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Compatible Hardware with Windows 9x

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#51
JustinStacey.x

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I have a Medion MIM 2080 cheapie laptop, with mostly VIA components, and I run Windows 98 stably with drivers for sound, LAN, modem, VGA, and everything. One or two ?s in Device Manager but as far as I can see everything does work. And to make it even faster, I ripped out all the webby 'enhancements'.

When I can get the exact hardware spec I will edit here. I bought it in 2006.
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#52
pointertovoid

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Nearly everything about disk capacity limit is wrong.

I regularly use W95b on disks exceeding 32GB and exceeding 137GB. No particular measure for it.

W95-98-Me-2k-Xp-2k3 (but not Fat32) is limited to about 2TB disk capacity for coding sector numbers on 32 bits, a limit of both Windows and of Mbr-type partitions. And Fat32 is the same from W95b to WMe.

W95-98-Me is not limited to Lba28 and doesn't even notice the 137GB barrier. It completely relies on the Bios, and operating these Win over 137GB works without any effort if the Bios is able of it.

Added drivers - like Intel's one - do not modify Windows' behaviour at 137GB, but shortcut a limited Bios to enable Win accessing bigger disks. Just like the "disk installers" provided by disks manufacturers do.

About processors, I've just installed a W95b on a 1400MHz PIIIs 80GB without any patch. This confirms once again that the 350MHz refer to Amd processors.

#53
rloew

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Nearly everything about disk capacity limit is wrong.

I regularly use W95b on disks exceeding 32GB and exceeding 137GB. No particular measure for it.

W95-98-Me-2k-Xp-2k3 (but not Fat32) is limited to about 2TB disk capacity for coding sector numbers on 32 bits, a limit of both Windows and of Mbr-type partitions. And Fat32 is the same from W95b to WMe.

W95-98-Me is not limited to Lba28 and doesn't even notice the 137GB barrier. It completely relies on the Bios, and operating these Win over 137GB works without any effort if the Bios is able of it.

Added drivers - like Intel's one - do not modify Windows' behaviour at 137GB, but shortcut a limited Bios to enable Win accessing bigger disks. Just like the "disk installers" provided by disks manufacturers do.


The 32GB limit is a flaw in the original version of ESDI_506.PDR in Windows 95. It will access more than 32GB, but if for any reason a retry occurs, it switches to CHS mode and will corrupt the Hard Drive if the access was above 32GB.

All of the Windows versions mentioned are limited to 137GB as they only support 28-Bit LBA. Unless running in compatability mode, they do not use the BIOS.
The BIOS must also support 48-Bit LBA, for proper operation, since it is used during Boot before the Hard Disk Driver is loaded.
The 2TB limit is a separate limit due to 32-Bit Sector Addressing. I have written software for Windows 9X to go beyond 2TB.

You may have allocated Partitions extending above the 137GB limit but the problem won't occur until you actually try to put data into sectors above the limit. You will then encounter errors or corruption of files in lower sectors. Newly created files may seem OK but they will have overwriiten other files. SCANDISK will not detect the damage if it is confined to the data sectors of files.

Drivers such as the Intel Application Accelerator or my High Capacity Disk Patch do add support to Windows above 137GB. The Disk Manufacturers Installers supplement the BIOS as does my BOOTMAN. I have had problems getting the Disk Manufacturers Installers to work properly so I wrote my own.
These are two entirely separate fixes.
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#54
dencorso

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The 137GB limit is real all right. Much has been discussed about it. Please refer to the index topic about it that I've compiled, to which there is a link below, in the signature part of this message:

#55
LoneCrusader

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(Repeat of a post made in another topic, but I felt it was relevant here as well as this is a compatibility thread.)

About processors, I've just installed a W95b on a 1400MHz PIIIs 80GB without any patch. This confirms once again that the 350MHz refer to Amd processors.


I'm not saying you're wrong, but I recently installed 95C on a P4 2.0GHz machine and had to use the amdk6upd patch. Probably even the Intel processors at some point above the processor you used hit a limit where the patch is needed.

#56
rloew

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I have developed a Patch that should allow the use of 512MB Graphics Cards with Windows 9X.
I do not have a Card to test.
If anyone has a 512MB Graphics Card and a Windows 9X driver for it, and is interested in doing some testing, contact me at rloew@hotmail.com
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#57
eidenk

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Supported Processors:
Opteron
Athlon 64 (FX-57 2.8 GHz is the fastest)

The Opteron 154 is also clocked at 2.8 Ghz and the rare Opteron 156 seems to be the fastest AMD single core at 3 Ghz. Just like the FX-57 they are socket 939 CPUs but I am unsure whether they would work on my motherboard (see my sig) as they are not in the list of supported processors. I did not buy a rather cheap Opteron 154 on eBay last week because of that uncertainty.

Edited by eidenk, 30 May 2009 - 05:46 AM.

Asus A8V Deluxe - Athlon 64 FX-55 2.6Ghz - 1GB DDRAM 400 - Windows ME (IE 5.5 SP2 Shell) + KernelEx 4.0 and Revolutions Pack 10

#58
LoneCrusader

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I have developed a Patch that should allow the use of 512MB Graphics Cards with Windows 9X.
I do not have a Card to test.
If anyone has a 512MB Graphics Card and a Windows 9X driver for it, and is interested in doing some testing, contact me at rloew@hotmail.com


I would be interested, but I also don't have a 512MB card. I might look into buying one if I can find one that I like. I prefer ATI cards, does anyone know of an ATI 512MB AGP card that has 98 drivers? I am already using the Catalyst 6.2 driver pack with my 9800 XT, and if I go into my adapter driver settings and view all hardware, the newest card listed is the x800 XT Platinum Edition which only came in 256MB versions.

#59
rloew

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I have purchased and tested a GeForcd 6200 512MB AGP Graphics Card.
The Installation CD was limited to XP and Vista, but NVIDIA offers their Forceware 81.98 which works fine.

The NVIDIA Driver doesn't appear to allocate the entire AGP Aperture so it doesn't appear to be limited to 256MB. A 1024MB may work also.

The AGP allocation issue occurs in the ATI RADEON 9600. Since it is only 128MB, there is no problem, but a 512MB Card, with a similar driver, would cause problems.

One person, who answered my request for Beta Testers, has a GeForce 7600GT 512MB AGP Card. He had no problem related to the AGP size but had a Shutdown problem that appears to be unrelated. He has used the NVIDIA 82.69 Driver without Problems.

I am still looking for Testers who have access to 512MB or larger Graphics Cards with Windows 9X compatable drivers to test my Beta AGP Patch.

Edited by rloew, 20 June 2009 - 05:58 PM.

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#60
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All of the Windows versions mentioned are limited to 137GB as they only support 28-Bit LBA. Unless running in compatability mode, they do not use the BIOS.

I've installed and run win-98se as follows:

- 500 gb WD Sata drive
- drive set to SATA-raid mode in motherboard bios (not IDE compatible mode)
- motherboard was Asrock Dual VSTA (Via 880 chipset)
- win-98 using via driver for hard drive access (not esdi_506)
- device manager identifies the drive controller as scsi device
- hard drive was formatted as single FAT32 partition, 4kb cluster size
- 120 million clusters
- I filled the drive with multiple copies of DVD .VOB files to test for 128 gb problem
- only problem with this configuration was that win98 would not create a swap file on this drive
- formatting this drive with standard 32kb cluster size solved swap-file issue

The issue with large hard drive support (these days) for win-98 is moot (as I see it). Most large drives these days will be SATA, and attaching a SATA drive to a win-98 system will automatically give the user the option of using the SATA driver, which completely side-steps the problem with esdi_506. Anyone using a SATA drive in IDE compatible mode for use with win-98 is just making their life more complicated than it needs to be. Many win-98 sata drivers are available. USE THEM!

Trying to figure out the max cluster-count that win98 (and other apps) is compatible with is more interesting and useful at this point. Formatting large FAT32 volumes with large cluster sizes is not always efficient.

#61
rloew

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I've installed and run win-98se as follows:

- 500 gb WD Sata drive
- drive set to SATA-raid mode in motherboard bios (not IDE compatible mode)
- motherboard was Asrock Dual VSTA (Via 880 chipset)
- win-98 using via driver for hard drive access (not esdi_506)
- I filled the drive with multiple copies of DVD .VOB files to test for 128 gb problem

The issue with large hard drive support (these days) for win-98 is moot (as I see it). Most large drives these days will be SATA, and attaching a SATA drive to a win-98 system will automatically give the user the option of using the SATA driver, which completely side-steps the problem with esdi_506. Anyone using a SATA drive in IDE compatible mode for use with win-98 is just making their life more complicated than it needs to be. Many win-98 sata drivers are available. USE THEM!


I doubt that Windows 9X SATA-Raid drivers are available for many of the newer motherboards.
I also found that in at least one motherboard, using SATA-Raid mode disabled my Adaptec SCSI Card from booting.
I agree that IDE Compatability mode is more complicated. I had to write a Patch and .INF file to make it work properly, but it works on my newest motherboards.
I'm not sure what VIA Driver you are using, but the 2003 Miniport Driver has a bug in it. You wouldn't see it since you are using a WD Drive.
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#62
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I doubt that Windows 9X SATA-Raid drivers are available for many of the newer motherboards.
I also found that in at least one motherboard, using SATA-Raid mode disabled my Adaptec SCSI Card from booting.
I agree that IDE Compatability mode is more complicated. I had to write a Patch and .INF file to make it work properly, but it works on my newest motherboards.
I'm not sure what VIA Driver you are using, but the 2003 Miniport Driver has a bug in it. You wouldn't see it since you are using a WD Drive.

It's my impression that there are win-98 drivers for the SATA controllers that were integrated into many motherboards up to at least 2006 or 2007. Perhaps moreso for SATA-1 vs SATA-2 controllers. The governing factor in win-98 compatibility for motherboards made after 2006 will be more for the chipset (north/south bridge) than anything else. If the SATA controller on any given motherboard does not have a win-98 driver, then chances are it won't also have a driver for north/south bridge anyways.

I still think the Asrock Dual or 4-core VSTA is the best motherboard for building a win-98 system (that's still available for retail sale).

Here are the details of the system I mentioned previously:

Hard drive: Western Digital WD5000KS (500 gb) SATA
SATA raid controller: VIA VT8237A Raid controller (viamraid.mpd, ios.vxd, viamvsd.vxd)

I'd still like to hear your opinion regarding win-98 and the max number of clusters-per-volume it can reliably work with.

#63
rloew

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I'd still like to hear your opinion regarding win-98 and the max number of clusters-per-volume it can reliably work with.


I did some preliminary tests.

Windows 98 SCANDISK/DEFRAG is limited to less that ~4,000,000 Clusters (~128GiB for Standard Format)
Windows ME SCANDISK/DEFRAG is limited to less that ~32,000,000 Clusters (~1TiB for Standard Format)
DOS, and Windows 98 appear to handle the design limit of ~256,000,000 Clusters.
DOS SCANDISK can check and repair ~256,000,000 Cluster Drives but will not do a Surface Scan at 182,000,000 Clusters. The probable limit is 128,000,000.
There appears to be a cosmetic flaw in DOS SCANDISK above ~43,000,000 Clusters.
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#64
dencorso

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I did some preliminary tests.

Windows 98 SCANDISK/DEFRAG is limited to less that ~4,000,000 Clusters (~128GiB for Standard Format)
Windows ME SCANDISK/DEFRAG is limited to less that ~32,000,000 Clusters (~1TiB for Standard Format)
DOS, and Windows 98 appear to handle the design limit of ~256,000,000 Clusters.
DOS SCANDISK can check and repair ~256,000,000 Cluster Drives but will not do a Surface Scan at 182,000,000 Clusters. The probable limit is 128,000,000.
There appears to be a cosmetic flaw in DOS SCANDISK above ~43,000,000 Clusters.

I've done some tests with SCANDKSW (the SCANDISK from Win ME) and reported here that it works OK with 26.4 million clusters (26,389,392 clusters), but throws the infamous "ScanDisk could not continue because your computer does not have enough available memory. If any other programs are running, quit one or more of them, and then try running ScanDisk again." message with 26.6 million clusters (26,588,648 clusters). You are the first, AFAIK, to determine the limits For the DOS SCANDISK. Thanks for the great info! :thumbup BTW, from the way you wrote it it seems to me that the limit for SCANDSKW and DEFRAG are one and the same, what makes me think it must lie inside DISKMAINT.DLL. Is that right?

#65
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Why do some hard drive utility tools (such as Partition Magic) have a limit of about 6.3 million clusters when they prepare a FAT32 volume - regardless of the size of the volume or the cluster size ?

That number (6.3 million, or 6,291,204 to be exact) seems to be the upper limit as far as getting an instant result when performing a DIR command in DOS, and possibly for bringing up quick initial directory listing in win-98.

What do you know about this phenomena of dos or win-98 and the time it takes to perform their first directory listing as a function of the number of clusters on a volume? I think that the computation of free space is involved, but I don't know how or why.

#66
rloew

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I did some additional tests.

DOS SCANDISK will do a surface scan at 122,000,000.
A new cosmetic error appear during the Surface Scan when displaying Cluster numbers above 99,999,999.
The limitation on Surface scans does not appear to be related to available Extended Memory.

BTW, from the way you wrote it it seems to me that the limit for SCANDSKW and DEFRAG are one and the same, what makes me think it must lie inside DISKMAINT.DLL. Is that right?


I suspect so. Defrag does a Disk Scan before starting to defrag.

What do you know about this phenomena of dos or win-98 and the time it takes to perform their first directory listing as a function of the number of clusters on a volume? I think that the computation of free space is involved, but I don't know how or why.


If the Saved Free Space Count is -1, then DOS will recompute the Free Space. This requires reading an entire FAT, so it takes a while.
If the Saved Free Space Count is valid, DOS will use it and complete the Directory listing quickly.
Different Formatters may or may not set the Saved Free Space Count properly.

I don't see much significance in the 6,291,204 value other than it is only 252 less than 00600000 in Hexadecimal.
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#67
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What do you know about this phenomena of dos or win-98 and the time it takes to perform their first directory listing as a function of the number of clusters on a volume? I think that the computation of free space is involved, but I don't know how or why.

If the Saved Free Space Count is -1, then DOS will recompute the Free Space. This requires reading an entire FAT, so it takes a while. If the Saved Free Space Count is valid, DOS will use it and complete the Directory listing quickly. Different Formatters may or may not set the Saved Free Space Count properly.

I don't see much significance in the 6,291,204 value other than it is only 252 less than 00600000 in Hexadecimal.

In my experience, if a system has booted into DOS, and if it has a FAT32 drive or volume with some arbitrarily large number of clusters (perhaps larger than 6.3 million clusters) then the first DIR command that is performed after bootup will not be instantaneous - but every dir command performed afterward will be (until the system is re-started).

I believe that I have also seen this behavior in win-98 - ie if win-98 is started and the drives are browsed, that it will take several minutes to view the file system if a volume with some arbitrarily large number of clusters is present - but this only happens the first time the drives are browsed.

#68
dencorso

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[...]The issue with large hard drive support (these days) for win-98 is moot (as I see it). Most large drives these days will be SATA, and attaching a SATA drive to a win-98 system will automatically give the user the option of using the SATA driver, which completely side-steps the problem with esdi_506. Anyone using a SATA drive in IDE compatible mode for use with win-98 is just making their life more complicated than it needs to be. Many win-98 sata drivers are available. USE THEM!

I doubt that Windows 9X SATA-Raid drivers are available for many of the newer motherboards.
I also found that in at least one motherboard, using SATA-Raid mode disabled my Adaptec SCSI Card from booting.
I agree that IDE Compatability mode is more complicated. I had to write a Patch and .INF file to make it work properly, but it works on my newest motherboards.
I'm not sure what VIA Driver you are using, but the 2003 Miniport Driver has a bug in it. You wouldn't see it since you are using a WD Drive.

What .mpd are you referring to? Is it this one:http://downloads.via...alATA_V220E.zip? If so, can you describe the bug in more detail, please? Why does it depend on the HDD manufacturer to manifest itself?
And, yes, I do agree that most of today's boards don't have any SATA drivers. I think, BTW, that the chipset in wsxedcrfv's board is the very last VIA chipset that works with the .mpd I've just pointed to. Also BTW, does your SATA patch to esdi_506.pdr work with the LLXX patched .pdrs? It'd be nice if it did. You've mentioned before your SATA.INF alone suffices for the ECS GeForce6100SM-M2. Is it true for all nForce4 boards or just a special case?

Edited by dencorso, 05 July 2009 - 10:45 PM.


#69
rloew

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[...]The issue with large hard drive support (these days) for win-98 is moot (as I see it). Most large drives these days will be SATA, and attaching a SATA drive to a win-98 system will automatically give the user the option of using the SATA driver, which completely side-steps the problem with esdi_506. Anyone using a SATA drive in IDE compatible mode for use with win-98 is just making their life more complicated than it needs to be. Many win-98 sata drivers are available. USE THEM!

I doubt that Windows 9X SATA-Raid drivers are available for many of the newer motherboards.
I also found that in at least one motherboard, using SATA-Raid mode disabled my Adaptec SCSI Card from booting.
I agree that IDE Compatability mode is more complicated. I had to write a Patch and .INF file to make it work properly, but it works on my newest motherboards.
I'm not sure what VIA Driver you are using, but the 2003 Miniport Driver has a bug in it. You wouldn't see it since you are using a WD Drive.

What .mpd are you referring to? Is it this one:http://downloads.via...alATA_V220E.zip? If so, can you describe the bug in more detail, please? Why does it depend on the HDD manufacturer to manifest itself?


The .MPD file I tested was for IDE. It is named VIA_IDE_MPD_V320B.ZIP on the VIAARENA site.

Western Digital, like most Manufacturers did not correctly follow the ATA 48-Bit LBA Standard.
VIA made the same incorrect assumption when writing the Driver. It works for most brands.
Seagate followed the ATA Standard exactly, leading to an incompatability.
Depending on layout, there is a 1 in 8 chance that Windows will specify the last Sector in the 28-Bit LBA range when crossing the boundary.
This access will fail.

I became aware of this problem in 2004 and corrected the Code in Version 2.1 of my High Capacity Disk Patch.
It is documented in the User's Manual for the Full Version of the High Capacity Disk Patch.
I also Patched the VIA Miniport Driver to eliminate this Problem.

And, yes, I do agree that most of today's boards don't have any SATA drivers. I think, BTW, that the chipset in wsxedcrfv's board is the very last VIA chipset that works with the .mpd I've just pointed to. Also BTW, does your SATA patch to esdi_506.pdr work with the LLXX patched .pdrs? It'd be nice if it did. You've mentioned before your SATA.INF alone suffices for the ECS GeForce6100SM-M2. Is it true for all nForce4 boards or just a special case?


I believe my SATA Patch will work with the LLXX Patch, but I haven't tested it.
I only have one nForce4 motherboard so I can't say for sure. My other two Motherboards with integrated SATA needed the Patch.
Using a different version of my SATA.INF with my SATA Patch worked with the JMicron SATA Cards which have no Windows 9x Drivers.

Edited by rloew, 06 July 2009 - 12:45 AM.

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#70
adamzan7

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Just to let everyone know the MSI PC54G2 wireless card works perfectly with 98SE. Though the software kinda sucks.

#71
JustinStacey.x

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I don't think I mentioned this before but if anyone is looking for relatively recent laptops that support Windows 98 the Medion MIM 2080 does, and has working drivers for everything. Finding them is difficult and obviously the driver disks don't always have 98 compatible drivers. But, it is possible and I have done it on that machine. it also runs Windows 2000 very nicely. Since it has no internal CD drive, the setup files have to first be copied to the hard drive.
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#72
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My ME CD does not have all the Matrox video drivers with it. I had to install what is close to it like the Matrox GA Milinium to even have the better quality. My video card is the Matrox Power Graphics Accelerator 200 series. I tried the Matrox site to download what I think is the right installation of the driver and said I do not have a Matrox card or that it is not the right one. I need help with both the sound card and my video card issues because they both were installed by ME as generic.

#73
Usher

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The following Chipsets have Windows 9x Support:

Intel Chipsets:
865PE --- Pentium 4
865G --- Pentium 4
8xx

There is no Intel Application Accelerator for 875P, 865G/P/PE, 852/855 GM/GME, 855MP, 848P chipsets (ICH5 southbridge) so there is no full support for Windows 9x for these chipsets. See Intel Application Accelerator RAID Edition, Large drive support for ICH5R, but not for Win-98? thread.
Tested with ICH5/848P on AOpen AX4SPB-UN motherboard, Win98SE started from PATA 40 GB drive:
* PATA drives can work with generic ESDI_505.PDR drivers.
* Single SATA drive is detected but not recognized (error in Device Manager), even with ESDI_506.PDR 4.10.2225 patched for 48bit LBA.
* Two SATA drives cause system hang when ESDI_506.PDR driver is detecting drives.

Andrzej P. Wozniak
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#74
Usher

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Supported Sound Cards

Realtek
*All AC'97 Audio Codecs have drivers for all 9x systems (but not high definition chips)*

The drivers may NOT work, if Realtek AC97 codecs are coupled with not fully supported ICH5 Intel southbridge (there is no Intel Application Accelerator for that bridge). Older drivers install and start Sound Manager but not detect audio devices, newest drivers install and do nothing more.
Tested on AOpen AX4SPB-UN motherboard with 848P chipset, ICH5 southbridge, Realtek ALC655 AC97 codec.

Andrzej P. Wozniak
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#75
halohalo

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The following Chipsets have Windows 9x Support:

Intel Chipsets:
865PE --- Pentium 4
865G --- Pentium 4
8xx

There is no Intel Application Accelerator for 875P, 865G/P/PE, 852/855 GM/GME, 855MP, 848P chipsets (ICH5 southbridge) so there is no full support for Windows 9x for these chipsets. See Intel Application Accelerator RAID Edition, Large drive support for ICH5R, but not for Win-98? thread.
Tested with ICH5/848P on AOpen AX4SPB-UN motherboard, Win98SE started from PATA 40 GB drive:
* PATA drives can work with generic ESDI_505.PDR drivers.
* Single SATA drive is detected but not recognized (error in Device Manager), even with ESDI_506.PDR 4.10.2225 patched for 48bit LBA.
* Two SATA drives cause system hang when ESDI_506.PDR driver is detecting drives.

Andrzej P. Wozniak

IAA will forcingly disable the DMA mode on some old CD-ROM drives, like TEAC CD524E. And IAA also caused problem when I installed MGS2, a DVD-9 based PC game. Therefore I don't think IAA is necessary when I use Win98se.

I failed to format single SATA drive on GA-8I865PE775-G-RH(4.9), so I used the SATA <-> IDE adapter and formatted the SATA drive at IDE port. Then I plugged the SATA drive back to SATA port, and it has no problem with patched ESDI_506.PDR.

But I only plugged one SATA drive and one IDE DVD-ROM drive. And pluging two SATA drives means you can't use IDE port.

Edited by halohalo, 01 February 2010 - 01:37 PM.





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