Windows upgrade Issues ME -- XP Pro

First things first.
Hardware specs:

733 MHz Pentium III
128 Meg RAM
12 Gigs Hard Drive
LG DVD/CD RW 32x 10x 40x
(Driver installed for: HL-DT-ST RW/DVD GCC-4320B)
Sound Card: seems to be a Forte Media FM801 PC1

Computer’s being a prick.

I bought a computer recently here in Budapest, and it came installed with Windows ME Hungarian. My original issues with the computer started when it didn’t seem to read the CD Rom drive correctly. Some sectors would load. Some wouldn’t. Autorun.exe - forget about it.

I became well-acquainted with the Hungarian word “Hiba!” which either means “Error” or “You shoulda bought a Mac, you moron.”

Problem resolved: Some “DMA” box was checked in CD-ROM properties. Unchecked it and everything worked fine.

Fast forward a week: Decided Hungarian language ME pain in the ass. Got myself Windows XP Pro, which promised me the world. I install it, and right off the bat, the computer lies to me. Tells me installing might erase some files in “My Documents” folder. So I move key Docs over to Desktop. Result? After installation, My Docs 100% intact. Desktop wiped. Bastard.

So what’s the problem now? Autoruns don’t work again. (Ones that I know for a fact work on XP.) Installing new programs don’t work. Existing programs seems OK. Archived photography CDs unreadable (file too short…truncated JPEG marker error. These files worked yesterday, so it sounds suspiciously similar to the DMA problem I had. Except XP has no DMA option I can find, so what’s the deal?) XP reports CD-ROM device working properly.
I beg to differ.

Sound has disappeared. No sound driver installed. Huh? Apparently, the Forte Media driver I had does not have some sort of digital signature, so XP won’t allow me to use it, despite my pleas.

Now, I could go back to ME, except apparently the way OSes are structured on the PC, this is not possible except for wiping the hard drive. I’m willing to do that. But I’d prefer to get XP working properly…even if that means wiping and reinstalling. XP seems slower than ME on my machine (I know it’s not state-of-the-art, but ME runs smoothly and quickly.)

What to do?

Oh, one more thing, which may be related to CD-ROM issue. I have a copy of Civ 3. I run it from XP, it starts up fine, reads some files from CD and during some monitor resolution change, the display turns into some rather fantastic lighting effects. Not sheet lightning, but rather distinct, jagged lines of white around the center of the screen. Nothing resembling a display is left. In fact, the screen is mostly black except for this hyperactive raster in the center area of the screen. WTF? Then, of course, control-alt-delete proves futile, I reset, XP freezes at the shaded Windows XP logo startup. Doesn’t offer a word of assurance.

Boot again. Nothing. Boot again and go into safe mode. Finally something is happening, the computer diagnoses itself and removes some file it doesn’t much care for. Then back to the OP problems.

do you experience these CD problems after booting in safe mode? (Hit F8 after the POST test but before the OS starts loading). If not, or just as something to try in any case:

If you find your cd drive in the ‘view by connection’ part of the device manager, you have to turn DMA off on the whole bus under XP, not by device, so the DMA setting belongs to the bus that the cd-drive is connected to.


I’ll give it a shot and see what happens. This is the most important problem. After that I’ll tackle the sound issues.

Unfortunately, I gotta run, so won’t be able to report on the problems, but we’ll have a look. I’m almost sure pesky DMA is up to something. So there should be a “view by connection” option somewhere in Device Manager? I’ll check it out since I’m relatively new at XP, and I’m not at my computer at the moment.

OK, I’m back for about an hour.

So here’s the deal. Found DMA settings eventually. Dah-dum! DVD CD et al work.


However, Civ III is still acting funny, leading me to believe I have some monitor issues as well. The monitor I have is a Targa 13 inch. The driver XP has installed is simply a “General Monitor” driver or something to that effect.

I’m incorrect with my explanation of what happened. So I’ve reinstalled Civ III, just to be sure. I double click. Start up screen comes up fine. Monitor does that resolution-changing click or whatever. Screen goes nuts. An almost subliminal high-pitched noise can be heard as the screen becomes totally scambled and frantic. Then, monitor resolution changes and hourglass appears as normal. An animated start up screen plays fine, and then, when I press space or whatever to advance to the main menu, it all becomes garbled again. I try alt-control-deleting and I can make out what seems to be a long blue XP task bar at the bottom of the screen, but I can’t get the computer to reset.

That, and now my 3 1/2 disc drive is appearing to have issues. It just whirls and whirls and only wants to open the occassional file.

All I know is that all these things: sound, Civ, drives and all worked fine under Windows ME.

XP is slower. ME happily lets programs directly access the hardware, which is a lot faster than having to go through the hardware abstraction layer. On the plus side, having the hardware abstraction layer is what prevents naughty programs from taking down the entire system when they misbehave. Your system is fast enough that I wouldn’t expect to see that much of a difference, so if the difference is very noticable then maybe it hints at something else being wrong.

Check to see what you have running in the background. Office with certain settings can sit there chewing up a lot of CPU time, as can other background tasks. Press CTRL-ALT-DEL and look at processes, and see who is taking up all of your CPU time.

There appears to be a patch for civ 3. Don’t know if you installed it yet or if it will help.

Not sure what is going on with your floppy. I’ve never seen a floppy drive act weird under XP. Does the system report any conflicts? What does XP think the status is of the drive?

It sounds to me like Civ3 is using a video mode that’s beyond the abilities of the screen, either with too fast of a refresh rate or too high of a resolution or something. I’d try telling XP exactly what moniter you have, by going into the advanced display properties.


Oops, that isn’t under advanced display properties under XP anymore…maybe back under the hardware manager? Dunno, sorry.


Thanks guys for your help. I’ve almost sorted out all my problems. The video problem simply appears to be a driver issue. I downloaded the specific driver for my monitor and everything works fine. I didn’t have to do this under ME, but I also remember ME listing scores of different monitor profiles whereas XP seems to only have one: “Generic.”

Anyhow, that’s all sorted.

Meanwhile, I’m hoping the audio is just a driver issue, too. I’ve just download the XP driver and I’m hoping that’ll take care of it. Otherwise, everything else seems to be okay. The only weird thing is whenever I quit Civ III, it quits properly, but shows me an error message that the program suddenly quit. Not a big deal, and maybe the patch’ll fix that.

Thanks for everything, **e_c_g ** and LordVor!