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Hercules Stingray DOS and Windows 3.1 Troubleshooting

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Troubleshooting Guide

Version 1.10 -- February 22, 1995

Hercules Stingray
(Models S501, S801)

Hercules Stingray Pro
(Models S601e, S901e)

Hercules Stingray Pro/Video
(Model S901V)

Hercules Stingray 64/Video
(Models S1201V, S1202V)

Installation Problems


[Q] After I've installed the graphics card, my PC won't boot.


[A] There are a number of things that can go wrong when installing new hardware, but when a PC fails to boot, it generally indicates a conflict between Stingray and one or more devices in your system. If your PC

fails to boot after installing Stingray, try the following steps:

  1. Make sure any existing video card is removed or on-board video is disabled. The Stingray replaces your existing CGA, EGA, VGA or SuperVGA graphics card, so you should remove your old card. Some motherboards have on-board VGA circuitry. If your monitor attaches directly to your motherboard, consult your PC's documentation for instructions on disabling on-board VGA. If you cannot disable on-board VGA support you won't be able to use a third-party graphics card in your PC.
  2. If you have a model S601e, S801, S1201V, or S1202V, change the position of jumper J1. Power down your PC, take out your Stingray card, remove or replace the jumper on J1, and reinstall your Stingray. See the appendix titled "Jumper Settings" for a description of changing jumper settings.
  3. Make sure the Stingray is seated correctly, or try another bus slot. A video card that doesn't make contact with all the connectors, or a faulty bus slot can cause boot problems.
  4. Make sure you have the correct Stingray for your PC. VL-Bus versions of Stingray require a VESA VL-Bus slot and will not work in an ISA or PCI local bus slot. PCI bus versions of Stingray require a PCI local bus slot and will not work in an ISA or VL-Bus slot. Make sure that all of the connectors on Stingray are properly seated in the correct slot.
  5. Try removing other cards from the PC. In rare instances, a serious conflict with another peripheral in your computer will cause a failure to boot. One way to determine if this is the source of the problem is to remove other cards from your PC one by one and trying to boot again. If there seems to be a conflict between the Stingray and another peripheral and you're not sure how to resolve it, contact the manufacturer of the other card, or call Hercules.
  6. Contact Hercules Technical Support. If you've tried all of the other steps and you're still unsuccessful in booting your PC when the Stingray is installed, get in touch with Hercules.


[Q] I have my PC set up to go directly into Windows 3.1 when I power up. I've installed the Stingray and now Windows doesn't work.


[A] It is likely that your Windows installation is configured for a video driver that is not compatible with Stingray. This sometimes happens when upgrading your video accelerator. There are several easy

solutions to the problem.

  1. If possible, remove the Stingray and reinstall your previous video card. Then, reconfigure Windows 3.1 to use the standard VGA driver supplied by Microsoft before reinstalling Stingray, See the installation guide for instructions. The standard VGA driver will work on any VGA card, including the Stingray.
  2. If this is not possible, it is necessary to interrupt the boot process and modify your AUTOEXEC.BAT file so it doesn't launch Windows 3.1 when you boot the PC. If you're using MS-DOS 6.0 or later, you can do this automatically by hitting the F5 key when the display reads "Starting MS-DOS...". If you're using an earlier version of MS-DOS, you may boot from a bootable floppy diskette if you have one available. If not, you should boot your PC and hit Ctrl-Break when the computer starts processing your AUTOEXEC.BAT file. Then, answer "Y" to the "Terminate Batch Job? (Y/N)" prompt.
  3. For the purposes of installing a new video card, it's best to temporarily configure your system so that it boots to a DOS prompt, and does not go directly into Windows. This way, if you run into any problems starting Windows with the new card, you can always reboot and go back to the DOS prompt. If you are using MS-DOS 5.0 or later, do the following:

    a. From the DOS prompt, type:

    EDIT C:\AUTOEXEC.BAT

    b. Scroll down to the end of the AUTOEXEC.BAT file. At or near the end, you should see a line that reads:

    WIN

    c. Comment out this line by placing the word REM (short for REMark) in front of it. It should now read:

    REM WIN

    d. Select Exit from the FILE Menu to exit the program. When asked if you'd like to save the changes to the file, answer YES. Now, when you boot your PC, you will go to a DOS prompt, rather than Windows 3.1. You may start Windows manually by typing WIN at the DOS prompt. Once you've installed the Stingray drivers and you're confident Windows is now operating correctly, you may edit AUTOEXEC.BAT file and take out the REM statement added in step c.

  4. Contact Hercules. If you've tried the above and you cannot get Windows 3.1 to work with the Stingray, or if you're having trouble with any of the steps, contact Hercules for assistance.

[Q] Even after I added the memory exclusion statements to my memory manager, my PC locks up when I boot the PC.


[A] Some memory managers have special features they use to free up extra upper memory. These include BIOS relocation and remapping of "unused" BIOS space for use by other programs. It is possible that one or more

of these features are causing the Stingray to fail.

  1. If you're running QEMM, disable the Stealth feature. You're using Stealth if you have the "ST:M" or "ST:F" clause in your QEMM386 device line. Although you should have already added the "XST=C000" clause telling Stealth to avoid the Stingray, Stealth may be causing other problems with your PC when the Stingray is installed. Remove the ST:M or ST:F clause and reboot your PC to see if this is the case.
  2. Run the memory manager optimization utility. Many memory managers have an automatic optimization utility that configures your memory manager so it runs as efficiently as possible. Try running this utility. For details on optimizing your memory manager, consult your documentation.
  3. Consult your memory manager documentation or contact your memory manager vendor. Memory managers have a variety of options that affect system performance. Your memory manager documentation is the best troubleshooting resource.
  4. Contact Hercules. If you've taken steps recommended by your memory manager documentation or the vendor's technical support department and you're still not sure of the cause of the conflict, contact Hercules for assistance.

[Q] The INSTALL program can't find my Stingray.


[A] INSTALL attempts to find a special "signature string" in Stingray's BIOS. Some memory managers will relocate the video BIOS, preventing

INSTALL from finding the information it needs.

  1. If you're using QEMM386 or 386MAX, make sure the proper memory exclusions have been added. See the appendix titled "Memory Managers" for instructions on modifying your memory manager configuration. These modifications should be made before the installation program is run.
  2. Boot without a memory manager. To verify that your memory manager is causing the installation program to fail, temporarily boot your PC without invoking your memory manager. If you're using MS-DOS 6.0 or later, you can do this by hitting F8 when the display reads "Starting MS-DOS..." and answering NO when MS-DOS displays your memory manager device lines. Then, run the Stingray's installation program. If this resolves the problem but you're not sure how to configure your memory manager to avoid the conflict, consult your memory manager documentation or contact your memory manager vendor's technical support department.
  3. Contact Hercules. If none of the above suggestions help, you may have another conflict. Contact Hercules for assistance.


Problems with DOS or DOS Applications


[Q] One or more of my DOS applications leave "garbage" on the screen, have "mouse trails" or otherwise display incorrectly. Or, I get "garbage" when I'm at the DOS prompt.

[A] This is usually a symptom of a conflict with another device, an

incompatibility with the system bus, or a faulty card.

  1. If you have a model S601e, S801, S1201V, or S1202V, change the position of jumper J1. Power down your PC, take out your Stingray card, remove or replace the jumper on J1, and reinstall your Stingray. See the appendix titled "Jumper Settings" for a description of changing jumper settings.
  2. Make sure the Stingray is seated correctly, or try another bus slot. A video card that doesn't make contact with all of the connectors, or a faulty bus slot can cause display problems.
  3. Try removing other cards from the PC. In rare instances, a serious conflict with another peripheral in your computer will cause these problems. One way to determine if this is the source of the problem is to remove other cards from your PC one by one and trying to boot again. If there seems to be a conflict between the Stingray and another peripheral and you're not sure how to resolve it, contact the manufacturer of the other card, or call Hercules.
  4. Contact the application documentation or vendor. If the problem is specific to one or two DOS applications, there may be special configuration instructions or a program update that alleviates the problem.
  5. Contact Hercules. If you've tried all of the other steps and you still see screen corruption under DOS, get in touch with Hercules.

[Q] I have a DOS application which has the capability of running higher than the standard VGA 640x480 16-color resolution, but I can't get it to do so with the Stingray.

[A] This is probably a simple issue of configuring the software to take

full advantage of the Stingray.

  1. Use a VESA or other compatible driver. Stingray can support high resolution operation in DOS applications that have high resolution drivers for the VESA Video BIOS Extensions (VBE) or have a driver that's labeled for use with the Stingray family. See if your application has such a driver. Consult the application's documentation or the application vendor for further assistance.
  2. Contact the application's vendor. If you've consulted the application's documentation and you can't get it to work, contact the vendor. They may have specific troubleshooting advice, or a driver update.
  3. Contact Hercules. If you've tried the above steps and your program should work but it doesn't, contact Hercules.


[Q] Since I've installed my Stingray, my mouse behaves erratically or doesn't work at all.

[A] There is probably an IRQ conflict between your mouse and the Stingray

card. This generally only happens with bus mice.

  1. If you have a model S801 for the PCI bus, remove the jumper from J1. Your mouse may be using IRQ2. Removing the jumper from J1 will disable the Stingray's use of this IRQ.
  2. Contact Hercules. If it's apparent that your mouse is conflicting with your Stingray but you're not sure why, get in touch with Hercules for further assistance.

[Q] Since I've installed my Stingray, my sound card behaves erratically or doesn't work at all.


[A] There may be a IRQ or base I/O address conflict between your sound

card and Stingray.

  1. If you have a model S801 for the PCI bus, remove the jumper from J1. Your sound card may be using IRQ2. Removing the jumper from J1 will disable the Stingray's use of this IRQ2.
  2. Consult your sound card's documentation, or contact the sound card vendor. The makers of your sound card may be aware of configuration issues specific to some video cards.
  3. Contact Hercules. If neither you nor your sound card vendor are sure of the cause of the problem, get in touch with Hercules.

Problems with Windows 3.1 or Windows Applications


[Q] Windows won't start.

[A] There can be a number of problems that may cause Windows to fail when changing video cards. Generally, it ends up that the video drivers

aren't installed or configured correctly.

  1. Make sure the correct video drivers are selected. Windows will probably not work if the video driver for another graphics card has been selected. See the installation instructions for details on running Windows SETUP and selecting the Stingray display drivers.
  2. Make sure the exclusion statements are present in your CONFIG.SYS and SYSTEM.INI files. See the appendix titled "Memory Managers" for details on excluding the memory ranges used by the Stingray.
  3. Lower the refresh rate. Your Stingray may be configured to output a scan rate and refresh rate that's higher than the capabilities of your monitor. A quick way to verify this is to type the following at the DOS prompt:

    SETCRT -n 0 0 0 0

    This command lowers the Stingray's output to minimum values that should be supported by any monitor. If Windows starts after you've lowered the refresh rates, go back and reconfigure Stingray for your monitor. For complete instructions, see "Changing your monitor selection" under the chapter titled Stingray Utilities."

  4. Reinstall the Stingray's Windows 3.1 drivers. Occasionally, a Windows driver installation may not go smoothly for one reason or another. To ensure that the Stingray's display drivers have been installed correctly, reinstall them. For detailed instructions on how to do this, please see "Adding Windows drivers" in the chapter titled "Stingray Utilities."
  5. Contact Hercules. If you've reinstalled our Windows drivers and Windows still does not run, contact our technical support department.

[Q] I've run the SETUP program and selected the Stingray drivers, but no Hercules program group is created when I start Windows.


[A] Various factors, including the use of desktop programs other than Program Manager, occasionally cause the program group installation routine to fail. If this is the case on your PC, it is easy to build the program group yourself. Refer to "Creating the Hercules Program

Group" in the chapter titled "Using Windows 3.1."

[Q] When I use Picture Window to restart Windows in a higher resolution, I get a blank or scrambled screen, or the Windows desktop is "duplicated" on the display.

[A] This type of problem usually occurs when you've selected an incorrect monitor type, or specified a vertical refresh rate that is too

high for your monitor.

  1. Reselect your monitor type. The incorrect monitor type may have been selected, causing the Stingray to overdrive your display. Reboot your PC and reconfigure Stingray for your monitor. For complete instructions, see "Changing your monitor selection" under the chapter titled Stingray Utilities."
  2. Use SETCRT to select the minimum values. If reselecting your monitor type produces the same results, try using SETCRT to configure the Stingray to use the lowest possible refresh rates and scan rates with the following command:

    SETCRT -n 0 0 0 0

    If this solves the problem, we may have misclassified your monitor model in the installation program, or your monitor's documentation may be incorrect. See "Choosing your monitor type" for more details.

  3. Contact Hercules. If no combination of scan rates and refresh rates seems to work with your monitor in higher resolutions, contact Hercules for assistance.

[Q] When I run Windows 3.1, the display is flickery at one or more resolutions.

[A] If your monitor should be capable of supporting non-interlaced operation at all resolutions, flickering may indicate an incorrect

monitor configuration.

  1. Verify that the Stingray and your monitor both support non-interlaced operation at your resolution. Interlaced mode is generally less stable than non-interlaced. You may wish to use Picture Window to change to a non-interlaced resolution.
  2. Run the Refresh Rate Meter program. The Refresh Rate Meter icon located in the Hercules program group gives you a reading of the vertical refresh rate at which your monitor is operating. If the number seems low to you, reselect your monitor type. See "Choosing your monitor type" for more details. In some cases, running at a refresh rate that's too high for your monitor may also cause a flickering display. Consult your monitor's documentation and choose a lower monitor type if necessary. NOTE: The Hercules Refresh Rate Meter cannot distinguish between interlaced and non-interlaced screen refresh rates. Check the results of the Refresh Rate Meter against the values listed by SETCRT to confirm the correct operation of Stingray.
  3. Contact Hercules. If you believe you've configured your Stingray optimally for your monitor but you're getting more flicker than you think you should, contact Hercules for assistance.

[Q] My computer behaves erratically when I'm in Windows.


[A] This can be caused by a wide variety of problems. Try each of the

steps listed below to eliminate the problem.

  1. Make sure that the correct memory exclusions are present. See the appendix titled "Memory Managers" for details on adding the memory exclusion statements to your CONFIG.SYS and SYSTEM.INI files.
  2. Make sure the correct drivers are being used. Run Windows SETUP and verify that the Stingray drivers are installed.
  3. If you have a model OEM-S601e or S801, change the position of jumper J1. Power down your PC, take out your Stingray card, remove or replace the jumper on J1, and reinstall your Stingray. See the appendix titled "Jumper Settings" for a description of changing jumper settings.
  4. Reinstall the Windows drivers. One of the Windows display drivers for the Stingray may have become corrupted. See "Installing the Software" in the chapter titled "Basic Installation" for details.
  5. Contact Hercules. More serious hardware problems may be causing the symptoms. Get in touch with Hercules for additional assistance.

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[Q] One particular Windows application behaves erratically or does not work.


[A] This could indicate a problem with Stingray's drivers or with the application itself. There may also be a conflict with another device

that is only apparent with one application.

  1. Make sure that the correct memory exclusions are present. See the appendix titled "Memory Managers" for details on adding the memory exclusion statements to your CONFIG.SYS and SYSTEM.INI files.
  2. Make sure the correct drivers are being used. Run Windows SETUP and verify that the Stingray drivers are installed.
  3. If you have a model S601e, S801, S1201V, or S1202V, change the position of jumper J1. Power down your PC, take out your Stingray card, remove or replace the jumper on J1, and reinstall your Stingray. See the appendix titled "Jumper Settings" for a description of changing jumper settings.
  4. Reinstall the Windows drivers. One of the Windows display drivers for the Stingray may have become corrupted. See "Installing the Software" in the chapter titled "Basic Installation" for details.
  5. Contact the software company. Your software vendor may have an update that addresses the issue, or they may know this to be a video driver problem.
  6. Contact Hercules. Problems with a specific application may be caused by a fault in the Stingray's Windows driver. If your software application vendor has no advice, or if they believe the problem to be caused by the Windows driver, get in touch with Hercules. We may already have a driver update that addresses the issue. When contacting us, have your current driver release (printed on your Stingray diskettes) ready.

[Q] Windows isn't running as quickly as I think it should be.


[A] Windows performance is very difficult to measure and judge. If performance is very slow, it could be that you are not running

Stingray's accelerated drivers or are running in a true color mode.

  1. Lower your pixel depth. The Stingray, like virtually all video cards, does not run as quickly in the 65,536 and 16.7 million color modes. If you don't need more than 256 colors, run Picture Window and make sure that you're running an 8-bit (256) color mode.

See Also