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L1 Cache - Help!!

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February 17, 2006 9:58:25 PM

Hi.

I want to convert my old Win98se pc to a dual booting Win98Se/WinXP system so that my sister can use Itunes with her new Ipod.

My socket 7 motherboard uses the intel 430tx chipset (the board is a PC Chips M550), ami bios(release 11/17/1997 S), 64 meg of ram, 30 gig hard drive.

The processor is a spectra overdrive AMD K6-2@400mhz. Normally, my amibios(the latest and last version they did for my motherboard) disables the L1 cache on the processor causing it to run at a snails pace. The fix under Win98se is a file called L1enable.vxd which is run from Win.ini with the line

device=L1enable.vxd

The problem is, this doesn't work when I boot into WinXP and the system is so slow as to be unusuable. I know I'll need more memory as well, and it's never going to be that fast, but I only need to be able to run Itunes.

So the question is: how do I enable the L1 cache on an AMD K6-2@400mhz under WinXp - I'm ideally looking for a file I can run automatically during the startup sequences, but would setttle for a utility that has to be run manually if need be. I've looked everywhere & can't find anything. Any ideas?

Hope you can help.

Cheers

Sean

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February 17, 2006 10:09:38 PM

uhh, sorry i cant help with the cache, but i wouldnt even try to run win2k
with less then 128mb ram and not even thinking bout xp :?
February 17, 2006 10:13:14 PM

In all honesty I'd go back to an earlier BIOS version that didn't disable teh L1 cache and still have as close to the maximum hardware compatibility as possible.

One other thing, take it from me. Running XP on 64mb of ram is no easy thing either. I've done it on a 233mhz machine but it runs sooooo much better with 128mb. LOL! Still doesn't run great, but at least it's runnable, even with a 233mhz proc.
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February 17, 2006 10:13:52 PM

My motherboard will take upto 256mb ram, which I'll get if I can just sort out this L1 problem...

I know it'll never be fast, but it'll be fine just so long as it runs Itunes -
February 17, 2006 10:16:29 PM

Had the same problem with the earlier bios.

Only way around seems to be the vxd file that came with the overdrive processor. But it doesn't work under Win XP.
February 17, 2006 10:27:27 PM

The only thing I can think of is finding an ACTUAL K6-2/400 chip (if it will work in that board) and not an overdrive one. Try eBay.

And I would run Windows 2000 on that thing and not XP. Itunes will work with 2000.
February 17, 2006 10:36:57 PM

Quote:
The only thing I can think of is finding an ACTUAL K6-2/400 chip (if it will work in that board) and not an overdrive one. Try eBay.

And I would run Windows 2000 on that thing and not XP. Itunes will work with 2000.


I hear what you're saying, but I can't get the core voltage low enough to just plug a K6-2 straight in. And I reckon the cache problem would still be with me under Windows 2000.

It's a real bummer 'cos the Win98se booting system works great.
February 17, 2006 10:38:53 PM

also what would help in addition to the additional ram... is disabling all the unnecessary visual enhancements windows xp has enabled by default, so that it basically just looks the same as previous versions if windows, you could also disable services that arent needed as well (not sure which ones, though you could experiment with them)... disabling those things should take a noticable load off of what your system has to process, which also frees up memory... all in all, your system should be more responsive then
February 17, 2006 10:45:39 PM

Quote:
also what would help in addition to the additional ram... is disabling all the unnecessary visual enhancements windows xp has enabled by default, so that it basically just looks the same as previous versions if windows, you could also disable services that arent needed as well (not sure which ones, though you could experiment with them)... disabling those things should take a noticable load off of what your system has to process, which also frees up memory... all in all, your system should be more responsive then


That too is a great idea...and I've tried it. It helps, but the processor is so crippled by the lack of the cache it's unbelievable; it took 24 hours just to install XP. Without the L1 cache Win98 grinds to a halt as well, and yet once enabled it zips along.
February 17, 2006 11:29:15 PM

well... that really sucks about not having the L1 cache enabled at all, i searched google for a few minutes... came up with a few old forum posts of people with K6-2 cpus, not the same MB though... im not sure if a hack is available for Win NT based OS' such as win xp or win 2000... but, if worst comes to worst, you could always purchase an old cpu and mb for cheap, newer than what you have preferrably, possibly even adding more memory even still... to remove the problem youre experiencing, and still retain compatability with your systems other existing hardware... or... you could continue using win98, and possibly use different media player other than iTunes, while still having the L1 cache enabled with the software hack youre using
February 17, 2006 11:32:14 PM

I'm sure you've already looked but, I've never seen a socket 7 board that didn't have the option to enable cache in bios.
February 17, 2006 11:53:52 PM

Quote:
I'm sure you've already looked but, I've never seen a socket 7 board that didn't have the option to enable cache in bios.


Tried it. I go into the bios and check the box to enable the cache, then when I reboot the cache enable box has become unchecked. Only goddam setting that doesn't work. It's not like the cmos battery is dead either as it remembers all the other settings!!!
February 18, 2006 12:05:52 AM

Quote:
well... that really sucks about not having the L1 cache enabled at all, i searched google for a few minutes... came up with a few old forum posts of people with K6-2 cpus, not the same MB though... im not sure if a hack is available for Win NT based OS' such as win xp or win 2000... but, if worst comes to worst, you could always purchase an old cpu and mb for cheap, newer than what you have preferrably, possibly even adding more memory even still... to remove the problem youre experiencing, and still retain compatability with your systems other existing hardware... or... you could continue using win98, and possibly use different media player other than iTunes, while still having the L1 cache enabled with the software hack youre using


It's such a pain 'cos I know what the problem is. Spent most of last weekend repartitioning the drive with partition magic. Then I knew something was up after the 24hour Win XP installation. Wouldn't mind but the dual booting menu comes up and Xp loads and runs (eventually).

I'm so close, but yeah, it might have to be a hardware upgrade...unless some genius out there can come up with a solution.

Anyway, it's 2am here in the uk (Liverpool) so i'd better sign off & get to bed.

Thanks for all your help so far guys. It is appreciated.

Best

Sean
February 18, 2006 12:10:50 AM

the only logical course of action is to revert back to a version of the bios that has the L1 cache enabled. Why on earth would anyone create a bios update with the L1 cache disabled??? :?:

and i also have an old 366 PIII at home and runs with 256mb ram. running xp on a 64mb machine is... i could only think of 1 thing... slow! Upgrading to 128 or 256mb of ram is good. :D 
February 18, 2006 12:36:38 AM

I gotta ask, how can someone afford an Ipod (rip off in my book) and have a computer like that?
February 18, 2006 9:39:01 AM

Quote:
I gotta ask, how can someone afford an Ipod (rip off in my book) and have a computer like that?


Hey, Easy.

I built that system in 1997 when it was about as fast as you could get!! My 60 year old dad uses it now and it does everything he needs; email, internet and the occassional letter.

The Ipod shuffle was a Christmas present for my sister. Pity my brother didn't realise itunes only works with XP.

But how my family chooses to spend its money isn't the point, I just need some help getting the damn thing working.
February 18, 2006 10:49:13 AM

The best option is to flash the BIOS to a slightly older version which doesn't turn the L1 cache off.

The only other reasonable option might be to pick up a new motherboard and CPU.

You can usually pickup old systems cheap. I've had some luck on ebay and elsewhere.

Sometimes you can get a great deal and sometimes a not so great deal.
February 18, 2006 11:05:06 AM

Quote:
The best option is to flash the BIOS to a slightly older version which doesn't turn the L1 cache off.

The only other reasonable option might be to pick up a new motherboard and CPU.

You can usually pickup old systems cheap. I've had some luck on ebay and elsewhere.

Sometimes you can get a great deal and sometimes a not so great deal.


I'll try going back to an older bios tomorrow - although I seem to remember installing the latest version in the hope that it would solve the problem in the 1st place - worth a try though. Weird thing is I never had this problem at all when I was running the motherboard with a pentium 233...
February 18, 2006 11:15:28 AM

This is a LONG shot but maybe it will help.... so here goes....

Since PC Chips hasn't updated the BIOS in for ever I don't know if you have any options..... this is where openbios and linuxbios come in

http://www.openbios.org/

http://linuxbios.org/index.php/Main_Page

Please backup your current BIOS before experimenting.

These may render your board unusable so be careful.

If you have an EEPROM programmer or know someone who does you can experiment more agressively. There are people on ebay and elsewhere online that sell BIOS flashing services by the way.

Good Luck!
February 18, 2006 4:35:20 PM

Just curious, a system that old, I had to ask. There is a program that runs on 98 that will work with ipods, I set it up on someones computer a while back. I'll see if I can find what it was, that will be much better than trying to get xp running.

here ya go man, shuffle away!

http://win98.drivers.w.interia.pl/ipod.html

Should let you see it as a regular drive, just drag and drop.
May 22, 2006 8:55:38 PM

Finally got the L1 cache enabled. Contacted Jan Steunebrink and he very kindly patched the bios for me.

Thanks for everyone's help and advice.

SeanC
!