S3-Genoa Phantom 64/VideoBlitz IIIAV with VRAM

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Last update: 25th February, 1996

Symptoms

Drivers supplied with the Genoa Phantom 64 (aka VideoBlitz IIIAV) cause an "invisible mouse" condition in Fullscreen WinOS2 sessions.

Hardware

Genoa Phantom 64 with S3-968/IBM DAC (aka VideoBlitz IIIAV)
(Possibly *any* S3-968 Based cards with VRAM)

Problem

Included drivers are incorrect for cards with VRAM. Updates to S3 based cards generally include only drivers for video cards with DRAM.

Full-screen WINOS2 sessions require a VRAM video driver, currently found in the driver set for the Diamond Stealth 64 card. The VRAM drivers must be manually copied to the WINOS2\SYSTEM directory, and changes made to WINOS2 .INI files.

Procedure

  1. Install the drivers which come with the card, or an updated set of S3-based drivers, following the standard S3-based installation instructions found with the drivers.
  2. Change to your /OS2/MDOS/WINOS2/SYSTEM directory and archive (using ZIP or your favorite archiver) all SS*.DRV files into a temporary zip file. These are the most recent seamless windows drivers you've installed. You may also archive the xga*.fon, vga*.fon, SYMBOLG.FON, SSERIFG.FON, SMALLG.FON, SERIFG.FON, and COURG.FON files (if present), if you wish.
  3. Locate a copy of the drivers for the Diamond Stealth 64 with VRAM (Note: this file is large - 2.7Meg) Download from ftp.software.ibm.com (recommended): stlth64v.zip
  4. Unzip the file st64vram.zip into a temporary directory, and then unzip the file STLH64V2.ZIP (contained within st64vram.zip). This contains the file S3WIN, a packed archive containing the VRAM drivers we need!
  5. Change to your root directory and type UNPACK /tempdirectorypath/S3WIN to unpack the VRAM drivers into /OS2/MDOS/WINOS2/SYSTEM.
  6. Change to your /OS2/MDOS/WINOS2 directory and edit the SYSTEM.INI file, changing the display.drv=s3-blah-.drv line to display.drv=s3-blah-v.drv (-blah- is different depending on your screen size and resolution)
  7. Edit the PROGMAN.INI file, replacing the line display.drv=s3-blah-.drv with display.drv=s3-blah-v.drv
  8. Change to the /OS2/MDOS/WINOS2/SYSTEM directory and unarchive the temporary archive created under step 2 of this procedure. Choose to Overwrite any existing files, thus keeping the updated files from step 1.

Notes

In case the editing steps in 6 and 7 above are not clear, you are adding a v to the end of the driver name specified by display=.

The files at the IBM site appear to be more recent than the HOBBES site. I have not tested the HOBBES file, except to check that the S3WIN file contains the VRAM drivers.

Don't have any WINOS2 sessions running during this procedure, this includes having the WINOS2 Fastload feature active. An open WINOS2 session will keep the update from overwriting all the driver files.

Be certain that you do not change the sdisplay.drv line in the system.ini file. This identifies the seamless windows driver to the system, and should work just fine as is!

If your full-screen WINOS2 session does not start, check to see if there is a VRAM driver available for your desired resolution. The drivers included in the Stealth 64 S3WIN file support 8-bit color at 640,800,1024,1280,1152 and 1600 lines of resolution, 16-bit color at 640,800,1024 and 1280 lines, and 32-bit color at 640,800 and 1024 lines.

It is quite possible that a newer version of the S3 drivers which support both DRAM and VRAM video cards is available. Also, the Diamond Stealth drivers may be incompatible in other ways, although I have not found this to be the case.

By James Delahanty

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