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View Full Version : Just got a "Dolch LPAC 586" and need some Win98 driver help



RWallmow
September 24th, 2011, 12:51 PM
Picked up a Dolch "LPAC 586" on fleabay for cheap, and got most everything going, but I am having some trouble with the display, the "Chips and Tech" driver that 98 is using by default only works in 16 color mode (640x480 or 800x600), I get garbage when I try to do higher color (256 at 800x600 and 256 or 16bit at 640x480). I am working on freeing up the glued/epoxied screws so I can get to the video card so I can grab full chipset model info off it, but I figured I would post now anyways in case someone who's familiar with Dolch might have an answer. I will edit this post or reply with chipset info once I can get past the epoxy/glued screws (I had to drill them out of the hard drive, but it was dead and I wasn't going to reuse it, so drilling it wasn't a problem, I don't want to drill the case/slot screws)

EDIT: Its a "Chips" F65545 chipset, here's a photo of the card http://wallmow.com/photos/var/thumbs/Vintage-Computers/Dolch-LPAC-586/ISA_Video_card.jpg?m=1316906578 (http://wallmow.com/photos/index.php/Vintage-Computers/Dolch-LPAC-586/ISA_Video_card)

Agent Orange
September 24th, 2011, 04:36 PM
Picked up a Dolch "LPAC 586" on fleabay for cheap, and got most everything going, but I am having some trouble with the display, the "Chips and Tech" driver that 98 is using by default only works in 16 color mode (640x480 or 800x600), I get garbage when I try to do higher color (256 at 800x600 and 256 or 16bit at 640x480). I am working on freeing up the glued/epoxied screws so I can get to the video card so I can grab full chipset model info off it, but I figured I would post now anyways in case someone who's familiar with Dolch might have an answer. I will edit this post or reply with chipset info once I can get past the epoxy/glued screws (I had to drill them out of the hard drive, but it was dead and I wasn't going to reuse it, so drilling it wasn't a problem, I don't want to drill the case/slot screws)


EDIT: Its a "Chips" F65545 chipset, here's a photo of the card http://wallmow.com/photos/var/thumbs/Vintage-Computers/Dolch-LPAC-586/ISA_Video_card.jpg?m=1316906578 (http://wallmow.com/photos/index.php/Vintage-Computers/Dolch-LPAC-586/ISA_Video_card)

Just may be that it doesn't support SVGA. How about a little more info on the video card?

Chuck(G)
September 24th, 2011, 05:11 PM
Looking at the datasheet, the F65545 supports a max of 1MB video RAM and 512KB seems to be more common. You may want to compare what the datasheet says about the color depth available for the display on page 215 of the datasheet.

RWallmow
September 24th, 2011, 06:30 PM
Looking at the datasheet, the F65545 supports a max of 1MB video RAM and 512KB seems to be more common. You may want to compare what the datasheet says about the color depth available for the display on page 215 of the datasheet.
It took some digging to decode the NEC DRAM part number, the two chips in upper left of photo are EACH 512KB (4mbit-70ns) so this thing must have 1MB of video ram

I have since the first load now tried some Compaq "Chips F65545" video drivers and no change from what the built in Win98 drivers did, any time you try to run over 16 color it just displays garbage and locks up (I can tell windows is locked, cant access it on network and no HD activity).

EDIT I know it does SVGA, it will do 800x600 at 16 color, I just can't get it to do more than 16 color.

NEC DRAM Decoderhttp://wallmow.com/photos/var/thumbs/misc-public/NEC-DRAM.jpg?m=1316917678 (http://wallmow.com/photos/index.php/misc-public/NEC-DRAM)

lutiana
September 24th, 2011, 06:58 PM
Not to hijack the thread or wander off topic but I am curious about what kind if resolutions and color depth would the typical 512kb VGA card be able to actually display? What about a 1mb card?

RWallmow
September 24th, 2011, 07:04 PM
Not to hijack the thread or wander off topic but I am curious about what kind if resolutions and color depth would the typical 512kb VGA card be able to actually display? What about a 1mb card?
Well I know full VGA needs only 256KB (640x480-16color), beyond that I am not sure where the difference in video memory helps, but I know every other 1mb card I have owned will do at least 16bit in 640x480 and at least 8bit at 800x600. The 4bit this thing is doing now is well below what it should be capable of doing.

njroadfan
September 24th, 2011, 08:36 PM
512k is needed for 640x480 in 256 colors or 800x600 in 16 colors, my PC Compatibility card has a C&T chipset with 512k VRAM. Have you tried the drivers here? http://sbc.winsystems.com/products/lbc-586plus.cfm

Also did you give the generic VBE SVGA driver a try? Strange as it may sound, I think my Intel i740 AGP card is register compatible with the Chips and Technology 65545 or something similar as thats what the provided Windows 3.1x drivers appeared to be!

RWallmow
September 24th, 2011, 09:59 PM
512k is needed for 640x480 in 256 colors or 800x600 in 16 colors, my PC Compatibility card has a C&T chipset with 512k VRAM. Have you tried the drivers here? http://sbc.winsystems.com/products/lbc-586plus.cfm

Also did you give the generic VBE SVGA driver a try? Strange as it may sound, I think my Intel i740 AGP card is register compatible with the Chips and Technology 65545 or something similar as thats what the provided Windows 3.1x drivers appeared to be!
Exactly, well this thing has 1mb and it freaks out when I attempt 640x480@256 or 16bit, 800x600@16 works and driver shows 800x600@256 as an option, but freaks out the same as when you attempt 640x480@256 or @16bit

The link you provided lists for Win2k/Win98 that drivers are NOT needed. What is this "VBE SVGA driver" you speak of? Is this (http://www.talula.demon.co.uk/freebe/) what you are talking about, I will have to dig into this, never heard of it before.

EDIT: I am waiting for Win2k to load (via 10-BaseT, no CDROM in this) just to see how this thing behaves with a different OS and different driver set, I might also see what NT4 does on this bad boy depending on how 2k works. I really wanted a portable Win98 rig, since I haven't played with 98 in about a decade (where as I have been playing with NT4 more recently for some fun on other PCs) and while I love 2K, I have a feeling it will be a bit pokey on a 200MHZ and 32MB

njroadfan
September 24th, 2011, 10:28 PM
Yes, generic VBE frame buffer driver, I use it with VirtualBox since they decided to not support a "real" video card like the common as dirt S3 Trio64. Another option is SciTech Display Doctor, it offered it own built in video drivers.

RWallmow
September 24th, 2011, 11:23 PM
Yes, generic VBE frame buffer driver, I use it with VirtualBox since they decided to not support a "real" video card like the common as dirt S3 Trio64. Another option is SciTech Display Doctor, it offered it own built in video drivers.
Well after all the waiting to see how 2K would behave on this hardware it BSOD'd so I am going to give that VBE driver a shot on 98 and see what it does. If anyone is interested I snapped a pic of the "garbage" it shows when trying to do higher than 4bit.

Garbage screen: http://wallmow.com/photos/var/thumbs/Vintage-Computers/Dolch-LPAC-586/Win98_VideoDriver_Problem.jpg?m=1316935163 (http://wallmow.com/photos/index.php/Vintage-Computers/Dolch-LPAC-586/Win98_VideoDriver_Problem)

Chuck(G)
September 25th, 2011, 07:55 AM
Is there a manufacturer and part number on the screen panel itself? It could be that it's simply not capable of doing the resolution you're shooting for and that there was an upgrade option for the screen.

RWallmow
September 25th, 2011, 09:10 AM
Is there a manufacturer and part number on the screen panel itself? It could be that it's simply not capable of doing the resolution you're shooting for and that there was an upgrade option for the screen.
Well I know it does the resolution since 800x600@4bit works, but I guess it could be limited on color depth, I will TRY to disassemble it and get some mfg/part number info off the panel, but with all these epoxied/glued screws I know it will be a pain in the ass. In the mean time I will first be trying those VBE drivers njroadfan suggested once I load up Win98 again (though I might try NT4 just for fun first).

Eudimorphodon
September 26th, 2011, 02:41 PM
I was about to reply that I have a DOLCH PAC 64 with the same card, but then I noticed you have an *ISA* card. Never mind, my PAC 64 has a very similar PCI one. If I get a chance this afternoon I'll see what chipset it uses, but I suspect now it's a C&T 65555 not a 65545. I've had no problems running the PAC64 at 800x600@16 bit color under Debian Linux, other than the configuration being a little fiddly. (The panel has oddities, like preferring a 40hz refresh rate when running at the full 800x600. I also think the panel only supports 12 bit color, but you can't have everything.) Haven't tried it under Windows, however. (The PAC64 used to be a DOS-based dedicated network sniffer, which I've converted to dual boot DOS/Linux.)

I do also have an old laptop that has a 65535 chip (internally on a VL-Bus) and that supports 256 colors so I'd certainly think the card in yours should. Given that it's an ISA card, is it possible that the drivers you're using are attempting to set up a linear framebuffer mode that isn't supported when the chip is in an ISA slot? I have this dim memory of some Cirrus Logic chips that came in ISA/VLB/PCI flavors that had mode limitations when used on ISA. (In one case it was something like you couldn't use the 16 bit color mode unless you had less than 12MB of RAM or your chipset supported opening a memory hole.) Googling around seems to produce several sets of drivers targeted at different interfaces...

If you're comfortable with Linux at all it might be worth trying that on it and see if xorg groks the card at all. You'll have to use something least-common-denominator like Slackware or Debian that still works on i586.

RWallmow
September 26th, 2011, 03:00 PM
I was about to reply that I have a DOLCH PAC 64 with the same card, but then I noticed you have an *ISA* card. Never mind, my PAC 64 has a very similar PCI one. If I get a chance this afternoon I'll see what chipset it uses, but I suspect now it's a C&T 65555 not a 65545. I've had no problems running the PAC64 at 800x600@16 bit color under Debian Linux, other than the configuration being a little fiddly. (The panel has oddities, like preferring a 40hz refresh rate when running at the full 800x600. I also think the panel only supports 12 bit color, but you can't have everything.) Haven't tried it under Windows, however. (The PAC64 used to be a DOS-based dedicated network sniffer, which I've converted to dual boot DOS/Linux.)

I do also have an old laptop that has a 65535 chip (internally on a VL-Bus) and that supports 256 colors so I'd certainly think the card in yours should. Given that it's an ISA card, is it possible that the drivers you're using are attempting to set up a linear framebuffer mode that isn't supported when the chip is in an ISA slot? I have this dim memory of some Cirrus Logic chips that came in ISA/VLB/PCI flavors that had mode limitations when used on ISA. (In one case it was something like you couldn't use the 16 bit color mode unless you had less than 12MB of RAM or your chipset supported opening a memory hole.) Googling around seems to produce several sets of drivers targeted at different interfaces...

If you're comfortable with Linux at all it might be worth trying that on it and see if xorg groks the card at all. You'll have to use something least-common-denominator like Slackware or Debian that still works on i586.

I wonder if the panel oddities you list have some bearing on my situation, it could be windows is trying to drive the screen at 60hz refresh, maybe I should mod the monitor ini file and try to force this thing to 800x600x8bit at 40hz.

Hopefully I will have time in the next few days to pull this out and try a few more things, but busy with some non-vintage projects this week, so it will have to wait.

Eudimorphodon
September 27th, 2011, 12:55 PM
I did dust off the PAC64 last night. The video in that machine has a 65548 with 1MB of RAM, so it really is darn close to being a PCI version of the same card. Turns out I was mis-remembering the refresh rate. At 800x600 the pixel clock is 40 *mhz*, refresh rate was 60hz, which shouldn't be anything particularly special. (I guess some of the *very early* SVGA monitors used a 56hz rate.)

I'd offer to post the specifics of the working video mode (IE, modelines, xvidtune numbers) but those probably won't be too helpful figuring out Windows driver issues.