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frequently asked questions
 

[Hardware]



|hardware:LCD|

[?]LCD display flicker: the screen blinks off for a split second then back on and it occurs in Win98 and DOS.
[-]Transmondeís reply: It sounds like either the backlight or the circuit that controls the backlight in the LCD screen is misbehaving, unfortunately there's not much you can do to fix this. The good news is that it shouldn't affect the rest of the computer, and if the backlight does fail completely, you can continue to work on it by connecting an external monitor until we can remedy it.
[!]Some users reported it could be alleviated by jiggling the contrast knob on the right side of the screen or squeezing that area.

[?]I'm not getting the proper colors (black, blue and green only).
[-]If you are missing a color on the monitor, it usually means that one of the pins in the connector isn't making contact. Take a look inside the port on the port replicator and make sure that all the pins are there and that none are bent. But if you have the same problem both with the port-replicator and when connected directly to the machine, then the problem is most likely not the external connector, but rather an internal connection to the  motherboard or the video chip.

[?]LCD has a narrow green/red/blue horizontal/vertical bar(s).
[-]If it is  there when you're in the BIOS setup screen - that means itís LCD problem. Sometimes itís not bad/old LCD but the LCD driver (part of LCD assembly) is misaligned that means it should be sent to repair shop otherwise itís a lot of (?useless)  work.
If not, then you dont' have an LCD problem (good news), and it won't need to be replaced. The problem is either a Windows video driver/software conflict, or just one of those weird problems with Windows in general (bad news). 

[?]Did the quality of LCD screens vary with each machine?
[-]There was actually a change in the LCD manufacturer. We tried to make the change when the video controller changed from C&T 65555 to C&T 69000. Its possible that either an upgrade was performed or the LCD was replaced when we no longer had the older LCD available. The new screen is made by Samsung and the colors actually seem a little brighter and more vibrant. You can tell the difference in LCD by looking at the back (or top, depending on your point of view) of the LCD. If there is something resembling a speed bump, then you have the newer brighter LCD. If yours is flat and smooth with the except of a half moon indentation, then you have the original LCD.

[?]When I turn it on Vivante XL has no display, and I don't think it's even booting. The DVD drive comes on, and so does the fan, but I am not sure that the hard drive is spinning. I checked the display settings, and I couldn't get it to display on an external monitor either.
[-]Make sure  the display is not set to external output.
[-]Check CMOS battery: see FAQ:BootProblems and  FAQ:Replacing CMOS battery.
[-]Even if the hard drive was "dead", you would still get the BIOS screen. You can check to see if the hard drive is spinning by checking the lights on the side of the LCD. Your problem could be caused by several things:
1. computer doesn't see/recognize the RAM. Unfortunately one RAM module is located under the CPU which I don't recommend you try to get to. Its not that its hard, just a little delicate. 
2. video card has died. You would need to replace the motherboard to fix this. The video card on notebooks are soldered onto the
motherboard. (its actually just the video chips)
3. CPU could have come loose (not likely since its screwed in, but possible)

|hardware:HDD|

[?]What is the maximum size of   hard drive the BIOS can handle?
[-]The 6GB was the largest size available in the 9.5mm form factor a year ago. Since they no longer offer notebook computers, I would suspect they no longer employee a BIOS engineer. You cannot use a "generic" BIOS and expect everything to continue to work properly. Your best bet would be to return the 12GB and stay with a 8GB or smaller. This is just an unfortunate limitation of the way the BIOS was written.
During power up, look for the Build Date. This is the  actual date the BIOS code was written. Do not pay any  attention to the Copyright date.
The most current BIOS available for the Vibrant LS
S2BUILD DATE:1998/05/15 19:59:12
[-]The BIOS on the Vivante LS read it as an 8 GB, and so Windows wouldn't partition beyond that. Luckily, it wasn't much of a problem as Linux recognized the drive straight off.
[!]For the information on the last BIOS BuildDate for you model: refer to Drivers page. You may also check out FAQ:Upgrade section.

|hardware:FDD|

[?]FDD doesnít work. Will a USB-floppy 3.5" need the computers FDD controller or it is indepdent of the controller.
[-]The FDD controller is also known as the super i/o controller. This controls the FDD, serial port, and the parallel port. I doubt a USB FDD will work since I think it still needs an FDC, but I haven't tried it so I can't be sure. 
Typically when the FDC fails, the motherboard needs to be replaced. The super I/O chip is a surface mounted chip and cannot be removed and replaced easily. This type of repair usually needs an SMT line.

[?]Floppy drive malfunctions in the way of freezing system when copy from other sorces to floppy. The drive seems to function ok in the ...command prompt.. mode but in windows it freezes. Requires hard boot to use system again. I  have reinstalled Windows with-out reformat. I have disabled floppy controler in BIOS . It  seems to me that problem is in the Windows 98  system. Machine is Vivante SE.
[-]Reinstalled Windows 98 --complete reformat of hard drive-- and this has fixed the problem. (As I remember, just simple reinstall over system did not do anything).

|hardware:DVD-ROM|

[?]I have Vivante SE 266 PII Windows95 system with  C&T 65555 video adapter and a 2x DVD. When I play DVD System displays fuzz across the bottom of the screen.
[-]Be careful about upgrading your video drivers -- If you load the  upgraded driver from Intel's website you may see that DVD playback became distorted. To correct the situation, go to  the device manager, delete the C&T adapter under the  display manager, and, when prompted by the system for  the disk containing the adapter, tell it to load from  the C:\drivers directory. This will restore your  original drivers that came with the system and allow  the DVD to play properly.
The only video drivers that will work are dated 9-19-97.

[?]From the start, playback of DVDs on my Vibrant LS has been jumpy. Despite turning off power management and setting the resolution correctly, about 10-20 times during a typical movie, the audio and video would get out of sync and the picture would briefly halt and then jump a second later. The movies were great quality visually, watchable, but the jumps were very annoying.
[-]From examining Sigma Designs web site (creator of the Hollywood mpeg-2 card), the latest READMEs with their drivers suggests that if you are running Windows 98, you should run 'msconfig' and check on:

General / Advanced / Disable UDF Filesystem

The difference was very evident. I played several movies that previously caused jumps, and no jumps occurred. Also, 8x rewind and FF were now flawless, whereas before there would be "tears" in the picture--as if the screen could not update fast enough.
[!]TIP: Improving DVD playback quality:
If your notebook has 2MB of video RAM-- try lowering the number of colors to 256. Sometimes lowering resolution also helps.
If your notebook has 4MB of video RAM-- change the number of colors to the highest setting. If you see tiny green horizontal lines periodically during movie playback, you can try refreshing your screen by pressing the Fn and the F8 (or whatever the key is to toggle the display).
You can also check to see how much resources you have available. Do a right click on My Computer, then select Properties. Click on the Performance tab. Check your System Resources. It should be at least 80%. If it is lower, you'll need to either get more RAM, or take some stuff out of your startup. 

[?]Message:"Your display device (or driver)does not support a video port. A video port is required for this application to run" when trying to play video.
[-]If you still have the original "re-install" instructions, follow the directions very carefully. The error message you're getting is typical if the driver installation isn't followed exactly as listed on the instructions. Also, use the drivers on the CD you got with the computer. There are some incompatibility with newer drivers mixed with older drivers. The new Chips driver doesn't work with the old DVD RealMagic drivers.
All you should need to do is remove/uninstall the video, MPEG-2, and DVD software, then re-install them according to the instructions and you'll be fine.

[?]Message: "Cannot find MPEG II ZV Port!"  after I updated the DVD Ventura drivers from Sigma Designs from v1.8. to v1.9. I couldn't get them to work right so I tried to  load 1.8 back and I got the following Message:  "MMSYSTEM275 cannot find specified file. Make sure  path and filename are correct."
[-]Typically the MMSYSTEM errors (any number) is a software error. The recommendation is to uninstall the DVD MPEG driver and the DVD player. Then re-install the video driver, install the MPEG-2 decoder driver, then the DVD player.

[?]When I play a dvd on my Vibrant LS, I can display the output on a TV using the RCA TV-out port on the laptop -- it works great. However, let's say I want to simply display a video game or even just my desktop on that same TV.  I am unable to do the same. All I get is a blank screen on the TV when the video is connected. It's as if the display from the laptop never reaches the TV.
[-]You'll need to toggle your video display (Fn+F8) until it appears on
your TV. Keep in mind that most good TVs display 400 lines while the lowest resolution you can set in Windows is 640 x 480. Either the 80 extra lines will be squished in, or you'll have a virtual screen.
[-]Make sure NTSC format ( if in US, or PAL  otherwise ) is set  in TV/Video section of your BIOS Setup.
[!]To get to SCU ( system configuration utility) : when the computer is booting up, press F2 (it says on the screen). 

|hardware:CD-ROM|

[?]CD-ROM under Linux: installed linux using MandrakeSoft on the cd but once i booted it did not recognize cd-where do you add the /hdb.
[-]It's not hdb, but likely hdd. In any case, look to see if you have a /dev/cdrom device. (This is likely a link to hdb or hdd or something else, don't worry about it, as long as it exists.) In the file /etc/fstab you will need to add an entry like:
/dev/cdrom /cdrom is09660 noauto,ro,users 0 0
Be sure to create the directory /cdrom if it doesn't already exist. Then insert your CD and mount it:
mount /cdrom
then you can view the filesystem and copy files.

|hardware:Keyboard|

[?]I seem to be having intermittent outages of my alt n , . keys. More rarely, my pgup and pgdn seem to fail as well.
[-]Check for loose contact, keyboard is connected to the board via ribbon (flat) wire, sometimes it may get misaligned which leads to faulty keys.
[?]The keyboard of my Vivante SE feels a little loose on the side where the arrows are. I'd like to remove the keyboard and give it a more solid FEEL. Perhaps I can put something between the keyboard.
[-]This is Ďnormalí, at least all of the Vivantes  have it same. Keyboard  normally should  repeat the shape of an aluminum plate underneath that keeps heat out, but usually itís not. You may try to fit them together, but you risk cracking your keyboard.
[-]You may cut some cardboard to size and put two pieces between the aluminum plate and the keyboard (positioned between the "strips"). The cardboard pieces fit well, without stressing or flexing the keyboard. 
The result is that the keyboard  has a more solid feel, and doesn't give that occasional "loose" feeling or sound when typing. Not sure about need of ventilation holes in the cardboard.
[!]For more information on Replacing your keyboard: see FAQ:DisassembleNotes.

|hardware:Motherboard|

[?]Vigor 166MMX: Motherboard manufacturer.
[-]The motherboard is manufactured by ASE Technologies in Taiwan. The Vigor supports up to a Pentium 200MHz w/ MMX. Most (older) notebooks do not support any type of upgrading. Back then, the ability to add RAM was rare.
 

 

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Copyright © 2000 Ashot Bord. Last Updated: Jun-17-2000


Disclaimer: This is an unofficial support page and in no way is (or would be at all) affiliated with Transmonde Inc. All materials posted are of highly subjective nature and represent experiences and opinions of users of Transmonde notebooks, your use of these materials is at your own risk. All tradenames used are property of their respective owners.