I have a Sony Vaio PCG-F560 notebook and I have installed Windows 98SE on it. The only issue is that the display works only in 16 colors mode with 640x480 resolution. I think the problem is that graphics adapter isn't recognized and set up as a standard adapter. When I try to install it manually I can't see 256XL model in the list, only the MagicGraph 128 series. I have not found a compatible driver online.

The video card is compatible with Windows XP, the OS bundled with the notebook. There are no other compatibility issues. How can I make this display compatible with Windows 98SE?

  • Welcome to Retrocomputing Stack Exchange. Please read the tour. This question might not be on-topic here. Have you tried copying the driver from Windows XP to Windows 98? It probably won't work as there's a significant architecture difference between NT-based and DOS-based Windows systems, but it's worth a try. – wizzwizz4 Jul 28 '17 at 9:29
  • I've edited the question to make it more answerable and possibly more on-topic. If this edit conflicts with the meaning of your original question, you can revert it by clicking on the "edited nnn units of time ago" text then finding the version you want to roll back to. – wizzwizz4 Jul 28 '17 at 9:47
  • Late comment - I had this exact problem before. The IBM Thinkpad 600e used a very close version of that adapter, and you should be able to get archived versions of that driver here: ps-2.kev009.com/pcpartnerinfo/ctstips/b2ea.htm – PhasedOut Jan 19 '18 at 22:24

Yes, getting only 16 colors is a classic symptom of the video driver not being properly installed. This used to be a big problem on Windows 9x; the default driver only did VGA (640×480, 4-bit color), and most contemporary systems did not have drivers bundled with the OS. I was working as a technician in a repair shop around this time, and remember being massively relieved when Windows 2000/XP became popular enough to replace 9x, as they had virtually all necessary drivers bundled with the OS.

The normal way to solve this problem is by going to the manufacturer's support website and downloading the appropriate driver. Here is Sony's driver download page for that notebook. The pre-selected default is Windows 98 SE, as that's the OS the computer shipped with. That's a good sign, because it suggests that there will be a Windows 9x-compatible driver.

Unfortunately (and oddly), there's no video driver listed on that page, either for 98 SE or Me. I don't know why that would be omitted. Lots of other drivers are there (you'll probably need those, too), but no video.

There is a video driver available for Windows 2000, so you might want to try that one—you might get lucky and find a Windows 98 driver included in the package. Maximize your chances of success by not using the install package bundled with the driver. Instead, unzip it to a temporary directory, go into Device Manager, update the driver for the unidentified video device, and point it to the temporary directory into which you expanded the driver data.

If that doesn't work (and improbably won't), then you'll have to go hunting for a driver out there on the web. This can be a lot of work, and requires a lot of patience. It can also be somewhat dangerous, as you're downloading binary executable files from unknown sources. Caveat emptor. This website has a long list of drivers related to that one, including several for the "256XL", listed as supporting Windows 98. Before giving up, it would definitely be worth trying a couple of those.

  • Windows 2000 video drivers used the XDDM model, which was different from the display driver model used on Windows 98. Unless the Windows 2000 driver you linked bundles both the Windows 2000 and Windows 98 together its not going to work. – Ross Ridge Jul 28 '17 at 16:57
  • Ah darn, that's right. I was thinking WDM miniport drivers were used for video, but I completely forgot about XDDM. – Cody Gray Jul 28 '17 at 17:12
  • 1
    I think I found the 98 drivers here link on the Sony UK site. – mnem Jul 28 '17 at 22:58

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