NBA Live 97 in MS-DOS Mode

Posted on 1997-07-03
Last Modified: 2010-04-30
I am trying to run NBA Live 97 in MS-DOS Mode.  I believe it would run better than in Windows.  It didn't work by just shutting down to MS-Dos Mode, so I created a boot disk.  But I still get the same result.  When I type nba (.bat) the very first copyright screen shows up, but then the monitor turns black and the computer freezes.  I have a Compaq Presario; 133 Mhz; Pentium; 4X CD-ROM; S3 Trio64V+ PCI video card; ESS AudioDrive 1788 (SoundBlaster Compatible) sound card;
The following are the lines contained in my Boot Disk:

device=c:\windows\emm386.exe NOEMS
DEVICEHIGH=C:\cpqdos\cpqidecd.sys /D:IDECD001
DEVICEHIGH/L:0=C:\windows\command\drvspace.sys /MOVE

The game installs and sets up correctly, but it just doesn't run.  I installed it under Drive F: (compressed using DriveSpace), but that's not the problem because I had tried to install it before in C: before even creating a compressed drive.  I know that insufficient memory is not a problem because I have over 130 MB of hard disk space in both drives after installation.  Also, by typing mem/c/p at the DOS Prompt, I see that I have 550K free conventional memory (400K required) and over 15,000K free extended XMS memory (12,050K required).
Another thing I need to add is that I install an upgrade to the 1.2 VESA Bios (or something like that) for S3 Video Card every time I try to run any game in MS-DOS.  I was introduced to this program by EA Sports Tech Support, which solved a similar problem for NHL 97.  The problem was that it caused green vertical lines to come up on the screen on S3 Video Drivers whenever you tried to install the game.  When I use this program (called S3 VBE 2.0 ver. 3.14) by typing c:\windows\system\s3vbe20 /install clear-, to run NBA Live 97, the copyright screen comes out, then it turns black and freezes.  If I don't use this S3 upgrade, the screen immediately turns black and freezes (with no screen whatsoever).
I feel I have been as specific as possible (maybe too specific).  There must be someone out there who knows the answer.  I've tried EA Sports, but they can't seem to help me out.
Question by:Hawkeye062297
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Expert Comment

ID: 1106590
The problem is definetly with your video card/driver.  Download UniVBE from SciTech and that will solve your problems.  Run UniV BE and DO NOT run your other vesa driver programs.  This should definetly work...

Author Comment

ID: 1106591
Sorry, but this did absolutely nothing!  In fact, I couldn't even play NHL 97 (which worked with the s3vbe20).  If it must be the UniVBE, it might be something with the configuration that I am not doing correctly.

Author Comment

ID: 1106592
Adjusted points to 250
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Expert Comment

ID: 1106593 is where you need to go, download Display Doctor 5.3a and it WILL work.  All you gotta do is install it.  It automatically finds your card and makes your card vesa 2.0 compatible.  If this doesn't fix your problem then your problem is not with your video card.  I'd borrow a friends video card and test it to see if it works and that will clear things up too.

Author Comment

ID: 1106594
That is exactly what I did.  I downloaded and installed the Display Doctor 5.3a!  I know I installed it, because every time I start/restart my computer it gives me some message about ordering it before the 21 day trial offer is over.  The games (NHL 97 and NBA Live 97) still do not work in MS-DOS Mode.  I made a boot disk for NHL 97 without the univbe.exe line and it worked when I substituded it for the s3vbe20.exe -clear line. (Although it still doesn't solve the NBA Live problem.)  I believe that is where the problem is.  That -clear extension.  This is what the .txt file states:
"There may be problems when using VESA VBE/Core 2.0 linear frame buffer modes under Windows 95 with a Trio64V+ graphics chip.
These problems can be solved by disabling screen clears during VBE mode sets.  Type "S3VBE20 CLEAR-" to disable screen clears during VBE mode sets.  Most applications will write their own image into video memory and don't really need a screen clear."
If I could possibly do that with the Display Doctor, maybe it'll work.  But if not, then I don't know what the problem is.  My Display Doctor Control Center says: "SciTech Display Doctor is now configured for maximum performance".  NBA Live 97 SHOULD work.  But it doesn't.

Author Comment

ID: 1106595
May I ask:
How do I "borrow" someone else's video card?

Author Comment

ID: 1106596
Adjusted points to 350

Expert Comment

ID: 1106597 say to a friend, hey I need to test something to figure out a problem so can I borrow your video card for a few hours (or minutes it you live close), then remove the card, put it in your system and try it!

Accepted Solution

eviltekk earned 350 total points
ID: 1106598
its very simple : nba97 need EMS not XMS.
remove the NOEMS from the device=emm386.exe on your bootdisk's config.sys and put it like this:
Device=a:\Emm386.exe RAM


Author Comment

ID: 1106599
Very interesting, eviltekk.
I am going to try that out as soon as possible.  If it works, I'll gladly give up the 350 points.

Author Comment

ID: 1106600
I am going to lower the points temporarily for this question.  Only because experts-exchange might automatically grade and give points if I take too long to answer.
It might be a while before I answer because I am currently upgrading my computer system.  Once everything is up and running, retry NBA Live 97, and report back here, and increase the points once again.

Author Comment

ID: 1106601
Well... after repeated tries, I could not lower the points offered.  I guess it'll just stay that way.

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