Win95 Setup for S3-928 chipset on Model 76i / 77i

The Situation: You have a PS/2 9576i or 9577i and want to run Windows with a resolution over VGA and more colors. But none of the S3-drivers seem to work.

The Action: Follow these instructions and you will be able to use SVGA-modes with your machine.

Attention: The info on this page refer only to those Models 76 and 77 "i" with the S3-928 VLB-chipset.
These are the machines which don't have an integrated SCSI-adapter on the systemboard and therefore have no IBM SCSI-connector at the left side, looked at from the rear. If the machine has this 60-pin half-pitch Mini-Centronics connector left from the two serial connectors, then it is an older Model 76 / 77 (without -i-), with the XGA-2 Video-System and to which these tips do not apply.

First Step: It is necessary to start Windows 95 in VGA-mode. If you already tried to set up a different video-driver and failed with this attempt, go back to the Video-Properties (Click with right mouse-button on an empty space at your desktop) and change everything back to standard-VGA, 640 x 480 and 16 colours. Reboot to properly start the VGA-driver.

Second Step: Download the IBM Enhanced Local Bus Dos/Win 3.1 driver disk and extract it to a disk. Yes - the Windows 3.1 driver. That's correct.

Then change to the A: prompt on your PS/2 and run the INST7677 from this disk.

This will install the IBM DMQS (Display Mode Query / Set) on your system, which includes i.e. Informations about the attached monitors and the appropriate resolutions / vertical refresh under the available SVGA-modes. There is also a path set to the DMQS-directory in the AUTOEXEC.

If you are running Windows 3.x you will have to stop at this point and run Windows 3.x Setup from the C:-Dos prompt. Select 'Video' and take 'OEM disk' from the selection. Use the the IBM Dos/Win 3.1 driver disk to install the S3-driver and that will do to be able running all S3-SVGA-modes under 3.x.
The DMQS-part however is required and it will not work without it.

Third Step: Download the S3 928 Windows 95 drivers disk from the S3-website and extract it. This may be done either on a separate floppy-disk or in directory on the harddisk.
Then change into the Windows control panel, select 'Display', click on 'Settings', select 'Properties' and 'Change'. Use 'Install unlisted driver' and select the drive and the directory, where you put the extracted S3-drivers to.

From the selection list take 'S3 Inc. 928 ISA/VLB'. This is no mistake ! The S3-chipset used on the 76i/77i is a VESA Local Bus system, originally planned for ISA-machines. Nontheless these machines are 'true' MCA-machines - except for the video subsystem.

After installation has finished, you will have to restart the system.

That was it. You are now able to change resolution and colour-depth as required. A good resolution on 14" or 15"-screens is 800 x 600 at 64K-colours. The maximum resolution with the 1MB-VRAM is 1024 x 768 at 256 colours.

Many Thanks to Dennis Smith for the idea to bring up this page,
the reporting and the infos about the necessary files !

Report (from Phil Barnett)


I already had the vlb vesa drivers, so I only needed to download the S3 drivers.

One note of importance.

The 7677INST.EXE placed the call to the VESA driver first in the AUTOEXEC.BAT. I work at Disney, and we use Norton Anti Virus.

7677INST placed it's modification on the first line and pushed NAV down to the second line. When NAV ran, it removed all resident software, so it killed the vesa driver.

I had to switch the lines to let NAV run first, and then install the VESA drivers.

I am a happy camper!

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