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View Full Version : Need help, ATI WONDER XL 16 bit VGA BIOS dump!



Simone2013
October 2nd, 2013, 08:42 AM
Hi to all, i "accidentally" lost half a BIOS of a VGA card. It's a ATI VGA WONDER XL (EXMVGAXLV1), Bios label "VGAWONDER XL" 112-14300-003
EVEN (C) 1992 (that i loose)
& ODD (C) 1992 (i have it)
It has memory range C000-C799 so it must be 16k (half 8k)
I already searched in google but no luck,
so i need a dump file of the bios so i can reflash it.... Anyone has it? help please!!!

evildragon
October 2nd, 2013, 08:56 AM
Let me see what I can find. I might have what you need, but no way to dump them at the moment.

EDIT: Sorry, can't find the card.

Simone2013
October 2nd, 2013, 09:09 AM
I would be fantastic! :) You can also use "debug.exe" from msdos,
Dumping memory range C000-C7FF (!) if you have a functional 16-bit slot!
Then i need only an eprom programmer, but it's another story...

Robin4
October 2nd, 2013, 05:01 PM
Hello,

Is it a graphics card like this:
http://www.minuszerodegrees.net/rom/ATI%20VGA%20Wonder+%20ROM%20version%201.03_70.jpg

I have posted mine VGA ATI XL bios on the minuszerodegrees website..
The website isnt my but from an other forum user who collecting ROM files from bioses.. So i help him. Ill give him the copys i made with my Eprom writer / reader..

Just look here: http://www.minuszerodegrees.net/rom/rom.htm

Write them to your eproms and it should work.. Even and ODD are included in the zip / rar file.

evildragon
October 2nd, 2013, 05:54 PM
Hello,

Is it a graphics card like this:
http://www.minuszerodegrees.net/rom/ATI%20VGA%20Wonder+%20ROM%20version%201.03_70.jpg

I have posted mine VGA ATI XL bios on the minuszerodegrees website..
The website isnt my but from an other forum user who collecting ROM files from bioses.. So i help him. Ill give him the copys i made with my Eprom writer / reader..

Just look here: http://www.minuszerodegrees.net/rom/rom.htm

Write them to your eproms and it should work.. Even and ODD are included in the zip / rar file.
I wonder if he'd want the model 25 ROM, I got that dumped.

Simone2013
October 3rd, 2013, 04:17 AM
Thank you, i'll try it! What kind of Eprom burner should i use? Something that can handle various ROM, maybe? Any advice?

Robin4
October 3rd, 2013, 02:11 PM
iam using an top853

Simone2013
October 4th, 2013, 08:28 AM
Thank you, I'll buy it! last thing: Bios should be 32k, (so are the images) but i had original 2 x ROM 27C256,
shouldn't be 32kbyte each? Also images from Robin4 are 8kbyte x 4 = 32 kbyte

And the other 32k? I miss something? any clue?

thank you all

RJBJR
October 4th, 2013, 10:16 AM
Thank you, I'll buy it! last thing: Bios should be 32k, (so are the images) but i had original 2 x ROM 27C256,
shouldn't be 32kbyte each? Also images from Robin4 are 8kbyte x 4 = 32 kbyte

And the other 32k? I miss something? any clue?

thank you all

The BIOS images you were pointed to are for ATI Wonder + , not the ATI Wonder XL. Two different cards.
A little info about them at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ATI_Wonder_series

Here is a pic of the ATI Wonder XL EXMVGAXLV1, similar but not the same as the ATI Wonder +
15453

MikeS
October 4th, 2013, 11:24 AM
I've got an EXMVGAXLV1 here but the ROMs look like an older version:
Even: 11201122020 (c) 1991
Odd : 11211122020 (c) 1991

Simone2013
October 4th, 2013, 12:34 PM
Now i understand! MikeS, batter an old version, Than nothing! Now the problem is, to dump it!
The debug method is no good, because the memory frame is only 32k. Something must be hided.
You'll need an Eprom burner/reader a think!
What a shame... :(

Simone2013
October 4th, 2013, 12:35 PM
15454
Mine...

Simone2013
October 12th, 2013, 03:19 AM
Anyone can help? MikeS can you dump it? Pretty please... :)

MikeS
October 12th, 2013, 09:23 AM
Anyone can help? MikeS can you dump it? Pretty please... :)No problem; let us know how it works for you.

15570

Simone2013
October 13th, 2013, 01:00 PM
Thank you, i'll try and report back!

per
October 13th, 2013, 02:16 PM
The ATI VGA Wonder XL came in two variants, one based on the ATI 28800-5 and one based on the ATI 28800-6. The BIOS provided by MikeS seems to match up with the part number of the ATI 28800-5 based board.

I don't know enough about the differences between the two chips and boards to know if the BIOS is cross-compatible. It seems like the ATI 28800-6 was designed for the XL24, and the ATI 28800-6 version of the regular XL seems to be an XL24 with mainly a different BIOS and RAMDAC. If the boards are more or less the same, it may well work, but you will of course need to replace both the odd and even bios and not only the broken half.


Hello,

Is it a graphics card like this:
http://www.minuszerodegrees.net/rom/ATI%20VGA%20Wonder+%20ROM%20version%201.03_70.jpg

I have posted mine VGA ATI XL bios on the minuszerodegrees website..
The website isnt my but from an other forum user who collecting ROM files from bioses.. So i help him. Ill give him the copys i made with my Eprom writer / reader..

Just look here: http://www.minuszerodegrees.net/rom/rom.htm

Write them to your eproms and it should work.. Even and ODD are included in the zip / rar file.
Great work, but the dump is unfortunately bad; much of the EPROM seems to be missing from the dump. The combined BIOS used on most VGA cards are either 32KB or 64KB, so to be sure you'll have to dump both chips as 27C256 32KB chips.

The 64KB ROM vs 32KB memory window is new to me... That means that I have to redump the ROMs for my XL24 and older VGA Wonder using a burner. Looking at thedata from MikeS's dump, I guess the last 4K of the ROM is either pageswitched or hardwiered to one of the pages based on the card configuration or something. Those tables sure looks like video parameters.

Robin4
October 13th, 2013, 02:34 PM
Ok, ill try later to fix it if it would be a bad dump.

EDIT:

I sended these both biosses `even` and `odd` in one rar, or zip package to modem7.. So i dont know what he did with uploading it. It could be he only uploaded only the `even`part, and got forgot to also upload the `odd` part..
But from my heart i can tell i had send them both biosses. And dumped them separately.

per
October 13th, 2013, 02:56 PM
Ok, ill try later to fix it if it would be a bad dump.

EDIT:

I sended these both biosses `even` and `odd` in one rar, or zip package to modem7.. So i dont know what he did with uploading it. It could be he only uploaded only the `even`part, and got forgot to also upload the `odd` part..
But from my heart i can tell i had send them both biosses. And dumped them separately.

Yes, but both dumps are only of the second 8KB chunk of each chip! The chips are 32KB each.


1CEh index A4h (R/W): ATI Register 24 (ATI24) (28800 +)
bit 0-3 ROM page 0
4-7 ROM page 1

1CEh index A5h (R/W): ATI Register 25 (ATI25) (28800 +)
bit 0-3 ROM page 2
4-7 ROM page 3
So it's not only the last 4K that is pageswitched, but the entire second half of the ROM.

Robin4
October 13th, 2013, 04:23 PM
Ok, then i replace them soon with new ones.

Simone2013
November 3rd, 2013, 12:14 PM
I finally manager to burn BIOS and installing it, and i worked PERFECTLY! Thank you for your bios. If anyone has a newer bios i'll reburn to original (are EPROM too!). The card worked flawlessy on a 486 ISA pc.
The problem Now is that the card didn't work an a XT clone that i was intended to use.
This is somewhat OT because i must open a new thread, but i post here also.
The problem is that the build-in CGA card cannot be disabled (like for example on IBM), and I notice that the power on light stay on a bit more. Then the screen is all-black but pc is booted. No output on original CGA.
I managed to scan the video-ram (B800:0) and the result is that all attribuite bit on text mode are 0 ZERO! So text is black on black! In addition on VGA screen is displayed a column on & column off, in vertical (attached photo).
EGA 16 color mode ok.

Note that all video mode work perfectly on a 486!

1) all text mode (hercules included) doesn't display (color 0)
2) VGA with vertical "scanline" like effect
3) EGA, 640x480x16, 800x600x16, 1024x768x4 all work
4) hercules and CGA graphics bugged with XX/00/XX/00/XX/00... Bug (1byte ok, 1byte ZERO)
5) Another VGA card (Cirrus Logic GL-CD...) work on the same machine.
6) The VGA wonder has bene set to 8-bit mode (also i/o)
7) tested with all startup video mode (text hercules, text EGA, text VGA) but black displayed (machine boot, dir work)
8) tested also with dual video card boot (vga/CGA) primary/sec but no luck!
9) EDIT: if i change 00 byte i got NO TEXT displayed! So it must read from internal RAM!!!

So my thinking are... the problem is?
1) buggy card/Bios initialization (maybe) - but BIOS is hooked correctly on interrupts (verified)
2) interference in ram with built-in CGA card?
3) some sort of byte mask? Bad bios function vector?
4) buggy 8-bit mode?
5) ram paging settings are wrong?

The interference doesn't affect EGA... (graphic mode only)
VGA 320x200x256 it's like 1 byte read from RAM, 1 byte from VIDEO RAM! page is a000-afff? 800x600x16 is good but i suspect different management.
EGA seem to use always a000-afff, except for text mode that is wrong.

Any idea? Anyone had the same problem?

Simone2013
November 8th, 2013, 10:02 AM
Ok, i fixed the problem (weird!) with a Hercules Graphic card in ADDITION to the VGA wonder.

Now i have:
1) Built in CGA, disabled
2) Hercules (compatible card)
3) VGA wonder

and it WORK!

Consideration:
I have ATI 28800-6 chip, so the right BIOS would be better (maybe also XL24 bios)... anyway the two BIOS (i had examined only then the two odd half) are much different...

The card thinks it has 256k (mine is 1M) but i managed the ATI registers (after every boot) and all EGA/VGA/SVGA mode work as expected (also hires 64k colors). I don't know why the card think to have 256k, i didn't find the BIOS location for this.

Obviously if i set the card to Hercules mode it complain there is a conflict. (Hercules work, and in double screen mode :) )
If i disable Hercules (leaving it on ISA bus!) it boot to monochrome MDA/HERC and refuse to get CGA/EGA/VGA to work (conflict).
If I take out the Hercules video card it boot to a blank screen as described in my last post. Also the same with his original bios (i lost).

I don't know if is a problem with PC BIOS or VGA BIOS but all is ok with i.e. a Cirrus Logic 8-bit friendly card. My humble opinion is that the Wonder go in dual screen mode & internal CGA is disabled at the very same time.

I have read that V'ger uses a similar (XL24) card on his XT retro-pc, so maybe he can help me. Also XL24 bios and any advice would be useful.

Simone2013
April 25th, 2016, 06:31 AM
I have Finally tweaked ATI register and Now I have fully functional WONDER card! Herc+CGA+EGA+VGA and full registers compatibility! WOW
I Made ATIVGA.COM program to fix registers. I also put back my card to 1024k with This!
Maybe can be useful to Someone else, If anyone is interested This is my dropbox link:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/m53gd805uasmn8m/ATIVGA.COM?dl=0

per
April 25th, 2016, 06:42 AM
Nice! Did you use the existing documents about the register, or did you do some reverse-engingeering to identify the use of unknown registers?

A small side-note, I just dumped the XL24 ROM chips the other day!

Formulator
April 28th, 2016, 12:48 PM
Thanks for posting XL24 BIOS. I came looking for it last year and no one had. I have one of these cards which has the 28800-6 chip & BT RAMDAC, which would suggest an XL24, but the ROMs suggest XL. I look forward to testing the XL24 BIOS in this case:

30894

Simone2013
April 28th, 2016, 01:36 PM
Woooooo thank you very much!!!

Simone2013
April 28th, 2016, 02:21 PM
Nice! Did you use the existing documents about the register, or did you do some reverse-engingeering to identify the use of unknown registers?

A small side-note, I just dumped the XL24 ROM chips the other day!

I used existing DOC, but i made an util in GWBASIC to explore and test some of the registers. I can put it online if anyone interested.
I did not found unknown/useful/new registers anyway... but the documentation is quite complete...
I was exploring Hercules part and 640x300 register (B8 bit 5 & B0 bit 6) option (... but it did not work as I wanted... would be great with some game)
The most interesting thing is that you can alter i.e. the total RAM, and all work like expected! great chip and card, anyway! The only thing that miss is a HDMI connector! ;) ;)


Please send BIOS to http://www.minuszerodegrees.net/rom/rom.htm if you haven't

And thank you again!

modem7
April 28th, 2016, 10:32 PM
A small side-note, I just dumped the XL24 ROM chips the other day!

Please send BIOS to http://www.minuszerodegrees.net/rom/rom.htm if you haven't
I have added the ROM images to the web page.

per
April 29th, 2016, 02:28 AM
These are direct read, by the way. I used something that can be described as an Arduino-based SRAM R/W cirquit, originally designed as a backup-device for GameBoy games.

The picture is from an earlier occasion.

Simone2013
April 29th, 2016, 02:59 AM
These are direct read, by the way. I used something that can be described as an Arduino-based SRAM R/W cirquit, originally designed as a backup-device for GameBoy games.

The picture is from an earlier occasion.

Oh my God! I think you used a EPROM reader :)

by the way BIOS work, but it signal 256kb ram instead of 1024... the card was 1024kb right?

per
April 29th, 2016, 03:18 AM
Nice!

Mine is 1024Kb yeah (comes up as "1MByte" on startup). Can you post a picture of the RAM section of your card? It's very unusual that it doesn't report more RAM, in particular since the XL24 was not even supposed to come with 256KB. Maybe your card has a faulty RAM chip in the second bank?

modem7
April 29th, 2016, 02:51 PM
I have added the ROM images to the web page.

These are direct read, by the way.
I have adjusted the web page accordingly.

What are the designations of the ROM sockets (e.g. U56, U57) ?

Formulator
April 29th, 2016, 03:20 PM
I have Finally tweaked ATI register and Now I have fully functional WONDER card! Herc+CGA+EGA+VGA and full registers compatibility! WOW
I Made ATIVGA.COM program to fix registers. I also put back my card to 1024k with This!
Maybe can be useful to Someone else, If anyone is interested This is my dropbox link:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/m53gd805uasmn8m/ATIVGA.COM?dl=0

Is it possible to display CGA/EGA mono through the VGA port? It works briefly in VCONFIG & DOS prompt (all three shades) but when I launch games or other programs it snaps back to EGA color. Obviously Herc mono displays fine through VGA port, but it would be nice to have the choice.

per
April 29th, 2016, 04:01 PM
Seems to be U16 and U17.

Simone2013
April 30th, 2016, 01:58 PM
In the end I had only XL with Sierra RAMDAC, but indeed 1024kB. The are working because if I force 1024kB, all mode works correctly. I think this is an initializiation bug/error onmy PC (screen goes blank until I launch my util)

If anyone as an updated XL BIOS (better than 11201122020) plase dump!

Thank you!

Simone2013
April 30th, 2016, 02:02 PM
Is it possible to display CGA/EGA mono through the VGA port? It works briefly in VCONFIG & DOS prompt (all three shades) but when I launch games or other programs it snaps back to EGA color. Obviously Herc mono displays fine through VGA port, but it would be nice to have the choice.

Yes, EGA/VGA mono and Hercules 720x348 & 640x400 Graphics are working on NEC multisync monitor (VGA 15 pin port!) - that's the reason because I use this wonderful card!
What are your monitor settings (inside VINSTALL)? What is your monitor?
I don't understand what you mean for CGA mono....

I had also a LCD monitor that show blank screen in textmode but is working when entering graphic modes.

per
April 30th, 2016, 02:07 PM
What is the card's settings at? These are stored in an EEPROM on the card and set with the VGA Wonder utility software.

Formulator
April 30th, 2016, 10:16 PM
What is the card's settings at? These are stored in an EEPROM on the card and set with the VGA Wonder utility software.

Yes, I use VINSTALL for to adjust settings for XL. I also own VGA Wonder+ as well. I am using a LCD Spire N171 monitor. I like this monitor since it is 4:3. Yes, all VGA/EGA mono settings work great in text modes but still snap back to color when running game (Test Drive, for example). However, the Herc 720x348 does not work on Wonder+, the graphics are smeared across the display.

Simone2013
May 3rd, 2016, 11:24 PM
Yes, I use VINSTALL for to adjust settings for XL. I also own VGA Wonder+ as well. I am using a LCD Spire N171 monitor. I like this monitor since it is 4:3. Yes, all VGA/EGA mono settings work great in text modes but still snap back to color when running game (Test Drive, for example). However, the Herc 720x348 does not work on Wonder+, the graphics are smeared across the display.

Now I understand your problem, I think that EGA/VGA mono mode simply redefine palette (without locking it... strange I'm sure that there is a ATI register for this!) and when a game start it redefine the palette. Same also to me... I'll try some register tweak to see if I find something. Maybe a more recent version of VINSTALL work? Or they intended mono as "text only mode" like MDA?

Simone2013
May 3rd, 2016, 11:30 PM
What is the card's settings at? These are stored in an EEPROM on the card and set with the VGA Wonder utility software.

Yes, some parameter are stored but not the RAM total... I think... but I lack documentation about it.
I think that RAM counter will be done every initialization, but somewhat fails on my old XT...

Formulator
May 5th, 2016, 09:34 PM
Yes, it must be only for text modes. Once I attach TTL monochrome it automatically brings up the adjust grayscale feature. I have tried latest VINSTALL, as well as VCONFIG from the Wonder+ diskettes. I suppose at the time it would not have been a useful feature, but now would be quite novel, especially since the Wonder can emulate all three mono color options.