S3 AGP Cards (and possibly others) Too Bright

Discussion about old graphics cards, monitors and video related things.

Re: S3 AGP Cards (and possibly others) Too Bright

Postby Agent of the BSoD » 2016-6-08 @ 20:19

Jepael wrote:
elianda wrote:Could you compile a small tool as well that allows to set the bit 'ON' and 'OFF' from plain DOS on the fly?


Here are two simple DOS .com programs to either turn the bit on or off, but I haven't tested these. I used NASM to compile these so I haven't tested them on S3 card. These are so simple you could just do these in debug and save them.


I just did a quick test with these on my GX2s and they all work great! The video output looks so much better. (although I wasn't able to test one card as it seems to have bitten the dust and won't POST anymore :depressed:)
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Re: S3 AGP Cards (and possibly others) Too Bright

Postby feipoa » 2016-12-22 @ 10:21

Is someone able to provide a walk-through as to exactly how to patch an affected card's BIOS to correct for the black level bug (that is, for those with an EEPROM programmer). What index to look at in the HEX code; what to change; what and how to recalculate the checksum; if any part of the BIOS needs to be disassembled or separated before the code can be altered (like you need to do with PC's BIOS before altering the code).

I have an S3 Trio3D 86C365 PCI card from EONTRONICS which has this bug that I would like to patch. Alternately, if someone has a 365 PCI BIOS which doesn't have the black level bug, could you share it?
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Re: S3 AGP Cards (and possibly others) Too Bright

Postby James-F » 2017-6-22 @ 15:40

wbc wrote:Just fiddled around my Trio64V2\DX and probably found the way to fix the brightness issue.
Run DEBUG.EXE and type these commands:
Code: Select all
o 3c4 08
o 3c5 06
o 3c4 1a
i 3c5

You will get a 8-bit hexadecimal value, subtract 20h from it (i.e. you got 3F, (3F - 20 = 1F)), this will set 5th bit of this value to 0, then type
Code: Select all
o 3c5 <resulting_value> (i.e. o 3c5 1f)
q

and voila! :)


YES!!! It works!
Virge/DX PCI (BIOS v2.01.16)

Jepael wrote:
elianda wrote:Could you compile a small tool as well that allows to set the bit 'ON' and 'OFF' from plain DOS on the fly?

Here are two simple DOS .com programs to either turn the bit on or off, but I haven't tested these. I used NASM to compile these so I haven't tested them on S3 card. These are so simple you could just do these in debug and save them.


Unfortunately this does not. :depressed:
Jepael, Can you try to compile this again?
Or is there a way to run the debug command with a batch file?
How can I create this with debug.exe and save into an executable?
Last edited by James-F on 2017-6-23 @ 08:05, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: S3 AGP Cards (and possibly others) Too Bright

Postby James-F » 2017-6-23 @ 07:19

This is an all-in-one (including debug.exe) directory with a batch file to disable or enable the pedestal switch (aka. brightness fix).
It's basically wbc blank pedestal debug commands in a batch file, just follow the instructions in README.TXT (or this thread) and run RUN.BAT.

You can run the content of run.bat in autoexec.bat to have this fix enabled at boot.
autoexec.bat line:
Code: Select all
C:\S3BRIGHT\DEBUG.EXE < C:\S3BRIGHT\OFF.SCR > NUL
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Re: S3 AGP Cards (and possibly others) Too Bright

Postby Rawit » 2017-8-14 @ 14:43

Can one of the DEBUG guru's explain to me how I can toggle/set to 25.175 or 28.322? I'm trying to get a Savage4 to display DOS in 720x400 by setting the DCLK to 28.322.
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Re: S3 AGP Cards (and possibly others) Too Bright

Postby Jepael » 2017-8-14 @ 17:45

Rawit wrote:Can one of the DEBUG guru's explain to me how I can toggle/set to 25.175 or 28.322? I'm trying to get a Savage4 to display DOS in 720x400 by setting the DCLK to 28.322.


Sure, but just by changing these bits don't switch the mode to 720x400, it's still 640x400 but 12% faster, you need to change the horizontal stuff as well.
Which is a bit odd, since DOS text mode should be 720x400 to begin with, and all 400-line modes look identical to the monitor so actually the monitor does not know if it has 720 or 640 pixels wide signal.
Are you sure you know what you are doing?

in debug:
Code: Select all
O 3c2 XX


where XX is the required bit pattern in hex. It's a write only register but current value should be readable from 3cc with
Code: Select all
I 3cc


400-line modes need negative HS polarity and positive VS polarity.
Thus, the register bits should be 01XX0111. The latter X is 0 as per your datasheet, but I don't know what the first X (PGS bit) should be set to, as that's specific to your card and that page is missing.

Maybe XX = 47, so "O 3c2 47"
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Re: S3 AGP Cards (and possibly others) Too Bright

Postby Rawit » 2017-8-14 @ 19:31

Jepael wrote:Are you sure you know what you are doing?

No :blush: But thanks for your post!

I have this Savage4 card that shows everything from DOS text to Mode 13h/Mode Y in 640x480@60hz, except the BIOS menu. It's a Savage4 card with digital out and it seems to behave differently than another Savage4 I had. I was wondering if my displays sees the signal incorrectly with this card in some cases (640x400@70hz and 640x480@60hz have both a pixelclock of 25.175Mhz), or if the cards BIOS/digital flat panel section just forces it somehow. I'm pretty sure it's 640x480 as my TV and scaler show this. Other cards give me 740x400 in the same setup, also in Mode 13h.

Reading the HW register doc I saw the mention of the 640/720 clock registers and I remembered this thread, so I thought "well, that's try that". Seems it's even more complex than I thought.

Also a bit curious: Lotus: The Ultimate Challenge doesn't suffer from slowdown with this card. Normally when using digital or playing it on a vintage laptop, it slows down as it uses the video as a ticker.

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Re: S3 AGP Cards (and possibly others) Too Bright

Postby Rawit » 2017-9-05 @ 11:55

Any advice how I read/write to registers with an index? There are a lot of settings at address 3C5H, but it uses indexes.

Edit: Figured it out, had to write the index to 3C4H, then I can use 3C5H. Didn't solve my problem though, as the settings seem correct. After reading all the values, it seems the problem I'm having is that I can't change the hsync/vsync polarity.
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Re: S3 AGP Cards (and possibly others) Too Bright

Postby Doppler » 2018-1-27 @ 22:29

anyone willing to help modding S3 Virge/gx2 BIOS to correct the washed blacks if I upload it here? or any advices to do it myself. I know how to use a hex editor :D
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Re: S3 AGP Cards (and possibly others) Too Bright

Postby keropi » 2018-3-28 @ 20:12

time for a little request bump :D

I have this Powercolor Virge/DX vga

Image

It has the bright pedestal issue BUT wbc's S3BRIGHT/S3BLACK do not fix the issue. This is not a hardware issue since I moved the BIOS IC to a Stealth3D 2000pro that does not have the brightness bug and with the POWERCOLOR BIOS it has it.
The "special" thing about the POWERCOLOR BIOS is that it does not need the SVGA Compatibility option in games like Commander Keen or Dangerous Dave (tested on the Stealth3D as well, with the powercolor bios it does not need it either) so I am attaching the POWERCOLOR BIOS in hopes it can be patched :)
Thanks!
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Re: S3 AGP Cards (and possibly others) Too Bright

Postby amijim » 2018-3-29 @ 11:33

Hey Keropi , when i get back i will give you one original diamond stealth 3d pro pci and one elsa winner s3 virge to test.
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Re: S3 AGP Cards (and possibly others) Too Bright

Postby wbc » 2018-3-31 @ 15:01

keropi wrote:I am attaching the POWERCOLOR BIOS in hopes it can be patched :)
Thanks!

don't bother with patching, it's v.1.01.03, so flash more recent v.2.01.07 BIOS or try these DEBUG commands ;)
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Re: S3 AGP Cards (and possibly others) Too Bright

Postby keropi » 2018-3-31 @ 17:11

wbc wrote:
keropi wrote:I am attaching the POWERCOLOR BIOS in hopes it can be patched :)
Thanks!

don't bother with patching, it's v.1.01.03, so flash more recent v.2.01.07 BIOS or try these DEBUG commands ;)


oh yeah! this worked perfectly and without patches needed... thanks!!!
Is there a reason that you linked v2.01.07 and not v2.01.16 that is also available?

Offtopic question: do you happen to know what happens if you use a stock S3 BIOS with a Diamond card? Does it break the Diamond-specific software tools compatibility?
I can see here that for the 3D-2000pro there is also a 3.04 BIOS but I can't find it anywhere to download. The v1.01 BIOS that my card comes with has the scrolling issues in games like Keen so it would be nice to upgrade.
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Re: S3 AGP Cards (and possibly others) Too Bright

Postby keropi » 2018-3-31 @ 19:50

I'm gonna answer my question above, having the generic BIOS on the 3D2000pro does not work well. DOS is OK but the win3.1 driver chooses an invalid mode or something and my lcd says the mode is not supported - it is supposed to boot at 640x480/60hz after the driver gets installed so it's a screenmode conflict or something.
Putting back the original BIOS works fine with the win3.1 installation.

Also v2.01.16 has the brightness issue (and does not work with the Diamond driver as well)
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Re: S3 AGP Cards (and possibly others) Too Bright

Postby appiah4 » 2018-5-18 @ 13:24

Apologies for this thread necromancy but I seem to have gotten no answers in another thread I made about this matter.. I am trying to use S3BRIGHT on a DOS 6.22 PC, but I get incorrect MS-DOS version errors when I do so. Is this utility not written for MS-DOS?
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Re: S3 AGP Cards (and possibly others) Too Bright

Postby Ozzuneoj » 2018-5-19 @ 04:24

keropi wrote:
wbc wrote:
keropi wrote:I am attaching the POWERCOLOR BIOS in hopes it can be patched :)
Thanks!

don't bother with patching, it's v.1.01.03, so flash more recent v.2.01.07 BIOS or try these DEBUG commands ;)


oh yeah! this worked perfectly and without patches needed... thanks!!!
Is there a reason that you linked v2.01.07 and not v2.01.16 that is also available?

Offtopic question: do you happen to know what happens if you use a stock S3 BIOS with a Diamond card? Does it break the Diamond-specific software tools compatibility?
I can see here that for the 3D-2000pro there is also a 3.04 BIOS but I can't find it anywhere to download. The v1.01 BIOS that my card comes with has the scrolling issues in games like Keen so it would be nice to upgrade.


I just checked the Stealth 3D 2000 Pro I have, and it actually has the 3.04 BIOS (its identical to this card, except 4 of the memory modules are in sockets). What is the easiest way to dump the BIOS from this card and upload it here? I prefer a method that can be done on a PC. I have a very old BIOS programmer but I've never used it and have zero experience with such devices... I also have no idea if it'd be compatible.

It is worth mentioning that my 3D 2000 Pro actually gave me graphical artifacts around the mouse cursor in Windows 98SE when I last used it. This was on an ASUS TUV4X ApolloPro 133T board I believe. I'll test it again (may have been a software or compatibility issue), but even if the card is defective I doubt the BIOS is affected. I'd gladly supply the v3.04 BIOS if someone can explain a quick way to dump it.
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Re: S3 AGP Cards (and possibly others) Too Bright

Postby KCompRoom2000 » 2018-5-19 @ 07:31

Ozzuneoj wrote:I just checked the Stealth 3D 2000 Pro I have, and it actually has the 3.04 BIOS (its identical to this card, except 4 of the memory modules are in sockets). What is the easiest way to dump the BIOS from this card and upload it here? I prefer a method that can be done on a PC. I have a very old BIOS programmer but I've never used it and have zero experience with such devices... I also have no idea if it'd be compatible.

NSSI (Navrátil Software System Information) can be used to dump your video card's BIOS directly onto your PC.
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Re: S3 AGP Cards (and possibly others) Too Bright

Postby Ozzuneoj » 2018-5-20 @ 03:02

KCompRoom2000 wrote:
Ozzuneoj wrote:I just checked the Stealth 3D 2000 Pro I have, and it actually has the 3.04 BIOS (its identical to this card, except 4 of the memory modules are in sockets). What is the easiest way to dump the BIOS from this card and upload it here? I prefer a method that can be done on a PC. I have a very old BIOS programmer but I've never used it and have zero experience with such devices... I also have no idea if it'd be compatible.

NSSI (Navrátil Software System Information) can be used to dump your video card's BIOS directly onto your PC.

Awesome! That is a fantastic utility... very easy to use once installed. Just FYI to others, the nssi060.exe program is actually a DOS based installer. Renaming the file seems to cause it to fail an integrity check, so do not rename it. When you run it it will basically dump all of the necessary files into the current folder, so I recommend moving it to its own directory before running it in DOS.

Anyway, I was able to save the v3.04 BIOS from my card to a .VBI file using this program. I have attached it to this post.

If I wanted to flash an image like this to another card or another BIOS ROM chip, how would I go about doing that? I have a feeling there aren't any methods as easy as dumping the BIOS.
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Re: S3 AGP Cards (and possibly others) Too Bright

Postby lvader » 2018-5-20 @ 07:02

appiah4 wrote:Apologies for this thread necromancy but I seem to have gotten no answers in another thread I made about this matter.. I am trying to use S3BRIGHT on a DOS 6.22 PC, but I get incorrect MS-DOS version errors when I do so. Is this utility not written for MS-DOS?


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