Category Archives: Bugs

PCI Corner Case

Last weekend I had the pleasure of debugging a curious case of older PCI configuration code (circa 2005) failing on newer (post-2010) hardware. The code was well tested on many 1990s and 2000s PCs (and some non-PCs) with PCI/AGP/PCIe and never … Continue reading

Posted in Bugs, Intel, PCI | 1 Comment

Resetting Disks Is Hard

After digging through BIOS listings and disassembling the Adaptec 1542C BIOS as well as the PC DOS 2000 boot sector, it’s clear why the floppy-less SCSI boot does not work on my test system. It’s because disk reset done by the boot … Continue reading

Posted in BIOS, Bugs, SCSI | 22 Comments

Windows 3.1 Standard Mode Crash with APM

On some systems, Windows 3.1 and 3.11 in Standard mode crashes when it is configured to use APM, i.e. POWER.DRV is loaded. The crash only happens in Standard mode, not the typical default 386 Enhanced mode. Since POWER.DRV is involved … Continue reading

Posted in Bugs, Windows | 16 Comments

Solaris 7 Boot Panic

On some systems, it has been observed that Solaris 7 panics during boot from installation media and reboots the system. At least Solaris 7 U1 (3/99) and U4 (11/99) are affected. Only “fast” systems (definitely including Sandy Bridge 3+ GHz … Continue reading

Posted in Bugs, Debugging, Solaris | 5 Comments

Something Happened

My first experience with the Windows 10 media creation tool was, in a word, terrible. After 20 minutes or so of downloading, the tool told me that “Something happened” and the only option was to exit. That’s probably what passes … Continue reading

Posted in Bugs, Microsoft | 17 Comments

Solaris 2.6, 7, and 8 Crashes on Pentium 4 and Later

A blog reader recently pointed to an interesting problem which affects older Solaris releases on certain systems. The symptoms (crash/reboot) may at first glance look like the previously described problem which affected Solaris 2.5.1 and 2.6, but both the cause and … Continue reading

Posted in Bugs, Debugging, Intel, Solaris | 2 Comments

Demented Board

Last week I encountered a problem that I have never seen before with a recently acquired Socket 7 motherboard. The board was a Gigabyte GA-586HX (Rev. 1.58), a relatively uninteresting older Socket 7 board based on the well-regarded Intel 430HX … Continue reading

Posted in Bugs, PC hardware | 13 Comments

Windows 8.1 Startup Bugcheck 0xC4

On some systems, both physical and virtual, 64-bit Windows 8.1 as well as Server 2012 R2 consistently crashes with error code (bug check) 0xC4; 64-bit Windows 8 may run on these same systems without trouble. On physical systems, the BSOD … Continue reading

Posted in Bugs, Microsoft, NT, VirtualBox | 9 Comments

386 Memory Managers and DMA

A while ago I ran into an odd problem: A virtual machine running QEMM 9.0 (aka QEMM 97) would crash more or less every time it tried to read something from a floppy. No such problem was observable in any … Continue reading

Posted in 386, Bugs, DOS, PC hardware | 7 Comments

Floating-Point Exceptions and DOS Extenders

Recently I had a need to test the behavior of floating-point exceptions (FPEs) in environments where traditional FPE reporting is used. To briefly recap, in the original PC equipped with an 8088/8087 pair, floating-point exceptions, which are generally asynchronous events, were … Continue reading

Posted in 386, Bugs, DOS, DOS Extenders, PC architecture | Leave a comment