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First post, by badmojo

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Hiya,

I'm trying to run the original release of Warcraft II (installed from CD) on my Socket 7 machine but am getting some odd behaviour. Machine specs:

- Cyrix MII PR300 (233Mhz)
- Dos 7
- 64MB RAM
- Ark2000 based VGA card
- WSS via a YMF718 sound card
- PS2 mouse and keyboard

I need to use Univbe for the game to run, both the built in version and my preferred version 6.5 work as expected. What I'm finding though is that:

- the game will stop accepting input during the opening sequence, i.e. the game keeps playing but keyboard and mouse do nothing
- OR the game will progress past the opening sequence and appear to run normally, but will then freeze moments after trying to update the settings (scroll speed, etc) OR attempt to save the game. Any action that causes a write to disk seems to lock the game up
- OR if I just play without saving, etc the game will just freeze after a while

Things I've tried:

- slowing the machine down via a couple of different methods
- using no audio device
- not using an EMM
- copying the game from the CF to the period HDD
- patching the game from 1.0 to 1.4
- replacing DOS4G inside the WAR2.EXE with DOS32A
- not loading a mouse driver

The only improvement I've seen is with that last point - without a mouse driver loaded the game runs OK and allows me to save / load games. This made me wonder if the mouse driver was the problem (cutemouse) so I tried mouse.com (8.2) and a logitech driver. No difference - the game still hangs.

Any ideas? I'm running out 😀

Thanks.

Life? Don't talk to me about life.

Reply 4 of 21, by Joseph_Joestar

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I had the exact same experience when trying to use WSS for sound in that game. Using SBPro got rid of the freezes.

I'm guessing there's something wrong with the way the WSS driver was implemented in WarCraft 2. For reference, my sound card was an OPTi 82C930.

PC#1: Pentium MMX 166 / Soyo SY-5BT / S3 VirgeDX / Voodoo1 / OPTi 82C930 / AWE64
PC#2: Celeron 466 / Abit ZM6 / Voodoo3 / AWE64 / YMF744 / SC-155
PC#3: AthlonXP 1700+ / Abit KT7A / GeForce4 / SBLive / ALS100
PC#4: Athlon64 3700+ / DFI LanParty / 9600GT / X-Fi Titanium

Reply 5 of 21, by badmojo

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WSS wasn't the issue but definitely something that came to mind - I'd tested with no audio and SB Pro. The issue appears to be the PS/2 mouse - switching to a serial mouse as suggested by @Jorpho seems to have done the trick.

I did consider that but I'm using a KVM setup so having a serial mouse for one machine and a PS2 mouse for the other did not appeal and lazyness got the better of me. But it does mean I get to use both of my favourite mice, and using a serial mouse fixed another issue I was having - Strip Poker 3 behaving strangely. Having that game playable seals the deal 🐱‍🏍

Thank-you all for your help 👍

Life? Don't talk to me about life.

Reply 6 of 21, by keropi

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could it be the mouse driver?
I've had bad luck with some systems and CTMOUSE
using MSMOUSE cured things for me like freezing Monkey Island SE editions and Space Quest 4 games with the systems that had issues

🎵 PCMIDI mpu site buy+info
🎧 WIP Orpheus soundcard site
💻 WTB Amstrad PC7486SLC-33 system

Reply 8 of 21, by badmojo

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Thanks and yes my googling had turned that up - it's always mentioned in the context of running the game in NT but I tried it anyway, no change. Given switching to serial fixed 2 games I guess the PS/2 support on this motherboard is a little wonky, at least at the speed I'm running it.

There's always something with these old rigs, which is what makes them so fun.

Life? Don't talk to me about life.

Reply 9 of 21, by chinny22

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badmojo wrote on 2021-05-10, 07:49:

using a serial mouse fixed another issue I was having - Strip Poker 3

you could have simply left it at another game. Love the honesty!
Funny thing is I couldn't help myself and googled it and recognised those girls even though I forgot I even had this game back in the 90's!

Reply 10 of 21, by badmojo

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😂 yeah I have no idea where I got it, probably my dodgy friend Luke he had all of the good stuff. I worked out that you could rename some files and reverse the strip order - some would consider that cheating I suppose.

Life? Don't talk to me about life.

Reply 11 of 21, by badmojo

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Sorry @keropi I missed your post - I did consider the mouse driver so tried a few, including the MS one. I know I've had issues with cutemouse on other systems - Links386 maybe? - but it seems not to be the culprit in this case.

All good I can still use the KVM for monitor / keyboard and have 2 mice plugged in; I've been missing my trusty old serial Logitech anyway.

Life? Don't talk to me about life.

Reply 13 of 21, by badmojo

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Jorpho wrote on 2021-05-10, 14:23:

Perhaps it is some kind of IRQ problem? I'm not sure how you would go about diagnosing it, though.

Yeah not sure - there's nothing in the BIOS which mentions resources for the PS2 port. You can of course select IRQ, etc for the serial ports but I've just left it on 'auto' and it seems to work OK - although I haven't booted into Windows98 yet so that's something to check.

Life? Don't talk to me about life.

Reply 14 of 21, by Jorpho

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badmojo wrote on 2021-05-10, 20:52:

Yeah not sure - there's nothing in the BIOS which mentions resources for the PS2 port.

I'm pretty sure the various IRQ-listing programs (MSD is the first thing that comes to mind) usually have a line for the PS/2 mouse, though I can't recall hearing about any means of changing it.

Reply 15 of 21, by badmojo

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Windows 98 recognised the serial mouse fine so just for fun I decided to install the 'MouseWare' that came with my Logitech Pilot mouse and now of course the whole thing's gone to hell in a hand-basket - '98 is crawling along and looks to have hung.

Damn old rigs.

EDIT: OK got that issue sorted (just had to do the Win9X driver install boogie) and switching to the serial mouse has resolved another annoyance with this machine too - Win98 would become unresponsive for ~20 seconds after booting. I just put that down to normal Win98 behaviour but apparently it was the PS/2 mouse also.

For future reference the motherboard in question is a GA-586T2, using the latest BIOS.

Happy days.

Life? Don't talk to me about life.

Reply 16 of 21, by dormcat

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Hi there, I just reinstalled Warcraft II on my Socket 7 retro machine last week and encountered similar problems: if I keep playing without saving then all is well, but saving a game would result either froze up the computer (most of the times) or the save file became corrupted and unusable i.e. farms fill half the map. My system spec:

- Asus TXP4 (430TX chipset)
- Intel Pentium-MMX 233 MHz
- 64 MB SDRAM x1
- S3 Savage4 Pro PCI w/ 16 MB VRAM
- Sound Blaster Pro 2.0
- Realtek RTL8139D Ethernet adapter
- 512 MB CF card via CF-IDE converter
- Asus CD-S520 CD-ROM drive
- Logitech PS/2 keyboard
- Microsoft Basic Optical Mouse v2.0 w/ USB-PS/2 converter
- MS-DOS 6.20

First I thought the problem might come from the CF card but the surface test detected no problem. Then I talked to myself "why not look up VOGONS and see if other vintage gamers have encountered similar problem(s)?" and voila!

The problem is that I don't have a working serial mouse lying around; I'll patch the game to 1.40 and see if that can solve the problem on my machine.

Reply 17 of 21, by Akuma

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Something a bit unclear to me:
* Are we talking about "Tides of darkness" or "Beyond the dark portal" or both ?

badmojo wrote on 2021-05-10, 01:19:

- replacing DOS4G inside the WAR2.EXE with DOS32A

Did you try:
1. not replacing, but running it like this "dos32a war2.exe" ?
2.running a memtest, just to make sure the memory is ok ?
3. upgrade with expansion set to 1.5 ?
4. not running cdaudio, but midi ?
5. just in case its a cd-issue, make sure its clean before copying ?

Edit:
6. Try a minimal boot disk ?

Reply 18 of 21, by dormcat

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I might have found a solution: use ONLY the keyboard and keep the mouse complete stationary while saving.

If the mouse has been moved just one pixel between clicking the "Save" button and writing completes (takes about 1-2 seconds), the game freezes and/or the save file becomes corrupted. I have no idea why but that's the result.