Microsoft KB Archive/39257

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Hardware Compatibilities with QuickBasic Version 4.5

Article ID: 39257

Article Last Modified on 11/21/2006

This article was previously published under Q39257


QuickBasic version 4.5 is more selective of the video hardware on which it will operate than are QuickBasic versions 4.0 and 4.0b. QuickBasic requires a video card that is 100-percent compatible with an IBM CGA, EGA, VGA, or Hercules monochrome card.

If QB.EXE version 4.5 does not operate with your video system, try invoking QuickBasic with each of the video-specific options, such as the /B (black and white) option, the /NOHI (no high intensity) option, the /G (update screen as fast as possible) option, and the /H (high resolution) option. Also, try setting the video mode from MS-DOS using the MODE command before starting QuickBasic (for example, MODE CO80 and MODE BW80).

If a ghost image appears after running QuickBasic on your video system, use the MS-DOS MODE command to clear the screen if CLS doesn't clear it.

Below are computers and video adapters listed as compatible and incompatible with QuickBasic version 4.5.


The following video cards were successfully tested with QuickBasic version 4.5:

(Note: If the card is a VGA but not an IBM PS/2 VGA, there will be problems swapping on screen 10.)

AST EGA (256K)
COMPAQ PORTABLE (monochrome)
COMPAQ VGC (Compaq's name for VGA)
Daewoo (Leading Edge/AT) EGA (256K) monochrome
Genoa EGA (256K)
Genoa EGA (256K) monochrome
Hercules monochrome
IBM PC Convertible
IBM VGA (Non-PS/2)
IBM EGA (64K) with monochrome
Olivetti monochrome
Olivetti EGA (256K)
Olivetti VGA
Paradise Autoswitch EGA (256K)
PC Limited VGA
Tandy EGA (256K)
Vega Video Seven (7) Deluxe EGA (256K)
Zenith EGA monochrome

If the QB.EXE environment looks correct before running a program but is not visible after running the program, try invoking SCREEN 0,0 (and also possibly WIDTH 80) at the end of the program, or in the QB.EXE Immediate window (F6 key). One customer reported this solution on a COMPAQ 2e mono VGA, where the VGA video card is built-in.

The following is a list of known compatibility problems:

  • According to Microsoft's testing, the following cards loaded QB.EXE, but had numerous problems with screen swapping:

          Tecmar VGA
          Quadram VGA
          Vega Video Seven (7) FastWrite VGA
          Vega VGA (a customer suggested QB /H for better Vega VGA
  • According to Microsoft's testing, the following cards will not load QB.EXE:

          COMPAQ Laptop (BIOS problem - no correction)
          COMPAQ SLT/286 (works with AC power, fails with battery, unless
             you disable the power-conservation utility PWRCON.EXE or
             (One customer reported problems using the Immediate window in
             QB.EXE on a COMPAQ SLT/286. The customer was able to print
             to the output screen by running the program with F5, but
             executing PRINT "HELLO" or other output statements from the
             Immediate window made the screen go white. Fortunately, the
             machine didn't hang. Pressing any key successfully returned
             to the QB.EXE environment. The customer reportedly tried all
             the switches to QB.EXE and ran QB.EXE in a clean MS-DOS
             environment with no TSR programs, but output from statements
             executed in the Immediate window still did not work.
             Microsoft has not confirmed this report.)
          Genoa SuperVGA HiRes
          ATI VIP VGA
          Sigma EGA!

In addition, the cards below have been reported by customers as potential problem cards. The problems range from hanging the machine to causing an unreadable display. Microsoft has not tested QuickBasic version 4.5 on the hardware listed below; therefore, we do not guarantee compatibility. The potential problem cards are as follows (this information may be inaccurate because it is reported secondhand and is unconfirmed by Microsoft):

  • Computers with the following video cards installed (potential QuickBasic compatibility problems):

          ATI VIP card
          Vega VGA from Video Seven (7) (although one customer said
             QB /H corrected QB.EXE problems with Vega VGA)
          Sigma VGA
          Everex EGA
          Older Quadram CGA cards
          Unisys CGA
          NEC EGA
          AST Turbo Scan EGA - (a customer reported he couldn't invoke
             QB.EXE 4.5 in 80- or 43-line mode on a PC clone with this
          Tecmar VGA - (in 43-line mode, the last seven lines on the screen
             are truncated. This was found to be a problem with the Tecmar
             VGA ROM versions 1.08 and 1.09)
          American Megatrends VGA - (a customer reported that the QB Express
             tutorial failed on this card, but Setup and the QB.EXE editor
             ran correctly)
          Packard Bell EGA - (a customer reported that the QB Express
             tutorial failed on this card, but Setup and the QB.EXE editor
             ran correctly)
          Diamond Star VGA board - When used with MS-DOS 5.0, QuickBasic
             hangs on a SHELL or print from the Immediate window. Turning
             off Autoswitching corrects the problem.
          Paradise Auto-Switching VGA - Two customers reported that this
             card caused QB.EXE 4.5 to hang when run on an IBM XT. One
             customer reported that PRINT statements print an extra line
             until the following workaround is used. The following two
             lines added to the end of each program worked around editor
             visibility problems for three customers:
                SCREEN 0,0
                WIDTH 80
  • Computers, as follows (potential problems):

          Sperry PCs and XTs with Hercules and CGA cards
          Tandy 1000s with Tandy Enhanced CGA cards
          Leading Edge Model M (which comes with CGA or Hercules)
          Leading Edge Model D (but according to one customer, it might
             work on BIOS version 3.0 or later)
          IBM PCjr
          Zenith 151, an XT compatible, with EGA Boca, and up-to-date BIOS
          DEL 310 models that come with Vega Video Seven (7), VGA 16-bit
             graphics (try QB /H for better results)
          DEL AT-compatible with VGA monochrome system, Vega Video Seven (7)
             16-bit graphics card (visibility problems reported in QB.EXE;
             the following reportedly do not help: QB /NOHI, /B, /H, and
             /G, and the Mode CO80 and Mode BW80 commands in DOS)
          Hyundai XT (other non-XT Hyundai models may be OK, according to
             one customer)
          Austin 286/12-5 computer - (a customer reported that QuickBasic
             generated an "illegal function call" error when he tried to
             use SCREEN 9. This computer comes standard with a WDM-20 EGA
             card integrated into the motherboard and it seems that
             QuickBasic will not recognize this card because SCREEN modes
             other than 0 give "Illegal function call")

A customer using the Zenith 151 reported an "Internal Stack Failure" when holding down an ARROW key for scrolling in the QB.EXE version 4.5 editor.

A customer reported that several QuickBasic version 4.5 programs (including DEMO1.EXE) fail to run on several Tandy 3000 computers with a built-in EGA card connected to a RGB CM11 monitor. (The same program works correctly on the customer's Tandy 3000 if it is compiled with QuickBasic version 4.0.) There were no TSRs running on the customer's system, and the MODE CO80 and CO40 DOS commands did not help.

For the ATI VGA Wonder card, some customers have reported "Illegal Function Call" errors when using SCREEN 9 in QuickBasic programs. However, another customer reported that the ATI VGA Wonder card works properly if you run the setup correctly for the monitor type connected (monochrome, multisync, color, and so on). For example, if a monochrome monitor is connected to the card but the setup is not set correctly, SCREEN 9 fails, but SCREEN 10 may work. Setting the ATI VGA Wonder card for the monochrome monitor makes SCREEN 9 work successfully. One customer reported that running QB.EXE on the ATI VGA Wonder card in Hercules compatible mode did not map graphics to the screen correctly.

A customer reported that on a Gateway 2000 486 25 megahertz (SpeedSTAR VGA board), drop-down menus in QB.EXE remained visible on the screen after being released. The customer had pressed PAGE UP/PAGE DOWN to clear the menu image (this information is unconfirmed by Microsoft).

Additional query words: QuickBas 4.00 4.00b 4.50

Keywords: KB39257