VOGONS


First post, by red_avatar

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This is a toughy. I bought a rather expensive Belkin KVM switch (new old stock) so I wouldn't have to swap cables over every time I wanted to switch PCs. It works GREAT except for one big annoyance: on my Windows 98 P233 MMX, I get black & white image in DOS and Windows 98 loading screen (in colour) hangs.

Here's some more info

- I replaced VGA cable with a known working one - same issue regardless of VGA cable
- sometimes on a cold boot I DO get colour but ONLY if the KVM is set to another channel first. If I turn on the PC, then swap to the right channel, I may get colour on the first try. If I reboot, it's black & white. Once I get B&W, a cold reboot right after keeps giving me B&W.
- the VGA cable runs to the VOODOO 2 but even running it straight to the VGA port on the motherboard does not fix it.
- if I directly hook up the monitor to the PC, I always get colour

Now i don't know enough about VGA to know what's going on - I tried multiple channels on the switch and they all have the problem. My P75, my P3 800 and my Windows XP (Core2Duo) all work perfectly with the same switch. The (S)VGA chip is a S3 Trio864 pretty common chip too.

Anyone know what could cause this issue?

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Reply 1 of 9, by chinny22

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I'm not sure how it can cause Windows to hang. VGA is "dumb" as in is just outputs the signal, it doesn't know or care if something is attached to receive that signal or if its been received ok.
Thats why you can set resolutions to something screen cant handle. It just doesn't care, its the screen that says I cant display this.

That said my Diamond S3 Virge also doesn't like my Compaq KVM. Everything works just shows nothing on screen. it did like my cheap 4 port KVM, and even works if I daisy chain that off the Compaq KVM.
Seems like S3 can be picky on KVM's

Reply 2 of 9, by red_avatar

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chinny22 wrote on 2020-08-27, 08:57:
I'm not sure how it can cause Windows to hang. VGA is "dumb" as in is just outputs the signal, it doesn't know or care if someth […]
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I'm not sure how it can cause Windows to hang. VGA is "dumb" as in is just outputs the signal, it doesn't know or care if something is attached to receive that signal or if its been received ok.
Thats why you can set resolutions to something screen cant handle. It just doesn't care, its the screen that says I cant display this.

That said my Diamond S3 Virge also doesn't like my Compaq KVM. Everything works just shows nothing on screen. it did like my cheap 4 port KVM, and even works if I daisy chain that off the Compaq KVM.
Seems like S3 can be picky on KVM's

It's funny, I was just about to insert a Matrox card since I kind of guessed it was an incompatibility. But yes, Windows DEFINITELY crashes - the bar stops moving after two secs. It's very weird.

Retro game fanatic.
IBM PS1 386SX25 - 4MB
IBM Aptiva 486SX33 - 8MB - 2GB CF - SB16
IBM PC350 P233MMX - 64MB - 32GB SSD - AWE64 - Voodoo2
PIII600 - 320MB - 480GB SSD - SB Live! - GF4 Ti 4200
i5-2500k - 3GB - SB Audigy 2 - HD 4870

Reply 4 of 9, by red_avatar

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chinny22 wrote on 2020-08-27, 09:14:

Oh I believe you, I'm just not sure how its possible 😀

Yeah no kidding - neither do I. But I changed to the Matrox and all problems are solved. The only "problem" I have now, is that the BIOS gives a long and three short beeps (graphics card error) for some reason but continues to work fine otherwise ... go figure.

Retro game fanatic.
IBM PS1 386SX25 - 4MB
IBM Aptiva 486SX33 - 8MB - 2GB CF - SB16
IBM PC350 P233MMX - 64MB - 32GB SSD - AWE64 - Voodoo2
PIII600 - 320MB - 480GB SSD - SB Live! - GF4 Ti 4200
i5-2500k - 3GB - SB Audigy 2 - HD 4870

Reply 6 of 9, by red_avatar

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kolderman wrote on 2020-08-27, 10:36:

It happens to me with a virge and a kvm - but a quick reboot always fixes it. Having the input selected on the kvm before booting usually helps too.

Yeah I think I'll stop using the on-board chip. The Matrox Mystique performs 10-80% faster in all benchmarks anyway. My only concern is compatibility (https://gona.mactar.hu/DOS_TESTS/) since Matrox is very iffy about DOS VESA support. I guess I'll need to test and see. My Pentium 75 has a Cirrus Logic which is great so I can always switch to that one for pre-1995 games if I encounter compatibility problems (that's why I got a KVM in the first place ...).

Retro game fanatic.
IBM PS1 386SX25 - 4MB
IBM Aptiva 486SX33 - 8MB - 2GB CF - SB16
IBM PC350 P233MMX - 64MB - 32GB SSD - AWE64 - Voodoo2
PIII600 - 320MB - 480GB SSD - SB Live! - GF4 Ti 4200
i5-2500k - 3GB - SB Audigy 2 - HD 4870

Reply 7 of 9, by keropi

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some vgas have some "autodetect" feature
on my virge2gx if the vga cable is not fully plugged it can go to b/w mode
without a vga cable plugged the system will beep like there is no video card installed! annoying 🤣
so I assume that the vga "autodetects" a b/w monitor because of the kvm used

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Reply 8 of 9, by Cyberdyne

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Older Trident and Cirrus cards have that same "problem"... i have even one Trident 8900 that with modern monitors sometimes starts in color and sometimes BW.

I am aroused about any X86 motherboard that has full functional ISA slot. I think i have problem. Not really into that original (Turbo) XT,286,386 and CGA/EGA stuff. So just a DOS nut.

Reply 9 of 9, by red_avatar

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Cyberdyne wrote on 2020-08-27, 11:55:

Older Trident and Cirrus cards have that same "problem"... i have even one Trident 8900 that with modern monitors sometimes starts in color and sometimes BW.

I guess I'm lucky it only happens with one of my PCs then. I ordered a Matrox Millenium 2 for now since the Mystique, while a decent card, only has 2MB and I might as well go for a 4MB card to get the extra resolutions.

Retro game fanatic.
IBM PS1 386SX25 - 4MB
IBM Aptiva 486SX33 - 8MB - 2GB CF - SB16
IBM PC350 P233MMX - 64MB - 32GB SSD - AWE64 - Voodoo2
PIII600 - 320MB - 480GB SSD - SB Live! - GF4 Ti 4200
i5-2500k - 3GB - SB Audigy 2 - HD 4870