VOGONS


First post, by VenomSpark

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Hi everyone 😀

Please help me, i'm really desperate and going straight to point, i swear God if someone can help me out i will love him\her forever.

I have an ASUS A7S8X-MX (https://www.asus.com/supportonly/a7s8xmx/helpdesk_cpu/), from around 2004-2005 era but I cannot REALLY make the dedicated graphics card to run under Windows 98 SE.

To be more clear: My idea project was, as the PC have a dual boot with XP Home SP3 and 98 SE, to have a HD 3650 AGP for XP, and use\switch to dedicated graphic card (if this thing ever have one) for 98\DOS. Problem is, at least for me and hours from fighting and searching, that there's literally no way to make it work under W98 SE.

The chipset is a SiS 741GX, Sothbridge is a SiS 964 (i think from 2003 around but honestly idk). I've tried almost EVERY drivers i could find online (SiS old website is down), here on Vogons and even the official Asus site and download as it claim to have VGA drivers for 98, and it's confusing as f**k as the manual says it's a SiS Real256E, some other sites claims it's a SiS Mirage. Whatever they want to call it, everytime i try to run the setup after the reboot i got the classic 640x480 16bit colors, saying after each reboot that there were an error with screen or video card not properly installed. Plus, the SiS VGA Utlity setup program looks like bugged as everytime i boot into system it says (probably autoloading the system tray for the broken drivers) that can't find a SiSInstall.dll file message error popup message.

I've tried then to manual install under device manager pointing directly to the .inf inside the Win98_ME folder, but no luck. On the system propriets it says SiS Mirage Graphic, but it's always 16bit color and can't change it or the resolution, im going literally mad as im hardstuck as my dream\project was to be able use it for older 3D and DOS games (surprisingly, under DOS looks from my fast tests that have an excellent compatibility and performance, runs all games on SVGA even harder ones like Keen 4,5 or Epic Pinball with no problem at all) but i really cannot make it work.

PhilsComputerLab great site just have IGP drivers for older chipsets, actually only two which i think aren't compatible with mine. I've tried download drivers from ASRock site as well with their K7S41GX but sadly i noticed it have a southbridge 963L, that is different from my 964 on the Asus. I've tried the drivers here that claim to be compatible with 741GX chipset, but still no luck. Setup program is bugged and i get no acceleration or video at all.

big pretty PLEASE, i know most of you guys probably don't have much experience with SiS chipsets (well neither do i) but if someone had any driver or idea how to make it work, you'll be my life saviour forever. Big thanks!

Reply 1 of 13, by Putas

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It is hard to tell what driver version you have tried. Southbridge shouldn't affect graphics. Real256E and the first Mirage are equivalent.
I default to the Universal 3.93 driver for these generations of hardware. If that does not work try this.

Reply 2 of 13, by zyga64

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Can you identify full PCI Vendor/Device/SUBSYS string for your iGPU ? (In windows 9x you should be able to do this using i.e. Everest Home). Is this one of those:

%Vender.ASUS.DeviceDesc1%     = Driver2.Install, PCI\VEN_1039&DEV_6325&SUBSYS_80811043
%Vender.ASUS.DeviceDesc2% = Driver2.Install, PCI\VEN_1039&DEV_6325&SUBSYS_80FA1043
%Vender.ASUS.DeviceDesc3% = Driver4.Install, PCI\VEN_1039&DEV_6330&SUBSYS_19211043
%Vender.ASUS.DeviceDesc4% = Driver4.Install, PCI\VEN_1039&DEV_6330&SUBSYS_81131043
%Vender.ASUS.DeviceDesc5% = Driver4.Install, PCI\VEN_1039&DEV_6330&SUBSYS_814F1043
%Vender.ASUS.DeviceDesc6% = Driver4.Install, PCI\VEN_1039&DEV_6330&SUBSYS_81591043

If your PCI identify string isn't available at all in sisgr.inf you may try to add it. (with Driver4.Install in the middle - because SIS741 device at the bottom of sysgr.inf points to Driver4.Install)

Edit: There is also SIS IGP driver on TheRetroWeb here: https://theretroweb.com/motherboards/s/asus-a … 8x-mx#downloads
Try this first.

1) VLSI SCAMP /286@20 /4MB /CL-GD5422 /CMI8330
2) i420EX /486DX33 /16MB /TGUI9440 /YMF718+GUS
3) i430FX /K6-2@400 /64MB /Rage Pro PCI /ES1370+ALS100
4) i440BX /P!!!750 /256MB /MX440 /SBLive!+Vibra16s
5) iB75 /3470s /4GB /HD7750 /HDA

Reply 3 of 13, by VenomSpark

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thanks for the answers guys!! ♥

So i have time now for messing around with, and sadly both the drivers you guys linked just are almost the same as the one i've tried 🙁 therefore, both link drivers you sent and downloaded gave me the same failing results..

for zyga64: Not quite expert of PCI info strings, but i hopefully this can be somehow helpful as i took the screenshot from Everest on Windows 2000, where apparently same drivers on same PC (of course took from 2K_XP inf folder) works just perfectly -_-

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Sadly not on the core system where im struggling to get same results as 2000, that is 98 SE. If i try to select to update VGA Standard drivers from device manager to the driver folders, it just says that the better driver (vga standard inf driver inside windows folder) has been already installed, doing nothing.

If i try to select the disk driver and manually point to the Win98 folder with the Inf files, i get to a list of compatible SiS chipsets name which are all pretty confusing. Then again, if i choose SiS 741 or SiS Mirage Graphic (almost the same name of the Win2000 working one), that's what i get after each reboot:

Immagine WhatsApp 2023-11-17 ore 11.18.34_4c0cb037.jpg
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I'm so lost... at least i had a fast chance to try few games on that Win2000 system and by far it was working ok, exactly what i what for 98 games (i had previously a FX5500 which was good, but sadly drivers were a mess and lot of times i had problems with some older games or LOT of DDhelp.exe crashes).. maybe I have to format and wipe everything and do another re-install? I don't get why it says they are for Win98 when apparentely they work only for 2K and probably XP... i KNOW it may work, but im probably missing something..

Reply 4 of 13, by zyga64

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Based on your screenshot - line for your card should look like:

%Vender.ASUS.DeviceDesc6%     = Driver4.Install, PCI\VEN_1039&DEV_6330&SUBSYS_815c1043

If you add it somewhere in the [mfg] section of the sisgr.inf file, Windows should match the card to the driver.
...But still I'm skeptical because you said that forcing driver (for the same card as for Windows 2000) caused a blue screen 🙁.
In any case, why not give it a try?

BTW. Did you tried to install SIS AGP driver before IGP driver ?

1) VLSI SCAMP /286@20 /4MB /CL-GD5422 /CMI8330
2) i420EX /486DX33 /16MB /TGUI9440 /YMF718+GUS
3) i430FX /K6-2@400 /64MB /Rage Pro PCI /ES1370+ALS100
4) i440BX /P!!!750 /256MB /MX440 /SBLive!+Vibra16s
5) iB75 /3470s /4GB /HD7750 /HDA

Reply 5 of 13, by VenomSpark

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zyga64 wrote on 2023-11-17, 11:35:
Based on your screenshot - line for your card should look like: […]
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Based on your screenshot - line for your card should look like:

%Vender.ASUS.DeviceDesc6%     = Driver4.Install, PCI\VEN_1039&DEV_6330&SUBSYS_815c1043

If you add it somewhere in the [mfg] section of the sisgr.inf file, Windows should match the card to the driver.
...But still I'm skeptical because you said that forcing driver (for the same card as for Windows 2000) caused a blue screen 🙁.
In any case, why not give it a try?

BTW. Did you tried to install SIS AGP driver before IGP driver ?

Yes of course i installed the SiS AGP Driver before, with no luck ^^"

Thanks, so i have to add that line on the .inf file.. well not really know where and how, but i hope it can do the trick 😀

Right now im restarting the retro project as this thing pretty f**ked up my previous W98.. (yeah, im an idiot. Idk why, i try to remove the SiS VGA drivers from DriverCleaner PRO, and somehow after restart it, indeed, f**ked up all the system. Device Manager was blank, CD disappeared and putting USB was like you didn't done anything at all. Maybe because it deleted some SiS files from motherboard or idk.)

Fact is, now instead of using two partitions in a single HDD (98+XP) i'll do the easiest lame way: two separate HDD for each system. Makes life easier 😀 So i will install AGAIN the 98 with only the integrated graphic on (will install the HD3650 AGP later for XP. I can easily switch on bios to AGP or Onboard chip, despite i just have to unplug VGA to card to card everytime but it's okay)

I'll let you know if modify the .inf file will work, thank you! 😀

P.S: Yep, i honestly don't know why on 2000 is working perfect and instant while in 98 doesn't. I think can be some smoke and mirrors by ASUS to say that it's compatible with 98, as in late 2003\early 2004 (the years where my mobo in theory was made) was already Win98 death era 🙁 Too bad, because basically when i had the FX5500 despite some crashes caused by drivers, under 98 this machine goes very well. I had some issues only for IDE and DMA controller, but for the rest is at least usable. (DOS and 3D games at 99% priority)

Reply 6 of 13, by zyga64

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VenomSpark wrote on 2023-11-17, 14:09:
zyga64 wrote on 2023-11-17, 11:35:

BTW. Did you tried to install SIS AGP driver before IGP driver ?

Yes of course i installed the SiS AGP Driver before, with no luck ^^"

Well, then maybe you should try without it ? 😀 Don't give up !

1) VLSI SCAMP /286@20 /4MB /CL-GD5422 /CMI8330
2) i420EX /486DX33 /16MB /TGUI9440 /YMF718+GUS
3) i430FX /K6-2@400 /64MB /Rage Pro PCI /ES1370+ALS100
4) i440BX /P!!!750 /256MB /MX440 /SBLive!+Vibra16s
5) iB75 /3470s /4GB /HD7750 /HDA

Reply 7 of 13, by Putas

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VenomSpark wrote on 2023-11-17, 14:09:

Thanks, so i have to add that line on the .inf file.. well not really know where and how, but i hope it can do the trick 😀

Into the [Mfg] section where a bunch of similar lines are.

Reply 8 of 13, by VenomSpark

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OMFG GUYS I really don't know how, but somehow now it WORKS!

So actually i did another clean install for Win98 (sigh...) i've tried the PCI vendor trick on .inf, but no luck. Or better, something was moving: using the manual driver update, the only compatible VGA on the list was labeled "SiS Mirage Graphics", just almost like 0n win2k. But after each reboot i had black screen with the message on TV saying "unsupported mode", despite the system was running on background and no BSOD this time! 😀 I've even try the trick to force 640x480x16 under advanced settings of msconfig.exe, and the driver name was there, but was acting strange: only 1024x768 max support (nVidia had until 1920x1080 on my TV) and if i was moving the resolution bar beyond 640x480, the color from 16bit (max supported) was automatically swap out to 256 colors. But no matter what, reboot and black screen.

So after more trials and errors, i unpacked a .zip files i had inside my drivers folders, unzipped and installed FIRST the AGP drivers inside the AGP folders and right immediately later the drivers from the official setup.exe this time so the automatic one, version i think was 3.63 and after not getting any error during installation this time, with my enormous surprise, after reboot BAM! finally they works!!! I don't know really what was the cause, or what exactly and tricky order after really totally messing around did, but for now it works finally and i keep those .zip drivers with me as the precious thing in the world 😁

Only thing is, the name for it it's really ugly but i can deal with it 😜 (instead of SiS Mirage Graphic i have sort of "SiS 640_553 740 641 ecc." very long name with all chipsets numbers, but who cares! (may i change them manually? now i'm too afraid to screw up everything again lul!) and of course I still have long work to do, so i still cannot tell if they work 100%. Main problem with these very old iGPU are the limited drivers and performance, like you have to stick with them hoping for the better. As far as i saw, this 330 Mirage is a DX7.0 with no PS and VS, and sadly not even T&L hardware support, but i guess that's okay for the 2000 and below games i have and play most (Blood 2, Shogo, SOF, Fifa 99, SBK 2000, NOLF ecc. and of course DOS games, which looks like works just great with full VESA support).

Thanks again for all your help guys, i know i open too much topics but really this forum is full of good people 😀

Reply 10 of 13, by VenomSpark

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Putas wrote on 2023-11-18, 06:35:

T&L should be there. Real256E is like SiS315 with a memory bus limited to 64 bits.

Really? 😮 saw a video on YT of a guy who ironically reviews it (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vvukKtrpUVM) , claiming it has no HW T&L. Indeed, i was fast testing some games i had on that Win2000 before i reinstall back all my other games on Win98, and for example on Max Payne 2 launcher it says indeed Software T&L, there's no HW 🙁

But i think it's okay, it perform almost like a GeForce2 MX 200 i think, and i hope it don't give me crashes or DDhelp.exe fatal error on few games like i had with the nVidia FX5550. What's matter it's finally it works under 98 and i am so happy and thankfull to you guys ^^ Miss the good old days when i had a bad Celeron D and only my integrated graphics...

Reply 11 of 13, by Ammaina

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I'm at the same point as VenomSpark , with the same driver I unlocked but leaving out Quake 2 only many black screens and blocks with the games: Myst URU, Desperados Wanted Dead or Alive, Serious Sam 1.... I'll try the advice. Thank you all

Reply 12 of 13, by rmay635703

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I ran many SIS 730’s under 98 but could never find a SIS740 board

At that point many SIS integrated motherboards were really poor build quality and accepted a very limited range of AMD Athlon CPUs.

Reply 13 of 13, by VenomSpark

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After some days of testing, gotta say im pretty impressed. Not only by "i-don't-know-how-the-heck-i-managed-to-make-driver-work" myself, but also from the performance. Well despite being a iGPU, under Win98 it goes okay if you don't go for higher resolutions and maximum details, but it does his work as otherwise with the HD3650 on AGP slot there were absolutley 0% chance to get it work. As a little, fast and unrequest review i would say:

Pros:

1) VERY Excellent DOS compatibility: even GTA 1 recognize it as SuperVGA Chip, it have VESA 3.0 and all games run on SVGA with absolutely no problem, even Keen 4\5\6 without screen tearing-jerky motion and Duke, Quake, everything. Just excellent.

2) Some older 3D games runs even on 60fps, like Disney Donald Duck, but also with early 1999 games like Shogo, Blood 2, FIFA 99 and others runs pretty well despite with some drops. The only one is Grim Fandango, which sadly, with 3D mode on, it's all bugged and glitchy but OK with software rendering.

Cons:

1) it's always an integrated graphics iGPU anyway, so you can't expect or pretend super performance. Imho, it runs like a weaker GF2 MX200.

2) Drivers. You literally and basically have one only driver aviable, so it's a lot of 50\50 shots where if the game runs well yayyy, if it don't run or give glitches well f**k it and deal with it, you can't do much about it.

3) Options. Like, really guys at least under Win98 you literally have NOTHING to adjustable or changable. The only thing is colors, resolution and brightness. No V-Sync, AA, AF or anything. The poorest video drivers tray ever made 🤣.

4) BSOD. Yeah, i don't know why at least in some rare games like Mortal Kombat 4 or Moto Racer 1, when the game is about to start (on Moto no problem in the menu until you start a race) i get a BSOD with a problem refering to .VXD files. I don't know if is related to my SB Live, but i would say is more about the driver failing. I still didn't try to fix, but for example on MK4 i fixed by run it first under software mode, then press F7 to switch back to Direct3D and runs perfectly. Maybe could be a mine problem, but happens only on really few games 🙁
Still of course some games would give little glitches but by far is more stable than the other old nVidia's i had. The compromise you have to deal is: Compatibility\Performance.

With lot of nVidia's FX series or GF2 which are more powerfull you get more performance and fps in games, but optimization and drivers are buggy as hell so expect to get DXDiag\DDHelp crashes and errors, or have to swap drivers for make a single game maybe work where newer version don't and viceversa, pretty frustating.

With the SiS Mirage you get obliviously less performance, but at least is more compatible and by far i didn't had lot of crashes or problems, even Unreal Tournament runs okay or for example Sanitarium didn't gave me the crash error i had with the FX5500 under 45.23 driver. The only one if found by far is FIFA 2000, idk why if i try to run it with the SiS after i click the exe the screen goes black and the pc speaker goes BIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII and you have to shutdown. (ofc i disabled the 3DFX under 3DSetup, but no luck.) So i'll just deal with the SiS for 98, which as i said under DOS where this machine is most meant for, it runs incredibly okay for almost every single game.

Ammaina wrote on 2023-11-18, 22:20:

I'm at the same point as VenomSpark , with the same driver I unlocked but leaving out Quake 2 only many black screens and blocks with the games: Myst URU, Desperados Wanted Dead or Alive, Serious Sam 1.... I'll try the advice. Thank you all

I have no problem with Quake 2, didn't tried SS1 as i have it on XP partition with the AGP HD 3650. What version exactly of the setup have you tried? I could try to rar and upload mine i used and worked. Remember my chip is the 741GX and 964L variant, i think it's meant to be cheaper one. On Wikipedia the only difference from "non-GX" and "non-L" are the DDR frequency more higher supported.

rmay635703 wrote on 2023-11-19, 04:27:

I ran many SIS 730’s under 98 but could never find a SIS740 board

At that point many SIS integrated motherboards were really poor build quality and accepted a very limited range of AMD Athlon CPUs.

Im actually using the SIS740GX variant i think, should be more cheaper like an "MX" for the GF cards system. As far i saw, at least my ASUS A7S8X-MX supports a large variety of AMD cpu's, from first Athlon's, to Duron, Sempron and Athlon XP. I am currently running on a Sempron 2500+ at 1750mhz with 256kb L2, a sort of Celeron but gotta admit with the SiS integrated GPU almost all games runs at solid 30-60fps. Guess with a speedy Athlon XP would go even more maybe.