Forum Rules and Etiquette

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Rule 4: "PM Sent!" messages (or, how to use the Private Message system)

This forum has a private message feature that we want people to use for messages that are not of general interest to other members.

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Why do we have this policy? Sending a "PM Sent!" type message basically wastes everybody else's time by making them having to scroll past a post in a thread that looks to be updated, when the update is not meaningful. And the person you are sending the PM to will be notified by the forum software that they have a message waiting for them. Look up at the top near the right edge where it says 'Notifications' ... if you have a PM waiting, it will tell you there.

Rule 5: Copyright and other legal issues

We are here to discuss vintage computing, so discussing software, books, and other intellectual property that is on-topic is fine. We don't want people using these forums to discuss or enable copyright violations or other things that are against the law; whether you agree with the law or not is irrelevant. Do not use our resources for something that is legally or morally questionable.

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New user moderation

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New users also have a smaller personal message inbox limit and are rate limited when sending PMs to other users.

Other suggestions
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ATI VGA WONDER 16 Looking for software or solution

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    ATI VGA WONDER 16 Looking for software or solution

    I have looked quite a few days now with no result so am reaching out here. Forgive me if this is covered somewhere... and PLEASE direct me to where. Purchased this card hoping to have simple autoswitching but it seems to be emulating mda on a vga monitor. without the software I'm not sure how to switch modes. I tried the xl driver that seems to be commonly available but am given an error that no ati card is in use. I am using a sony vga from 1996 if perhaps there is a compatibility issue there. 5170. any guidance would be greatly appreciated. Hope it's something simple that Im just missing. thanks.

    Download from here:
    and run VINSTALL.EXE

    If this doesn't work, please publish picture of your card. I have about 10 different models of ATI VGA Wonder from 1988 to 1992, all work fine with this program.


      I will try this tonight, but I believe it is the same driver I've tried. thanks! will post image of card if no luck.


        No luck. image of card attached. error message is:

        "This installation doesn't support the video card(s) in your system. Please use ATI or ATI-compatible hardware."

        message is displayed in what appears to be mda emulation using the card.
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        This gallery has 1 photos.


          I have one just like it and it works fine. May be eeprom chip is bad? I would try to swap it if I can.

          Also, if you go to checkit or similar, do you see it detecting VGA bios? Does it print VGA bios id information on boot?


            It does print ati bios on boot vers v3m-1.0. just upgraded to dos 6.22 and interestingly during setup it seemed to identify hercules. with 6.22, no change and still same error. am using phoenix bios if this may matter set to vga. will run checkit in a moment. can reflash the ati bios if you think this may help, ill look for the file, or if you know where best to find it would be appreciated. thanks for the help..... hope to get it working!


              the 5170 motherboard switch display switch is toward the front of the computer which should be correct. i can try different and original 5170 bios if you think may make a difference but i don't think it would.


                checkit says mda video adapter with 4k video ram ...hmm


                  is the eeprom chip different than the bios? what do I need to do to swap? do i program it with anything? also have not had luck locating the v3m-1.0 bios. did find a v3m-1.0/70 ...


                    Just for a sanity check: is the color/mono switch on the 5170's motherboard set for mono or color? The ATI Wonder manual says:

                    When installing the VGAWONDER in the IBM PC/AT it is necessary to set the video display switch (Color/Mono switch) on the AT motherboard to Color and run the IBM Advanced Diagnostics Program which will automatically configure the System for an EGA (Enhanced Graphics Adapter) Card, which is the category for the VGA WONDER.
                    My Retro-computing YouTube Channel (updates... eventually?): Paleozoic PCs Also: Blogspot


                      It's set for color but I'm using a different bios. I will try the original bios and use the advanced diagnostics program.


                        Originally posted by psbsp View Post
                        is the eeprom chip different than the bios? what do I need to do to swap? do i program it with anything? also have not had luck locating the v3m-1.0 bios. did find a v3m-1.0/70 ...
                        eeprom is different, it's just a rewritable memory for a few dozen bytes. It's not the 27c256 type ROM chips. Don't change bios, it won't do any good.

                        Did you try it on other boards? May be something a bit more recent, like 386 or 486?

                        Does 5170 board have 6MHz or 8MHz CPU? At 6MHz a lot of ISA cards seem to glitch, at least for me.


                          Did you run the VSETUP tool from the ATI diskette ? VSETUP is used to set the default video mode or default monitor type.


                            Checkit says cpu is 8.01 mhz. I don't think I have another eeprom chip but I will look. would it do any good to erase it and reinsert? Unfortunately don't have a 386/486 to test... could test it in an XT? I think i read it would work in 8 bit but maybe I'm misremembering.

                            Mikey99, I have been trying vinstall. Ill look around for vsetup, or if you can point me in the right direction.. great. thanks


                              The manual for your card is located here :

                              I'm attaching a zip file of the ATI VGA Wonder first diskette files that contains VSETUP.

                              Attached Files