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VLB IDE controller for 486 Motherboard

Posted on 1998-11-26
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Last Modified: 2012-05-04
I wanted to know if I could use a Winbond or SIS chipset VLB ide hard disk controller in a 486 motherboard.  More specifically, does Win95/98 have a generic 32 bit enhanced driver that will install from CD.  I have acess to lots of VLB cards, but none have s/w driver disks.  Is Windows 98/95 smart enough to handle these?  or is there website for all this old stuff.
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Question by:rhomer
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harrys earned 50 total points
ID: 1129846
I had some 486 run Win95 with ide vlb adapters without problems, they dont need special drivers windows has support for them build in.
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by:rmarotta
ID: 1129847
rhomer,
I don't agree.  I think that will only get you minimal performance.
I just checked the hard drive controllers listed with Windows OSR2.  No Winbond or SIS controllers were listed on mine, so I think you will only get standard IDE using the answer proposed.

If you want protected mode drivers, you'll have to get them from the chipset or controller card manufacturer.
I haven't found a SIS VLB driver for Win95, but try here for info and a Win95 driver for Winbond:

http://www.winbond.com.tw/custo/cscs1c.htm#pc

Let me know if you need more.
Regards,
Ralph
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Expert Comment

by:rmarotta
ID: 1129848
Harrys,
I see you are new here, and I appologize for sounding so short.
Suggestions are better submitted as comments, to prevent confusion, rather than proposing them as answers for a problem.
Ralph
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Expert Comment

by:harrys
ID: 1129849
rmarotta,
I dont see a problem here, rhomer asked if windows9x could handle an vlb ide controller, and the answer is yes, so why should I post it as a comment?
to the first comment:
Performance increases on an localbus system, because of higher clockrates and a wider datapath to the adapter, a generic driver is included in Win9x, back in 95 when windows came out this was a kind of standard setup and it worked ok. I had some machines like that so I know what I'm talking about...
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Author Comment

by:rhomer
ID: 1129850
okay now settle down on turkey day.
let me clarify something.  I found a Used computer store that is selling VLB by the boat load for $15 ea.  The come in various brands and styles.  He says I could buy one and trade it as many times as i want until I find a good one.  I suspect they all work though to some extent.  I can choose from Winbond, SIS, Cirrus logic or DTC. They don't have a s/w driver dk.  In the old win 3.1 days, if u did not have a driver, u were pushed into 16 bit mode.  Win 95 ....I'm not sure.  Is there a test in Win95 for 32 bit mode.  Maybe the control panel, system, file system performance can tell us.  Anyways, I would like to know if there's a sure cut way of knowing if u r in 32bit.  is there some shareware diagnostics out there or win95 trick?
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Expert Comment

by:rmarotta
ID: 1129851
If you don't turn on that controller with a driver for 32-bit operation, you won't get the enhanced performance rhomer asked for.
Read the question again:
  >  "More specifically, does Win95/98 have a generic 32 bit enhanced driver that will install from CD."

Answer:  NO.

But, as I pointed out, there may be a solution to the problem......
BTW, I have also configured many VLB computers.  I know what I'm talking about too!
Ralph
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Expert Comment

by:rmarotta
ID: 1129852
Sorry rhomer,
I guess we posted the last ones together.  Your comment wasn't visible when I posted mine.

I suggest you check the websites of each the manufacturers of the various cards to see if they have drivers available for Win95.

You can check disk performance online if you run Wintune at the winmag.com site.

Regards,
Ralph
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Expert Comment

by:harrys
ID: 1129853
>> BTW, I have also configured many VLB computers.  I know what I'm talking about too!
rmarotta,
I don't question your knowlege, but I'm sure that windows 9x includes such drivers ;-)
rhomer could check this in preferences/system, if windows doesn't complain about drives running in "compatible mode" there is no 16bit IO driver in the system. (sorry, I dont have an english windows handy so I don't know the exact words).

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Expert Comment

by:rmarotta
ID: 1129854
Just one more comment......
Let me put it another way:

Take the fastest UDMA drive with the fastest busmastering PCI controller available today and install a standard IDE driver.
Do you seriously think you'll ever see the performance that was designed into those components?

(Windows won't complain a bit!)

'nuff said.
Ralph
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Expert Comment

by:harrys
ID: 1129855
>Take the fastest UDMA drive with the fastest busmastering PCI controller available today >and install a standard IDE driver.
>Do you seriously think you'll ever see the performance that was designed into those >components?

Of couse not, but udma is something completly different than pio, which is used by older adapters..
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