Unrecognized PCnet-FAST III (DOS VM) with VirtualBox 6.0.0 (#18286)

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Unrecognized PCnet-FAST III (DOS VM) with VirtualBox 6.0.0 (#18286)

Postby Samuele » 2. Jan 2019, 15:03


ModEdit; related ticket: #18286: DOS-class VMs don't recognize PCnet-FAST III (6.0.0 regression)

I would like to report a possible bug of the new version 6.0 of VirtualBox.

Installing the DOS 6.22 or freeDOS 1.2 guest operating system and following various tutorials found on the net to add network support, I get this error when I start the system:

Packet driver is at segment 03EE
PCNTPK-DOS-015:Device not found.

Init: Could not access packet driver at INT 0x60
Could not initializa TCP/IP stack

I understand that the PCnet-FAST III Am97C973 network card emulated by VirtualBox is not recognized.
Reinstalling version 5.2.2 of VirtualBox, the card is re-recognized at system startup.

I hope the next update of version 6 solves the problem.
Last edited by socratis on 8. Jan 2019, 23:11, edited 3 times in total.
Reason: Added ticket related information.
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Re: Unrecognized PCnet-FAST III (DOS VM) with VirtualBox 6.0.0

Postby mpack » 2. Jan 2019, 17:29

Having the correct guest OS drivers installed is your responsibility and not a VirtualBox bug.

In particular, DOS has no native network card support whatever. It is up to you to find appropriate drivers for available (virtual) hardware and install them. The Other Guests howto area may offer a few ideas.
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Re: Unrecognized PCnet-FAST III (DOS VM) with VirtualBox 6.0.0

Postby Samuele » 2. Jan 2019, 19:35

Maybe I explained the problem badly.

The driver I used for the network is the same, both on DOS and on FreeDOS; the same machine with VirtualBox 6.0 does not work while with VirtualBox 5.2.2 it works.

The PCnet-FAST III Am97C973 network card emulated by VirtualBox is not recognized by guest OS.

So, I think it's a problem with the new version 6.0 of VirtualBox.
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Re: Unrecognized PCnet-FAST III (DOS VM) with VirtualBox 6.0.0

Postby mpack » 3. Jan 2019, 10:34

Well, bear in mind that VirtualBox is not a DOS simulation, it's a simulation of the hardware of a PC. If there was something wrong with the hardware simulation then all guests would be affected (which use that hardware), not just one guest OS and one guy.

I just double checked, and the "PCnet-FAST III" NIC is working fine with my XP VMs. In fact that NIC is the template default for XP (last time I checked anyway), so everyone running XP VMs would have noticed a bug - that's a lot of people. But in fact I haven't seen any other mention of this problem. So, I think it's more likely there's something up with the drivers you installed in your DOS guest.

It's always possible there has been some change in VirtualBox that only affects interrupts in 16 bit modes. We'd have to wait to see evidence of that.
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Re: Unrecognized PCnet-FAST III (DOS VM) with VirtualBox 6.0.0

Postby socratis » 3. Jan 2019, 11:51

mpack wrote:In fact that NIC is the template default for XP (last time I checked anyway)
The default NIC for WinXP/Win2K3 changed from PCnet-FAST III to the Intel PRO on 2016-06-14. See Template defaults (Global.cpp revisions):
r61697 - 2016-06-14 15:22:18
Main: default to E1000 I82543GC (PRO/1000 T Server) for Windows XP (32-bit) and Windows 2003 Server (32-bit)


mpack wrote:It's always possible there has been some change in VirtualBox that only affects interrupts in 16 bit modes. We'd have to wait to see evidence of that.
I've never tried to install any networking in a FreeDOS VM up until now, I think it's high time that I try it sometime next week. The test that 'Samuele' performed is actually quite simple and I'm planning on following the official "Sharing files with DOS" to get it up and running. But I don't see it happening until next week at the earliest...
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Re: Unrecognized PCnet-FAST III (DOS VM) with VirtualBox 6.0.0

Postby Samuele » 3. Jan 2019, 15:04

Hi socratis,

I took inspiration from these sites and followed the related tutorials.

http://www.ramsite.altervista.org/compr ... shelp.html
http://www.ramsite.altervista.org/compr ... shelp.html
http://wiki.freedos.org/wiki/index.php/ ... _Chapter_7
https://www.lazybrowndog.net/freedos/vi ... age_id=157

It is very simple to replicate.
However, I could also share the virtual machines created ready for use with the drivers already installed. Let me know if anyone is interested.

You should try to start the machines with VirtualBox 6.0 and then with VirtualBox 5.2.2, as I did.

I repeat, with version 6 I can not make the network work and exchange files in FTP with the host (macOS in my case, although I think it is not relevant for testing purposes). With version 5.2.2 everything works fine.
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Re: Unrecognized PCnet-FAST III (DOS VM) with VirtualBox 6.0.0

Postby mpack » 3. Jan 2019, 15:41

Samuele wrote:I repeat, with version 6 I can not make the network work ... With version 5.2.2 everything works fine.

That does not exclude a driver bug, i.e. that it just happens to get away with in v5. The fact remains that the same NIC works with XP in VirtualBox v6. Please explain how that could be possible if the NIC simulation is buggy.

Besides which, this NIC simulation code has existed in VirtualBox for as long as I've been using it, so it's not exactly new and untested, and I'm not aware of any recent changes that would have affected that module.

Have you looked for other guest drivers, for other VirtualBox NICs? It's an obvious question to ask: is your problem confined to when you use that particular DOS driver?
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Re: Unrecognized PCnet-FAST III (DOS VM) with VirtualBox 6.0.0

Postby andyp73 » 3. Jan 2019, 20:55

I have managed to replicate this issue using VirtualBox 6.0.0 running on a macOS host. I have configured a DOS guest (ROM-DOS as it happens) and with the Crynwr packet driver I get the following output:

Code: Select all   Expand viewCollapse view
Packet driver for an PCNTPK, version 03.10
Packet driver skeleton copyright 1988-92, Crynwr Software.
This program is free software; see the file COPYING for details.
NO WARRANTY; see the file COPYING for details.

Packet driver is at segment CE12
PCNTPK-DOS-018:PCI scan specified, device not found.

I have had a look at the PCI configuration space using a DOS PCI utility (surprising what tools I have left over from BIOS development / porting days) and the device is listed and the IO address and IRQ assignments look sensible.

Time to compare it against what VirtualBox 5.2.22 thinks and also to see if I can track down the original packet driver AMD developed!

-Andy.
My crystal ball is currently broken. If you want assistance you are going to have to give me all of the necessary information.
Please don't ask me to do your homework for you, I have more than enough of my own things to do.
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Re: Unrecognized PCnet-FAST III (DOS VM) with VirtualBox 6.0.0

Postby andyp73 » 4. Jan 2019, 13:29

This is a strange one. I have looked at the assembler source code for the DOS packet driver and it uses the the standard int 1ah functions to query the BIOS for the presence of the PCI device and for some reason this is failing.

I have a DOS application that I wrote for a project several years ago that performs much the same functions and it can detect the network controller under VirtualBox 6.0.0. I don't have time to debug the packet driver source code but it if you manually specify the IRQ and IOADDR it returns a valid Ethernet address.

-Andy.
My crystal ball is currently broken. If you want assistance you are going to have to give me all of the necessary information.
Please don't ask me to do your homework for you, I have more than enough of my own things to do.
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Re: Unrecognized PCnet-FAST III (DOS VM) with VirtualBox 6.0.0

Postby Samuele » 4. Jan 2019, 14:55

I have performed the procedure of this tutorial.
I do not know if the driver I used is the same one you used.

P.S. Yesterday the Mac disk broke. For a few days, I can not do any more testing.
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Re: Unrecognized PCnet-FAST III (DOS VM) with VirtualBox 6.0.0

Postby PThorn » 7. Jan 2019, 23:37

I can confirm the problem with FreeDOS and VirtualBox 6.0.0. My symptoms are practically the same except the message "Packet driver is at segment 03ED" rather than 03EE.
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Re: Unrecognized PCnet-FAST III (DOS VM) with VirtualBox 6.0.0

Postby Samuele » 8. Jan 2019, 11:10

Well, let's hope the problem is corrected with an update. In the meantime I continue to use version 5.2.2 which does not have this bug.
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Re: Unrecognized PCnet-FAST III (DOS VM) with VirtualBox 6.0.0 (#18286)

Postby socratis » 8. Jan 2019, 12:47

I filed a ticket "in the name of the people", since I still haven't had the time to test it myself: https://www.virtualbox.org/ticket/18286

There are two things you should do:
  1. Test the latest 6.0.1 dev. build (r127640 as of this moment):
    https://www.virtualbox.org/wiki/Testbuilds#Builds
  2. Post a ZIPPED VBox.log from a complete "Start from cold" / "Observe problem" / "Shutdown" sequence.
If you obfuscate any information requested, I will obfuscate my response. These are virtual UUIDs, not real ones.
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Re: Unrecognized PCnet-FAST III (DOS VM) with VirtualBox 6.0.0 (#18286)

Postby andyp73 » 8. Jan 2019, 14:33

I can confirm that this is still an issue with the 6.0.1-r127640 dev build. Will update the ticket to reflect that.

-Andy.
My crystal ball is currently broken. If you want assistance you are going to have to give me all of the necessary information.
Please don't ask me to do your homework for you, I have more than enough of my own things to do.
andyp73
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Re: Unrecognized PCnet-FAST III (DOS VM) with VirtualBox 6.0.0 (#18286)

Postby socratis » 8. Jan 2019, 14:42

Andy, the first thing that the devs asked for on IRC (where I notified them), was for a log...
If you obfuscate any information requested, I will obfuscate my response. These are virtual UUIDs, not real ones.
Do NOT reply with the "QUOTE" button, please use the "POST REPLY", at the bottom of the form.
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