Sfor

Asus Eee PC and Windows 9x.

99 posts in this topic

Is there Windows 98 compatible VBEMP driver available?

All I've found is Windows NT related, so far.

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Oh, I did not realize the VBEMP = Universal VBE. Apparently there are two branches of the same project (9x and NT compatible).

Still, it allows to use just 800x600 mode.

How can I "persuade" the BIOS to use 1024x600?

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If I get it right, you have a i910 which should behave (wrongly) like the 915 G.

On the same page:

http://www.geocities.com/bearwindows/vbe9x.htm#7

Cards (chips) affected

Description

Intel 845G, 865G, 915G (may be others)

PRB: Cannot set resolution higher than 800x600x8bits and 640x480x16bits.

DETAILS: In Video BIOS frame buffer size hardwired to 832 Kbytes, which is not enough even for 1024x768x16bit = 1024*768*2 = 1572864, 1572864 > 832K.

FIX: Update your BIOS with latest version or patch it.

You may want to try running INFOVBE:

http://www.geocities.com/bearwindows/vbe9x.htm#7

http://www.bearwindows.boot-land.net/infovbe.zip

to make sure about the available resolutions, then try contacting bearwindows :thumbup , he may have (or find) a solution :unsure:.

jaclaz

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No, it does not seem to be the case.

InfoVBE (build 05may2008)

VESA/VBE BIOS Present (3.00, 7872 Kb)

OEM String: (0x0BC3FEC8) Intel®915GM/910ML/915MS Graphics Chip Accelerated VGA BIOS

Capabilities: 0x00000001

OEM VendorName: (0x0BC3FF05) Intel Corporation

OEM ProductName: (0x0BC3FF17) Intel®915GM/910ML/915MS Graphics Controller

OEM ProductRev: (0x0BC3FF45) Hardware Version 0.0

OEM SoftwareRev: 0x0100

VideoModePtr: 0x0BC3FE08

So, the BIOS reports more than enough of memory available.

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Sfor

I see no problems with your VBIOS.

There is another way. Use Intel Embedded Graphics Drivers for i915/910 - http://www.intel.com/design/intarch/swsup/...ics_drivers.htm . It includes Terminate-and-stay-resident VBIOS module with editor. You can add needed mode, load VBIOS into RAM and then use VBEMP 9x or SNAP Graphics in VESA mode. Some people tell that this method works well.

Same functionality used in 915resolution.

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I was able to build a VBIOS. It seems to be working fine in DOS. But, Windows 98 fails to load with the VBEMP 9x, if the VBIOS module was loaded to the memory.

I found no indication how the VBIOS should be loaded, so I've added it to the AUTOEXEC.BAT.

I was unable to switch the SNAP driver to the VESA mode. The "gaoption.exe vesa on" command brings an iformation the nga_w32.dll could not be loaded.

The IEGD package suggests it is possible to build own EFI module. The EEE supports EFI, as far as I know. The linux version of the EEE PC 900 does have the EFI partition by default. Still, I do not know what to do with it.

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Sfor

You can use my infovbe tool to see which VESA modes are available after you loaded VBIOS.

October 21 I made a new VBEMP 9x version with ASUS EEE PC (with Intel 91xG Graphics) support.

It requires a loading of TSR VBIOS before loading driver (included with 08.10.21 driver).

See my site for details.

Edited by bearwindows
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Good news is the DOS sessions are working in windowed mode with the new driver. So, it is significantly better, than the regular one.

The bad news is, I can not load Windows with the VBIOS loaded, still.

The InfoVBE tool works correctly without the VBIOS. But, with the VBIOS it does not exit as it should to. A lot of informations scrolls through the screen, then stops at some point. It is necesary to reboot the system then. I've tried to redirect the screen output to a file. But, the contents of the output file gets lost after the reboot. So, I can not check if the new modes are present in the VBIOS.

----- Edit

The new VBEMP 9x comes with a properly working VBIOS TSR included. After loading the /1024x768/alv_1411.exe in the autoexec.bat the 1024x600 mode becomes available.

-----

I found another strange behavior connected with disabled wireless network card. The Windows 98 started to crash at booting when the unknown ethernet adapter device was present in the device manager and disabled in BIOS. To make everything working correctly with both enabled and disabled wireless adapter, I had to let the windows detect both Atheros network cards as unknown network cards, and then I have disabled both in the device manager. Now everything works fine, no matter if the wireless card is enabled or disabled.

Edited by Sfor
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I've tried to redirect the screen output to a file. But, the contents of the output file gets lost after the reboot. So, I can not check if the new modes are present in the VBIOS.
Maybe you can redirect the output to a serial port? Or doesn't the EEE has one?
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Maybe you can redirect the output to a serial port? Or doesn't the EEE has one?

Asus EEE PC does have just USB ports. So, no RS232 available.

Edited by Sfor
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Thanks to Bearwindows there is a new version of VBEMP 9x driver available.

The problem with DOS applications have been solved. It is possible to run them in a window, now.

The 1024x600 screen resolution is available as well. To make it work it is necesary to add a VBIOS TSR utility in the autoexec.bat.

Both driver and utility are available at http://www.geocities.com/bearwindows/vbe9x.htm.

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Oooops! The problem with DOS applications was not solved, yet. On the other hand, the system does not hang, as it was with the older driver.

When starting a DOS application in a windowed mode the screen contents gets destroyed completely. In order to get back to normal, it is enough to switch the DOS application to full screen, and then back to windowed mode (ALT+ENTER).

When starting a DOS application in full screen mode, everything works correctly. So, it is a good idea to keep the _DEFAULT.PIF file forcing DOS application to use full screen as the default mode.

Edited by Sfor
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Bearwindows helped me again.

It is possible to enable the ACPI support in Windows 98. To do so it is necesary to import a following registry settings:

REGEDIT4

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Detect]
"ACPIOption"=dword:00000001

Then the "new hardware wizard" will detect the ACPI BIOS.

However, there is a catch in it. In my case, enabling ACPI BIOS made the windows detect the built in USB card reader. Now SD cards are both detected by the BIOS USB drive support and the Windows giving two drive letters for a single SD card. It does not seem to be a very important issue, but it is a bit irritating.

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I've been thinking about removing the duplicated USB MS-DOS compatible drive letters from Windows by creating a DOS utility. It should be possible to remove a USB drive letter from the DOS.

But, there are a few problems:

- Where the Windows takes the DOS drive informations from? (DOS or BIOS) Is it necesary to remove the drive from both BIOS and DOS disk drive devices list?

- The DOS support for the USB drives comes with loading IO.SYS, as BIOS does the whole job. So, there is no possibility to remove a driver or something. It would be necesary to undo quite a few things, probably.

- Perhaps a boot manager could do the trick of removing the unwanted USB drives.

-------------------------------------------

I've tried to hide the partition on the USB drive using XOSL boot manager. It did hide the drive in DOS, and the Windows showed just one drive letter. Unfortunatelly, Windows detected the SD card as an unformatted one. So, this system is useless.

Clearly XOSL is hiding partitions through a change in the partition table. The Windows can not access the drive in such a case.

It could be possible to enable the partition back, after DOS booted. So, the windows gets a correct partition information, that way. But, it would require to create an application to change the partition of the flash drive. It should be relatively simple, when compared to the task of forcing the DOS to loose the USB drive letter support.

Edited by Sfor
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