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 Post subject: unsupported video card: use chip driver?
 Post Posted: Sat Sep 27, 2008 3:02 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jun 30, 2007 10:36 am
Posts: 208
I have a video card for which I can't find a driver. It came in a barebones. It works with both Win98SE and Knoppix Linux 4.0. I'd like to adjust resolution under Win but can't. Searching Yahoo/Google for the number that's on the card finds nothing. I visited 4 driver sites and the brand isn't up, never mind the model. Searching for the brand only gets a website for a company that makes other computer products like DVRs, but not video cards, and even if that's the company that once offered this card, their export sales representative had no info (I had no tech contact for them, my letter will likely go to the same person, and I'm not phoning that far).

Does it make sense to use a driver for the main chip on the card? My thinking is that that's too risky because the card is more than a chip. Am I wrong and is using a chip-relevant driver no worse than harmless and possibly beneficial? I assume a driver-mismatch error may result in a refresh-rate mismatch risking physical damage to the monitor, or am I assuming wrong?

Dynamic brand, by ShenZhen Skybest, MO-VOE150630 (unknown which are letter O & which 0) V801 video card, 256MB GeForce FX5200, not PCI or ISA (AGP? 21-16-21x2 = 116 pins), PCB red, with connectors for CRT, DVI, & Video round. If someone else also makes a Dynamic brand, I'm not surprised, but I didn't find another. The PCB is red and ShenZhen Skybest didn't show any red cards on their sites (their own domain, cn-dvr.net , and a subdomain elsewhere, skybest.en.Alibaba.com (Alibaba is a Hong Kong-based import-export get-together site)).

Harm in using chip-specific driver that's not card-specific?

Thanks.

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Nick


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 Post subject: Re: unsupported video card: use chip driver?
 Post Posted: Sat Sep 27, 2008 3:22 pm 
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Joined: Sun Feb 04, 2007 11:44 am
Posts: 5787
The chipset pretty much IS the card. In most cases I recommend using the drivers from the chipset manufacturer, the only exception being some high-end cards or laptops where the designs tend to be more customized. Using the chipset mfr. drivers gets you the latest and most up-to-date drivers, often with improvements and fixes over older drivers offered by the card mfr.

Bottom line: Installing the drivers from NVIDIA are probably the best option in this case. Scott.


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 Post subject: Re: unsupported video card: use chip driver?
 Post Posted: Sat Sep 27, 2008 10:10 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jul 20, 2008 10:50 am
Posts: 508
Location: Phoenix, AZ, USA
Nick wrote:
.... GeForce FX5200....


FX5200 driver (NVIDIA)
GeForce Release 175 WHQL
Version: 175.19
Release Date: July 9, 2008
Operating System: Windows XP, Windows XP Media Center Edition
Language: U.S. English
File Size: 36.8 MB


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 Post subject: Re: unsupported video card: use chip driver?
 Post Posted: Sat Sep 27, 2008 10:41 pm 
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It's time to move to Windows XP, that's enough with the 98SE. I'ts now 2008. At least use Windows 2000.


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 Post subject: Re: unsupported video card: use chip driver?
 Post Posted: Wed Oct 01, 2008 8:16 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jun 30, 2007 10:36 am
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Would you believe just a few years ago, ok, maybe '90s, I passed up a deal on a slide rule? 25 cents! Wood, I think.

I need 98SE mainly for flash support, to back up to CD-R, and arguably for diagnostic support, otherwise I'd likely have both towers on 95a, if not one of them on 3.1 or OS/2, or booting a guess-what box with System 6 (which featured B&W and ran efficiently in 4MB RAM and on a 20MB HDD). I want enough OS to get my work done, not the overhead of going fancy. Which is why I was surprised to see a few weeks ago a big-chain fast-food cash register bearing an XP CoA. I'd've thought DOS 3.3 and a narrow custom application could add totals and figure percentages for sales tax, but maybe MS was famished for lunch and made a deal. Now, if someone makes an OS that fixes everything if I just yell at the box, kind of like extending PnP into YnP, I'll consider it. My laptop's Linux is newer than 98 and nice even without YnP. I erased XP that was unauthorized for me and put Linux on.

I'll look around for a 98SE-compatible driver and if I don't find one I'll live with the present res. Thanks for the general analysis, the link, and the tip. And I'll try to get over not snagging that slide rule. Especially since I don't know how to use one.

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 Post subject: Re: unsupported video card: use chip driver?
 Post Posted: Wed Oct 01, 2008 11:14 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jul 20, 2008 10:50 am
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Location: Phoenix, AZ, USA
I apologize. I didn't read close enough to realize you wanted a Win98 driver:

http://www.nvidia.com/object/win9x_81.98.html

ForceWare Release 80
Version: 81.98
Release Date: December 21, 2005

U.S. English
File Size: 11.7 MB


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 Post subject: Re: unsupported video card: use chip driver?
 Post Posted: Mon Oct 27, 2008 1:18 am 
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In short: This driver works well with this unknown-manufacturer Dynamic vid card in Win 98SE. But if you subsequently delete Windows' native VGA driver, you may have to reinstall nVidia's driver. In my case, the Win driver stayed away after the reinstall and performance has been good.

If you need Win's 2-color mode (I doubt I've ever even tried it), you won't have that with nVidia. That's being minus one little-used feature, but in return I got more features from nVidia than I know what to do with.

Details:

I had been using Win's default VGA video driver, limited to 640x480 and 2 or 16 colors. I installed nVidia's driver, which I had downloaded from nVidia. I stupidly didn't remember what to do with the Windows native driver, so I created a second hardware profile and disabled or removed one video driver in each profile. All was good with the profile that used nVidia's driver.

When booting, the machine asked which profile to use, choice #3 being none of the above. I eventually got curious and tried none-of-the-above. It makes an original configuration again. Maybe using that once mangled things. Then I deleted the non-nVidia profile and the new original profile, and renamed the only remaining profile, which I was using for nVidia, to Windows' default name (as original). For this stage, I don't remember all the details, but after every reboot I had only 16 colors and 640x480. Since Win had auto-reinstalled its native driver, I removed it; after that, warm-rebooting repeatedly failed (signal to monitor ended & didn't return) and cold-rebooting was required. I cold-booted to Normal, declining Safe Mode; no improvement. System Properties > Device Manager > Display adapters showed nVidia alone; nVidia's Properties showed "working properly", "No conflicts", & a list of driver files. I checkmarked "Exists in all hardware profiles" (there's only one and this was unchecked) and rebooted via Start without Win asking so I could see the difference from the checkmark but no difference in color or res resulted.

I reinstalled the nVidia driver, overwriting what existed, and rebooted as invited. Setup reported updating configuration files.

Good outcome: Color & res high, suggesting my box remembered my prefs from past use. I think the first nVidia installation defaulted to 16 colors and I had changed it back then to 256, which Win didn't recognize. Display applet now, without new changes, reports 16-bit color & 800x600; other options are available but experience from my 1st install tells me they're not desirable. System applet shows only 1 driver, nVidia's, so Win's driver is not back. The list of nVidia driver files is the same, so removing Win's driver didn't remove any driver file nVidia needed, so that's not the cause of the earlier problem.

If 2-color mode matters, a pseudo-2-color mode (mainly B&W and some color) is available via accessibility features (in Win98SE: Start > Settings > Control Panel > Accessibility Options > Display tab > High Contrast).

Possible oddity of unknown relevance and unknown cause: System applet lists 2 identical keyboards though I have only 1 & it lists 2 DMA controllers; in each case 1 is marked with "!" on a yellow background but removal of marked items leads to auto-reinstall of both by Win, so now I've left them in place.

Likely more than one company branded their cards under the "Dynamic" name, and this card probably did not come from Skybest or ShenZhen. I heard from that company again and they were unable to identify a factory responsible for such a card model. But the driver works.

In summary, you'll probably be good with this driver in this OS for this card. If you remove Win's driver and results go down, reinstall nVidia's driver.

So: Thanks for the video driver assurance. Now I can test Web pages more realistically on the tower.

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Nick


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 Post subject: Re: unsupported video card: use chip driver?
 Post Posted: Fri Dec 26, 2008 2:10 am 
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Joined: Sat Jun 30, 2007 10:36 am
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Minor quibble: Although 16-color (4-bit) depth is an available option with this new driver, my computer wouldn't let me use it that menu choice. Restarts intended to put the setting into effect failed to complete. Resets and refusing safe mode so I could boot in normal mode resulted in no change to color depth.

Not critical. I just wanted to see what artwork made with a 256-color palette would look like when forced to be rendered in a 16-color palette other users might have. I don't usually run in shallow depth. I'm just posting this to be closer to complete in my driver review. I can test art on another machine.

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 Post subject: Re: unsupported video card: use chip driver?
 Post Posted: Sat Mar 28, 2015 2:27 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jun 30, 2007 10:36 am
Posts: 208
Mike wrote:
. . . [T]hat's enough with the 98SE. I'ts now 2008. . . .


Old followup: I finally gave up on Windows 95a and Win 98SE and not too soon. A hard drive on each machine more or less died about a week after I genericized and copied off all of the files I wanted. No causes for these HDD failures are known. I tossed those HDDs out. I put the machines out as freebies or city recycling after installing Linux and they disappeared in a day. They're retired. I haven't decided yet what to do with the OS discs and CoAs or licenses (post ideas here soon if you wish, especially about giving away). It's getting harder to find old computers capable of running 9x in normal mode, because even the old computers lately going into the trash in this city are too advanced to accommodate 9x. They can probably be found expensively, but I'm not going there. I didn't need the fancy supports of the latest OS except for Internet exposure, and I didn't expose Win to the Internet from those machines. I'm with the Linux band now and am open to trying FreeDSD with a GUI. Linux, at least Fedora and some other distros, is getting friendlier for users.


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