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Thread: Tandy 16 Color not working on my Tandy 1000 SX

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    Default Tandy 16 Color not working on my Tandy 1000 SX

    I have a Tandy 1000 SX. It's been working fine since I got it a couple years ago. All of the sudden, I can't load anything that uses Tandy 16-color (TGA) graphics on it. When I try to run a game like King's Quest I, II or III, the screen just goes black and the computer hangs. If it's an older, 4-color CGA game like Lode Runner, Digger, Paratrooper, etc, it runs fine.

    The only recent change to my setup is: I have two CM-5 monitors. I recently had to replace the DB9 connector on one of them as the original one was damaged. I re-soldered a new DB9 end on to it which seemed to work fine. (I believe I only tested a couple CGA games with it.) The only thing I didn't do was remove or snip-out pin 7 from the connector, like they do on the originals. I didn't think this would matter because there was no wire connected to it anyways. I tested by plugging in my second, original working monitor - but the TGA graphics don't load on it, either. So, I'm not sure? Did I somehow fry something on the motherboard by plugging that fully-pinned DB9 connector in it? That seems odd that it would matter. Does anyone have any ideas?

    I have also tried running two different versions of DOS (4 & 5) off of two different CF cards. The computer boots, runs both versions of DOS, DOS Shell, CheckIt!, WordPerfect all fine - it just won't load any TGA software... Deskmate 3 doesn't run either. Just hangs on the little TC loading screen.

  2. #2

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    I guess my first course of action will be to open it up and see if there is anything obviously visibly wrong with it. It has a V20, 8087 math coprocessor, 640 KB of RAM installed - so I will strip that all out and take it back to stock and see if it runs any different.

  3. #3
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    Theory: if you pull out your XTIDE adapter and boot from a floppy does TGA work again?

    If your XTIDE device is configured with the “full operating mode” option it steals 1k from the top of conventional memory. This behavior is incompatible with TGA and will cause a kaboom when the memory ceiling is reset for 32k video modes.
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  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by Eudimorphodon View Post
    Theory: if you pull out your XTIDE adapter and boot from a floppy does TGA work again?

    If your XTIDE device is configured with the “full operating mode” option it steals 1k from the top of conventional memory. This behavior is incompatible with TGA and will cause a kaboom when the memory ceiling is reset for 32k video modes.
    Problem solved!! That was it. Man, thanks for this. I totally forgot that I switched out my Tex-Elec XTIDE a month back, with an XTIDE Optima that I have, to save space. I must've have done much testing after I made that switch. I put the Tex-Elec one back in, just now, and voila - it worked. I probably could have tried playing with the jumpers on the Optima, but for now I'll leave the Tex-Elec in.

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    Quote Originally Posted by andyjibb View Post
    I probably could have tried playing with the jumpers on the Optima, but for now I'll leave the Tex-Elec in.
    If it's the "full operating mode" thing you'll probably need to re-flash the BIOS, unless that card has multiple versions of the XUB already in flash and lets you choose between them with jumpers.
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    ... one small addendum, "full operating mode" should be okay in one of the 286-based Tandy 1000s as long as it has the "768k" upgrade, because those machines have 640k of "real" base memory and don't share graphics memory with the CPU. It's only the 8088/8086-based machines that are going to have problems.
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  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Eudimorphodon View Post
    ... one small addendum, "full operating mode" should be okay in one of the 286-based Tandy 1000s as long as it has the "768k" upgrade, because those machines have 640k of "real" base memory and don't share graphics memory with the CPU. It's only the 8088/8086-based machines that are going to have problems.
    Thank you. I also have a 2500 SX/33 and a 1000 TL/3 which I swap these cards around in, so that's good to know.

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    I'm very glad this was posted, I just upgraded the xtide bios in my 1000sx last week, and enabled full operating mode. I haven't tried any games yet, but I know I've got to redo that eprom.
    Thanks for the heads up.

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    You could do the thing where you permanently hard reserve 33k or 65k of upper memory (Theoretically to be 100% safe you'd have to give it 129k) if you really have some need for Full Operating mode, but I have to admit I can't think of a good reason for needing 10 separate hard drives online simultaneously in a Tandy 1000. Unless you make your own multi-port card you're not going have the slots for it anyway.
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