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Thread: Windows 2.11/386: "Dead zone" in VGA mode?

  1. #1
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    Default Windows 2.11/386: "Dead zone" in VGA mode?

    So, I'm setting up Windows 2.11/386 on a Deskpro 386 with a Everex Viewpoint Standard VGA card. However, it doesn't seem to be using the full vertical height of the screen - my monitor is in 640x480 mode, but the last ~64pix? of the screen are blanked. Windows 3.0 and Windows 2.11/286 doesn't do this, either in the deskpro or in my PC/AT with the same VGA card. Anyone know what's up here? The display is sized properly.
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    Last edited by MrArgent; June 16th, 2018 at 04:23 PM.

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    If your monitors menu display shows what resolution and refresh rate the screen is currently running at, compare them between when it's running correctly vs. not.

    I would gather that one version of Windows is running a different refresh rate that the monitor doesn't have proper geometry settings for and requires calibration via the menu.

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    What color depth and driver is being used? That looks a lot like what happens when 640*480*256 is used but a VGA card is only populated with 256k. Flaky or mismatched drivers can also cause that to happen.

    That shouldn't happen with standard VGA 640*480*16, but a buggy driver that fails to switch VGA memory pages when in 386 mode would not surprise me.

    You can also start Windows 2.x/386 with the command "win86.com" to start in normal 8086 real mode. Does the video still do the same thing then?

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    I'd run FRACTINT in pure DOS (ie. exit out of windows) and try the 640x480x16 and 640x480x256 modes. Press <DEL> when the program starts to pick a new video mode; try the VESA 640x480x256 before trying a chipset-specific mode. I'm curious if those display without issues without windows loaded.
    Offering a bounty for:
    - A working Sanyo MBC-775
    - Documentation and original disks for: Panasonic Sr. Partner, Zenith Z-160 series
    - Music Construction Set, IBM Music Feature edition (has red sticker on front stating IBM Music Feature)
    - Any very old/ugly IBM joystick (such as the Franklin JS-123)

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    Quote Originally Posted by SomeGuy View Post
    What color depth and driver is being used? That looks a lot like what happens when 640*480*256 is used but a VGA card is only populated with 256k. Flaky or mismatched drivers can also cause that to happen.

    That shouldn't happen with standard VGA 640*480*16, but a buggy driver that fails to switch VGA memory pages when in 386 mode would not surprise me.

    You can also start Windows 2.x/386 with the command "win86.com" to start in normal 8086 real mode. Does the video still do the same thing then?
    Yup, happens with Win86. Strangely, the same VGA card in my PC/AT running 2.11/286 catches on just fine; In the end I decided to just adjust the geometry, though. (Under 2.11/286, in fact, the 800x600 VESA driver hack works as intended.)

    Quote Originally Posted by Trixter View Post
    I'd run FRACTINT in pure DOS (ie. exit out of windows) and try the 640x480x16 and 640x480x256 modes. Press <DEL> when the program starts to pick a new video mode; try the VESA 640x480x256 before trying a chipset-specific mode. I'm curious if those display without issues without windows loaded.
    Re: FRACTINT, 20.04.14 was willing to handle 800x600x16 VESA mode and 640x480x16, but not 640x400x256 or 640x480x256. Adjustment back to normal placement and size on the monitor's end were required after adjusting them to accommodate Win386.
    Last edited by MrArgent; June 20th, 2018 at 09:26 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MrArgent View Post
    willing to handle 800x600x16 VESA mode and 640x480x16, but not 640x400x256 or 640x480x256. Adjustment back to normal placement and size on the monitor's end were required after adjusting them to accommodate Win386.
    This isn't clear. What is "wasn't willing to handle" mean? Did the mode show up but cut off, or did nothing display at all, or did FRACTINT refuse to init the mode? And how does the "adjustment back to normal placement" factor in?

    What monitor are you using? Fixed or multisync? Have you tried a different monitor just to see if it's a monitor misinterpretation problem?
    Offering a bounty for:
    - A working Sanyo MBC-775
    - Documentation and original disks for: Panasonic Sr. Partner, Zenith Z-160 series
    - Music Construction Set, IBM Music Feature edition (has red sticker on front stating IBM Music Feature)
    - Any very old/ugly IBM joystick (such as the Franklin JS-123)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Trixter View Post
    This isn't clear. What is "wasn't willing to handle" mean? Did the mode show up but cut off, or did nothing display at all, or did FRACTINT refuse to init the mode? And how does the "adjustment back to normal placement" factor in?

    What monitor are you using? Fixed or multisync? Have you tried a different monitor just to see if it's a monitor misinterpretation problem?
    My bad, Fractint refused to init the mode. Monitor adjustments weren't directly pertinent to the issue (Mostly tied back to me just adjusting the monitor for 2.11/386), but I figured they ought to be mentioned. Display's a Compaq FS7600 (Multisync), my workbench display - gonna have to break out my LCD to test another display, but checking that'd be a good next step for sure.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MrArgent View Post
    My bad, Fractint refused to init the mode.
    Okay, so 640x400x256 requires 256KB RAM, and 640x480x256 requires 300KB RAM. If you only have 256KB on the card, stop trying to init 640x480x256.

    As for 640x400x256, were you trying VESA? If so, did you have a VESA driver loaded? If not, steal ftp://ftp.oldskool.org/pub/drivers/VESA%20Drivers/ and load the correct one for your card/chipset before trying again.
    Offering a bounty for:
    - A working Sanyo MBC-775
    - Documentation and original disks for: Panasonic Sr. Partner, Zenith Z-160 series
    - Music Construction Set, IBM Music Feature edition (has red sticker on front stating IBM Music Feature)
    - Any very old/ugly IBM joystick (such as the Franklin JS-123)

  9. #9
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    EVRXVESA.COM and VESA.COM (both the Everex utilities present on your FTP) both output "ERROR: VESA Super VGA Extensions already installed/present." I haven't installed any VESA utilities at all on this system or on the PC/AT I pulled this card from temporarily, so this is somewhat curious.

    Found my spare LCD to help rule out monitor wonkery. Gonna be hooking it up when I get the chance.

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