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First post, by eL_PuSHeR

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Hello.

I've noticed that running some dos games under WinXP that use a 320x200x16c mode (0Dh?, same as EGA) but with VGA palette, they get displayed all messed-up. Examples: Deathbringer an arcade game by empire and Double Dragon 2 by Technos.
Any clue would be appreciated.

Reply 1 of 21, by Nicht Sehr Gut

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Originally posted by eL_PuSHeR I've noticed that running some dos games under WinXP that use a 320x200x16c mode (0Dh?, same as EGA) but with VGA palette, they get displayed all messed-up. Examples: Deathbringer an arcade game by empire and Double Dragon 2 by Technos.

I believe that this is probably more hardware-specific.

I have no problem with the video displays from these two or any of the other 16-Color VGA displays. Running a GF3 Ti200 video card.

Reply 2 of 21, by eL_PuSHeR

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[Nicht Sehr Gut]: Thank you for your reply. Sometimes it's frustrating when you post something and you get no replies, even for saying "I don't know what you're talking about". That being said, I will dowload another Detonator to try it. Running on a GF4 Ti4200 (Creative)

Reply 3 of 21, by HunterZ

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I honestly don't see how video driver versions could ever ever affect fullscreen DOS modes, except the possibility of the driver not being able to recover from them. I would suggest looking for BIOS flash upgrades for the video card (either from your board vendor or find a site with nVidia reference BIOS images) because that's where those old modes are handled. At the very least it would be interesting for you two to compare BIOS revisions.

Also, what you you mean by "messed up"? A specific description of how you can tell something is wrong may be informative.

You may also want to poke around the CMOS settings in your motherboard's BIOS setup utility. For example, VGA palette snooping should be off (unless you have a Voodoo or Voodoo 2 type card in your system), and you don't really need to cache or shadow video RAM these days.

Reply 4 of 21, by MajorGrubert

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eL_PuSHeR wrote:

I've noticed that running some dos games under WinXP that use a 320x200x16c mode (0Dh?, same as EGA) but with VGA palette, they get displayed all messed-up.

I have to agree with Nicht, this looks like a hardware specific problem. I had a similiar problem trying to run Lemmings under Windows 98: the buttons at the bottom of the screen are incomplete, without the images of each lemming type. I even tried different driver versions for my GeForce 4 MX440, 41.09 and 43.45 if I recall correctly. However, the game ran fine under plain DOS.

Do you have a DOS os Windows 9x boot disk? You could try to run the game in pure DOS to check if the video drivers are somehow relatd to your problem.

Regards,

Major Grubert

Athlon 64 3200+/Asus K8V-X/1GB DDR400/GeForce FX 5700/SB Live! 5.1

Reply 5 of 21, by Nicht Sehr Gut

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Originally posted by eL_PuSHeR [Nicht Sehr Gut]: Thank you for your reply. Sometimes it's frustrating when you post something and you get no replies, even for saying "I don't know what you're talking about".

Well, take into consideration "the real world", which may prevent some of us from posting for days at a time. Also consider all the threads going on at any one time. Yesterday I spent several hours posting/searching just trying to "catch up". That's in addition to time spent testing done when "off-line".

Running on a GF4 Ti4200 (Creative)

And you already know about the VESA differences with GF4 (no VESA beyond 640x480, etc...) right?

Reply 6 of 21, by eL_PuSHeR

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Nicht Sehr Gut and others: Again, thank you very much for your replies. By messed-up display, I just mean the colour palette isn't right. Checked bios. All settings seemed to be just right. I have tried three different detonator revisions to no avail. Also I tried both games under DosBox. Both of them displayed correctly but alas, deathbringer hardlock Dosbox. I presume both of them run just fine under pure DOS, though.
Oh, and another thing, that may be a little off-topic but I've seen Internal Speaker sounds play through my regular speakers when using Dosbox. Is there any way to accomplish the same using VDMSound? VladR?

[Nicht Sehr Gut]: About the VESA issue. Yes I have heard about it and I am not pleased at all because just a month ago dismissed my ATi Radeon 9000 (great VESA support btw) for my current Creative GeForce4 Ti4200. Does anyone have any clue what may be causing this. A bios issue? I have been unable to find any bios updates. A link would be really appreciated.

To finish off. A question for everyone. Do you have Write Combining enabled or disabled under WinXP?

Reply 7 of 21, by DosFreak

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Originally posted by eL_PuSHeR
Oh, and another thing, that may be a little off-topic but I've seen Internal Speaker sounds play through my regular speakers when using Dosbox. Is there any way to accomplish the same using VDMSound? VladR?

Nope. Not gonna happen....ever.

[Nicht Sehr Gut]: About the VESA issue. Yes I have heard about it and I am not pleased at all because just a month ago dismissed my ATi Radeon 9000 (great VESA support btw) for my current Creative GeForce4 Ti4200. Does anyone have any clue what may be causing this. A bios issue? I have been unable to find any bios updates. A link would be really appreciated.

Likely NTVDM not allowing accessing to the modes required by the GF4...whereas with the ATI card it is allowing those modes. There's a thread on it which you can contribute to if I can find the thread....just do a search for VESA on these forums and I'm sure you'll find it

To finish off. A question for everyone. Do you have Write Combining enabled or disabled under WinXP?

Wouldn't affect your problem at all.

DOSBox Compilation Guides
DosBox Feature Request Thread
PC Game Compatibility List
How To Ask Questions The Smart Way
Running DRM games offline

Reply 8 of 21, by eL_PuSHeR

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Thank you very much. To make things worse, I run those games under real DOS and still I got the same palette issues, so I am afraid it's some sort of hardware problem with my card. I'm trying to find a bios replacement (even if it's a reference bios, because I have already dumped my current bios to disk), but I cannot find any link. http://www.x-bios.3dgames.ru/ seems to be down. The only way to run those games is by using DOSBOX and Deathbringer still hardlocks it.

Reply 9 of 21, by DosFreak

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Here's the VESA hack for XP (Mostly tested in XP anyway) and the testing program.

showthread.php?s=&threadid=1659&perpage=20&hi … SA&pagenumber=2

If anyone wishes to test their video modes. Still looking for a more throrough video testing tool with the same user friendliness that this one has (PC Speaker notification of changed modes, graphics being displayed for each mode, etc etc.)

DOSBox Compilation Guides
DosBox Feature Request Thread
PC Game Compatibility List
How To Ask Questions The Smart Way
Running DRM games offline

Reply 10 of 21, by Nicht Sehr Gut

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Originally posted by eL_PuSHeR Both of them displayed correctly but alas, deathbringer hardlock Dosbox.

It had some graphic anomalies, then locks on the stone selection screen. The next release of DosBox should run it well.

BTW, it runs fine natively on my GF3-Ti200. Prefer the Amiga version in any case...

Is there any way to accomplish the same using VDMSound?

Emulating a PC Speaker is nothing like emulating a SoundBlaster card. Like DosFreak said, not going to happen.

...just a month ago dismissed my ATi Radeon 9000 (great VESA support btw) for my current Creative GeForce4 Ti4200.

Odd choice. That seems like a step down...

Does anyone have any clue what may be causing this.

The "great unknown". This is the result of a wide range of standards and their implementations. Unlike a game console, there are so many variables, it would be difficult even if we had physical access to your hardware.

Reply 11 of 21, by HunterZ

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eL_PuSHeR wrote:

Thank you very much. To make things worse, I run those games under real DOS and still I got the same palette issues, so I am afraid it's some sort of hardware problem with my card.

I hate to ask this again, but are you absolutely sure that VGA palette snooping is disabled in your motherboard BIOS? Also, do you have a working fan on the GPU (main chip) of your video card? You may even consider removing other cards from your motherboard to see if any of them are interfering, but the possibility is remote (so don't worry if that's not an option).

I'm trying to find a bios replacement (even if it's a reference bios, because I have already dumped my current bios to disk), but I cannot find any link. http://www.x-bios.3dgames.ru/ seems to be down. The only way to run those games is by using DOSBOX and Deathbringer still hardlocks it.

Just spent a minute digging on Google and found this site: http://bunny.xs4all.nl/hardware/vid_nvidia.html

Looks like they have several versions available for your card. Good luck.

Reply 12 of 21, by eL_PuSHeR

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HunterZ: I've been tinkering with bios options all day and have tried the 'snoop palette' option both enabled and disabled. I have even disabled USB and put agp speed to 2x. NO change. Anyway, I doubt my card is damaged because everything else is working properly, even another DOS games.
Thanks God we have DOSBOX + VDMSound, they run 90% of old dos games just fine.

Nicht Sehr Gut: I'd like to hear your opinion about the ATi Radeon 9000 being 'better' than the GeForce4 Ti4200. The latter one costed me about three times the Radeon price, huh?

Thanks again everyone for your patience and effort.

Reply 13 of 21, by Nicht Sehr Gut

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Originally posted by eL_PuSHeR I'd like to hear your opinion about the ATi Radeon 9000 being 'better' than the GeForce4 Ti4200. The latter one costed me about three times the Radeon price,

My goof. I was thinking of the 9700. The 9000 is more like the GF4-MX cards which actually aren't GF4's.

So many variations in model and design...can't keep track of them. Just as well. No point in staring at food I can't eat.

Reply 15 of 21, by HunterZ

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A totally garbled screen at what point? You do have to reboot after flashing to use the new BIOS properly. Also, there's a program you can use in DOS (and in Win9x before it boots up) called VGABIOS (I think) that lets you load a BIOS image into memory over your card's image without needing to flash it. It's a safer and quicker way of testing different BIOS images that you may find useful. I saw it linked on the site I posted.

Reply 16 of 21, by eL_PuSHeR

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Yes, I also tried VGABIOS and I got the same garbled screen. I went ahead and flashed the bios; obviously got the same garbled screen. Maybe it wasn't a reference bios, although Ray Adam's bios editor and flash program stated it was. Anyway, I'm back to starting point. I wonder why manufacturers don't pay more attention to make things backwards compatible anymore...

Reply 17 of 21, by HunterZ

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Well if you still have the patience for it, you could always try a different BIOS version or look for one on your board vendor's web site (Creative I think you said it was). Strange that it wouldn't work correctly for you, although it's possible that Creative did some custom modifications to the nVidia reference design that requires a different BIOS (such as a non-standard TV out chip for example)

Reply 19 of 21, by Schadenfreude

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Weird thought: maybe it is refresh related? Monkey with your driver for your monitor, fool with refresh settings, play with EntechTaiwan's PowerStrip, etc, etc.

Actually, PowerStrip's support forums is a good place to ask for help on this. Or maybe AnandTech or something.