Right then, time for an update on that little personal project I have been working on for weeks, now: https://forum.truckersmp.com/index.php?/profile/666-mike-dragon/&status=118068&type=status
Well, long story short... It's not going all too well as I have expected, as ran into one big issue: The system is freezing/locking up. Long story long, though, here's what's going on...
Except for a few days around the new year week and the past week, I have worked on this project basically non-stop since I started it. I have concluded the tests with the Pentium 4 processor and motherboard so since everything other than some games still refusing from running straight from their ISOs under Windows ME, seemed to work fine, I went ahead and disassembled the old Athlon XP system from the case and in its place, I assembled the Pentium 4 system.
Another boot of each one of the OSs after having assembled everything to make sure it was still working and I considered it finished and ready to be closed up and taken back to its place in my bedroom so I could configure Windows XP and ME and install my games to them (Windows 2000 had already been fully set up weeks prior, when I was toying around with this system to see if it was working).
And so I did! I organized the cables inside, closed the lid, cleaned up after the mess i had made on the table and put everything back in place and started to work on setting up the softwares, but first I wanted to enjoy some regular usage of Windows 2000, now that the PC was "finished" and back in place. And this is where things started to go downhill... You see... Windows 2000 completely died on me on the first use! D:
The system froze completely and after a hard reset (it was the only way), it would no longer boot. I'd get a kernel error at first then an error when attempting to read from the disk. And that is an alarming error. Access Windows 2000's hard drive from Windows XP seemed to work fine so I began to try and recover the installation but since that failed as I'd still get the same errors, I began to run some hard drive tests to check if somehow the hard drive suddenly went from being perfectly fine to being bad. Right off the bat, while running a surface test under Windows XP, a bad block surfaced on the second block of the drive (would explain why it was failing to read from the disk at boot) and that really bummed me down. Reformat the whole thing did not work but the worst part is that, before I tried that, Windows XP also froze completely half way through the surface test. At first I thought that maybe it was because of the drive it was examining so instead of finishing the surface test after a reboot (thankfully Windows XP didn't break as well) I decided to go straight to the full format. Which also resulted in another full lock up. Same crap would happen when running these actions from a live mini Windows copy, loaded from Hiren's Boot, so I began to feel suspicious and tried with a different power supply, tested the RAM (again) among some other minor tests. No positive results, so far and Windows ME was also crashing incredibly bad when running some things or in some cases, just the OS itself. Why was I suspicious, though? Because absolutely none of these problems happened while the system was fully open on the table, earlier.
(Yes, I know it is bad to be directly on the floor. I am fully aware of it. Get this computer something to be put on so it won't sit on the floor is on the to-do list. The priority now, however, is get the PC to work normally as it is supposed to. Only then I'll worry about the rest.)
With that in mind I began to think on what is different now from when the motherboard was being tested on the table of the living room and a couple things came to mind: The power supply (which I had already replaced for the same one I used for the tests on the table) and the IDE flat cables. One of the IDE cables I chose to use on the "new" system was taken from the older system. During one of the boot attempts, the secondary Master drive took too long to be detected and eventually failed to show up even on the BIOS. This drive was connected to the motherboard via this older IDE cable and it has Windows XP in it. So I replaced the cable! And it worked! Unfortunately that is all that worked. lol
For weeks now I have been wanting to buy myself a second drive dock. I already have one that can sit two SATA hard drives at the same time and the second one I wanted had slots for IDE hard drives. I wasn't truly believing what the hard drive tests of the Windows 2000 HDD were telling me so I wanted to test that drive in another computer to have a "second opinion". So went ahead and ordered the new dock online. Once I had it, I plugged that drive into the dock on my work computer and ran all the tests on the drive, twice. And hey! Absolutely no issues were detected on the drive! Not even that bad block the first surface test under Windows XP had displayed. That cable I have changed might have been the culprit for that, though. So then i fully formatted the Windows 2000 drive yet again, plugged it back into the system (with the new cable) without the other drives connected and installed Windows again and set it up all over again to the state it was before it "broke". It is still working perfectly fine! So thankfully, that's one issue solved. But I still had the matter of the system fully locking up. Just browse the internet for a while on either Windows would trigger it.
Back to testing with Windows XP (I didn't want to risk borking Windows 2000 again), I noticed that if just sitting idle, it would not lock up. But if I was browsing the internet for a while or playing a game for a while, it would. RAM and hard drive tests did not return and problems, the cables are new, the PSU is fine so what else could cause such issue to occur? Overheating? Well, i know for a fact that the Pentium 4 HT 661 does work a little warm, but the cooler I have for it is the same from when I got this processor and its heatsink doesn't feel hot to the touch and the fan seems to be spinning fine. So I installed AIDA 64 and launched the sensors monitor and what a weird sight I was presented with!
On idle, the processor would sit at a normal temperature of around 45° C to 55° C, which given my room temperature and the type of cooler it has, was kind of expected. But what caught my attention really was the RPM of the fan. This is actually something I had also noticed in the system monitor on the BIOS, previously... according to the sensor, the fan was ranging from normal RPM to full throttle to a sudden halt (0 RPM). Visually, however, the fan did doesn't seem to be speeding up or down at all, though. Running a program called "Who Crashed", I found a crash log that, well, I don't really remember what it said, but it did hint at a couple possible causes for the crash it registered and it did mention that overheating could be one of such causes. Having that sensors monitor up on a second screen, I went ahead and started to play Need for Speed Most Wanted to intentionally stress the system and guess what? The system locked up after a while. When it did, I looked at the now frozen sensor monitor and it was basically telling me that the lockups are happening whenever the processor reaches 60 or 61 degrees celsius. So yeah... add that symptom to the fan's odd readings and perhaps the issue I am facing with this PC might be overheating caused by a defective fan, after all! I don't really know if that is indeed the issue, however. I don't have any means to test it as I haven't got a compatible cooler to install for testing.
To end, last week I put the PC back together and terminated works on it for the time being. I seem to have narrowed down the issue to the processor cooler and overheating so at this point, there isn't anything else I can do but find a compatible cooler to replace and test. :\ Having said that, yesterday I started looking into some cheap options. This is an old system and my budget is quite limited at the moment, so I don't want to spend much on it. Especially if the problem really isn't the cooler, after all. But yeah, I've been looking into cheap options and the DeepCool Gammaxx 200T DP-MCH2-GMX200T has been standing out to me as a viable choice for this processor.
It doesn't cost much and according to some specs I read on DeepCool's website and a video review of it on YouTube, it supports processors with TDP of up to 100w (my Pentium 4 has a TDP of 86w) and has a good performance for such budget cooler. I am highly tempted to buy it. :I What do you think? The main difference from when I was testing this PC on the table to now is that unlike during the tests, I now have the system fully assembled and less exposed to fresh air. Plus, it's being used for much longer than when I was just testing it on the table so unlike then, now it has been given the proper chances and means to heat up and show some flaws. I am not too confident that replacing the cooler will fix these issues I just described, as the CPU FAN header on the motherboard could be bad (perhaps I could take that cooler and test on another motherboard... I think I might have some board where I can use it to see if the RPM of the fan will also be erratic), but even if not, a better cooler is always a welcome thing to have!
It's the weekend so click play and Heeeeey Macarena!
Click play. Trust me.
Mike Dragon changed their profile photo
My holidays break is over, it's Monday, I have to get back to work, got to drive to a client in the morning and should be spending all day long at this client and TMP's staff break has also ended. So better get started on stuff, I guess! And being this my first post of the year, I could not post anything else but something to put a smile on people's faces so they can bear the Monday.
Enjoy and happy new year!
Mike Dragon replied to Chev's topic in Tech talkMy first cell phone was a Nokia 3320. I loved that thing. Still have it but sadly, I made the mistake of storing with the battery so over time it leaked and killed the board., so now it won't even charge (other battery), anymore :'( Such a good phone. As for my current, I have a Microsoft Lumia 640 XL. Also love it. <3
I was going to write something about the new year here but I just spent the last half hour or so doing over at my Deviant Art so instead of doing it all over again here, I will leave a link to the journal I just posted there. The wishes I wrote there also apply to you, so go take a read. :3 ---> http://fav.me/dcvvcwx
Have a great year!
So a couple days I posted this: https://forum.truckersmp.com/index.php?/profile/666-mike-dragon/&status=117754&type=status and said that on the next day (Wednesday) I would start working on that "project". And well, I did!
Everything worked fine last time the computer was used, over a year ago, however now it presents the following symptoms:
- When playing Need for Speed Most Wanted, Windows XP will blue screen in a very funky way if the player is caught by the police and the cutscene of arrest attempts to play.
- Windows Millennium Edition won't launch most games. You click to open a game and it either does nothing or the screen flashes black for a moment as if the game is starting but then it goes back to the Desktop. And the few games that do start, will crash Windows.
- Need for Speed II Special Edition does not run from the ISO on either version of like it used to. On XP, the game process starts and runs in the background (you can see it on Task Manager) but the game never shows on the screen. Windows keeps running as if the game was never started.
- Some simple actions may crash Windows ME for no real reason. C'mon, that OS is not that unstable.
So with these issues in mind I set off to troubleshoot, starting off by double checking the settings of the processor. Since I upgraded from the old Athlon XP 2000+ to the Athlon XP 3200+ I had a feeling that the processor might not have been properly set up in the BIOS. Because there are two models of 3200+ and the motherboard's automatic settings for the 3200+ are for the other model that I don't have, I have to manually configure the processor so the motherboard knows what it is working with but just to be sure I took off the processor and double checked if it was the 2.33GHz version or the 2.2GHz. It is the 2.33GHz one, as I remembered, so after looking it up online to make sure I was doing the right thing and after trying out many different settings, in the end, there is only one setting that will work and its the one I had been using all along since I bought this processor, so my suspicions that the processor could be accidentally over or underclocked were debunked. I ruled out the possibility of the problems being caused by processor instability.
So I tested the RAM. Two 1GB sticks of DDR 400 memory and thankfully, neither popped any errors on Memtest. Hard drives could be faulty, maybe? With CrystalDisk Info and HD Tune I tested all three and only one gave out a warning sign, the Master drive. Well, fair enough, I found a problem. Maybe this is it! To spare time I cloned that drive into one of the other two drives and removed it then booted from the clone and tested the games on both OSs again to check if the issue was being caused by the hard drive.
Sadly, the exact same problems continued. I tested the PSU and even replaced it by one I know for sure is fine and the problems still persisted. Next thing I'd have to replace to test was the graphics card and hey! Need for Speed Most Wanted played the arrest cutscene and kept on working without triggering any blue screens with the test card! Faulty GPU, maybe? Well, I'll get back to that later... The blue screen on Windows XP was the only thing that I've managed to fix, this far other than identifying a faulty HD. Everything else was still borked all the same. So after a blue screen on Windows ME during boot, I formatted everything.
At this point I thought that maybe the two OSs could be corrupted due to their original hard drive being faulty and those issues would obviously be carried over to the "new" drive in the cloning process, so a clean install of them would solve that. So I formatted the drive, installed ME and XP in dual boot and went to test the games, again. Oh boy...
Need for Speed II SE still refused to work from the ISO as it should but oddly enough, it runs flawlessly from the physical CD. Even the home-made copy I made to avoid any damages to the original (the one in the photo is the original, though). King of The Road refuses to install. It always gives an error saying that it can't copy some file. The weird thing with this one is that the exact same error happens with both the ISO install and the physical CD install. Even weirder is the fact that on XP, it installs and runs perfectly fine from both medias! O.o The Need for Speed SE (the special edition of the very first NFS) would also give an error during install on ME and not work. This one I can't even try on XP because it is so old. Hard Truck Road to Victory installs and runs from both the ISO and CD just fine, though, as does The Fifth Element. I suspected that Windows ME wasn't happy with 2 GB of RAM in the system, so I removed some but all to no avail. It would still behave the same way. Regarding Windows ME, I am about out of ideas, at this point, so I moved on to Windows XP.
Remember that I said I'd get back to the GPU possibly being faulty, later? Well, I popped the original graphics card back in (256 MB GeForce 6200) and decided to give it another try with Most Wanted as I refused to believe this card is defective after all these years of good service and guess what? It worked flawlessly on NFS with a clean install of Windows XP! Maybe the driver in the old install was corrupted (even though I installed a new version during one of the previous tests) or Windows itself was, who knows. The good news is that just like the processor, RAM, PSU, the motherboard itself, I am sure, the hard drives and Windows installation, the graphics card is also in good shape. NFSIISE doesn't work on XP, by the way. It still refused to work on XP, even with physical media. Though I could swear I have played it under Windows XP, back in the day. But at least Most Wanted and King of The Road work perfectly well on XP, now!
So Windows XP runs two of the main games just fine and the OS itself seems to be alright, now. That's great, but I still am left with the games that are not working on ME. I could use Windows 98 instead, but that one lacks true native USB support, it doesn't look as nice and doesn't have some nice features that ME has. Besides, it is even clunkier than ME in some aspects and would give me an even greater headache to get it to work with 2GB of RAM. Windows ME could be presenting these issues because of the RAM capacity, yes, but like I said before, I tested with less RAM and it still continued to "misbehave". Besides, last time I used this computer, Windows ME and all the games in it were working perfectly well with the 2GB it has and nothing other than have the PC still with no use for several months has changed, since then.
Given that I am mostly out of ideas, I went back to considering replacing this Athlon XP system by the Pentium 4 I was playing with a few weeks back. My concern with doing that is that the motherboard does not have Windows 98/ME drivers for download. That would mean that I'd have to sacrifice playing some of my old games again, such as Hard Truck and The Fifth Element, since those will only run on Windows 95, 98 and ME. Still, I put the Athlon XP aside and set up the Pentium 4, but I used the Athlon's hard drives instead.
While the computer was booting up I was preparing the install CDs for Windows XP and ME to format the Master hard drive and install them again from scratch on the Pentium 4. Why? Because it's a very different and newer platform than that Athlon XP where they were installed, originally. The chipset of the motherboard is different and when you move a Windows install from one motherboard to another that is different, it normally won't boot and instead, will give you a blue screen of death. So that's what I was expecting. Though Windows XP was taking a bit long to blue screen... its boot screen was still running and to my surprise, it booted into Windows and it started to detect and install the components of the "new" motherboard! O.o I guess those boards are not all that different, after all! Looking into Device Manager I noticed that apparently they have quite similar controllers, enough for Windows to "make itself comfortable" on the new motherboard. Huh... neat! But what REALLY caught me by surprise is that Windows ME, not only booted and did not blue screen, but like XP, it also installed drivers for the new board! O.o And remember, this is a motherboard that does not officially support Windows ME! There are no drivers for this Windows version on the site of its maker!
So after installing the driver for the graphics on both OSs (the graphics card has drivers for Windows 9x, as well) and installing the actual chipset drivers for the motherboard on Windows XP (it was working fine but the PS/2 keyboard driver kept on dying, for some reason. Install the proper chipset driver solved that issue) I went to test all the games again. And they run great! Well, the ones that do run, that is. Everything is still the same as it was on the Athlon XP. The only difference is that Most Wanted runs smoothly on the Pentium 4. lol Well, it is a more powerful processor than the Athlon XP, after all.
At any rate, this new development I uncovered is great! If this motherboard (Gigabyte GA-VM800PMC), which doesn't officially support Windows ME, according to Gigabyte's site, does actually support Windows ME, then it means that I can replace the Athlon XP system by the Pentium 4 system. I'd rather have both at the same time but I lack the space in my house for yet another PC. Anyway... I basically just need to sort out the issue with running games off their ISOs instead of physical media but other than that, I can run King of the Road on Windows XP alongside Need for Speed Most Wanted along with a couple others that might not be compatible with ME or might refuse to install there but will install and run on XP and then leave Windows ME to handle the games that only it can run, such as The Fifth Element, Hard Truck Road to Victory, One Unity Blood and a few others. I'd have a faster old computer to play old games without actually sacrificing any of them, as I was fearing. This is something I have yet to decide for sure, though.
This all happened in the span of two days, by the way. I am not done, obviously. The decision to replace these systems is yet to be taken for sure, though. Later today (28th) I will do a few final (hopefully final) tests with the Pentium 4 motherboard. I will format Windows ME and install it from scratch on this motherboard and try to install the drivers myself to see how that goes. If they install and work normally, then that should be the green light I need to make that decision. If that happens, then I can finally put my good old Athlon XP to rest for good. If that happens, then I'll have a lot of work ahead of me. Manage how I will distribute the hard drives, which ones will get which Windows (I'll likely not dual boot them, this time), which will get a second partition for files or if both will for both Windows, etc., install all the games on both versions and configure and update them both.
Phew! This is a very long status post. O.o I am sorry. I guess I got carried away. lol I don't really have anyone to talk to and share this kind of stuff with so I tend to build it up inside a lot. Heh... If you have read through this all then you are a real human bean!
Looking forward to the outcome of this third day of work on my old rig. If I migrate to the Pentium 4, I might invest on a couple more upgrades for it, soon as I can. Replace the two 512 MB of 533MHz DDR2 RAM for two 1 GB 533 MHz DDR2 RAM would be nice. I have 1 GB DDR2 RAM, but it's of a higher frequency than the motherboard supports, so it only reads half of it. To give it 2 GB I will have to install RAM at 533MHz. Upgrade the graphics card to something better for that AGP slot would be really nice, as well.
Oh, by the way... while looking through some files, I found this. I suppose that anyone who's been there during the current WoT event might relate to it, somehow. Especially if they are Game Moderators.
I luv it!! The ME was rolled out way too soon & was plagued from the start. But ppl learned how to fix the glitches as time progressed. And if it is working to the point that it can benefit you at all (remember that is quite and old system ) then your work has not gone to waste. We have spoken before about AMD's & it's been my experience, either you get a good one & its stays that way, or you get one the will have issues that almost are incurable no matter what you throw at it. Sometimes sacrifices must be made, & in your situation it is enough room to handle several different PC's to feed your passion. But your diligence to revive older systems that many would have thrown out long ago, is going to have some problems especially since many of those are no longer supported & solving those problems will be done exactly by what your doing ( trial & error ) until you find the right combo for each OS. Thx for the update & as always keep us posted.
For those of you who are using the winter physics that are part of this year's snow mod, you might want to watch this whole video. A lot of it is applicable in the game:
As a Game Moderator, my recommendation to you is that you drive slowly. That's a great way to start, if you don't want to watch that video.
HOLY CRAP, @A Simple Cheeseburger, I JUST FOUND THE SONG AND WHO SINGS IT!!!
Jesus Christ, that video is so 70's!
Still, I'd love to find the original, high quality recording of the version I copied from that cassette all those years ago.
So a few weeks ago I was "playing around" with a Pentium 4 system I put up together using some leftover parts I had laying around that I don't even remember how or when I got them in the first place. I put the stuff together, installed Windows 2000 Professional and set it up as if I were going to "daily drive" it:
That was a fun little project that sure got rid of a lot of boredom and I hope to revisit that sometime soon and hopefully to one day, give it its own case and power supply so I can actually daily drive it as a retro computer for some retro software and games. For now though, I sadly cannot do that so the parts are sitting in their boxes in a bag, safely kept away in a corner in my bedroom. My thirst for working with vintage hardware has not been entirely quenched yet, though. I want to work on some other little project like that soon. I still want a year 2000 IBM Thinkpad and to build a high-end Pentium III gaming system at some point (must be period-accurate, though. As in, the best specs a Tualatin Pentium III computer could have back in the day) but since I lack the money for any of that, I have to cope with that I have, and I think I know what to work on next: My very own, very first computer.
The first computer I could ever call my own was built mostly with used parts (motherboard, processor, RAM and graphics card were bought used) and built by myself. It was an AMD AthlonXP 2000+ running at 1.67GHz with merely 1 GB of RAM and a 64 MB NVidia GeForce graphics card (I don't remember what model, though. I still have it, however), originally. After a couple shy upgrades I eventually replaced it by the system I use currently, my trusty Core i5. And when I did that, when I migrated to a new system, I disassembled the old AthlonXP and put its parts back into their boxes and reused the case for the Core i5. But as time went on, nostalgia began to knock my door and the urge to play some of my old games grew stronger by the days, especially the urge to play King of the Road. So after saving a bit of cash I bought a new, though simple, computer case (which came with a PSU, btw) and rebuilt the old AthlonXP system into it and installed Windows Millennium Edition in dual boot with Windows XP Professional so I could run all my old games again, since the Core i5 system is too modern for them.
That happened in 2014/2015 and I had a lot of fun with those games, especially King of the Road. I even recorded some gameplay of it and made a video, a couple years ago! It's a low quality production, though. :\
At any rate... A few days ago I started to feel the urge to play some of those old game again (mostly because I have worked on that Pentium 4 so recently) and overall, do something with old hardware, so I took that old PC for a quick revision before turning it on and realized I had to replace the CMOS battery. Which is fine. Though after doing so I noticed a lot of oddities and strange behaviors in both operating systems such as games not launching on Windows ME and the few that did, would cause the whole OS to freeze and require a hard reset and on the Windows XP side, Need for Speed Most Wanted would cause a blue screen of death when the cutscene for being caught by the police would play.
So what is this next little project that I am thinking about working on? Well, it's this old AhtlonXP PC of mine! About a year or two ago I upgraded the AthlonXP 2000+ to a 3200+ and I have the impression that the processor might be incorrectly set up in the BIOS, so it could be causing a few instabilities. My goal in this project is to troubleshoot the system and hopefully, sort out the processor situation and all other issues with the OSs, which should include installing a new copy of either (or both) on another hard drive for testing purposes.
This should be fun and frustrating at the same time, but I'm looking forward to it. I might get started on it this afternoon, and depending on the outcome of it, I might finally make the decision of whether or not I take the AthlonXP apart once more and replace by that Pentium 4 from a few weeks ago or keep it in the case. After all, replace it by the Pentium 4, although good in terms of performance, would also mean sacrificing all my DOS-based games since the Pentium 4 motherboard doesn't offer driver support for Windows ME/98, while the AthlonXP motherboard, does. :\
Little PSA for you all:
For those of you who have edited or are thinking of editing the physics of your vehicle via the console with commands or the settings file itself, I will leave here this recommendation: Do NOT do it! There are too many people doing it wrong and causing their vehicles to behave in a manner that is harmful to other players around because the effects those commands produce take away most of the control you can have over your vehicle. That's a violation of rule 2.1 because it ends up working as a abuse of feature, even if you do it via the console. And you know what happens to who's banned under rule 2.1. The rule is clear:Quote
§2.1 - Hacking/Bug/Feature abusing - PERMANENT BAN
Using any kind of tool to change gameplay, including but not limited to using the in-game console, trainers or cheat engine in order to bypass the speeding limiter, to jump hack, no collision hack or anything similar. Misusing features such as the ghost mode to cause damage to others or similar.
If you want to have some fun with absurd physics values, then do it on singleplayer, but remember to change them back to normal values before coming back to MP. If you are unsure what values are accepted, then it's best to simply not touch them, at all. Only really do it if you are serious and actually know what you are doing.
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Default values are fine, as far as I am aware. The problem is if you go beyond that to either plus or minor. The effects it will cause can result in super erratic movements and general behavior from the vehicle. I've seen trucks bounce like a beach ball, a car take off like a space ship, a truck hover over the ground as if it gravity were weaker than on the moon, I've seen a truck roll over its own front end just from braking lightly at low speed, trucks tilt sideways when turning and invading the opposite lane and other bizarre things. And all because of incorrect values.
Anyone having issues with picking a load from WoT? Nothing that I pick gets synced, even on singleplayer. It just sits on "Syncing your progress" for as long as I let it. If I cancel it, WoT loses connection. :\ I still couldn't do a single event delivery because of it.
Now that the 12 hour Christmas convoy on ETS2 is done, it is time I retire myself back to the real deal, to real trucking. Time to go back to ATS.