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Trident VLB graphics on 486 - driver or BIOS issue?

RickNel

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Canberra, Australia
I've built a 486 system on an ASUS motherboard, DX-2 50Mhz CPU, Award BIOS, 32Mb RAM, 256k cache.

I have both VESA local bus and standard ISA bus VGA cards.

I found drivers supposed to match the Trident VGA chipsets on both cards.

Win95 upgrade over Win3.11 is loaded and working.

Win95 device discovery shows "Trident Super VGA" in Device Manager. But I can't get the system to accept greater than 640x480 resolution for the VLB card, regardless what settings I put in for the monitor. For bench tests, I am using a generic LCD monitor with 1280 resolution available.

With the non-VLB straight ISA card, I can get 800x600 resolution, but nothing higher.

Could this be a BIOS limitation? I think the video BIOS normally is independent of system BIOS.

Could the LCD monitor be the problem? I have a couple of SVGA CRTs I can get out of storage if necessary.

Any recommendations on Trident drivers or management software for 486?

Rick
 

Turbo10

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Jun 1, 2011
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West Coast, USA
Some things to consider:

Do you know how much memory is installed on the VLB card versus the ISA card?

If you have 1MB of videocard memory, you can run 16 bit color at 800x600 or 8 bit color at 1024x768.

Also, when you say you "found drivers to match", were they Win 3.11 drivers and installed while it was a Win 3.11 system or did you install Win95 drivers after you upgraded?

If they were Win 3.11 drivers, Windows may have replaced it with the standard SuperVGA Win 95 driver which has limited resolution and color depths supported.
 

RickNel

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Thanks Turbo10 for these suggestions.

The VLB card has 1Mb (4 x 256k) and the ISA 8900D card has 2Mb (8x256)

Yes, installing the Win95 upgrade over Win 3.11 had replaced the driver from the Trident package with a Microsoft driver, but still labelled "Trident SVGA".

Switching the driver back to the Trident package, I did get more options, but have not been able to get either card to deliver 1024x768 resolution. The VLB card gives me 8bit color at 800x600, and the ISA card gives 16bit color but still only 800x600. It looks as though the drivers can not deliver the nominal capabilities of the cards.

Finding drivers online these days is a living hell. Search results are swamped with scam sites and others trying to fool you into downloading their miraculous system tools. Driverguide seems to be relatively clean (though they want to track you), but the package I downloaded from there is the one that doesn't seem to be working up to spec.

I can live with 800x600 for the time being, but if anyone can recommend a source for genuine Trident drivers, I would be most grateful, As I would like to use the VLB card for old times' sake if the resolution can be optimised.

Rick
 

RickNel

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Which model Trident?

The VLB card is TGUI9420DGi ( '94) with 4 x 21256-8-70 RAM chips, model 7343H1, ,PCB serial 294KH1CO.

It is jumpered for slow clock (<33Mhz), interrupt, and +RAS.

The ISA card is TVGA8900D ('92) with 8 x HY534256ALS-60 RAM, model 7137 RevE4, PCB serial 2898E400.

The driver package I have tried to use is on many download sites as "UC95-10.exe".

Rick
 

njroadfan

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Just remembered, have you tried Scitech Display Doctor? It included Windows 9x drivers and may work with the Trident cards, I know UniVBE under DOS supported them.
 

RickNel

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Just remembered, have you tried Scitech Display Doctor? It included Windows 9x drivers and may work with the Trident cards, I know UniVBE under DOS supported them.

Well remembered! You have reminded me that I used both Scitech DD and UniVBE way back then. I'll check whether I still have them on floppies somewhere (possible but unlikely) or look for them online. They are not on my old system backups as far as I can see.

Rick
 

RickNel

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I got this version - actually I found it at WaybackMachine before I saw this post.

The Scitech test tools worked well and told me that the VLB card should work with 16-bit 800x600 (nothing higher). But it didn't seem to work with Scitech's driver under Win95. Neither would it work with any of the drivers in the Trident package UC95-10. Those drivers, when installed, are identified as "Windows 3.1", though the package is supposed to be for Win95. They all fail on reboot.

The best result I have got so far is using the Win95 generic SuperVGA driver, setting the resolution to 16bit 800x600. But this still exhibits some flicker, which I think is due to refresh rate being sub-optimal. With the SciTech testing, I got an excellent picture by setting refresh at 75Hz. But with the Windows driver, I can't see how to change the refresh rate from whatever Win95 is working out for itself. Any suggestions?

Also, since a good display has been proven using the Scitech driver in test mode, what would be stopping that driver from working when I reboot? I think I may be missing something simple here.

rick
 

twolazy

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May 22, 2011
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I was looking through my stuff earlier and found this , meant to upload it sooner...

Trident drivers for Win95
View attachment Trident video drivers.zip

; TRIDENT.INF file for Trident Windows 95 display drivers
; Copyright 1995-1997, Trident Microsystems, Inc. All rights reserved.

[Version]
Signature=$CHICAGO$
Class=DISPLAY
Provider=%Mfg%
...

Msg="Trident Microsystems"
String1="IBM ThinkPad(Cyber9320/85/82) VL"
String2="IBM ThinkPad(Cyber9320) PCI"
;String3="Trident 9440 PCI (v6.00.47.11)"
String4="IBM ThinkPad(Cyber9385/82) PCI"
;String5="Trident 9470 PCI (v6.00.47.11)"
;String6="Trident 9783 PCI (v6.00.47.11)"
Disk_Name="Video Features Diskette for Windows 95"
 
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