Dos 7.1 Himem/EMS- boot freeze on HP z400 X58 6c/12t - solved+philosophic discussion about machine sense and progress

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Dos 7.1 Himem/EMS- boot freeze on HP z400 X58 6c/12t - solved+philosophic discussion about machine sense and progress

Postby ruthan » 2018-5-31 @ 00:42

Hell ou,
i would like to ask for help with my HP z400 machine and Windows98- Dos 7 memory
configuration.

I never was expert in Autoexec and Config configuration. I have menu with
5 options - 2 for WIndows 98 which are working fine and 3 for Dos, i downloaded
most of this config somewhere years ago and modified it.
I think that problematic it is worked how it is on other machines (compared it by eye checks, not with some software comparators), but could make a mistake, typos or something like that.

I use 3 Dos config branches:
1) Dos XMS - no EMS - freezing after or during himem start - picture below
2) Protected mod - working
3) Dos EMS - freezing during or after - picture below

https://www.dropbox.com/s/9ahs0k4snmntr ... u.png?dl=0

Hardware:
X58 HP branded Mainboard and last BIOS 3.60
Xeon 6cores/12 threads CPU
8 GB DDR3 ECC
GPU1: ATI X800 XL for Dos and Win98
GP2: Gefore 730 for modern OSes
i Bios i can select primary GPU slot, but for my pure Dos problem is doesnt matters.
HDD - Sata WD Raptor 160 GB, HDD is MBR based 3 primary partition and extended partition with few other partatitions
IDE Samsung DVD-RW - im using cheap IDE to Sata convertor, because i wanted to
play CD music with analog cable connection to soundcard, i only IDE DVD drivers
probably have that audio header for that. Modern OSes could to do it digitally
but Windows 98 and Dos probably dont, or not out of box, i really like CD audio
during during.
Soudcard - Creative Audigy
Network card - Broadcom 5721 - Working in Win98-Windows10
onBoard network and soundcard disabled

Sata devices controller boot screen (picture):
https://www.dropbox.com/s/9lg1v5es8xfeo ... s.jpg?dl=0

Software:
Linux, Windows 98 Windows XP and Windows 7 are working fine.

Because Win98 512MB+ RAM problem, im using HimemX.exe for Freedos from SourceForge - laste version tested too, instead original Himem.sys

Dos- XMS branch freeze on this:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/nrvg264uj9dyk ... e.jpg?dl=0

Dos EMM386 branch freeze on this:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/y5h3ypipmr7qy ... e.jpg?dl=0

All config files and drivers are in archive, you are welcome to try it, autoexec and config are heavy commented, if not work msdos.sys has to be modified to show boot menu instead of autoboot to Windows 98.
https://www.dropbox.com/s/pbcugn3ve7qwh ... rs.7z?dl=0

I have problem to insert Dropbox pictures by link so i have add urls instead..

Any help welcome.
Last edited by ruthan on 2018-7-05 @ 18:35, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Need help with Pure Dos 7.0 Himem/EMM386 settings - freezing during booting on HP z400 X58 6c/12t machine

Postby collector » 2018-5-31 @ 06:58

Ask old hardware and driver/configuration questions in Marvin. This forum is for old Windows games on modern systems. http://www.vogons.org/viewforum.php?f=60
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Re: Need help with Pure Dos 7.0 Himem/EMM386 settings - freezing during booting on HP z400 X58 6c/12t machine

Postby ruthan » 2018-5-31 @ 13:41

Could someone move that post?
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Re: Need help with Pure Dos 7.0 Himem/EMM386 settings - freezing during booting on HP z400 X58 6c/12t machine

Postby Falcosoft » 2018-6-01 @ 08:02

Hi,
1. According to your config files the freezing is most likely caused by EMM386. Your 'Dos XMS - no EMS' config is rather weird since it also loads EMM386. Loading EMM386 with NOEMS option is not required to get XMS. Only HIMEM.SYS is required for XMS, that is the extended memory manager. So this block in your config.sys does not make any sense:
[xms]
rem Manager of extended memory, which set this memory as Extended - XMS
DEVICE=C:\WINDOWS\EMM386.EXE noems

The only thing that EMM386 does with this option is creating upper memory blocks so you can use DEVICEHIGH/LH. But unfortunately EMM386 also switches your CPU into protected/V86 mode that has many restrictions and compatibility issues. If you only need more conventional memory use UMBPCI instead. This way your strangely named 'Dos Protected mode' (this is actually your real XMS only config) would become unnecessary.

2. If point 1 proves to be true and your problem is loading EMM386 then you can try more modern alternatives such as JEMM386. But first you should try to disable AHCI/RAID modes in your BIOS. Both EMM386 and JEMM386 often have problems loading on systems where RAID/AHCI is active (maybe page frame conflicts). When RAID/AHCI is enabled you have less conventional memory available for DOS so for pure DOS usage it always makes sense to switch to native IDE mode anyway.
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Re: Need help with Pure Dos 7.0 Himem/EMM386 settings - freezing during booting on HP z400 X58 6c/12t machine

Postby gdjacobs » 2018-6-01 @ 16:51

RAID/AHCI shouldn't be used for DOS or Win98. IDE mode is more compatible with legacy interfaces used by older operating systems.
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Re: Need help with Pure Dos 7.0 Himem/EMM386 settings - freezing during booting on HP z400 X58 6c/12t machine

Postby Stiletto » 2018-6-04 @ 21:41

Moved.
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Re: Need help with Pure Dos 7.0 Himem/EMM386 settings - freezing during booting on HP z400 X58 6c/12t machine

Postby oeuvre » 2018-6-06 @ 12:56

May I ask why would you install 98 on a six core system, especially when it can only use 1 core anyways? Just VM it
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Re: Need help with Pure Dos 7.0 Himem/EMM386 settings - freezing during booting on HP z400 X58 6c/12t machine

Postby Falcosoft » 2018-6-06 @ 16:47

oeuvre wrote:May I ask why would you install 98 on a six core system, especially when it can only use 1 core anyways? Just VM it

Maybe he only wants to use 'Windows98 - Dos 7' mode as he had written. Installing/using DOS even on such a modern system can make sense. E.g. accessing/testing hardware (registers/ports) in real mode DOS is more easy/safe than under Windows. It's true that under DOS only the bootstrap CPU core is active but you can freely modify its model specific registers (MSR) and so on. You can not do this on any VM since hardware is virtualized.
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Re: Need help with Pure Dos 7.0 Himem/EMM386 settings - freezing during booting on HP z400 X58 6c/12t machine

Postby agent_x007 » 2018-6-08 @ 20:28

Because it's LGA 1366, the most flexible platform ever created (up to this point) :)
I recommend hardware locking 5 of the 6 cores available and disabling HT in BIOS.

PS. I used DOS 6.22 on i7 980X ;)
You can use 512MB+ memory, if you install Loew's patch for Win 98.
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Re: Need help with Pure Dos 7.0 Himem/EMM386 settings - freezing during booting on HP z400 X58 6c/12t machine

Postby ruthan » 2018-6-25 @ 02:09

May I ask why would you install 98 on a six core system, especially when it can only use 1 core anyways? Just VM it

Its common answer from people who understand Windows 98 and how virtualization works, you have to virtualizace not only CPU and MB, but you have to virtualize all device - graphics card, soundcard, network card and you need drivers for all of that.. Windows 98 for few retro boys is not big market for Vmware or Oracle (Virtualbox) or QEMU guys, so there are only some drivers for 2D graphics cards, which could make to work office aplications.. but is not useful Direct3D 9 / OpenGL capable driver.
Same problem is with PowerMac virtualization with QEMU, PC is MB emulation is there but not sound and decent graphics..
Im old goal oriented goatman, i care about facts and freedom, not about egos+prejudices. Hoarding=sickness. If you want respect, gain it by your behavior. I hate stupid SW limits, SW=virtual world, everything should be possible if you have enough HW.
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Re: Need help with Pure Dos 7.0 Himem/EMM386 settings - freezing during booting on HP z400 X58 6c/12t machine

Postby ruthan » 2018-6-25 @ 02:15

RAID/AHCI shouldn't be used for DOS or Win98. IDE mode is more compatible with legacy interfaces used by older operating systems.

Yeah that is theory, but it works at least for most of games which i have tested, there would be probably something like legacy fallback on Bios level, which is Dos 7 using.. Yeah i thing that i can still switch bios to IDE, but is annoying and slow down other OS on multiboot machine.

For Windows 98, there are black magic rloews paid patches.. except Geforce 7 patch i have good experience with them, only documentation and debug is my eyes very cumbersome and too oldskull in bad way, forget on something like diagnostic and autodetection of best option.
Im old goal oriented goatman, i care about facts and freedom, not about egos+prejudices. Hoarding=sickness. If you want respect, gain it by your behavior. I hate stupid SW limits, SW=virtual world, everything should be possible if you have enough HW.
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Re: Need help with Pure Dos 7.0 Himem/EMM386 settings - freezing during booting on HP z400 X58 6c/12t machine

Postby ruthan » 2018-6-25 @ 02:35

Falcosoft wrote:1. According to your config files the freezing is most likely caused by EMM386. Your 'Dos XMS - no EMS' config is rather weird since it also loads EMM386. Loading EMM386 with NOEMS option is not required to get XMS. Only HIMEM.SYS is required for XMS, that is the extended memory manager. So this block in your config.sys does not make any sense:
[xms]
rem Manager of extended memory, which set this memory as Extended - XMS
DEVICE=C:\WINDOWS\EMM386.EXE noems

The only thing that EMM386 does with this option is creating upper memory blocks so you can use DEVICEHIGH/LH. But unfortunately EMM386 also switches your CPU into protected/V86 mode that has many restrictions and compatibility issues. If you only need more conventional memory use UMBPCI instead. This way your strangely named 'Dos Protected mode' (this is actually your real XMS only config) would become unnecessary.


Thanks that response what i needed, as i stated before i never fully understand know EMS/Himem works and i downloaded base of this config somewhere a 5+ years ago, maybe some parts are from Phil or Rayer i really dont remember. Years ago i had some working autoexec and config, created with help of my uncle and never needed to edit EMS/Himem part it just worked.

1. So make it clear, i just need to remove this line - DEVICE=C:\WINDOWS\EMM386.EXE noems ? Second part you are saying that
1) Dos XMS - no EMS (after disabling that line ) would same as 2) Protected mod? => I need only new XMS/EMMS boot menu option to make Dos games working?

2. If point 1 proves to be true and your problem is loading EMM386 then you can try more modern alternatives such as JEMM386. But first you should try to disable AHCI/RAID modes in your BIOS. Both EMM386 and JEMM386 often have problems loading on systems where RAID/AHCI is active (maybe page frame conflicts). When RAID/AHCI is enabled you have less conventional memory available for DOS so for pure DOS usage it always makes sense to switch to native IDE mode anyway.

Ok, i will try it, but as i wrote 2 is booting even that settings.

I never used JEMM386, if it would be needed, could you update my configuration files for it? Its free?
Im old goal oriented goatman, i care about facts and freedom, not about egos+prejudices. Hoarding=sickness. If you want respect, gain it by your behavior. I hate stupid SW limits, SW=virtual world, everything should be possible if you have enough HW.
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Re: Need help with Pure Dos 7.0 Himem/EMM386 settings - freezing during booting on HP z400 X58 6c/12t machine

Postby ruthan » 2018-6-25 @ 02:52

Ok, i tested IDE Bios option, both problematic boot options are now working, no freeze at all, thanks.

Question its really related to whole Bios disc controller settings, or its related only to boot drive? Because if its related only to boot driver, i can used some additional PCI/ PCI-E disk controller for DOS driver + special DOS HDD/SSD and still keep AHCI enable for modern OSes on other SSD.

I have something from with CD-ROM drive setting, driver letter is not visible, driver is detected on BIOS level.
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Re: Need help with Pure Dos 7.0 Himem/EMM386 settings - freezing during booting on HP z400 X58 6c/12t machine

Postby Falcosoft » 2018-6-25 @ 05:30

ruthan wrote:Ok, i tested IDE Bios option, both problematic boot options are now working, no freeze at all, thanks.

I'm glad it helped.

ruthan wrote:
1. So make it clear, i just need to remove this line - DEVICE=C:\WINDOWS\EMM386.EXE noems ? Second part you are saying that
1) Dos XMS - no EMS (after disabling that line ) would same as 2) Protected mod? => I need only new XMS/EMMS boot menu option to make Dos games working?

Basically yes. Just a few games require EMM386 (they usually refer to this requirement as Expanded memory/EMS) the majority of games only require HIMEM loaded (referred as Extended memory/XMS).

I never used JEMM386, if it would be needed, could you update my configuration files for it? Its free?

Yes, it's free. Actually it's the default memory manager of FreeDOS. You can download it from here:
http://www.ibiblio.org/pub/micro/pc-stu ... 6/jemm386/
(Select the JEMM578B.zip package. 'B' means binary 'S' means source here).
Then copy JEMM386.EXE from the package to the same place where your current EMM386.exe is and then change 'EMM386' to 'JEMM386' in your config files. :) . That's all.

ruthan wrote: Question its really related to whole Bios disc controller settings, or its related only to boot drive? Because if its related only to boot driver, i can used some additional PCI/ PCI-E disk controller for DOS driver + special DOS HDD/SSD and still keep AHCI enable for modern OSes on other SSD.

Unfortunately no, it's not a per drive setting. If you enable AHCI/RAID in Bios the handling routines are loaded into the below 1MB area making you less conventional memory and EMM386 conflicts even if you do not attach any drives to your SATA ports.

ruthan wrote:I have something from with CD-ROM drive setting, driver letter is not visible, driver is detected on BIOS level.

Try adding 'LASTDRIVE=Z' command to your config.sys file.
Also you need to change the 'C:\WINDOWS\COMMAND\MSCDEX /D:OPTICAL' line in ':dosXMS' section of your autoexec.bat to 'C:\WINDOWS\COMMAND\MSCDEX /D:CDROM' if your only active CDROM driver is initialized like 'DEVICEHIGH=C:\DRIVERS\GCDROM.SYS /D:CDROM' (as currently is).
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Re: Need help with Pure Dos 7.0 Himem/EMM386 settings - freezing during booting on HP z400 X58 6c/12t machine

Postby ruthan » 2018-6-27 @ 05:00

@Falcosoft Thanks for reply.

Unfortunately no, it's not a per drive setting. If you enable AHCI/RAID in Bios the handling routines are loaded into the below 1MB area making you less conventional memory and EMM386 conflicts even if you do not attach any drives to your SATA ports.

What about reverse solution, keep BIOS Sata controller in IDE mode and add some PCI-E Sata controller in AHCI mode for modern OSes? Would it use some address space?

CD-ROM, it fixed it by using this old line:
LH C:\WINDOWS\COMMAND\MSCDEX.EXE /D:CDROM /L:E

Now i still have 2 things to fix to declare pure Dos on this machine as very successful project in general. I know that there will be some per game issues on such new machine, but these are problems for other days.

1) Sound card - i really dont know if SB emulation could work on such new board, most modern board where i maked SB emulation working was Core 2 Duo Conroe 865PE MB, but at least Blood setup - Music card checking sample is playing fine..
Im disscussion this in other thread:
viewtopic.php?f=62&t=57321#p680642

2) I dont see second FAT32 DATA partition in Pure Dos - i will create post about it later, there big change that this is fixable..
Im old goal oriented goatman, i care about facts and freedom, not about egos+prejudices. Hoarding=sickness. If you want respect, gain it by your behavior. I hate stupid SW limits, SW=virtual world, everything should be possible if you have enough HW.
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Re: Need help with Pure Dos 7.0 Himem/EMM386 settings - freezing during booting on HP z400 X58 6c/12t machine

Postby ruthan » 2018-6-27 @ 05:03

agent_x007 wrote:Because it's LGA 1366, the most flexible platform ever created (up to this point) :)
I recommend hardware locking 5 of the 6 cores available and disabling HT in BIOS.

PS. I used DOS 6.22 on i7 980X ;)
You can use 512MB+ memory, if you install Loew's patch for Win 98.


I wonder if you were able to make Sounds card for games working in Pure dos with LGA1366? Because for now, dont know anybody who does make it with anything newer than Core 2 Duo MB.
Im old goal oriented goatman, i care about facts and freedom, not about egos+prejudices. Hoarding=sickness. If you want respect, gain it by your behavior. I hate stupid SW limits, SW=virtual world, everything should be possible if you have enough HW.
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Postby dr_st » 2018-6-27 @ 08:33

I love these threads. People come up with these project ideas with incredibly dumb and pointless configurations and then spend weeks and months trying to hack and kludge around hardware incompatibilities, just so that they can run this one game in "PURE DOS MODE!!! RRAAHHRR!!" which would probably run ten times better in DOSBox on their hardware, and this other game for which they have the original buggy 1.0 install CD, which only works in Windows 98 with 3dfx (and never mind that a patched and improved version, compatible with every Windows up to 10 is available).

And since folks here LOVE wasting time on useless retro projects (Hey, yours truly just setup a 98/2K dual boot on a Thinkpad A21m, yay!), everyone chimes in to offer their insights. So in the general spirit, I will also offer mine.

  1. Stop using those exaggerated multi-option multi-stupidity config/autoexec files written by over-engineering morons who think that over-complicating crap makes them look smart. You don't need five configurations for DOS, you only need one, which should load everything you need, including XMS, EMS and any drivers.
  2. Verify first that EMM386 is actually the thing causing problems, by removing it.
  3. Once verified, try an alternate EMS manager, like the suggested JEMM386.
  4. If that does not work either, try the UMB-only solution (UMBPCI) and accept the fact that games that require EMS will not run on this setup.
  5. My mistake - above struck-out text is irrelevant as changing SATA controller to IDE fixed everything.
  6. Good luck.

P.S. Yes, I know that half the reason for these ridiculously out-of-place builds is just "to prove that it can be done". Still, you have to keep in mind, that this proof has limited practical value, since even if it can be done, no one sane should want to do it for any actual use cases.

P.P.S. If you want to know how a good, simple, useful set of Config/Autoexec startup files should look, check out mine in this post. There is no better set of startup files in existence; it took months and years of fine-tuning to reach this conclusion. Generally, all you would need to do is comment out all the soundcard crap (since you don't have an ISA soundcard), and change the paths to point to wherever your drivers actually reside. Of course, they were written for sane, somewhat period-correct setups, where EMM386 actually works without crashing, and where SMARTDRV can be useful (heck, I don't even know if it wouldn't crash and destroy your hard drive).
Last edited by dr_st on 2018-6-28 @ 06:59, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Need help with Pure Dos 7.0 Himem/EMM386 settings - freezing during booting on HP z400 X58 6c/12t machine

Postby oeuvre » 2018-6-27 @ 13:17

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Re:

Postby gdjacobs » 2018-6-27 @ 17:50

dr_st wrote:I love these threads. People come up with these project ideas with incredibly dumb and pointless configurations and then spend weeks and months trying to hack and kludge around hardware incompatibilities, just so that they can run this one game in "PURE DOS MODE!!! RRAAHHRR!!" which would probably run ten times better in DOSBox on their hardware, and this other game for which they have the original buggy 1.0 install CD, which only works in Windows 98 with 3dfx (and never mind that a patched and improved version, compatible with every Windows up to 10 is available).

And since folks here LOVE wasting time on useless retro projects (Hey, yours truly just setup a 98/2K dual boot on a Thinkpad A21m, yay!), everyone chimes in to offer their insights. So in the general spirit, I will also offer mine.

  1. Stop using those exaggerated multi-option multi-stupidity config/autoexec files written by over-engineering morons who think that over-complicating crap makes them look smart. You don't need five configurations for DOS, you only need one, which should load everything you need, including XMS, EMS and any drivers.
  2. Verify first that EMM386 is actually the thing causing problems, by removing it.
  3. Once verified, try an alternate EMS manager, like the suggested JEMM386.
  4. If that does not work either, try the UMB-only solution (UMBPCI) and accept the fact that games that require EMS will not run on this setup.
  5. Good luck.

P.S. Yes, I know that half the reason for these ridiculously out-of-place builds is just "to prove that it can be done". Still, you have to keep in mind, that this proof has limited practical value, since even if it can be done, no one sane should want to do it for any actual use cases.

P.P.S. If you want to know how a good, simple, useful set of Config/Autoexec startup files should look, check out mine in this post. There is no better set of startup files in existence; it took months and years of fine-tuning to reach this conclusion. Generally, all you would need to do is comment out all the soundcard crap (since you don't have an ISA soundcard), and change the paths to point to wherever your drivers actually reside. Of course, they were written for sane, somewhat period-correct setups, where EMM386 actually works without crashing, and where SMARTDRV can be useful (heck, I don't even know if it wouldn't crash and destroy your hard drive).


I love these posts where people claim to speak for the entire universe while blithely ignoring what others actually might need or want.
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Re: Need help with Pure Dos 7.0 Himem/EMM386 settings - freezing during booting on HP z400 X58 6c/12t machine

Postby ruthan » 2018-6-27 @ 17:57

@dr_st - Lots of words, i have Core 2 Duo machine which is working quite well for pure Dos, its logical and even valid form scientificperspective, to try to move it to 1 step further and that is SC1366 or first generations of Core i architecture. Core i MB seems to be dead end because of not working SB emulation, SC1366 test in progress..

Yeah i could have zillions machines and waste of money+space, even more cables and make proven 386,486, early pentium, later pentium builds for other and other machine for WIndows 98.. but i was bold and try Core 2 Duo instead of that and it worked.. and know im trying SC1366 Xeon for to make it even better, for me its hobby and its forth of try.. other people are now wasting time watching soccer.

On such machines, i could try pure Dos and DosBox and select what is better for particular game and same every Windows version for Win98 to Win7/10.
Because you know except crushing your enemies, best thing in life is possibility of choice.. and pc backwards compatibility give you lots of choices.
Im old goal oriented goatman, i care about facts and freedom, not about egos+prejudices. Hoarding=sickness. If you want respect, gain it by your behavior. I hate stupid SW limits, SW=virtual world, everything should be possible if you have enough HW.
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