VOGONS


Help (re)building a 486

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Reply 20 of 100, by andre_6

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chinny22 wrote on 2021-05-05, 15:38:
I'm sure someone will mention the CT4180 has a CQM rather then true OPL chip but that "drawback" is overblown if you ask me and […]
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I'm sure someone will mention the CT4180 has a CQM rather then true OPL chip but that "drawback" is overblown if you ask me and Vibra should be just fine, No ISA card is perfect after all.

First off test to see if the full 4GB HDD is recognised in BIOS, some motherboards max out at 500MB. no big deal if it does both hardware and software workarounds exist.
You'll need to fdisk the hard drive, as long as you use the one that comes with dos, it'll limit you to Fat16, It'll also let you create a extended partition to use the remaining 2GB if you wanted.

If your friend is any good at soldering you can simply replace the battery with a socket which should be easy enough. You can then simply replace the Dallas chip when needed, or hack a Dallas chip
https://www.classic-computers.org.nz/blog/200 … attery-chip.htm

Floppy drives aren't IDE devices and its rare for floppy controllers to support more then 2 drives. I doubt you'll use a 5.25 drive much anyway. No harm in having it in the case not hooked up if your just after the look though, just don't tell anyone 😉

Honestly I just wanted an affordable sound card as the pc came without one, as you can already suspect from my lack of knowledge I'm not exactly looking for perfect or near perfect audio experience in DOS, much less MIDI, Roland and all that can of worms. If you say it will do a serviceable job, then great. Just out of curiosity, what is the difference between the CQM vs. true OPL chip that you mentioned, if it doesn't require too much of an explanation for you?

As soon as I get to it I will check about the HDD, but your explanation is already reassuring.

I think my friend meant he doesn't think that the soldering tools he uses for the Audio PCB's are suited to Computer boards. He won't mind trying but he isn't too confident. Would you mind showing me a link for the tools that you normally use so I can show him?

In that case I think I will just keep both 3,5" original drives, but yeah, it would be a nice look! Thanks!

Reply 21 of 100, by Eep386

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CQM sounds much harsher and squeakier in tone. A lot of weird 'chirping' or 'ringing' artifacts can be heard in some songs.
Also CQM gets ADSR (envelope generation) quite wrong on some instruments, resulting in weird sounds at times.
For those of us who didn't grow up with it, CQM can be quite unpalatable.

You should find an ESS ES1868 or ES1869 sound card. They don't generally sound too bad and ESFM is rather nice to the ear. Plus, depending on where you look, they tend to be cheaper than even CQM-fitted ViBRAs these days.
Drivers can be a bit of a bugbear, but they should be available on VOGONS someplace. They are generally Sound Blaster Pro compatible in DOS, but a few games might directly support the boards.

Life isn't long enough to re-enable every hidden option in every BIOS on every board... 🙁

Reply 22 of 100, by chinny22

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Bit of a breif history
Adlib was the first defacto sound card and that used a Yamaha OPL chip.
Creative also used a OPL chip to start with to keep backwards compatablity
Later Creative decided to develop their own chip instead and the CQM was born.

So whenever you have the option to select a different sound FX and music device (eg Doom) more then likely music is been done by this chip
Any time you select adlib you are definitly using this chip.

But as I said I think the difference is over exaggerated alot.
Dont read the into as it gives a clue but compare the tracks in this post and list which you think which option sounds better.
blind test : OPL vs CQM
In theory you should have picked the true OPL chip. My sound card from the 90's did have OPL and I only got 1/2 correct.
Even now I'll happly play games on a CQM based soundcard if thats the PC I'm using at the tme.

As for motherboard repairs, um, I'm still to scared. Well not scared but with 2 kids under 5 I just don't have the time or space and havent touched an Iron in over 20 years.
But this video give a pretty good idea.
https://youtu.be/or7PQZCXWkA

Reply 23 of 100, by appiah4

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chinny22 wrote on 2021-05-05, 15:38:

I'm sure someone will mention the CT4180 has a CQM rather then true OPL chip but that "drawback" is overblown if you ask me and Vibra should be just fine, No ISA card is perfect after all.

CT4180's bigger drawback is the lack of a wavetable header IMO. CQM is probably nobody's favorite FM synth but it is OK. It certainly doesn't make you want to stab yourself in the ears like an AD1816 or CX4235.

Also, if you haven't desoldered anything in the past starting with a Dallas RTC may not be the best idea. It's not the easiest IC to desolder in my experience. For whatever reasons it takes me less effort and time to desolder a whole 16bit ISA slot than a Dallas RTC.

Retronautics: A digital gallery of my retro computers, hardware and projects.

Reply 24 of 100, by andre_6

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chinny22 wrote on 2021-05-05, 21:10:
Bit of a breif history Adlib was the first defacto sound card and that used a Yamaha OPL chip. Creative also used a OPL chip to […]
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Bit of a breif history
Adlib was the first defacto sound card and that used a Yamaha OPL chip.
Creative also used a OPL chip to start with to keep backwards compatablity
Later Creative decided to develop their own chip instead and the CQM was born.

So whenever you have the option to select a different sound FX and music device (eg Doom) more then likely music is been done by this chip
Any time you select adlib you are definitly using this chip.

But as I said I think the difference is over exaggerated alot.
Dont read the into as it gives a clue but compare the tracks in this post and list which you think which option sounds better.
blind test : OPL vs CQM
In theory you should have picked the true OPL chip. My sound card from the 90's did have OPL and I only got 1/2 correct.
Even now I'll happly play games on a CQM based soundcard if thats the PC I'm using at the tme.

As for motherboard repairs, um, I'm still to scared. Well not scared but with 2 kids under 5 I just don't have the time or space and havent touched an Iron in over 20 years.
But this video give a pretty good idea.
https://youtu.be/or7PQZCXWkA

Interesting history, and very cool idea, I'll leave asterisks on my choice for each comparison:

adlib-test_A : ***
adlib-test_B :
diagnose_A :
diagnose_B : ***
dune2_A : ***
dune2_B :
wolf3d_A :
wolf3d_B : ***

I have to say that whatever the results I really don't think the difference between them would bother me to the point of searching a specific card.

Thanks a lot for the link also, very useful and to the point. He has a lifetime experience of soldering, he just never worked with computers (their PCB's are made differently from audio stuff), but I think he will be up to the task.

Reply 25 of 100, by andre_6

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appiah4 wrote on 2021-05-05, 21:25:
chinny22 wrote on 2021-05-05, 15:38:

I'm sure someone will mention the CT4180 has a CQM rather then true OPL chip but that "drawback" is overblown if you ask me and Vibra should be just fine, No ISA card is perfect after all.

CT4180's bigger drawback is the lack of a wavetable header IMO. CQM is probably nobody's favorite FM synth but it is OK. It certainly doesn't make you want to stab yourself in the ears like an AD1816 or CX4235.

Also, if you haven't desoldered anything in the past starting with a Dallas RTC may not be the best idea. It's not the easiest IC to desolder in my experience. For whatever reasons it takes me less effort and time to desolder a whole 16bit ISA slot than a Dallas RTC.

Thanks, I think I'll be satisfied with the card honestly, even more for the price, anyway it's already on its way so I would always try it out!

Reply 26 of 100, by Eep386

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chinny22 wrote on 2021-05-05, 15:38:

I'm sure someone will mention the CT4180 has a CQM rather then true OPL chip but that "drawback" is overblown if you ask me and Vibra should be just fine, No ISA card is perfect after all.

appiah4 wrote on 2021-05-05, 21:25:

CT4180's bigger drawback is the lack of a wavetable header IMO. CQM is probably nobody's favorite FM synth but it is OK. It certainly doesn't make you want to stab yourself in the ears like an AD1816 or CX4235.

Personally, I wouldn't even call CQM 'okay'. I'd rank it in the same league as OPTiFM at best.
CQM is what gave me inspiration to learn how to convert certain Sound Blaster 16 cards with it, to OPL3.

Here's a more dramatic example of the differences between CQM and OPL.
https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Fi … _FM_vs._CQM.ogg

First 30 seconds is OPL3, the second half, CQM. The song in question is the opening part of TCDCHEMI.HSC, from neo Software's Der Clou!
You can hear that CQM really stinks this song up. I wouldn't mind so much, the synth leads being turned into weird tuba like sounds, but those squeaky artifacts make me want to gouge my ears out.
Also the opening patches are really distorted sounding, like CQM is trying to make them sound like tuba or trumpet sounds when it really shouldn't.

ESFM isn't exactly 100% perfect either but it tends to be inaccurate in less annoying ways than CQM is. Far less squeaking and chirping, though the most prominent tangible distortion is a subtle but weird 'flanger' like effect on some instruments. 'Spice Opera' from Dune (the Cryo game, not the later Westwood game) brings out some interesting oddities though, such as an oddly prominent white noise on some of the percussion:
https://youtu.be/NsiGWP-FpSw?t=1263

andre_6 wrote on 2021-05-05, 21:42:

Thanks, I think I'll be satisfied with the card honestly, even more for the price, anyway it's already on its way so I would always try it out!

I hope it works out well for you!
Do be mindful that, under games that attempt 'single cycle DMA' transfers (typically games written for pre-Sound Blaster 16 cards), ViBRA cards tend to have odd ringing or hissing sounds after a digital sound finishes playing. The prominence of this artifact tends to vary between cards and listeners; perhaps ironically I'm not really as bothered by it as some are (playing another sound usually clears the racket). Other, non-ViBRA Sound Blaster 16 cards have IMO even worse glitches, such as VERY obvious popping and clicking noises when games use single cycle DMA transfers.

On a different tack, once you get the time/parts, try hunting down a 32K x 8 15ns SRAM to put in that one empty DIP socket beneath where all those other skinny DIP chips plug into the board.
On the VIA '495 chipset, that should enable write-back caching, which tends to speed up off-cache memory access speeds under CACHECHK.

Last edited by Eep386 on 2021-05-06, 03:01. Edited 1 time in total.

Life isn't long enough to re-enable every hidden option in every BIOS on every board... 🙁

Reply 27 of 100, by andre_6

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Eep386 wrote on 2021-05-06, 02:18:
Here's a more dramatic example of the differences between CQM and OPL. https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Fi … _FM_vs._C […]
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Here's a more dramatic example of the differences between CQM and OPL.
https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Fi … _FM_vs._CQM.ogg

First 30 seconds is OPL3, the second half, CQM. The song in question is the opening part of TCDCHEMI.HSC, from neo Software's Der Clou!
You can hear that CQM really stinks this song up. I wouldn't mind the synth leads turn into weird tuba like sounds, but those squeaky artifacts make me want to gouge my ears out.
Also the opening patches are really distorted sounding, like CQM is trying to make them sound like tuba or trumpet sounds when it really shouldn't.

I agree with your description completely, and it's obvious this means a lot to you to the point that you contribute to Wikipedia, congrats on that!

I have some Pentium builds and this is my first venture into pre-Pentium eras. I always took DOS for what it was for me growing up: it was where I played my first games without a care in the world, completely ignoring all its faults (or the system's), just a 5 year old kid having some blissfully ignorant fun. So in a way, for me, to try and upgrade DOS related stuff from a certain point forward is in a way to lose the quirks and faults that defined its character in my mind - we can call it nostalgia.

It's a bit like loving cassette tapes and buying a Nakamichi Dragon or a CR-7A nowadays. Arguably the best decks ever made, that can take the cassette medium to incredible levels, with an astonishing number of options for tweaking and recording, especially the Dragon, legendary for its epic over-complicated design. But in a way its pointless nowadays, because if you want the best audio quality possible there are other superior mediums for that, and if you're looking for that true cassette experience you need those quirks and faults otherwise if you iron them all out the tracks won't have the ambiance that defined the cassette medium and provided much of its charm, ending up in no man's land between the two. I would absolutely love to have a tweaked Walkman DC-2 for example, but I suspect it will have less ambiance than the more basic models I already have, even if the playback is much better, or "better".

We could say that DOS games are DOS games, not like music that can be reproduced and recorded in different platforms and mediums, and that notion would be totally right. It's just that for now I'm trying to capture what I experienced then, and if I'm honest when I'm done with this build it will already be better than what I had at the time. But hey, even after this explanation I make no promises that I won't fall in the DOS sound rabbit hole, mind you!

Thank you so much for your pointers and help!

Reply 28 of 100, by Eep386

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I gotcha. Aye, nostalgia is a funny thing indeed.
I tend to forget about the borderline-sacrosanct aspects of nostalgia when I go off ranting about FM chips and synthesizers, which is pretty ironic for a guy like me.

At least that CT4180 won't be clicking and popping on Day of the Tentacle. And I honestly don't find the ringing/hissing artifacts of ViBRA to be that bad personally, as playing another sound often clears it up straight away. If the music is loud enough I barely even notice it most of the time.

Life isn't long enough to re-enable every hidden option in every BIOS on every board... 🙁

Reply 29 of 100, by chinny22

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oh your "allowed" to read the rest of the post after you did the test 😉 its interesting as quite a few people were surprised how little difference there ended up being.

and I'm not dismissing people like Eep386 either. I've no doubt a small percentage of Audiophiles? OPLphiles? really do exist but the majority of us don't really notice that much difference if we are honest with ourselves, even less so when your busy playing the game rather then simply focusing on the music actively comparing the differences.

Funny thing is as it stands though you picked CQM more often then not!

adlib-test_A :CQM ***
adlib-test_B :OPL
diagnose_A :CQM
diagnose_B :OPL ***
dune2_A :CQM ***
dune2_B : OPL
wolf3d_A :OPL
wolf3d_B :CQM ***

Reply 30 of 100, by appiah4

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I just took the blind test myself and:

adlib-test_A : CQM
adlib-test_B : OPL3

diagnose_A : CQM
diagnose_B : OPL3

dune2_A : CQM
dune2_B : OPL3

wolf3d_A : OPL3
wolf3d_B : CQM

I'm almost 100% sure of all of them, the Wolf3D one is much closer but even that becomes evident as soon as the high notes start playing. That metallic CQM hiss is unmistakable.

That said, it's not terrible. It's just OK to me. Personally, I am a Crystal FM guy.

Retronautics: A digital gallery of my retro computers, hardware and projects.

Reply 31 of 100, by andre_6

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Eep386 wrote on 2021-05-06, 03:13:

I gotcha. Aye, nostalgia is a funny thing indeed.
I tend to forget about the borderline-sacrosanct aspects of nostalgia when I go off ranting about FM chips and synthesizers, which is pretty ironic for a guy like me.

At least that CT4180 won't be clicking and popping on Day of the Tentacle. And I honestly don't find the ringing/hissing artifacts of ViBRA to be that bad personally, as playing another sound often clears it up straight away. If the music is loud enough I barely even notice it most of the time.

Feel free to let loose on the ranting, it's the best way for me to learn about it all and to gain some knowledge about where does my hardware stand in the overall spectrum. As soon as I am finished with the build I will give my honest take on the Vibra.

chinny22 wrote on 2021-05-06, 10:18:
oh your "allowed" to read the rest of the post after you did the test ;) its interesting as quite a few people were surprised ho […]
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oh your "allowed" to read the rest of the post after you did the test 😉 its interesting as quite a few people were surprised how little difference there ended up being.

and I'm not dismissing people like Eep386 either. I've no doubt a small percentage of Audiophiles? OPLphiles? really do exist but the majority of us don't really notice that much difference if we are honest with ourselves, even less so when your busy playing the game rather then simply focusing on the music actively comparing the differences.

Funny thing is as it stands though you picked CQM more often then not!

adlib-test_A :CQM ***
adlib-test_B :OPL
diagnose_A :CQM
diagnose_B :OPL ***
dune2_A :CQM ***
dune2_B : OPL
wolf3d_A :OPL
wolf3d_B :CQM ***

I did saw the results, sorry for not posting them here, funny thing indeed. You nailed it, in any case I don't think that being busy playing I would notice any of it to the point I would be bothered. But it's interesting to know there is apparently an audiophile type rabbit hole in DOS sound, who would have thought!

appiah4 wrote on 2021-05-06, 10:47:
I just took the blind test myself and: […]
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I just took the blind test myself and:

adlib-test_A : CQM
adlib-test_B : OPL3

diagnose_A : CQM
diagnose_B : OPL3

dune2_A : CQM
dune2_B : OPL3

wolf3d_A : OPL3
wolf3d_B : CQM

I'm almost 100% sure of all of them, the Wolf3D one is much closer but even that becomes evident as soon as the high notes start playing. That metallic CQM hiss is unmistakable.

That said, it's not terrible. It's just OK to me. Personally, I am a Crystal FM guy.

I honestly had a hard time choosing between some of them, it's not that there wasn't a noticeable difference, but for me it was a question of what would I prefer. After this build if I someday have the opportunity to build another 486 I'll do it piece by piece instead of rebuilding an existing one, and I will invest more on the sound side of things. How come when talking about DOS sound people always emphasize the importance of the sound card and not the stereo speakers? Are the speakers' role that diminished overall?

Reply 32 of 100, by Eep386

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My results: (as per request I didn't read the blind test's intro so I was literally going in blind)
adlib-test_A : CQM (the distortion is a dead ringer, I hear CQM trying to twist the timbre into a 'trumpet' like sound)
adlib-test_B : OPL3
diagnose_A : CQM (CQM has a much rawer sound on this test sample)
diagnose_B : OPL3
dune2_A : CQM (this one is much more subtle, but the rawness on some of the patches is a giveaway)
dune2_B : OPL3
wolf3d_A : CQM (yes, this is incorrect, it's actually OPL3. These Wolfie tunes are a bit more subtle...)
wolf3d_B : OPL3 (...and the high noise of this CQM sample threw me off. I thought I was listening to a CT1770 initially, as the one I had hissed just like this.)

andre_6 wrote on 2021-05-06, 14:13:

I honestly had a hard time choosing between some of them, it's not that there wasn't a noticeable difference, but for me it was a question of what would I prefer. After this build if I someday have the opportunity to build another 486 I'll do it piece by piece instead of rebuilding an existing one, and I will invest more on the sound side of things. How come when talking about DOS sound people always emphasize the importance of the sound card and not the stereo speakers? Are the speakers' role that diminished overall?

Now that you mention it... that IS a good question. I'd be inclined to say, if you're going to get super-picky about sound, get some good speakers first.
The speakers I am using are Mitsubishi M-SS5's running on an Altec Lansing subwoofer/amplifier unit of some pedigree. (As is the case with most of my stuff, my sound system is cobbled together with mismatched odds and ends. 😜) They have tiny little tweeters that make the highs a bit more pronounced than normal, but thankfully I can dial the treble down on the amplifier unit to a more pleasant tone. They have a good bass response overall, neither thin nor overblown. I'm sure they're no match for an audiophile's $2000+ studio stereo monitors, but for the sake of everyday listening they're perfectly fine.

chinny22 wrote on 2021-05-06, 10:18:

and I'm not dismissing people like Eep386 either. I've no doubt a small percentage of Audiophiles? OPLphiles? really do exist but the majority of us don't really notice that much difference if we are honest with ourselves, even less so when your busy playing the game rather then simply focusing on the music actively comparing the differences.

I get picky about my OPL3 not because I want to be some elitist, 'cool kid' or any nonsense like that, but rather because my first OPL3 sound card was a YMF719, which means the YMF289 is the flavor I grew up with. I can tell the difference between it and YMF262 / CT1747, but they're pretty close overall so I don't generally make a big fuss out of it. (It does influence my decision making when it comes to procuring sound cards, however.)

I'm trying to get out of my little Yamaha box though, so that's why I am exploring other FM sounds as well.
ESFM is one I've taken a great liking to in recent days. Even Crystal FM, which I tend to bash more often than not, isn't without unique virtues: its 'sawtooth' waveform seems closer to a real sawtooth than OPL3's 'sinetooth'. Also Crystal cards tend to enjoy cleaner output amplification than Creative cards, at least in my experience.
I've also had the dubious pleasure of getting to know the 'lesser' synths such as OPTiFM (wouldn't be that bad except for some severe ADSR inaccuracies) and Ensoniq's miserable attempt at wrapping FM commands to their rompler engine. (Yuck!) I haven't heard the synth of Analog Devices chips, but after reading some other posts on this site, I am not in a huge hurry to do so. Analog Devices cards tended to be less common than Crystal, OPTi, ESS and Creative cards in the area I grew up in.

Life isn't long enough to re-enable every hidden option in every BIOS on every board... 🙁

Reply 33 of 100, by chinny22

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Eep386 wrote on 2021-05-06, 16:45:

I get picky about my OPL3 not because I want to be some elitist, 'cool kid' or any nonsense like that

Nah I get it, It's part of the experience, much like running on old hardware in general. Dosbox for the most part does just as well if not better but lacks that certain something, for you OPL is key part of that certain something, It's just that's not everyone's case and its trying to find that fine line between recommendations and forcing an option, especially with things like soundcards which people have strong opinions about.

andre_6 wrote on 2021-05-06, 14:13:

How come when talking about DOS sound people always emphasize the importance of the sound card and not the stereo speakers? Are the speakers' role that diminished overall?

Not at all, good speakers are a must!
ISA soundcards are all pretty noisy, Adlib/Midi is limited to the sound generator's capabilities and digital sound is low quality due to space restrictions.
But just as hooking up a decent set of speakers to your Walkman example before isn't going to be a rival a true stereo system it'll make what you are working with sound better

Maybe its because PC speakers from the 90's are generally crap, or maybe it's because you have to draw the line somewhere. Other peripherals such as keyboards, mice, screens, desks, chairs don't get that much of a mention either.

Reply 34 of 100, by andre_6

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chinny22 wrote on 2021-05-07, 12:18:
Not at all, good speakers are a must! ISA soundcards are all pretty noisy, Adlib/Midi is limited to the sound generator's capab […]
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Not at all, good speakers are a must!
ISA soundcards are all pretty noisy, Adlib/Midi is limited to the sound generator's capabilities and digital sound is low quality due to space restrictions.
But just as hooking up a decent set of speakers to your Walkman example before isn't going to be a rival a true stereo system it'll make what you are working with sound better

Maybe its because PC speakers from the 90's are generally crap, or maybe it's because you have to draw the line somewhere. Other peripherals such as keyboards, mice, screens, desks, chairs don't get that much of a mention either.

I guess I will have to test the Vibra with more than a pair of speakers, to at least choose from the rightfully named "generally crap" 90's options I have on hand.

Soon I should approach the software phase, to which I would like (once more) to ask for help from you guys, some things are confusing me even after some research:

I searched for drivers for the Vibra CT4180 and got them in a floppy, but for the drivers for my OAK 077 16-BIT ISA VGA graphics card I only found files / folders bigger than 1.44mb. I'm sure I am missing something obvious, how do you guys do in these instances? Surely the cards came with installation disks at the time, so why are the files so big?

I didn't find my graphics card on the Vogons drivers library, so I looked elsewhere. Should I download a more general OAK drivers file from Vogons' library instead?

Again, thank you guys for your help, it's great (and also way more reassuring) having you along for the ride

Reply 35 of 100, by chinny22

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Originally drivers would have been split between 2 disks, Say 1 disk for Dos/Win9x and another for OS2 or whatever.
Then came the internet and it was simply more convenient to have everything zipped up in the 1 file.

You've got a couple of options.
You can unpack the files and just copy ones needed to the floppy disk, Usually each OS gets its own folder and you just need to copy that one folder.
Create a "restore" CD. You'll still need a boot floppy to get the CD drive up and running but then you have 700MB to play with for drivers and software.

Personally I create a small "recovery partition" Usually has a copy of the OS, and at the very least drivers to get networking working on that PC.
Then I can copy larger drivers, software and anything else over the network where space isn't an issue.
Networking IS a bit tricky to setup at first, but once it just makes life so much easier 😀

DOS doesn't actually need video card drivers and Windows 3 It just enables SVGA. so both the ones you found or generic ones (if they work) will be fine, whichever you'd prefer to use

Reply 36 of 100, by andre_6

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chinny22 wrote on 2021-05-10, 13:06:
Originally drivers would have been split between 2 disks, Say 1 disk for Dos/Win9x and another for OS2 or whatever. Then came t […]
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Originally drivers would have been split between 2 disks, Say 1 disk for Dos/Win9x and another for OS2 or whatever.
Then came the internet and it was simply more convenient to have everything zipped up in the 1 file.

You've got a couple of options.
You can unpack the files and just copy ones needed to the floppy disk, Usually each OS gets its own folder and you just need to copy that one folder.
Create a "restore" CD. You'll still need a boot floppy to get the CD drive up and running but then you have 700MB to play with for drivers and software.

Personally I create a small "recovery partition" Usually has a copy of the OS, and at the very least drivers to get networking working on that PC.
Then I can copy larger drivers, software and anything else over the network where space isn't an issue.
Networking IS a bit tricky to setup at first, but once it just makes life so much easier 😀

DOS doesn't actually need video card drivers and Windows 3 It just enables SVGA. so both the ones you found or generic ones (if they work) will be fine, whichever you'd prefer to use

Thank you so much, it all makes sense now. As soon as I get through all the hardware stuff to solve I am really looking forward to install MS-DOS 6.22 and Win 3.1 for the first time, already had some fun making all the floppies. Couldn't have done it without you and everyone else!

Deksor wrote on 2021-05-02, 15:40:

Thanks for the photo !
It really is the same board, that's so strange, why give two names for litterally the same thing ? 🤣

I noticed I have a blown capacitor in the CT3 position on the board beside the Dallas Chip, I was thinking of replacing it but I was also intrigued by Darkscop's image on the board's page: http://www.win3x.org/uh19/motherboard/show/2399
Would it be possible to find out why he simply removed the CT1 to CT4 capacitors, and the reasons for the wiring beside the Dallas chip? Many thanks in advance

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Reply 37 of 100, by Deksor

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Nice catch !

The reason why removed the caps to me is explained by the photo with the blown cap. They were probably shorted and they're not that useful, so he simply removed them to get the motherboard to start again. As for the wires coming from the battery, I that's probably made to restore the CMOS saving feature (as this chip contains a battery which dies over time).

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Reply 38 of 100, by andre_6

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Deksor wrote on 2021-05-11, 21:45:

Nice catch !

The reason why removed the caps to me is explained by the photo with the blown cap. They were probably shorted and they're not that useful, so he simply removed them to get the motherboard to start again. As for the wires coming from the battery, I that's probably made to restore the CMOS saving feature (as this chip contains a battery which dies over time).

If they are totally expendable I would honestly prefer to just remove them. As for the wiring, is that an alternative method to this: https://www.classic-computers.org.nz/blog/200 … paq-slt-286.htm

Or did he replace the Dallas chip too, if you do know it? Thanks for the fast reply

Reply 39 of 100, by Eep386

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The Dallas chip looks original. The datecode starting with 92 would indicate that.
I hope the battery isn't flat... but fortunately, even if it is, you can still buy brand new Dallas chips, look on Farnell, Mouser or Digi-Key for 'DS12887+' or 'DS12887A+'.

Life isn't long enough to re-enable every hidden option in every BIOS on every board... 🙁