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First post, by jforrest1980

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Link to imgur video and a few pics.
http://imgur.com/gallery/2q446MO

I built this PC approx 7 years ago and it has worked great until now.

Intel SE440BBX-2 board, Pentium III @ 600mhz, almost 400mb RAM, Voodoo3 3000 16mb AGP. Hard drive is a 64gb SD card running off an IDE adapter. PSU was new when built. Floppy drive is a GOTEK.

Phoenix BIOS.

I think I used Phil's setup guide for dos. Was a long time ago.

I think this all started when I wanted to install Duke Nukem Plutonium Pak from physical disk. Kept getting an error that I did not have enough memory. Turns out it's a bug in the install disc, but I didn't learn this until I messed with the min/max vcache a bit. Vcache is currently empty. Never touched anything else in System.ini.

Two days ago I installed Ultimate Doom in DOS, and played the entire 1st episode throug the day. Things seemed fine.

Yesterday I went to play episode 2 of Doom and noticed my PC booted directly to DOS. The Win98 Splash Screen appears, then goes right into DOS where you select your memory configuration.

I attempted to boot UDoom in DOS. No luck. Turns out I had the Duke Nukem Plutonium Pak in the the CD tray. So I popped in Ultimate Doom.

I got UDoom running and my save was gone...

Started Episode 2 and noticed my Keyboard config was gone...

I decided at this point to go back to Windows and delete those vcache settings I mentioned earlier. Figured that had to be it. This is where I noticed the infinite loop. I managed to get in Windows Via Safe Mode and delete the VCache settings I changed. Checked to make sure the DOSConfig had boot GUI as 1.

Still no luck.

Now getting a post code (1 long beep followed by 3 fast ones). Researched those a bit and still had no clue because every website online has different info for Phoenix Bios Post Codes.

So I pulled the Voodoo3. Caps look good. Reseated it.

Pulled the RAM and went to 1 stick.

Post code beeps gone now. Just a single beep after post.

Still no luck...so I said screw it, I'm just gonna reinstall the OS.

Reinstalled Win98SE via the disc and everything seemed fine at first. OS appeared to install, and promped me to restart to finish setup. Booted right back into DOS just like before. So now I'm stuck in DOS with a half setup Windows 98SE. Going in Safe Mode now is useless. Just a blue screen with safe mode passed in the 4 corners of the monitor.

Next line of defense, format the entire SD card and reinstall from blank SD.

Nope... Write Protected. Protection Switch does nothing. Can't even format or clean it, or remove wrote protection in Win 10 cmd prompt (diskpart) in Admin Mode. Rufus cant format it either. "I/O Unable to transfer error"" no matter how I try to format it. Spent 4 hours trying to format the damn thing before I had to go to work.

So at this point I'm like "maybe drive to microcenter tomorrow and drop $25.00 on a new SD Card and Card Reader?"

So I'm looking for any suggestions that can be completed in DOS. Windows is unusable at this point.

Final note. When I tried to load UDoom after taking Plutonium Pak out the CD drive, it was being weird. I can't remember exactly, but I may have accidentally reinstalled UDoom in DOS, or ran the incorrect file when trying to initially boot the game. Maybe my issues stem from there?

Reply 3 of 13, by Tecchie

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jforrest1980 wrote on 2021-10-14, 08:09:
Link to imgur video and a few pics. http://imgur.com/gallery/2q446MO […]
Show full quote

Link to imgur video and a few pics.
http://imgur.com/gallery/2q446MO

I built this PC approx 7 years ago and it has worked great until now.

Intel SE440BBX-2 board, Pentium III @ 600mhz, almost 400mb RAM, Voodoo3 3000 16mb AGP. Hard drive is a 64gb SD card running off an IDE adapter. PSU was new when built. Floppy drive is a GOTEK.

Phoenix BIOS.

I think I used Phil's setup guide for dos. Was a long time ago.

I think this all started when I wanted to install Duke Nukem Plutonium Pak from physical disk. Kept getting an error that I did not have enough memory. Turns out it's a bug in the install disc, but I didn't learn this until I messed with the min/max vcache a bit. Vcache is currently empty. Never touched anything else in System.ini.

Two days ago I installed Ultimate Doom in DOS, and played the entire 1st episode throug the day. Things seemed fine.

Yesterday I went to play episode 2 of Doom and noticed my PC booted directly to DOS. The Win98 Splash Screen appears, then goes right into DOS where you select your memory configuration.

I attempted to boot UDoom in DOS. No luck. Turns out I had the Duke Nukem Plutonium Pak in the the CD tray. So I popped in Ultimate Doom.

I got UDoom running and my save was gone...

Started Episode 2 and noticed my Keyboard config was gone...

I decided at this point to go back to Windows and delete those vcache settings I mentioned earlier. Figured that had to be it. This is where I noticed the infinite loop. I managed to get in Windows Via Safe Mode and delete the VCache settings I changed. Checked to make sure the DOSConfig had boot GUI as 1.

Still no luck.

Now getting a post code (1 long beep followed by 3 fast ones). Researched those a bit and still had no clue because every website online has different info for Phoenix Bios Post Codes.

So I pulled the Voodoo3. Caps look good. Reseated it.

Pulled the RAM and went to 1 stick.

Post code beeps gone now. Just a single beep after post.

Still no luck...so I said screw it, I'm just gonna reinstall the OS.

Reinstalled Win98SE via the disc and everything seemed fine at first. OS appeared to install, and promped me to restart to finish setup. Booted right back into DOS just like before. So now I'm stuck in DOS with a half setup Windows 98SE. Going in Safe Mode now is useless. Just a blue screen with safe mode passed in the 4 corners of the monitor.

Next line of defense, format the entire SD card and reinstall from blank SD.

Nope... Write Protected. Protection Switch does nothing. Can't even format or clean it, or remove wrote protection in Win 10 cmd prompt (diskpart) in Admin Mode. Rufus cant format it either. "I/O Unable to transfer error"" no matter how I try to format it. Spent 4 hours trying to format the damn thing before I had to go to work.

So at this point I'm like "maybe drive to microcenter tomorrow and drop $25.00 on a new SD Card and Card Reader?"

So I'm looking for any suggestions that can be completed in DOS. Windows is unusable at this point.

Final note. When I tried to load UDoom after taking Plutonium Pak out the CD drive, it was being weird. I can't remember exactly, but I may have accidentally reinstalled UDoom in DOS, or ran the incorrect file when trying to initially boot the game. Maybe my issues stem from there?

I keep telling people on RetroMachines pages on FaceBook that SD cars make POOR storage devices, especially for boot drives. Beter to use an mSATA to IDE adapter. That type of flash memory is built for that kind of usage. SD cards are built to store things like pictures & video, not for random Reads and Writes.

Once your config is solid, consider using a hard drive or the adapter I mentioned above. SD cards, unless you're running an Industrial Grade one, won't handle that kind of usage very well or at all.

I'm 95% certain that is your issue.

Reply 4 of 13, by zyzzle

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Agree, SD cards (and USB memory sticks) are extremely poor for main boot drives. There are a few, like the Sandisk Extreme Ultra which might be passable, in their seek and random read / write performance, but the vast majority are NOT meant to do many random seeks. As well, their performance on such is abysmally poor. And they degrade rapidly when used with many random fileseeks. Stick to a SATA hard drive and use a SATA-to-IDE adapter, it will solve your problems.

Reply 7 of 13, by dr_st

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kolderman wrote on 2021-10-26, 04:50:

CF/SD is FINE for DOS, boot drive or not. SSD is best for Win98, SSHD for WinXP.

I also recall that CF is often far better than SD in random seek times.

https://cloakedthargoid.wordpress.com/ - Random content on hardware, software, games and toys

Reply 8 of 13, by kolderman

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dr_st wrote on 2021-10-26, 08:08:
kolderman wrote on 2021-10-26, 04:50:

CF/SD is FINE for DOS, boot drive or not. SSD is best for Win98, SSHD for WinXP.

I also recall that CF is often far better than SD in random seek times.

I have not heard that, but I am sure they are both a lot better than a noisy 800MB, 5400RPM, 90s era HDD.

Reply 9 of 13, by mothergoose729

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Tecchie wrote on 2021-10-23, 16:20:
I keep telling people on RetroMachines pages on FaceBook that SD cars make POOR storage devices, especially for boot drives. Be […]
Show full quote
jforrest1980 wrote on 2021-10-14, 08:09:
Link to imgur video and a few pics. http://imgur.com/gallery/2q446MO […]
Show full quote

Link to imgur video and a few pics.
http://imgur.com/gallery/2q446MO

I built this PC approx 7 years ago and it has worked great until now.

Intel SE440BBX-2 board, Pentium III @ 600mhz, almost 400mb RAM, Voodoo3 3000 16mb AGP. Hard drive is a 64gb SD card running off an IDE adapter. PSU was new when built. Floppy drive is a GOTEK.

Phoenix BIOS.

I think I used Phil's setup guide for dos. Was a long time ago.

I think this all started when I wanted to install Duke Nukem Plutonium Pak from physical disk. Kept getting an error that I did not have enough memory. Turns out it's a bug in the install disc, but I didn't learn this until I messed with the min/max vcache a bit. Vcache is currently empty. Never touched anything else in System.ini.

Two days ago I installed Ultimate Doom in DOS, and played the entire 1st episode throug the day. Things seemed fine.

Yesterday I went to play episode 2 of Doom and noticed my PC booted directly to DOS. The Win98 Splash Screen appears, then goes right into DOS where you select your memory configuration.

I attempted to boot UDoom in DOS. No luck. Turns out I had the Duke Nukem Plutonium Pak in the the CD tray. So I popped in Ultimate Doom.

I got UDoom running and my save was gone...

Started Episode 2 and noticed my Keyboard config was gone...

I decided at this point to go back to Windows and delete those vcache settings I mentioned earlier. Figured that had to be it. This is where I noticed the infinite loop. I managed to get in Windows Via Safe Mode and delete the VCache settings I changed. Checked to make sure the DOSConfig had boot GUI as 1.

Still no luck.

Now getting a post code (1 long beep followed by 3 fast ones). Researched those a bit and still had no clue because every website online has different info for Phoenix Bios Post Codes.

So I pulled the Voodoo3. Caps look good. Reseated it.

Pulled the RAM and went to 1 stick.

Post code beeps gone now. Just a single beep after post.

Still no luck...so I said screw it, I'm just gonna reinstall the OS.

Reinstalled Win98SE via the disc and everything seemed fine at first. OS appeared to install, and promped me to restart to finish setup. Booted right back into DOS just like before. So now I'm stuck in DOS with a half setup Windows 98SE. Going in Safe Mode now is useless. Just a blue screen with safe mode passed in the 4 corners of the monitor.

Next line of defense, format the entire SD card and reinstall from blank SD.

Nope... Write Protected. Protection Switch does nothing. Can't even format or clean it, or remove wrote protection in Win 10 cmd prompt (diskpart) in Admin Mode. Rufus cant format it either. "I/O Unable to transfer error"" no matter how I try to format it. Spent 4 hours trying to format the damn thing before I had to go to work.

So at this point I'm like "maybe drive to microcenter tomorrow and drop $25.00 on a new SD Card and Card Reader?"

So I'm looking for any suggestions that can be completed in DOS. Windows is unusable at this point.

Final note. When I tried to load UDoom after taking Plutonium Pak out the CD drive, it was being weird. I can't remember exactly, but I may have accidentally reinstalled UDoom in DOS, or ran the incorrect file when trying to initially boot the game. Maybe my issues stem from there?

I keep telling people on RetroMachines pages on FaceBook that SD cars make POOR storage devices, especially for boot drives. Beter to use an mSATA to IDE adapter. That type of flash memory is built for that kind of usage. SD cards are built to store things like pictures & video, not for random Reads and Writes.

Once your config is solid, consider using a hard drive or the adapter I mentioned above. SD cards, unless you're running an Industrial Grade one, won't handle that kind of usage very well or at all.

I'm 95% certain that is your issue.

It almost certainly is not.

The only way I know of to force windows to boot to DOS is either to load a DOS program in autoexec.bat, or to configure it to boot to DOS in MSDOS.SYS. Reinstalling windows might incidentally fix the issue, but the storage medium wouldn't cause this.

Reply 10 of 13, by zyzzle

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kolderman wrote on 2021-10-26, 04:50:

CF/SD is FINE for DOS, boot drive or not. SSD is best for Win98, SSHD for WinXP.

Yes, that's very true. A floppy drive is fine for booting DOS! Only about 100 kilobytes of data needs to be loaded in TWO files. AUTOEXEC.BAT and CONFIG.SYS are small, but sometimes they load lots of TSR which can slow the DOS load from a USB memory stick. Also helps if your MB supports "FULL"-speed USB2 boot from DOS. Often the sequential read speed of USB sticks in DOS can reach beyond PIO data access speed (> 16.6 MB/sec). As to seek, it's probably about a wash and comparable with 90s-era hard drives (15ms - 50ms).

Reply 11 of 13, by dr_st

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kolderman wrote on 2021-10-26, 18:40:
dr_st wrote on 2021-10-26, 08:08:
kolderman wrote on 2021-10-26, 04:50:

CF/SD is FINE for DOS, boot drive or not. SSD is best for Win98, SSHD for WinXP.

I also recall that CF is often far better than SD in random seek times.

I have not heard that, but I am sure they are both a lot better than a noisy 800MB, 5400RPM, 90s era HDD.

Certainly, but not necessarily better in performance than an 80GB 7200RPM early-2000 era HDD. 😀 Especially in 4K random-write area. There is a lot of variability between SD cards, as well as SD-to-CF adapters.

https://cloakedthargoid.wordpress.com/ - Random content on hardware, software, games and toys

Reply 12 of 13, by kolderman

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dr_st wrote on 2021-10-27, 10:25:
kolderman wrote on 2021-10-26, 18:40:
dr_st wrote on 2021-10-26, 08:08:

I also recall that CF is often far better than SD in random seek times.

I have not heard that, but I am sure they are both a lot better than a noisy 800MB, 5400RPM, 90s era HDD.

Certainly, but not necessarily better in performance than an 80GB 7200RPM early-2000 era HDD. 😀 Especially in 4K random-write area. There is a lot of variability between SD cards, as well as SD-to-CF adapters.

I think the idea why CF/SD is good for DOS is that DOS is not doing a lot of background writes as part of normal operation. You are most likely writing to it when coping games when plugging it into your modern PC via a USB3 adatper.

So the slow writes/lack of endurance is exactly why they are fine for DOS -- not much writing is happening! Also it's easy to find total capacities of 2-8GB which makes them much more compatible with old BIOSes and DOS itself.

Reply 13 of 13, by TehGuy

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Tecchie wrote on 2021-10-23, 16:20:

That type of flash memory is built for that kind of usage. SD cards are built to store things like pictures & video, not for random Reads and Writes.

As of A-spec SD cards, there are some made to better handle random IOs of the usual software and games (probably thanks to the likes of the Switch, upcoming Steam Deck, and any phones that still have that SD card slot).

Win98+DOS: VIA C3 Ezra-T 1.0AGHz, 128MB RAM, AWE64 + Orpheus, GeForce 2 MX400 AGP, 32GB CF card
PowerMac G4 QS + GeForce4 Ti4200 (with ADC)
XP/7: Core 2 Extreme QX9770, 8GB RAM, Radeon HD 7850, X-Fi Titanium