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First post, by vkcpolice

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Hi all having an issue with lag spikes in win 95 on my 486 dx4
when playing music or running a dos game under win95 every min or so there will be a slight lag spike that will interrupt music or gameplay
this does not happen when running games under dos mode however i have a lot of early windows games that i like to play and this lag spike becomes a issue.
i have not done a fresh install of windows as of yet as i had a early build of my setup on an image file that i have written to a sd card.
things i have not tryed
fresh install
new sd card

i dint think it would be a sd card issue as things run fine under dos
didnt think id need a fresh windows install as i had a working early build of win95 on an image

its a dx4 100mhz
64mb ram
s3 trio 4mb
soundblaster vibra 16

thx all

Reply 2 of 8, by Jo22

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I had stutter/jerkyness issues with certain Compact Flash Cards on Win 9x, too..

I can't think of a proper solution right now, but here's something to try:

Load SmartDrive, like you'd do on DOS 6.22.

In Autoexec.bat, add "SMARTDRV /X" and in Config.sys add "DEVICE=C:\WINDOWS\COMMAND\SMARTDRV.EXE /DOUBLE BUFFER"

This should let DOS handle all the disk I/O and SmartDrive the caching.

Maybe this helps, if not, just remove the lines or add REM before them. Windows itself shouldn't be harmed by that experiment.

Anyway, better do make a backup copy of your SD card. Win32DiskImager etc. can be used for this.

Good luck! 😀

"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

//My video channel//

Reply 3 of 8, by auron

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guess it wouldn't hurt to try, but i highly doubt there's any point in loading smartdrv under win95. that being said, it might be worth trying to manually limit vcache size as it's commonly recommended for windows 95. i'd also make sure that all of that memory is actually cached by the chipset. also did you make sure that the chipset and IDE controller got correctly recognized in device manager?

generally it's useful to have an old ide drive to test against in cases like this.

Reply 4 of 8, by Garrett W

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Are you sure this is an issue with the SD card or adapter?

Is DMA enabled for the controller in the device manager? Have you given "Cacheman" a try? I find version 4.1 to work pretty well for Win9x.

Reply 5 of 8, by Jo22

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auron wrote on 2021-04-11, 15:42:

guess it wouldn't hurt to try, but i highly doubt there's any point in loading smartdrv under win95. that being said, it might be worth trying to manually limit vcache size as it's commonly recommended for windows 95. i'd also make sure that all of that memory is actually cached by the chipset. also did you make sure that the chipset and IDE controller got correctly recognized in device manager?

generally it's useful to have an old ide drive to test against in cases like this.

Well, Microsoft itself uses SmartDrive during the initial Win98 Setup process to speed things up.. 😀
The idea is to use DOS/BIOS for accessing the HDD and CD-ROM drive rather than using a native Windows driver that might be flakey:

In theory, it would also have been posssible to load a 32-Bit Disk Access driver (32BDFA aka FastDisk) instead.
But these aren't exactly the most stable/compatible, I guess. The Win95 counterpart (ESDI_506.PDR) is much more relaxed.

The VCache thing might be worth a try, also. 😎 But on Win95 only. Win98 and up are intelligent and don't need such tweaks anymore.
https://web.archive.org/web/20060128014409/ht … 4/a/memmgmt.php

Personally, though, I assume that the SD card or the adapter are also to blame.
SD cards do struggle when too much I/O is going on. I experience this every day on my main PC, an Raspberry Pi 4 with a 128GB SD card.

So if it's possible to use some sort of uhm, write-combining, things might be smoother.
That's why I thought of a disk cache, albeit for reading only. Using SmartDrive with write-behind isn't exactly safe.

Brings back some bad memories of data loss with DoubleSpace/DriveSpace. 😅

On Windows XP, there's a filter driver, by the way. It's meant for embedded use.
https://flylib.com/books/en/3.234.1.73/1/

Garrett W wrote on 2021-04-11, 17:07:

Are you sure this is an issue with the SD card or adapter?

Is DMA enabled for the controller in the device manager? Have you given "Cacheman" a try? I find version 4.1 to work pretty well for Win9x.

Be careful with that DMA check box, though. If the controller or device isn't DMA capable, it's a nightmare to get to that setting unchecked. 🙁
Because, in safe mode, you can't really make changes to that setting in device manager. Except for disabling the whole IDE drivers.

In worst case, you're left with a broken HDD/CD-ROM support. Windows 9x will then permanently fall back to DOS in order to access the HDD.
And CD-ROM support might be gone, too. In such a worst case scenario, someone has to load MSCDEX and OAKCDROM/VIDE-CDD in order to access a CD-ROM.

To make matters worse, Windows 9x always asks for the Windows CD-ROM for driver and system files.
Unless they (DRIVER and WIN95, WIN98 folders) were wisely copied to the HDD, it'll be quite hard to fix things.

I'm speaking from experience here, by the way. Nearly bricked one of my laptop's Win98SE installation that way. 🙁
Luckily, I had a backup copy of the HDD, because the BIOS Setup has no option to disable DMA or UDMA.

If it had, it would have been quite easy to boot Win98SE in the normal way and uncheck that box.

"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

//My video channel//

Reply 6 of 8, by vkcpolice

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Hi thx all for your replys its a very old bios that one that has mouse support in it.
its strange cause everything works great under dos mode but windows seems to get the lag spikes ive ordered some new sd cards so will see if that improves things if not i might go back to running win 3.11

i liked win95 as i had it set up to read cd images and usb drives and it can even read dvds but its anoying having lag under windows

Reply 8 of 8, by vkcpolice

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Hi thx for your reply i have never thought of a pci controller card something i might try in the future.
i will see how i go with the new sd cards if that does not work i might try a real hd if the problem persists i will be back here for everyones help 🤣

thx 😀