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Compaq Armada 7800 screen scaling when in dos, sound issues
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Nikolaos
Posted 2016-11-22 9:24 PM (#97)
Subject: Compaq Armada 7800 screen scaling when in dos, sound issues



Fujitsu 186

Posts: 7
0
I have a Compaq Armada 7800 PII laptop with the "AGP - S3 ViRGE/MX - 4 MB SGRAM" gpu and a 1024x768 screen (https://www.cnet.com/products/compaq-armada-7800-14-1-pii-win95-64-mb-ram-8-gb-series/specs/).

Video issue:

The problem is with DOS games like wolfenstein 3D, doom, etc. when run in pure dos mode. By default the game doesn't stretch to cover the full screen but stays in a small windows in the middle.

One way around this is to get into win98, choose the driver setting for stretch screen, then exit to DOS and play the game in full screen. After a reboot this setting is lost.

I cannot enter the bios to see if there is a permanent setting because I do not have a required recovery partition (I think).

Any ideas? Have you ever heard of a dos utility (I guess gpu specific) that can toggle this "stretching" setting?

Sound issue:

The sound card seems to have a SB hw emulation mode, dos games like wolfenstein 3D and doom have music and effects using 220,5,1 SB settings. For some reason Doom II doesn't like these settings and has only music. What do you think?

Thanks in advance for your input!
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DXZeff
Posted 2016-11-24 11:04 AM (#102 - in reply to #97)
Subject: RE: Compaq Armada 7800 screen scaling when in dos, sound issues



TM Crusoe

Posts: 516
500
Location: Hull, UK
That seems to be common on old laptops and often there's nothing you can do. I very much doubt it would help, but I guess loading the VESA driver might trick the scaler into working; ftp://ftp.mpoli.fi/hardware/DISPLAY/S3/S3VBE318.ZIP but I really don't think it will.

Supposedly Compaq used to have the disks for the "Setup Partition" up for download on their site, annoyingly the FTP and HTTP side of things seems to be gone and a Google search for the setup disks yields nothing. Even if it did, you'd have to fiddle with the partitions on the disk already, moving them forwards to fit the setup partition. Past that, it still isn't unlikely that the scaling option was never there to start with.

If it's anything like my 3500 was (And it seems to be similar) it probably uses an ESS chip for sound. They're quite good, but not the best and can do weird things. At the time laptops weren't really built to do these kind of things and usually have quirks, I doubt if such a compatibility issue ever crossed the minds of the designer. How do these games run under Windows? I know it's not exactly the same vibe as running them in DOS, but sometimes it does make problems disappear as Windows actually has a few tricks built in that apply automatically to running "DOS-on-Windows" stuff which might help. Notably Windows also has Plug and Play support where DOS alone does not, which should at least make the resources behave themselves. You could also try selecting the settings for an original mono Sound Blaster in your game as some have issues with SBPro emulation. If all else fails, you could try running ESSCFG which should get around any issues that might be happening with PnP, basically their equivalent to CTCM - see attachment.

Edited by DXZeff 2016-11-24 11:07 AM




Attachments
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Attachments DOSESS.zip (30KB - 203 downloads)
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Nikolaos
Posted 2016-11-26 7:33 PM (#108 - in reply to #97)
Subject: Re: Compaq Armada 7800 screen scaling when in dos, sound issues



Fujitsu 186

Posts: 7
0
Huge thanks for taking the time to look into this!

I tried to find a way to retrieve the data and setup that recovery partition, regardless what would be needed (re-partitioning, fresh fdisk etc), but there are absolutely no resources available, such a shame. Anyway the machine had a broken floppy drive and wouldn't boot from cd-rom, so I had to take the hdd out and prepare it in another machine.

Graphics:

The vesa driver fails to install, it says "Unknown S3 graphics chip detected. The VB3/Core 2.0 does not support the detected S3 graphics chip".

Audio:

The ESS driver fails to run, it says "Unable to find Audiodrive ES1868-based chip!". It seems I have a 1879 chip.

I have no sound effects for Doom II in win98 or if I exit to DOS. If I start DOS with F8 at boot, the sound is fine (but there is no way to have it in full screen then, I guess you win some and you lose some ).

I really appreciate your help! Of course this is not such a critical thing, there are like 100 ways to play doom II, but these issues are the essence of retro computing .






(device manager.jpg)



Attachments
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Attachments device manager.jpg (89KB - 228 downloads)
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nobleEightfold
Posted 2020-06-17 9:39 PM (#1935 - in reply to #97)
Subject: RE: Compaq Armada 7800 screen scaling when in dos, sound issues


Slow 8088

Posts: 1
0
I know this thread is pretty old, but it was the first result when looking for a way to enable scaling in pure DOS for the Armada 7800. I figured this out elsewhere, but anyone still trying to do this should try pressing FN + T *after* loading the game you want to play. This should enable the scaling.

This probably works for other Compaq Armada 7000 models too.
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DXZeff
Posted 2020-06-18 7:43 PM (#1936 - in reply to #1935)
Subject: Re: Compaq Armada 7800 screen scaling when in dos, sound issues



TM Crusoe

Posts: 516
500
Location: Hull, UK
Very interesting, I shall try to store this information away in the back of my mind in case I ever own an Armada laptop again... still trying to find an excuse to.
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