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Thread: Who can configure an ATI Mach32 PCI graphics card for me

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2018
    Location
    Chattanooga, TN, USA
    Posts
    16

    Exclamation Who can configure an ATI Mach32 PCI graphics card for me

    I could really need some help. I've got an ATI Mach32 PCI Graphics Wonder here, with 2 MByte RAM. I need to setup the refresh rates for the supported resolutions (640x480, 800x600, 1024x768, 1280x1024). I have the DOS utilities (INSTALL.EXE) - i.e. I have three different versions of it, all claiming to support the PCI version of Mach32. But INSTALL.EXE does not work, always tells me that it cannot find the Mach32 BIOS - this is complete nonsense. I have debugged INSTALL.EXE and can confirm that it finds the BIOS. So the real cause is unknown and the error message is probably some default error message.

    I have 2 possible solutions for my problem.

    Solution 1:
    I wrote my own utility which reads the onboard configuration eeprom. If you have a Mach32 PCI and would be willing to run this program on your computer, the logs would help me to better understand the eeprom contents and I might be able to fix my Mach32 using my own written utility. I would need several logs for different monitor configurations. I have the original ATI Mach32 programmers manual but the documentation does not seem to be up to date and in some areas simply does not explain what the short descriptions mean.

    Solution 2:
    If you are confident that you can configure a Mach32 PCI for me (i.e. if you have a Mach32 PCI which you have configured and therefore you are sure that you have a compatible computer system), I could mail my Mach32 to you, and you set it up for me and mail it back to me. I would of course reimburse you for your expenses.

    Waiting for anyone to help me out ... fingers crossed.

    Markus.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Walled Lake, MI
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    3,658
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    Quote Originally Posted by Baer View Post
    I could really need some help. I've got an ATI Mach32 PCI Graphics Wonder here, with 2 MByte RAM. I need to setup the refresh rates for the supported resolutions (640x480, 800x600, 1024x768, 1280x1024). I have the DOS utilities (INSTALL.EXE) - i.e. I have three different versions of it, all claiming to support the PCI version of Mach32. But INSTALL.EXE does not work, always tells me that it cannot find the Mach32 BIOS - this is complete nonsense. I have debugged INSTALL.EXE and can confirm that it finds the BIOS. So the real cause is unknown and the error message is probably some default error message.

    I have 2 possible solutions for my problem.

    Solution 1:
    I wrote my own utility which reads the onboard configuration eeprom. If you have a Mach32 PCI and would be willing to run this program on your computer, the logs would help me to better understand the eeprom contents and I might be able to fix my Mach32 using my own written utility. I would need several logs for different monitor configurations. I have the original ATI Mach32 programmers manual but the documentation does not seem to be up to date and in some areas simply does not explain what the short descriptions mean.

    Solution 2:
    If you are confident that you can configure a Mach32 PCI for me (i.e. if you have a Mach32 PCI which you have configured and therefore you are sure that you have a compatible computer system), I could mail my Mach32 to you, and you set it up for me and mail it back to me. I would of course reimburse you for your expenses.

    Waiting for anyone to help me out ... fingers crossed.

    Markus.
    Could you provide a little more information about your installation? What type of motherboard, OS, peripherals, etc?
    Surely not everyone was Kung-fu fighting

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2018
    Location
    Chattanooga, TN, USA
    Posts
    16

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    Quote Originally Posted by Agent Orange View Post
    Could you provide a little more information about your installation? What type of motherboard, OS, peripherals, etc?
    Oh yes, I also found out some more hints for possible problems, so here we go:

    The computer is a 1999 Hewlett-Packard Pavilion 6736 which was originally equipped with 64 MByte RAM, a 667 MHz Celeron and Windows ME. It has been upgraded to 512 MByte RAM and a 1 GHz Pentium III (after BIOS Update). I used HWINFO under PCDOS 7.01 to obtain the following pictures for information.

    General System Information:
    pic01.jpg

    This motherboard has a builtin Intel VGA controller. According to the manual, there is no jumper to disable this controller. Rather it is disabled in BIOS by allocating no video memory for it. The next picture shows general video information, probably a bug of HWINFO because it is showing the name of the builtin Intel VGA controller and a senseless RAM size:
    pic02.jpg

    This picture shows a summary of the internal motherboard PCI components:
    pic03.jpg

    Details of the builtin Intel VGA controller. I/O space access and memory access are disabled. So that should be good.
    pic04.jpg

    Summary of the PCI slot boards (SCSI controller, Ethernet controller and Mach32):
    pic05.jpg

    Allocated resources for SCSI controller:
    pic06.jpg

    Allocated resources for ethernet controller:
    pic07.jpg

    Allocated resources for Mach32 board:
    pic08.jpg

    Now for the problems with ATI's DOS utilities (I have three different versions and all of them show the same symptoms). I already tried to downgrade the motherboard to 64 MByte RAM (I can't find smaller 3.3V SDRAMs). I also tried to slowdown the CPU by disabling the L1 and L2 caches. All these mods did not make a difference. ATI's "C-INFO.EXE" says that there is no Mach32 adapter installed. ATI's "INSTALL.EXE" says that it can't find the BIOS. Now I also tried ATI's "TEST.EXE" thanks to an old (webarchive.org) Mach32 troubleshooting web page. "TEST.EXE" seems to run, seems to change video modes, beeps a few times and then the screen stays dark in 720x400 mode. The computer has not crashed at that point. There is just no way to get the display back. I tried to type in "mode CO80" but it did not help.
    Anyway, TEST.EXE has generated a log (who knew!) and this is what it says:
    pic09.jpg

    Under Windows 98SE, the screen runs in 640x480x16 at 60Hz mode, no problems shown in device manager. I have assigned a 1024x768-70Hz SuperVGA monitor (the Mach32 does not support reading DDC) as can be seen in the following picture:
    pic10.jpg

    If I just try to change the video mode to 640x480x256, I get this after the mandatory Windows reboot:
    pic11.jpg

    Sooo ... is my Mach32 defective or where could be the problem? I took some source code from Linux's svgalib project and made a DOS program. This program reads configuration information from several Mach32 registers and also reads and decode all the eeprom content. Everything looks good here. I can post the log if needed. ATI's TEST.EXE also has an option to reset the Mach32's eeprom to factory defaults but it is also not working.

    Who can help?

    Markus.

  4. #4

    Default

    Ahh, so your problem is most likely simply a conflict between two video adapters!
    So, if you can't properly disable the onboard video, the solution would be to get some regular Pentium 1/2/3 junk, without onboard video, and do what's necessary.
    Really, you can find such stuff for pennies, likely cheaper then mailing that card around.

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