Category Archives: Bugs

EXEPACK and the A20-Gate

In 1991, DOS 5.0 brought about what’s perhaps the most common manifestation of A20 control trouble… Packed file is corrupt Microsoft published a KB article about this infamous error, but its author clearly did not understand the true cause of the … Continue reading

Posted in Bugs, Microsoft, PC history | 14 Comments

Pascal Out Of Memory

Suppose you want to run the original 1981 vintage IBM Pascal 1.0 (supplied by Microsoft) on a PC that is less than 30 years old. Upon execution, PAS1.EXE may well fail with the following error: Error: Compiler Out Of Memory … Continue reading

Posted in Bugs, Corrections, IBM, Microsoft, PC history | 40 Comments

VME Fixed on AMD Ryzen

As expected, AMD fixed the problem with VME that affected Ryzen processors. The fix is shipped in the form of a microcode patch as part of AGESA 1.0.0.6, currently being rolled out by OEMs as part of a BIOS update. … Continue reading

Posted in AMD, Bugs | 17 Comments

VME Broken on AMD Ryzen

That’s VME as in Virtual-8086 Mode Enhancements, introduced in the Intel Pentium Processor, and initially documented in the infamous NDA-only Appendix H. Almost immediately since the Ryzen CPUs became available in March 2017, there have been various complaints about problems … Continue reading

Posted in AMD, Bugs | 36 Comments

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 | 11 Comments

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