error code is 7" 🤬😤

I've tried, to no effect:
1. Replacing the 64mb w/ 32mb from a different system; very few people on old tech forums have had similar errors and replacing ram seemed to work for them
2. Memtest86 which had no errors
3. Rewriting the MBR on the SD card using fdisk /mbr
4. Replacing the CMOS battery with a new one; BIOS settings didn't save at all with a dead battery, though memory-related options already default to auto
5. Using a beta version of 2000 (build 2031)

Is there anything I can still try before I look for replacement motherboards?

Yes, I need 2000 to play back MPEGs (won't work right in NT4 and 98 when testing in PCem) and play certain games. Yes, I have installed 2000 with no problems on several other S5/S7/SS7 systems. No, I've never gotten any error even remotely similar on any computer ever before.

Thanks in advance
[attachment=-1]20201217_190352.jpg[/attachment]

Are you trying to install Windows 2000 to a FAT16 , FAT32 or NTFS partition ? I strongly suggest FAT32 or NTFS as, depending on what tool was used to format, FC1307A based SD IDE adapters (which is likely what you have) don't always play nice with FAT16 partitions .

Reply 3 of 6, by Horun

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Warlord wrote on 2020-12-18, 04:17:

You can change the HAL by pressing F5 during beginning of install. And select Standard PC. Instead of ACPI PC. I'm guess that boards ACPI doesn't work right.

Good point ! Most HAL errors are hardware related.

NScaleTransitModels wrote on 2020-12-18, 03:49:

I just won a Socket 7 system in really good shape off ebay. It came with a really obscure Vision Top VT586VX(C) motherboard with a 430VX chipset,

Curious if it looks like this one in the picture below. Can you post a picture of the board if not ?

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Hate posting a reply and then have to edit it because it made no sense 😁 First computer was an IBM 3270 workstation with CGA monitor.

Reply 4 of 6, by NScaleTransitModels

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Thanks for the tips! I managed to get to the HAL selection screen by pressing F5... selecting ACPI-enabled or "standard PC" made no difference 😕

I indeed have the FC-1307 SD adapter and am installing W2K from a FAT16. I've used several of these adapters and they've never given me trouble, even installing W2K beta to and from a FAT16 partition once (that was on a 486DLC too... a 386-class CPU!) And sure enough, I got the same results on the VT586VXC when trying again with a FAT32 primary partition. Dang it!

Horun wrote on 2020-12-18, 04:35:

Curious if it looks like this one in the picture below. Can you post a picture of the board if not ?

Yep, this is exactly it! Mine has Galvantech-branded cache chips, rather than GSI, but I doubt that matters.

Looks like we've ruled out just about everything, unless it's a motherboard-level incompatibility? Or if there's a BIOS setting I missed:

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I wasn't even originally planning on keeping this board, but the PCChips M575 I bought last month to replace it is still on its way from Bulgaria. I thought I might end up keeping this system intact, because everyone says how the VX chipset is supposed to be trouble free (so much for that 🤣) and I managed to score another case in the meantime... but that front bezel arrived in hundreds of pieces 🤣 I'm still in the process of getting a refund for that broken case, but I'm not sure now if I want to replace that case or just yank the VT586VXC and use the M575 in its place as originally planned.

Arghhh that's enough headaches for tonight 🤣, good night yall. Sorry for the rant, any tips on the VT586VXC are still appreciated. It's always nice to have more working S7 boards even if this one becomes a spare

Edit: forgot to mention the installing/ uninstalling EZ Drive DDO made no difference, not that I've had trouble with it in the past either

Reply 5 of 6, by NScaleTransitModels

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Quick update, I was having a similar problem on a Tualeron (Tualatin Celeron) system. Win98 installed fine but W2K and XP would BSOD at "Setup is starting Windows", with "inaccessible_boot_device" or "unmountable_boot_volume" respectively. I read that the previous hal.dll error could also occur when the hard disk can't be read? For the Tualeron, the problem was that I was using a 40-pin cable for the SD-IDE adapter since the computer didn't come with the original 80-pin hard drive cable... swapped in an 80-pin cable and the installs finally continued. I think it may have to do with UDMA?

Now I'm not sure if that was the problem on the VT586VXC, since the Vogons wiki says that UDMA didn't come until the 430TX chipset. I don't have a convenient way of testing it anymore; I replaced it with a slightly newer VXPro motherboard that was laying around. I almost forgot I still had it! But the replacement board had no problems w/ W2K, even with a 40-pin cable. So both my S370 and S7 systems are rollin' now 🙂

Reply 6 of 6, by evasive

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Possibly matching manual here:
https://www.ultimateretro.net/en/motherboards/11210

Page for this board here:
https://www.ultimateretro.net/en/motherboards/11214

Better pictures and a bios dump are welcome.