VOGONS


First post, by DNSDies

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So, I got this LuckyStar LS486E motherboard, and I think it's the Revision C with a newer BIOS (supports 8GB hard drive maximum).
I bought it because I wanted to make a PCI 486 machine, but I'm running into some weird issues.

I put in a Promise Ultra ATA 66 PCI IDE controller to get around the 8GB limit, and when it's in, I get weird gibberish in DOS until I enable the "PCI master burst read/write" option in the BIOS, then it goes back to normal, but only until I load EMM386 or JEMMEX and try to load drivers into UMB, then the gibberish comes back. I've tried excluding areas of the memory in case it was a conflict with the Promise IDE controller's boot ROM, but it doesn't work.

Any advice would be very welcome.
Here's a picture of the gibberish on screen:
https://imgur.com/a/BB6jNqz

Last edited by DNSDies on 2021-03-20, 16:25. Edited 1 time in total.

Reply 1 of 15, by keropi

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In my experience those 486 PCI implementations are problematic when it comes to controllers ... I have had a couple 486 PCI builds and I tend to just stick a pci VGA and a NIC in them and keep using the onboard hdd controller. It is weird there is no patched bios for the LS486E board - but you can just use XT-IDE bios on a NIC and bypass the 8GB limitation that way.
Maybe someone can offer a better solution to this so I am not saying not using a hdd controller is the only solution - rather it's the most convenient one so you don't spend time troubleshooting 🤣

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Reply 4 of 15, by Roman555

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DNSDies wrote on 2021-03-20, 17:29:

What a wonky board.

IMHO, it's a really good and stable model of motherboard.
I would suggest to try XFX’s Revo64 Serial ATA RAID card..
Although I haven't tested them together properly in real usage I'll definitely give them one more chance 😀

Reply 5 of 15, by maxtherabbit

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Roman555 wrote on 2021-03-20, 21:05:
IMHO, it's a really good and stable model of motherboard. I would suggest to try XFX’s Revo64 Serial ATA RAID card.. Although I […]
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DNSDies wrote on 2021-03-20, 17:29:

What a wonky board.

IMHO, it's a really good and stable model of motherboard.
I would suggest to try XFX’s Revo64 Serial ATA RAID card..
Although I haven't tested them together properly in real usage I'll definitely give them one more chance 😀

please do, see if you can get a windows installation to complete - that's usually a good indication of stability and will sniff out any corruption

Reply 6 of 15, by froller

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DNSDies wrote on 2021-03-20, 07:19:

then it goes back to normal, but only until I load EMM386 or JEMMEX and try to load drivers into UMB, then the gibberish comes back

Have similar memory corruption on my Rev:D. Looks like you allows DOS to write to the regions occupied by ROM.
Try UMBINFO (it has German interface but still usable) to look where exactly your ROM is located.

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Reply 8 of 15, by Roman555

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DNSDies wrote on 2021-03-20, 07:19:

Any advice would be very welcome.
Here's a picture of the gibberish on screen:
https://imgur.com/a/BB6jNqz

And I forgot to mention that more often LS-486E works only with FPM RAM.
EDO RAM is rarely compatible with this board because it depends on chipset revision. Usually EDO causes errors during the start.

Reply 9 of 15, by froller

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Roman555 wrote on 2021-03-21, 07:42:

And I forgot to mention that more often LS-486E works only with FPM RAM.
EDO RAM is rarely compatible with this board because it depends on chipset revision. Usually EDO causes errors during the start.

The only revision proven to work with EDO is Rev:D.

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Reply 10 of 15, by The Serpent Rider

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The only revision proven to work with EDO is Rev:D.

Rec:C2.

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Reply 11 of 15, by DNSDies

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froller wrote on 2021-03-20, 23:22:

Have similar memory corruption on my Rev:D. Looks like you allows DOS to write to the regions occupied by ROM.
Try UMBINFO (it has German interface but still usable) to look where exactly your ROM is located.

This board came with memory, and it works fine.
I used UMAScan to see the address of the ROM, and excluded the region (and even tried to define only the free RAM space) and still got the corruption, so I think it's a bad PCI implementation that doesn't work with this particular PCI IDE card.

I ended up putting XT-IDE in a PCI network card and now everything works fine.
30GB hard drive works great, Windows 98SE even installed. I probably won't use 98, as this is only a 486, but it's a good way to see how the hard drive handles stuff.

Reply 12 of 15, by maxtherabbit

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DNSDies wrote on 2021-03-22, 06:12:
This board came with memory, and it works fine. I used UMAScan to see the address of the ROM, and excluded the region (and even […]
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froller wrote on 2021-03-20, 23:22:

Have similar memory corruption on my Rev:D. Looks like you allows DOS to write to the regions occupied by ROM.
Try UMBINFO (it has German interface but still usable) to look where exactly your ROM is located.

This board came with memory, and it works fine.
I used UMAScan to see the address of the ROM, and excluded the region (and even tried to define only the free RAM space) and still got the corruption, so I think it's a bad PCI implementation that doesn't work with this particular PCI IDE card.

I ended up putting XT-IDE in a PCI network card and now everything works fine.
30GB hard drive works great, Windows 98SE even installed. I probably won't use 98, as this is only a 486, but it's a good way to see how the hard drive handles stuff.

Yep. The issue doesn't seem to be related to option ROMs, the board just doesn't play nice with add-on disk controllers.

Reply 13 of 15, by froller

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maxtherabbit wrote on 2021-03-22, 13:29:

Yep. The issue doesn't seem to be related to option ROMs, the board just doesn't play nice with add-on disk controllers.

Will check as soon as I find my SiI3112 PCI sATA controller.
It worked on Zida 4DPS.

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Reply 14 of 15, by feipoa

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maxtherabbit wrote on 2021-03-22, 13:29:

Yep. The issue doesn't seem to be related to option ROMs, the board just doesn't play nice with add-on disk controllers.

Do all PCB revisions of the LS486E exhibit the same issue with PCI HDD cards? Does each hardware revision have its own BIOS? Does the problem present itself with all BIOS versions of this board? Is there a BIOS repository for this motherboard?

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Reply 15 of 15, by maxtherabbit

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feipoa wrote on 2021-06-20, 07:00:
maxtherabbit wrote on 2021-03-22, 13:29:

Yep. The issue doesn't seem to be related to option ROMs, the board just doesn't play nice with add-on disk controllers.

Do all PCB revisions of the LS486E exhibit the same issue with PCI HDD cards?

I only have one so I can't comment on that

feipoa wrote on 2021-06-20, 07:00:

Does each hardware revision have its own BIOS?

AFAIK the different BIOSs are for different super I/O chips and there is also one for EDO support and one without

feipoa wrote on 2021-06-20, 07:00:

Does the problem present itself with all BIOS versions of this board?

It did for me, yes