I recently bought a new MB, now ...

I recently bought a new MB, EP-6VBA.
The things is when I installed Win98 SE on it, it worked fine except:-

1)IE5 would sometimes not allow me to press the buttons on the top bar(i.e. File, Edit etc). This can be resolved only by witching windows then returning to the IE.

2)I used SFC and found that the file setupx.dll is corupted!!! But I had just installed windows. How come? I've restored the file but once in a while it happens again. The worst part is sometimes I can't restore it and I have to restart before I try again. Whats going on...?

3)I have a Seagate 17GB drive and a cd-rom both capacle on UDMA 33. The thing is, should I enable UDMA under device manager(control panel->system->devices )
My older drive/s did not have UDMA so I've never tried it. Anyhow, The bios autodetects my drives with UDMA 33 seting... SO should I enable it?

4)The Bios comes with something called "ECC Level 2 cache". It's currently enabled. I've read that disabling it provides better speed. Is this true.

5)I would like ot know the optimal seting for the vcache statements in system.ini. Plus any other tips to speed up the system. Some say that changing your computer discription from PC to sever works...
I also want to know about the best seting for virtual memory.

6) Since my 17GB drive is large I was wondering about the pros and cons of partitioning the drive to maybe two drives. I've heard this slows down the computer. Is this true?
What is your reconmendation?

7)I bought it with a celeron300A and a creative blaster TNT dirt cheap...:)
The thing is, I've found out that creative has released a bios update for the card... Should i flash the bios. The site doesn't say anything about it's purpose though....

Well. I know this is a whole lot but i appreciate the help, thanks.
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Lets take them one at a time

1)Make sure you have the toolbars set right. You should have three bars. The top one is where Files,Edit etc. Then under it the back button etc and under that the address bar. Put your mouse cursor on the bottom edge of the bottom bar until you see the updn arrow and click with the left button, hold it and drag it down.

2)It is probably the verification table.
Update the Verification Table
When the Changed Files dialog box appears, click Update verification information, and then click OK

3)Yes enable them in Device Manager if they are not. Windows will threaten you but tell it yes and set them for DMA. You may not see a difference but there will be one.

4)The 300a doesn't use ECC but I don't think you are going to see any improvement disabling it. Leave it at Enabled

5)You will get better performance setting it to server, especially if you have more than 64mb of memory. Windows handles the memory and instructions differently in the server setting and it is better. The vcache setting is probably alright at default. The 300 isn't extremely fast so you won't see much from changing it. You can play around with it and see if it works better at one setting or another. Your video has a lot to do with it and RAM but it is one that some would find significance in and others don't. It also has a lot to do with the main use of the machine but the default setting will probably do you just fine.

6)Partitioning has its good and bad. It will slow you down a little if you use multiple partitions because the drive heads have to move to go fetch the data. So if you are in one partition and call on data from the other it has to go a find it. It isn't a big loss but some. One advantage to multiple partitions is defragging. A big drive takes a long time so multiple ones would be quicker. Also you could defrag one of them today and the other one whenever. So that is a personal preference and for general users it isn't really a big advantage to devide it.

7)Always update the drivers when you get a chance. Using the most up to date in most circumstances is always better. The video card flash enables the card to use drivers that are newer. Just be very careful when you flash any EEprom. If it fails or you use the wrong one you could end up with a component that can't be used again. The flash erases the EEprom and writes new instructions to it, if something fails during the flash you could end up with a blank chip, much like erasing a tape, only a tape you can write again, EEproms don't always give you a second choice.

Hope that gives you some information you can use and enjoy the new machine.
1) This is a bug in IE5. I think the IE5.01 update you can download from MS helps some but I still see it occasionally.

2)  SFC??

3) If the MB supports UDMA and you have the dirvers for it (and you do since the option is displayed) you should enable it.  It will give you better disk performance.  I'd also suggest you move the CDROM from the primary IDE channel to the secondary.  That way, it won't be slowing down your UDMA hard disk.

4) Not true.  There is no performance difference between ECC and non-ECC  mode.  You would only turn it off if the system vendor had installed non-ECC cache memory.

5) The best settings are the default.  I've never had a reason to change either of these.

6) Win98 uses FAT32 so there is no reason not to use a single 17G partition.  There is no performance penalty.  Where did you hear this?

7) In my opinion you should never flash a new BIOS unless there is a specific problem you are trying to fix AND the release notes for the BIOS update specifically address that problem.  Otherwise you are just asking for trouble.  Newer is not necessarily better, it's usually just different.
chaos50Author Commented:
Let me see..
1)Okay I'm going to look for that IE5 patch because I thinks it's a bug. I didn't hide the toolbar; just can't click on it.

2)Why does it say it's corrupted then...
By the way SFC stands for System File Checker - resides under ...\windows\system\sfc.exe
Try it out and see.

3)Jhance mentioned something about drivers...what drivers? Do harddisk come with drivers(well at least not to my knowledge). The MB does come with a CD, but there  doesn't seem to be anything important on it. Just someting called Norton Ghost(whatever...)
I know that the HDD does support UDMA 33; but why doesn't Windows do it automatically. I'm also wondering where to get those drivers(if they exist).

4)Ps- I got that litle piece from anadtech.com sometime ago. The L2 is on the Celeron right?
They also showed some setings on the bios which speed up the system(theoretically).
*Another one is seting Video RAM cache-able, OFF. Their rationale is that current RAM on video cards are far faster than system RAM...

5)I have 128MBs, so I'll give that a go!

6)Yeah.. I just found out! It took a FREAKING 4-5 hours to do a surface scan...Yikes!!!

7)The reason being I'm having some problems with games like FF7 and bleem!
Any games that use 2d and 3d simultaneously causes a tiling affect on screen where the 2d image is filed with lines that makes the tiling affect.
I heard from other people - ones that I don't really know or trust all too much though - that this *could* fix the problem. I know about the potential pitfalls of flashing any bios; It's just I was hoping for anyone with similar problems to tell me whether they did it or not...
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1)The IE5.01 is the updated version from Microsoft Updates. You can get there from the Start Menu link. I misread what you said and thought you meant you had hidden the bar. Though you have Se you should check for any updates on the update page that is for your system.

2)After you install Windows 98 Second Edition, you may be notified by the System File Checker that the Setupx.dll file is corrupted. This can be caused by the verification table that SFC uses not being current. The recommended procedure to fix it is to update the Verification Table when you run SFC.
When the Changed Files dialog box comes up, click Update verification information, and then click OK.

Another fix for it is too extract a new version of the file from the Windows 98 Second Edition CD-ROM. You said you had already done that so the update to the verification table is the obvious choice.

3)You don't need any drivers. Just set the UDMA at Device Manager. Click the + sign next to Disk Drives and then double click your drive. Click the settings tab and check the box beside DMA. I said Windows would threaten you but tell it yes, perhaps I should have used the more appropriate word, warn. Windows doesn't set it by default because there are still lots of drives that don't support it and setting it with a non-compatible drive would cause a crash, so Microsoft plays on the side of safe and you have to set it manually. You can do the same to the CD since it supports it too.

4)The 300a has 128kb of Level 2 cache on the chip. It runs at the same speed as the core, 300mhz. The ECC is an error correction technology and it won't make any difference if you have it enabled or disabled for the machine you have. The article from Anand is not something I can comment but most of what he says is solid. There are other settings you can do to the BIOS, just like tuning a car but that isn't relevent to the ECC L2 issue. Hey I run a 300a and it is clocked at 450mhz using advice I picked up from some of the sites like Anand.

5)You have plenty of RAM so unless you plan to have lots of programs open at one time I would let Windows handle it. If you want to set it yourself usually about 2 1/2x your RAM is recommended. That would make yours, rounding off decimals, 320mb. Thats how I have mine 128mb RAM and a 320mb swap file.

6)I think you got the point on defrag...LOL... you don't need to do a surface scan unless you suspect something wrong so that can save you time.

7)The flash is as I already stated. I flashed the TNT card I use so that I could update the drivers. As Jhance said it doesn't always make it better if it is not for something you need. The BIOS update could be to address an issue that Creative had with the card but has no relevance to you and your system. The flash was necessary for my card to install the new drivers, usually it isn't.


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Here is an a tweaking article for your vcache, memory and swap space configurations. The thing that has helped me the most is Cacheman, it's all there in the article, a very good read.


chaos50Author Commented:
Thanks, I've already done everything except flash the TNT bios. As you might have guessed I bought my celery for everclocking too...but as luck would have it, I'm one of the 10% who can't overclock his *damned* CPU cause it'll give me the BSOD (blue screen of death) with somesort of VxDXXXXX error... :(

Regardless thanks.
PS- I can't set my virtual memory to a fixed size, even 320MB because Ultima IX will crawllllll(or is that slither..?) unless I set it to auto.
Don't ask.

Glad to help. I've never tried using the Appollo chipset so I can't say much about it, but as you stated not all 300a chips will fly. I'm sure you have tried the tricks but just thought I would give you a link if you don't already have it that has some good advice and tips on OC.
Let us know if we can again in the future.
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