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Thread: Windows 2.x hangs on splash screen

  1. #1
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    Default Windows 2.x hangs on splash screen

    Are there any known problems with running Windows 2 on an 8088/8086 CPU?

    I can't get it to run on either my Amstrad PC1512 (8086) or my IBM 5150 (8088 ). I had previously installed Windows 3.0 on the 1512 and it ran just fine, and also ran fine on the 5150 loaded over the parallel connection between the two machines (my 5150 doesn't have a hard disk so shares the hard disk in the 1512).

    But as 3.0 looks particularly bad in CGA (as well as the 5MB install being a big deal when you're running a 20MB hard disk) I decided to downgrade to 2.03.

    It's just been set up to use a serial mouse, CGA graphics and the Epson 9 pin printer driver. Yet it hangs at the splash screen. Can't be a hardware fault as it wont load on either machine, can't be corrupted installation media or hard disk corruption as if I copy the same files over to a newer machine it runs fine. I even tried to set it up to use no mouse and have no printer in case that was the problem. Still nothing.

    I've never read about any problem like this before. The only thing I can think of is some residual file from the 3.0 install causing problems but I'm sure I've cleared all of it. Also back in the day I used to have a machine with every version from 1.01 up to 3.11 for Workgroups installed in separate folders and they all ran fine installed on the same machine.

    Any ideas?

  2. #2
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    What version of DOS are you using? DOS 5 and 6.x require a SETVER entry to report version "3.40" to "WIN200.BIN".

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    MS-DOS 3.2. It's the Amstrad-supplied version but just seems to be Vanilla MS-DOS, no special OEM quirks on it. Boots and runs fine on the 5150 (including for running Windows 3.0).

    I did hit the SETVER problem on newer DOS versions. In that case though it fails more dramtically with bleeping and ASCII characters scrolling up the screen before dropping you back to the command prompt. Once the SETVER entry was in it ran fine though.

    The problem I have on these 2 machines is it literally just hangs the system at the splash screen. The 5150 will let you CTRL+ALT+DEL, the Amstrad machine completely locks up and needs to be hard powered down and up again (a process which always terrifies me as I like to park the heads on the ancient RLL hard drive in it before powering down and can't when this happens).

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    I guess you can try another dos. say 3.3, on a boot disk in the to see if that sorts it.
    Thomas Byers (DRI)- "You'll have a million people using the A> [MS-DOS prompt] forever. You'll have five million using [nongraphic] menu systems such as Topview, Concurrent PC-DOS, Desq, and those types. But there'll be 50 to 100 million using the iconic-based interfaces."

  5. #5
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    Just tried with DOS 6.22. Bleeped and scrolled as normal with no SETVER entry (but didn't crash the system), still hung at the splash screen with the entry added as it was doing on DOS 3.2

    Since I was using 6.22 and could access bigger hard drives with it, I tried installing Windows 2 on my Compaq 486 (with CGA, no Mouse and no Printer). Again caused the Amstrad and IBM machines to hang. But the same files on the same hard drive worked fine when run directly on the Compaq machine (once the SETVER entry was added).

    I'm wondering if this is some sort of IRQ issue and/or attempting to query a port and not getting the right response back. But then whilst I could believe that of the Amstrad, I don't think I should be having any problems with a standard IBM 5150.

    Loading over the INTERSVR connection shows a flurry of read activity over the connection whilst the splash screen loads, then more read activity so it clearly is starting to load, then a very brief write at which point the hang happens.

    Bizarre!
    Last edited by cwathen; March 28th, 2018 at 02:25 PM.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by cwathen View Post
    I did hit the SETVER problem on newer DOS versions. In that case though it fails more dramtically with bleeping and ASCII characters scrolling up the screen before dropping you back to the command prompt. Once the SETVER entry was in it ran fine though.
    If it worked fine with newer versions of DOS on those specific machines then there is probably some glitch in that Amstrad DOS. 3.2 wasn't exactly a very stable version either. If you need 3.x, then 3.3 is really what you want.

    Just try a few different versions and see if that helps.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SomeGuy View Post
    If it worked fine with newer versions of DOS on those specific machines then there is probably some glitch in that Amstrad DOS. 3.2 wasn't exactly a very stable version either. If you need 3.x, then 3.3 is really what you want.

    Just try a few different versions and see if that helps.
    Sorry, I meant newer DOS versions on newer machines. As my above post, going to DOS 6.22 won't make it run on the specific machines I'm trying to make it run on. But then 6.22 runs like crap on 8088/8086's anyway so wouldn't rule out the combination of that and the low powered hardware invoking an identical looking but unrelated problem. Will take your advice and try different versions.

    Still seems weird that Windows 3.0 was fine.

  8. #8
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    Ok, well, just a few more thoughts. There are lots of things that can keep Windows 2 from starting, but they shouldn't be that common. Is this an OEM version of Windows 2? There is an Amstrad-specific version of Windows 2.03. You probably would want to use that version on the Amstrad, especially if it includes extra drivers, but use the generic version on the 5150. (Really though, it shouldn't make any difference. Most OEM versions just omit drivers not needed for that machine). Perhaps tell us a little more about the configuration of the 5150?

    You aren't loading any odd drivers before hand are you? Check the "files=" line in your config systems and make sure it is set to something reasonable.

    There could be an IRQ or serial port conflict. Perhaps try setting it up without a mouse.

    Perhaps it is the dishwashing detergent

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    You also might want to ensure the files are of good integrity (same of your MS-DOS system files). Corrupt Windows files can cause a hang on runtime, as I found out with my own 5160 when the floppy drive went subtly on the fritz.

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    Windows 3.x came with a setup program that was run to specify the hardware; does 2.x have the same? If so, have you run it to ensure that Windows know what hardware you have, and isn't trying to probe hardware you don't?
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