VOGONS


First post, by DCG Retrowave

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My only modern PC is a 2014 Lenovo Thinkcentre M78 SFF A8-6500 which is good enough for the few things I require from a modern computer. However, because this business machine has PS/2, two serial ports, and two PCI slots, I have this incredible urge to install very old things on it and see what happens 😁

Sure, Lenovo's website has Windows XP drivers for this model and I have run XP on here before, but that's not good enough! My goal is to run MS-DOS 6.22 on a secondary hard drive with Windows for Workgroups 3.11 because I can! I have plenty of older computers that are better suited for DOS and Windows 3.1 (I have a fantastic MS-DOS/Windows 3.1 PC set up at my main desk with a beautiful CRT and the amazing Roland Sound Canvas SC-88), but why wouldn't I enjoy having a Windows 10/MS-DOS hybrid PC? 😁 This is simply a fun project I've been wanting to do for quite some time, partially inspired by LGR's video regarding MS-DOS compatibility on a modern gaming PC.

After ripping the small form factor PC apart and shoving all the components into an old beige case (not easy because the motherboard's ATX connector is proprietary so I'm stuck with the original PSU hanging by a single screw 🤣), I was ready to get a full sized PCI sound card installed. My two PCI sound cards that aren't currently in use in another PC are two AudioPCI cards, one has the ES1371 chip (I don't see any model number on the card) and the other one has the ES1373 chip (CT5803, Sound Blaster 16 PCI). Unfortunately, while both work in Windows 10 using Vista drivers from Windows update, neither of them work with any DOS drivers on Vogons or archive.org. The drivers appear to load normally when DOS starts, but when I run APTEST (AKA SBTEST when testing the newer drivers) it says it can't detect a PCI sound card. My BIOS doesn't have any PCI options aside from setting the default graphics card to PCI and for audio, it just lets me disable the on-board Realtek. To make sure that DOS/Windows3.1 simply can't detect PCI devices at all on this machine, I threw a S3 ViRGE DX 4MB in this PC and sure enough, Windows for Workgroups let me install the drivers and now I have higher resolutions and color depths. Of course, Windows 10 is now very confused and wants me to use dual displays 🤣

So, is this just an issue with the AudioPCI cards, the drivers, my modern motherboard, or something else? At least I know both sound cards work in Windows 10 and the S3 ViRGE proves that DOS/Windows 3.1 are able to detect PCI devices in this machine. Obviously, I am fully aware that this is a ridiculous setup for such an old operating system, but it's a fun experiment for me and I'd really love to get sound working. If anyone has any PCI sound card recommendations (preferably not too expensive because this is just for fun) or any advice on how to get one of the AudioPCI cards working in DOS, that would be greatly appreciated 😁

P.S. Yes, I know DOSBox exists, but that's too easy 😁

DCG Retrowave
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC4xHzJ94Fji7psz45rF_Bhw

Reply 1 of 21, by darry

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PCI audio under DOS (SB compatible) on a system this recent is going to be a challenge . Other than the lack of chipset support for some of the feature these older sound cards require for DOS support (DDMA, NMI, etc), you may be hitting timing issues because of much higher CPU speeds than that of legacy hardware .

This thread will probably give you some insights on what could work (tests run on an older but still relatively modern board) . --> X58/i865/V880 - Yamaha7x4/AurealV1/2 pure Dos7.1- compatibility list/research/ultim. drivers configs, WIP- gurus needed

Reply 2 of 21, by DCG Retrowave

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Older, but still relatively modern perfectly describes my 2014 Lenovo I'd say 😁

I just watched a video by PhilsComputerLab with Windows 98 running just fine on a Core 2 Quad and I also found a video with Windows 98 running on a Core I5. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nGNOxuAmeWc DOOM with FM sound on a modernish PC 😳

I'm not exactly sure what this AMD board is fully capable of, but I'd be wiling to give Windows 98SE a shot and run DOS games that way (assuming my AudioPCI will function properly in Windows 98 on this PC). I'm familiar with Windows 98/ME having issues with more RAM than 512MB (I have 4GB), but I seem to remember there being a workaround. Also, I no longer have an optical drive in this PC because the motherboard actually has the power connectors for SATA devices, not the PSU, and I'm limited to two devices, currently two hard drives. I remember having issues installing Windows 98 on an Intel Atom netbook years ago with a USB DVD drive (I'm still using that drive for this PC now that the internal drive has been removed). How exactly would I install WIndows 98 on this machine and somehow fix that RAM issue? Also, would 98 overwrite the MBR on the drive and prevent DOS 6.22 from booting? I would like to keep that 2GB partition in its current state for now.

DCG Retrowave
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC4xHzJ94Fji7psz45rF_Bhw

Reply 3 of 21, by BinaryDemon

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Based on that thread linked above, it looks like your only chance might be the Aureal Vortex. Your FM2 chipset is newer than x58 and less likely to retain legacy features.

Check out DOSBox Distro:

https://sites.google.com/site/dosboxdistro/ [*]

a lightweight Linux distro (tinycore) which boots off a usb flash drive and goes straight to DOSBox.

Make your dos retrogaming experience portable!

Reply 4 of 21, by darry

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DCG Retrowave wrote on 2020-05-31, 18:44:

Older, but still relatively modern perfectly describes my 2014 Lenovo I'd say 😁

I just watched a video by PhilsComputerLab with Windows 98 running just fine on a Core 2 Quad and I also found a video with Windows 98 running on a Core I5. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nGNOxuAmeWc DOOM with FM sound on a modernish PC 😳

I'm not exactly sure what this AMD board is fully capable of, but I'd be wiling to give Windows 98SE a shot and run DOS games that way (assuming my AudioPCI will function properly in Windows 98 on this PC). I'm familiar with Windows 98/ME having issues with more RAM than 512MB (I have 4GB), but I seem to remember there being a workaround. Also, I no longer have an optical drive in this PC because the motherboard actually has the power connectors for SATA devices, not the PSU, and I'm limited to two devices, currently two hard drives. I remember having issues installing Windows 98 on an Intel Atom netbook years ago with a USB DVD drive (I'm still using that drive for this PC now that the internal drive has been removed). How exactly would I install WIndows 98 on this machine and somehow fix that RAM issue? Also, would 98 overwrite the MBR on the drive and prevent DOS 6.22 from booting? I would like to keep that 2GB partition in its current state for now.

One way around the RAM issue is to use HIMEMX instead of himem.sys and limit RAM to 512MB . If you realky want more RAM, you can then install rloew's memory patch and remove the artificial RAM limit .

You cannot run DOS 6.22 and Windows 98 from the same partition. If you are going to run Windows 98, I do not see the point in running DOS 6.22 as well (Windows 98 comes with DOS 7.1 which works well). If you really want to run both, I suggest using another drive and using your BIOS to switch which one is used for boot . Alternatively, if you want both on rhe same drive, you could use a boot manager to choose which partition (DOS 6.22 or Windows 98) you boot from . I personally hate boot managers and avoid them whenever possible .

Reply 5 of 21, by DCG Retrowave

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darry wrote on 2020-05-31, 19:09:
DCG Retrowave wrote on 2020-05-31, 18:44:

Older, but still relatively modern perfectly describes my 2014 Lenovo I'd say 😁

I just watched a video by PhilsComputerLab with Windows 98 running just fine on a Core 2 Quad and I also found a video with Windows 98 running on a Core I5. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nGNOxuAmeWc DOOM with FM sound on a modernish PC 😳

I'm not exactly sure what this AMD board is fully capable of, but I'd be wiling to give Windows 98SE a shot and run DOS games that way (assuming my AudioPCI will function properly in Windows 98 on this PC). I'm familiar with Windows 98/ME having issues with more RAM than 512MB (I have 4GB), but I seem to remember there being a workaround. Also, I no longer have an optical drive in this PC because the motherboard actually has the power connectors for SATA devices, not the PSU, and I'm limited to two devices, currently two hard drives. I remember having issues installing Windows 98 on an Intel Atom netbook years ago with a USB DVD drive (I'm still using that drive for this PC now that the internal drive has been removed). How exactly would I install WIndows 98 on this machine and somehow fix that RAM issue? Also, would 98 overwrite the MBR on the drive and prevent DOS 6.22 from booting? I would like to keep that 2GB partition in its current state for now.

One way around the RAM issue is to use HIMEMX instead of himem.sys and limit RAM to 512MB . If you realky want more RAM, you can then install rloew's memory patch and remove the artificial RAM limit .

You cannot run DOS 6.22 and Windows 98 from the same partition. If you are going to run Windows 98, I do not see the point in running DOS 6.22 as well (Windows 98 comes with DOS 7.1 which works well). If you really want to run both, I suggest using another drive and using your BIOS to switch which one is used for boot . Alternatively, if you want both on rhe same drive, you could use a boot manager to choose which partition (DOS 6.22 or Windows 98) you boot from . I personally hate boot managers and avoid them whenever possible .

I meant a separate partition, but without a boot menu because I also hate using those. Windows 10's for example is so terrible, it boots Windows BEFORE giving you the option to choose an OS (adding extra time before you can select the other OS). If you choose 10, you're immediately at the lock screen because it's already booted and if you choose a different OS such as Windows 7, the PC has to fully reboot, adding even more time to loading 7.

I was thinking that I could just change the active partition with FDISK to change which OS will boot, depending on how Windows 98 configures the MBR. I seem to remember some older OSes leaving other partitions bootable as long as you set them to active.

The reason this is an issue for me is that I have no easy way to reinstall DOS 6.22 if Windows 98 doesn't work and I decide to go back to DOS and accept having no sound for now. I don't have an external USB floppy drive so I had to install DOS with the only working PC I currently have with both a floppy drive and SATA support. I'd rather have DOS 6.22 left alone by Windows 98 just in case so I don't have to pull the hard drive for a reinstallation.

DCG Retrowave
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC4xHzJ94Fji7psz45rF_Bhw

Reply 6 of 21, by darry

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DCG Retrowave wrote on 2020-05-31, 19:34:
I meant a separate partition, but without a boot menu because I also hate using those. Windows 10's for example is so terrible, […]
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darry wrote on 2020-05-31, 19:09:
DCG Retrowave wrote on 2020-05-31, 18:44:

Older, but still relatively modern perfectly describes my 2014 Lenovo I'd say 😁

I just watched a video by PhilsComputerLab with Windows 98 running just fine on a Core 2 Quad and I also found a video with Windows 98 running on a Core I5. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nGNOxuAmeWc DOOM with FM sound on a modernish PC 😳

I'm not exactly sure what this AMD board is fully capable of, but I'd be wiling to give Windows 98SE a shot and run DOS games that way (assuming my AudioPCI will function properly in Windows 98 on this PC). I'm familiar with Windows 98/ME having issues with more RAM than 512MB (I have 4GB), but I seem to remember there being a workaround. Also, I no longer have an optical drive in this PC because the motherboard actually has the power connectors for SATA devices, not the PSU, and I'm limited to two devices, currently two hard drives. I remember having issues installing Windows 98 on an Intel Atom netbook years ago with a USB DVD drive (I'm still using that drive for this PC now that the internal drive has been removed). How exactly would I install WIndows 98 on this machine and somehow fix that RAM issue? Also, would 98 overwrite the MBR on the drive and prevent DOS 6.22 from booting? I would like to keep that 2GB partition in its current state for now.

One way around the RAM issue is to use HIMEMX instead of himem.sys and limit RAM to 512MB . If you realky want more RAM, you can then install rloew's memory patch and remove the artificial RAM limit .

You cannot run DOS 6.22 and Windows 98 from the same partition. If you are going to run Windows 98, I do not see the point in running DOS 6.22 as well (Windows 98 comes with DOS 7.1 which works well). If you really want to run both, I suggest using another drive and using your BIOS to switch which one is used for boot . Alternatively, if you want both on rhe same drive, you could use a boot manager to choose which partition (DOS 6.22 or Windows 98) you boot from . I personally hate boot managers and avoid them whenever possible .

I meant a separate partition, but without a boot menu because I also hate using those. Windows 10's for example is so terrible, it boots Windows BEFORE giving you the option to choose an OS (adding extra time before you can select the other OS). If you choose 10, you're immediately at the lock screen because it's already booted and if you choose a different OS such as Windows 7, the PC has to fully reboot, adding even more time to loading 7.

I was thinking that I could just change the active partition with FDISK to change which OS will boot, depending on how Windows 98 configures the MBR. I seem to remember some older OSes leaving other partitions bootable as long as you set them to active.

The reason this is an issue for me is that I have no easy way to reinstall DOS 6.22 if Windows 98 doesn't work and I decide to go back to DOS and accept having no sound for now. I don't have an external USB floppy drive so I had to install DOS with the only working PC I currently have with both a floppy drive and SATA support. I'd rather have DOS 6.22 left alone by Windows 98 just in case so I don't have to pull the hard drive for a reinstallation.

Backup the DOS install using Clonezilla, Acronis, Ghost, Macrium, etc .

Reply 7 of 21, by derSammler

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darry wrote on 2020-05-31, 19:09:

You cannot run DOS 6.22 and Windows 98 from the same partition.

Of course you can. If DOS 6.22 is already installed when installing Win98, it will be added to the F8 boot menu as "previous version of MS-DOS". That works perfectly fine. Partition must be FAT16, of course (but if DOS 6.22 is installed there, it is anyway).

Reply 8 of 21, by darry

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derSammler wrote on 2020-05-31, 19:58:
darry wrote on 2020-05-31, 19:09:

You cannot run DOS 6.22 and Windows 98 from the same partition.

Of course you can. If DOS 6.22 is already installed when installing Win98, it will be added to the F8 boot menu as "previous version of MS-DOS". That works perfectly fine. Partition must be FAT16, of course (but if DOS 6.22 is installed there, it is anyway).

Thank you, I did not know, or more likely had forgotten that .

EDIT : IMHO, that would still not be an ideal setup. Keeping OSes separate is cleaner and running Windows 9x on a 2GB partition will be cramped (though installing programs on a different partition would alleviate that). That said, I still don't really see the point of running both DOS 6.22 and Windows 98 SE , but to each his own .

Reply 9 of 21, by DCG Retrowave

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MS-DOS 6.22 for Windows 3.1 is one reason (not sure if you can install 3.1 on Windows 98's DOS 7.1).

I just ordered a new in box AOPEN AW744L II on eBay which unfortunately wasn't cheap, meaning I've just spent way more than I personally think this project is worth since I have ISA cards in proper DOS computers already, but hey, if it does work with a more modern computer with limited PCI support (apparently it does, so hopefully it will with my FM2 board), then at least I'll achieve the ultimate goal of this random weekend project 😂

Besides, as a MIDI musician, having a PCI sound card with real OPL3 is always nice 👍

Now to wait for eBay before I experiment further.....and maybe I can pull that S3 ViRGE until then so my main modern PC feels less confused for now 😂

DCG Retrowave
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC4xHzJ94Fji7psz45rF_Bhw

Reply 10 of 21, by darry

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DCG Retrowave wrote on 2020-05-31, 22:45:

MS-DOS 6.22 for Windows 3.1 is one reason (not sure if you can install 3.1 on Windows 98's DOS 7.1).

If you need Windows 3.1 , that is certainly a reason, though there is a way to install Windows 3.11 under DOS 7.1 Making Windows 3.11 work in DOS7.10 (patches inside)

That said, I don't think anyone would recommend running DOS 6.22, Windows 3.1 and Windows 98 on the same 2GB partition (except maybe as an experiment) or at least I would hope not .

Reply 11 of 21, by DCG Retrowave

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I'm looking to stick with either DOS 6.22/WFW3.11 or Windows 98SE/DOS 7.1, with the former being my primary goal and 98SE being my backup plan. If I end up going 98, I might give that 3.1 on DOS 7 thing a try though.

One nice thing about this setup is local multiplayer. Assuming the serial port on this modern PC works in DOS (I haven't tested that yet), I can use my null modem serial cable to link my retro DOS PC for games in the future. Of course, I want sound to work, and if I can pull that off, I won't need an ergonomic setup for another DOS PC in my room because the modern PC can double as my secondary DOS PC for multiplayer 😎

DCG Retrowave
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC4xHzJ94Fji7psz45rF_Bhw

Reply 12 of 21, by DCG Retrowave

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I just noticed that the Windows 10 device manager doesn't list any PCIe-to-PCI bridge and instead lists PCI-to ISA and PCI-to-PCI. While I can't seem to find any clear answer online, it seems like this Socket FM2 board with the AMD A75 chipset might actually have proper PCI support. I'm no hardware expert though, so I could be assuming things incorrectly. I might continue experimenting with the AudioPCI in DOS before the YMF744 arrives just to see if I can get it working.

DCG Retrowave
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC4xHzJ94Fji7psz45rF_Bhw

Reply 13 of 21, by LSS10999

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By default, PCI cards don't work at all under DOS with AMD chipsets. For 700-900 series chipsets, you can load the TSR but it'll have no effect. Games won't even detect the presence of Sound Blaster, so even synths won't work. The situation is worse than ICH6+/nForce southbridges.

On the other hand, I think serial ports (or parallel port if present) should work fine under DOS if they are assigned to the usual I/O address and IRQ (e.g. 3F8h/IRQ3). For most serial ports that come with the SuperIO chips this is usually the case.

Reply 14 of 21, by Jo22

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darry wrote on 2020-05-31, 23:08:
DCG Retrowave wrote on 2020-05-31, 22:45:

MS-DOS 6.22 for Windows 3.1 is one reason (not sure if you can install 3.1 on Windows 98's DOS 7.1).

If you need Windows 3.1 , that is certainly a reason, though there is a way to install Windows 3.11 under DOS 7.1 Making Windows 3.11 work in DOS7.10 (patches inside)

That said, I don't think anyone would recommend running DOS 6.22, Windows 3.1 and Windows 98 on the same 2GB partition (except maybe as an experiment) or at least I would hope not .

From what I remember, vanilla Windows 3.1x (non WfW) runs just fine on Win98 DOS. At least if filesystem is FAT16.
- Back in the late 90s / early 2000s, I kept a Windows 3.1 installation on my Win98SE PC in order to run older software and a WinTV capture card.
If memory serves, I had no issues running Windows 3.1 in Standard-Mode (win /2), at least. Even without any patch.
On WfW 3.11, things may turn out different though. This "OS" uses VFAT and might be confused by Win98 DOS or FAT32.

Edit: Another stumbling block might be the swap file. "Temporary" type should be fine, but the "fixed" one might be causing trouble perhaps.
If memory serves, the "fixed" type is a big, coherent block of something, accessed on the sector level.
That's were Win98 DOS or FAT32 might cause trouble. Unfortunately, WIn32s requires "fixed"..
But on the other hand, who needs Win32s if Win98 is on the same HDD.. 😉

Back in the mid-90s, I had trouble running older disk tools (Compress, Defrag for DOS etc) on Win95 DOS.
In order to get them running, I had to fiddle with that LOCK utility..

"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

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Reply 15 of 21, by darry

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Jo22 wrote on 2020-06-01, 07:56:
From what I remember, vanilla Windows 3.1x (non WfW) runs just fine on Win98 DOS. At least if filesystem is FAT16. - Back in the […]
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darry wrote on 2020-05-31, 23:08:
DCG Retrowave wrote on 2020-05-31, 22:45:

MS-DOS 6.22 for Windows 3.1 is one reason (not sure if you can install 3.1 on Windows 98's DOS 7.1).

If you need Windows 3.1 , that is certainly a reason, though there is a way to install Windows 3.11 under DOS 7.1 Making Windows 3.11 work in DOS7.10 (patches inside)

That said, I don't think anyone would recommend running DOS 6.22, Windows 3.1 and Windows 98 on the same 2GB partition (except maybe as an experiment) or at least I would hope not .

From what I remember, vanilla Windows 3.1x (non WfW) runs just fine on Win98 DOS. At least if filesystem is FAT16.
- Back in the late 90s / early 2000s, I kept a Windows 3.1 installation on my Win98SE PC in order to run older software and a WinTV capture card.
If memory serves, I had no issues running Windows 3.1 in Standard-Mode (win /2), at least. Even without any patch.
On WfW 3.11, things may turn out different though. This "OS" uses VFAT and might be confused by Win98 DOS or FAT32.

Edit: Another stumbling block might be the swap file. "Temporary" type should be fine, but the "fixed" one might be causing trouble perhaps.
If memory serves, the "fixed" type is a big, coherent block of something, accessed on the sector level.
That's were Win98 DOS or FAT32 might cause trouble. Unfortunately, WIn32s requires "fixed"..
But on the other hand, who needs Win32s if Win98 is on the same HDD.. 😉

Back in the mid-90s, I had trouble running older disk tools (Compress, Defrag for DOS etc) on Win95 DOS.
In order to get them running, I had to fiddle with that LOCK utility..

IMHO, another reason to avoid, or at least be careful with, running Windows 9x and DOS 6.22/Windows 3.1 on the same partition is the risk of accidentally running a non long filename aware defragmenter or disk checkup utility and borking all the long filenames in Windows 9x .

Reply 16 of 21, by henk717

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If you are willing to spend some money for your experiment, the AOPEN AW744L that sells for $25 on ebay has good compatibility with more modern systems because the legacy features can be emulated in software with a program called DSDMA that yamaha developed for the card.
Using this program i was able to get the AW744L to work on my old Core i5 system that has a PCI slot.

Another contender could be the ESS Solo-1 which i know Phil had luck with in thin client machines with VIA chipsets, but they are harder to find and i don't know how well that success translates into modern chipsets.

Edit: I originally scrolled over your post mentioning you already ordered the card, its a nice sound card and with the stock WinXP driver the FM Synth midi can be used.
So i think you are going to have a lot of fun with this one, one downside is that on my system the cards resources are all gobbled up by the motherboard, i could not get it to run stable under Windows 98 with the VXD Drivers. The WDM drivers worked however, and in WinXP the gameport had IRQ conflicts and also was unusable on my system. In DOS i got it to fully run.

Reply 17 of 21, by DCG Retrowave

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Yeah, even if it doesn't work in my modernish AMD system, I'll probably end up using it for music production in a retro PC. When you say FM synth works in XP, you mean the OPL3 chip can be used, right? I didn't think that worked, but that would be nice because my main music PC runs Windows XP so adding OPL3 sound to my songs will be very convenient 😎

DCG Retrowave
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC4xHzJ94Fji7psz45rF_Bhw

Reply 18 of 21, by henk717

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DCG Retrowave wrote on 2020-06-01, 14:33:

Yeah, even if it doesn't work in my modernish AMD system, I'll probably end up using it for music production in a retro PC. When you say FM synth works in XP, you mean the OPL3 chip can be used, right? I didn't think that worked, but that would be nice because my main music PC runs Windows XP so adding OPL3 sound to my songs will be very convenient 😎

The OPL3 yes, but only if you use the default Windows XP driver. The moment you install the Yamaha driver it replaces the feature with wavetable midi from Yamaha.

Reply 19 of 21, by DCG Retrowave

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I'll keep that in mind! I know that the default Windows 98 drivers for my Toshiba Satellite's OPL3-SAx worked better for DOS games than Yamaha's own drivers so I guess Microsoft's default drivers for Yamaha things are often the better option 😎

DCG Retrowave
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC4xHzJ94Fji7psz45rF_Bhw