Still Crazy

980809 - Windows 98 and PS/55

Aug 1998

Some of the members in the Room #4 tried to install Windows 98 on their MCA box. Most of them reported that Win98 had some problem with IBM SCSI. A reporter said he had no problem with his EIDE machine, 5530-L. I had once installed Windows 98 PR edition (Press Release edition?) on my 51-N and I didn't get any remarkable problem with 51-N (SPOCK onboard). OK, It was time to test Windows 98 again if it really was incompatible with PS/55 and SPOCK or not. I picked up my 5551-N to install the PR edition again.

PS/55 5551-NAB
MEM: 32MB
CPU: AMD 5x86-133 4x
HD: Conner CFP1060
CD-ROM: External Pioneer 4x speed
Video: Reply GD5426 SVGA
IML with onboard SPOCK SCSI controller

It took really a l-o-o-o-n-g time to finish installation. Everything seemed to be OK but this time I got a yellow exclamation mark on IBM SPOCK SCSI like other posters reported! I examined each reporters comments and my own data recorded when I had tested Win98 PR edition and I realized that I had used a Cyrix CPU before and the reporters used AMD 5x86 on their systems. Then I changed AMD 5x86 to Cyrix 5x86 GP100. Bingo! 51-N worked fine without exclamation mark in front of SPOCK SCSI and it run in 32-bit mode. I again changed Cyrix to AMD 5x86, DX4-100 and confirmed Windows 98 could not recognize SPOCK SCSI properly with AMD 5x86 and DX4-100.

Then I picked up my 5551-R which is not an IML but with EIDE interface and installed Win98 on it. 51-R run in full featured mode after I reset correct resource set giving IRQ 14 to standard ESDI/IDE HD controller. 51-R and Win98 didn't care for CPUs. But if I installed an IBM SPOCK SCSI and connect a SCSI HD to boot the system (well, no IDE device connected off from the onboard EIDE connector. This combination worked fine under Win95), 51-R immediately turned into "MS-DOS compatibility mode" with an AMD 5x86, DX4ODP-100 and PODP. Only Cyrix solved the symptom.

If you really want to use Windows 98 on your PS/2s together with IBM SPOCK SCSI, choose a Cyrix 5x86. Please keep my advice... Neil Young and Sandy say so.


Jan 2002

I had read in PS/2 News Group that some of PS/2 IML machine could run Windows 98 (SE) in full featured mode. I could hardly believe it. I should test it by myself and confirm if it would work or not. I got a Win98 CD English version and tried to install it on my 9577 Bermuda with a Cyrix 5x86/interposer on it. BUT 9577-N could not recognize Cyrix! It didn't boot! It was really strange but a Cyrix 5x86 could not run on my Bermuda planar. I did not know if I missed something. Wrong interposer setting? Incompatible interposer? Wrong orientation of pin #1? Couldn't figure it out. Then I picked up 9585 with built-in FW SCSI-II/A and installed Win98 on it. I again confirmed Win98 worked fine only with Cyrix 5x86. Does anybody have the answer why only Cyrix CPU could run properly?


Updated on 2002/10/12

Always Don Peter has an answer. Peter wrote to the News Group:

Hi William!

> Anyone ever tried the Spock driver files from Win95 on a Win98 system to see
> if they would help solve the misbehavior that seems to occur with certain
> processors?

Did try that. No cure. The drivers are identical - apart from the version number that shows up when you query the driver version in control panel. The original problem sits deeper: it appears to be a bug in W98 IOSUBSYS that fails to properly assign system resources on MCA machines.

OTOH: hebrew and cyrillic versions of Win98 seem to be not affected. I'd installed a russian Win98 on e.g. a 8595-AKD with Spock and it worked perfectly well while neither the german nor the US/UK version did. Ran only in compatibility mode there. Same with a 77 Bermuda: german and US/UK no go - hebrew and russian W98 worked in 32-bit mode just fine.

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