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  1. #1
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    My Saitek P-880 Problem

    I just began using Project64 and love it. However getting the analog stick to resemble what it is on my actual N64 is a problem. My Sidewinder Gamepad Pro USB is almost good, but I am finding moving Mario around in SuperMario 64 or tireing my thumb out on Cruis'n USA to be troublesome. The pad just doesn't seem as easily controllable as the stick, even though the Sidewinder is analog. It's okay, but not ideal.

    Here's the thing. I have a Saitek Gamepad P-880 that works perfectly on Windows XP and also will run on Windows 98, but the Saitek drivers somehow mess up things on 98. I've experienced this before and have basically resigned myself to only using the Saitek on my XP box. But, you see I only use one machine at a time and am now on my 98SE computer for awhile so that's the one I'm using Project64 on.

    I would love to solve the Saitek/98 problem as the pad's analog stick is perfect. I'll try to explain what happens. All the drivers in Device Manager are there and proper. The joystick control panel tests show perfect and the pad runs perfectly. The first problem happens if I try to choose the "About" tab in the Saitek control panel. I click it, then the panel freezes and I must end task on the joystick control panel and reboot to make things right again.

    Which brings up the second thing that happens. With the Saitek drivers installed Windows cannot reboot or shutdown (except for the initial reboot). I must reset or turn off the computer. This is a problem since any changes I made aren't saved from memory to the hard drive, such as if I changed my speaker setup or volume, etc. But I can use the pad. Just Windows won't properly shutdown. But that isn't all.

    With the Saitek programming software installed, the first reboot after installation and the subsequent reboot go fine. After that, not only can I not shutdown but also Windows will freeze at boot up as well! I needed to uninstall the Saitek stuff from Safe Mode. I noticed a suggestion from Saitek's site about disabling the Magic Mouse if I want to use the Intellipoint special mouse settings. I do have Intellipoint installed but don't set anything in it. Well, I tried disabling Saitek's Magic Mouse but that didn't solve anything. (I thought that perhaps it was conflicting with something.) Uninstalling Saitek stuff (whether only the drivers are installed or both the drivers and programming software) fixes Windows.

    None of this occurs on XP, only Windows 98. This stuff happens whether the Saitek pad is the only pad installed or if I also have the Sidewinder Gamepad with its 3.02 software and the Sidewinder Gamepad Pro USB with its 4.0 software installed. No Sidewinder stuff ever has caused Windows problems for me. But I've had the Saitek for awhile and I can never use it with Windows 98 because of these problems.

    I tried using the older Saitek drivers that came with the pad but got the same result as the latest ones.

    I believe this may be a problem unique to a small segment of users as searching the net or Saitek FAQ's make no mention of anyone complaining about Saitek on 98. There are complaints about XP, but it works fine for me on XP.

    Does anyone have any ideas on how to fix the problem?

    Addendum - I have a PSX/N64 USB adapter on order. So using my actual N64 control pad will likely be my best solution to getting the stick right! But I would sure like to know why I'm one of the few (if any) with problems using the Saitek on Windows 98.
    NES, NES2, SNES, SNES2, N64, GB, GBPocket, GBColor
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  2. #2
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    Just to update, I have finally submitted an email support request to Saitek along with my serial number. Hopefully they have heard of these problems and have worked out some solutions. After all, the pad is supposed to work in Windows 98SE, and does. But of course for me it messes with Windows if installed!

    Most often, any coorespodance with manufacturer's tech support dept's results in nothing being resolved, or in my case my tinkering with stuff and resolving the problem myself and telling them how to fix it. Since I feel I have already exasperated anything I can think of I am hoping Saitek has some solutions for me.

    I posted here in hopes that someone here experienced these problems and perhaps found some solutions.

    As far as comparing gamepads, I love the Saitek even more than the Nintendo 64 official controller (just wish I could have it installed without it buggerring Windows 98SE), and the Sidewinder Gamepad Pro USB is good but my thumb hurts from having the pad instead of the stick! (And, for me, the stick also seems to be more easily able to aim to the direction I want. Moving Mario is a pain with the pad.)

    I do have the slider bar in the Project64 input control panel adjusted from the default 100% to 60% as recommended in the Project64 documentation. Do any of you who use the Sidewinder Gamepad Pro USB recommend anything different I should set there? For me all these pads are comfortable and I really don't mind using the Sidewinder, but I'm wondering if I have it setup optimally for Project64.

    Hoping someone can help.
    NES, NES2, SNES, SNES2, N64, GB, GBPocket, GBColor
    Epox EP-8KRAIPRO
    AthlonXP 3200+
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  3. #3
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    In Windows XP, do not install any software that comes with the P880. Just plug it into the USB port and it will be automatically set up. Don't know why it wouldn't work in Win98, maybe you should try not installing the software in it as well?
    Last edited by xamenus; July 12th, 2005 at 06:42.

  4. #4
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    Thanks for the suggestion IceFox.

    Actually you do need to let Windows XP install its own driver first, before updating it to the latest WHQL's Saitek driver.

    Like I said, no problems in Windows XP, and I do enjoy using the Saitek additional software to map keyboard buttons to the pad. It all works flawlessly in Windows XP.

    Actually, it all works flawlessly in Windows 98 as well! However the drivers mess up Windows 98SE startup and shutdown, as well as the Saitek "About" tab freezes the joystick control panel.

    It would be nice if Windows 98 had a driver for the pad like XP does, but since it doesn't we must install Saitek's driver. I'm getting the problem's whether the additional programming software is installed or not. (Just more problems if the software is installed.)

    But it all does work! The pad works in all games and tests properly in the control panel. The software works properly as well. But, I can't have it installed since Windows doesn't work properly if it is.

    I haven't tested this in my recent attempt because I had forgotten about it, but I remember now that my printer wouldn't print and the printer would be there in the Printer control panel until I tried to print, then would disappear from it! Once I uninstalled the Saitek driver, the printer resumed normal operation. My printer is also USB.

    So, the Saitek drivers do some weird stuff that the Sidewinder Gamepad Pro drivers do not do.

    I hope Saitek support will have a solution for me. I cannot believe I'm the only one with this problem, but it's disconcerting that I see no mention of it when searching the net. My system is not unusually setup. I use all the latest Via chipset drivers (though not the latest 4-in-1 as that is for XP only). I apply all the Microsoft updates including the Via/Microsoft USB fixes. I even use the 98SE Service Pack 2.01 and the 98SE2ME stuff over at msfn.org. So I couldn't be more bug fixed and up to date.

    In the mean time I'm using the Sidewinder Gamepad Pro USB for Project64 and am awaiting the PSX/N64 USB adapter in the mail so (hopefully) I'll be able to use my N64 gamepad's for it. I wish I could have gotten an Adaptoid, but ebay's auction's of over $50 for a piece of wire is not gonna happen! Perhaps some more will be manufacter'd in the future. I don't mind $29.95!

    For most games I use my console's anyway. It's just cool to see them on the computer! And who could afford buying every game, as well? (Although my collection is big!) My nephew used to say I had every video game ever made when he would visit. Far from true, but if Nintendo came in here and saw what I've got I don't think they'd mind a few rom's on my computer. And for most of them I bought when the system's were out and paid full retail. I still have all my boxes and instructions!
    NES, NES2, SNES, SNES2, N64, GB, GBPocket, GBColor
    Epox EP-8KRAIPRO
    AthlonXP 3200+
    Crucial 512x2 3200
    NVidia GeForce 6600GT
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  5. #5
    Emutalk Member Smiff's Avatar
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    Eck, sorry i can't help with your Win98 problem, you probably said somewhere why you need to dual boot Win98? you write really long posts!

    one suggestion if you don't know, if you use N-Rage's plugin you can set modifiers to use button combinations e..g for Mario to walk on a d-pad.

  6. #6
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    Heh, heh. Sorry about all the reading. I just try to cover everything I can think of.

    I have dual booted before, but now I have 2 computers. The A7V880 has XP, the A7V333 has Windows 98SE.

    It's fine that you can't think of what it might be. I figured it couldn't hurt to ask game players about gamepad problems. Someone might have known what it was. I've tried computer and Windows help types of forums and they couldn't help so I thought it was worth a shot here.

    I would think that using the pad's as digital (I think I would use my regular Sidewinder 1.0 for that) would be even worse. See, with the analog pad on the Sidewinder Pro I find that if Mario (for example) is facing in an unusual direction in relation to the camera it's hard to get him to walk in exactly the direction I need to avoid him falling off stuff. With a real analog stick like the Saitek or the N64 controller it's easy to direct him. Also, in racing games my thumb will start hurting from pressing the pad so much whereas with a stick there's no pressure needed. But digital control has even less exact directions to go. It's perfect for older 2D games but this 3D stuff really needs analog.

    I'll await Saitek and see what they say. If I can solve it I'll let you know, otherwise I'll go back to lurking! I generally only post if I know something that could help someone or have a question I can't figure out. Otherwise I just read so I can learn and pick up tips.
    NES, NES2, SNES, SNES2, N64, GB, GBPocket, GBColor
    Epox EP-8KRAIPRO
    AthlonXP 3200+
    Crucial 512x2 3200
    NVidia GeForce 6600GT
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  7. #7
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    Just to update. Saitek couldn't think of any reason I had Windows conflicts while the Saitek drivers were installed. They could only suggest that I start with a clean Windows installation. Heh. When I told them what my idea of a clean Windows installation was the conversation got a little corse! They thought I put in too much stuff and I replied that in today's world a clean Windows 98 install is kind of useless. It needs Via drivers, Microsoft Via USB updates, IE6SP1, Dx9.0c, Video, audio, the unnofficial SP 2.01 and 98SE2ME, Works Suite 2005, etc, etc. If the drivers can't work with that stuff then they aren't compatible with 98SE. I don't care if they work without conflict if installed right after 98 is installed. Nice, but I can't use the computer like that, even for game playing. We're talking IE5, DX6, WMP6, you know, the stuff 98 comes with. I told them that if that's how they test the driver then they're not living in the real world.

    Anyway, while trying to get the Saitek working and also trying to get my new Boom PSX/N64 USB adapter working I totally destoyed the gameport section of Windows. Nothing would register in Joystick control panel even if the drivers were listed as "working properly" in device manager. Perhaps that was caused by my uninstalling Sidewinder 4.0, 3.02. Or perhaps the Monster Gamepad stuff from the Boom adapter caused it. I don't know, but I couldn't get anything to be added to joystick ctrl pnl. An error would pop up when I tried, saying I should check device manager as my gameport was not configured properly.

    So I FDISK'd, reconnected my XP machine (the A7V880), did a few hours of updates and I'm a happy camper. I'm using my N64 pad for Project64. The thing is a little flaky, as it needs to be unplugged and plugged in again with the computer off sometimes so XP will recognize it properly on boot up. Sometimes. Other times I can reboot and the thing works fine. Weird. I used a workaround for XP giving the thing a Z Axis. A fellow posted it somewhere and I luckilly printed it out. Basically, I use the Rage Input plugin included in PJ64. When I go to advanced in the Windows Joystick control Panel and Calibrate it, I just click next instead of calibrating the Z axis but make sure the rest is calibrated properly. Then, in Rage's calibration, when I calibrate the analog pad I press the button on the controller before pressing which direction to assign (instead of the normal way of hitting which button in the program first). And the left direction kept coming up "Z-Left" until I kept doing it several times and then finally got "X-Left." So, it's all X and Y, no Z. And I also set the analog range to 100% and deadzone slider to 0. Then the analog stick works properly.

    And, by the way, the Saitek pad also works fine so I can use that for Windows games if I want to. I don't know what's up with it on 98 but I'm not concerned at the moment. It's funny I couldn't get the Boom Adapter to work on it either. It would be installed in device manager, using the 9x inf on the floppy it came with, but nothing in Joystick ctrl pnl. The only stuff that worked flawlessly was the Microsoft Sidewinder stuff. Hmmm.

    I'll worry later what to put on the other computer. I only got that because my A7V880 limits my Ms-Dos memory because of motherboard devices. I couldn't use my SBLive Dos drivers and if I wanted to play Glide with my old Voodoo 5 5500 AGP the A7V880 has the newer AGP port. No Voodoo on it. But the A7V333 takes it and also lets me mess around in dos. Hmm, I don't really need any of that since Dosbox plays my dos games fine in XP. Maybe I'll just add a stick of Ram and buy another copy of XP.

    Games look so much better with the emulator than they do on my N64! Of course, some of them aren't exactly perfectly emulated but it's incredible how much does work great.

    If the Adaptoid ever gets back into production I'll pick that up. I'm sure it's less flaky than the Boom one. I saw a couple on ebay, but I'm sorry not to be able to afford over $50 for an adaptor!
    Last edited by Eck; July 17th, 2005 at 19:25.
    NES, NES2, SNES, SNES2, N64, GB, GBPocket, GBColor
    Epox EP-8KRAIPRO
    AthlonXP 3200+
    Crucial 512x2 3200
    NVidia GeForce 6600GT
    Audigy 2 ZS Platinum
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  8. #8
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    saitek p-880 does not work on my debian linux machine.

    hey there. Is there a way for this pad to run visualboy advance games for a debian linux system? It detects fine, the calibration portion of it is difficult. The device is recognized, however, the emulators or even basic games like tetris do not work?

    Any ideas?

  9. #9
    EmuTalk Member da1writer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kazuya1977
    hey there. Is there a way for this pad to run visualboy advance games for a debian linux system? It detects fine, the calibration portion of it is difficult. The device is recognized, however, the emulators or even basic games like tetris do not work?

    Any ideas?
    1. Where the hell did you come from?
    Answer to myself: 1 post... must be a noob...
    2.Why dig up such an old thread with a question that does not even deal with Project64?
    3.Don't get such an expensive pad that has so much problems, try cheaper pads. I'm using a Logitec Dual Action (I actually have 2), and those work reasonably well with any emulator so far. Plus, they only cost less than $15.00 and the controller almost looks like Playstation 2's without the rumble...
    As we look back, we think about what we could have done and as we look forward, we wonder... what we can do...
    Some Questions cause us to think while the answers cause us to wonder...

    -Quotes from Myself, da1writer

    Oh, and check out http://www.ibuypower.com ,
    That's where I bought my computer!

  10. #10
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    Um, yeah man, post a new topic in a forum where folks talk about that emulator. I'm surprised you got a response at all.

    Does Saitek say they support the pad under your OS? If not, or even it so, it might not be full support where no bugs occur. Witness my problem with it even on 9x systems. Runs perfect on XP though.

    I'm happily PJ64'ing away with my Adaptoid now.

    Never solved the 9x thing with the Saitek, but now have XP on both the A7V880 and the A7V333 (bought another retail box Home Edition for the A7V333). Run Windows Me on the Abit KT7A. Tons of updates from MDGx's website make it purr almost as well as XP. Won't mess with the Saitek on that, just in case. I've got plenty of Sidewinder's for it.

    Saitek P-880 on my XP boxes for everything except PJ64. N64 pad with Adaptiod for PJ64.

    It is amazing how much better my games look using PJ64 versus the same game on my TV with my N64. I only run the actual N64 when necessary now for the few games that aren't emulated well enough for me.
    NES, NES2, SNES, SNES2, N64, GB, GBPocket, GBColor
    Epox EP-8KRAIPRO
    AthlonXP 3200+
    Crucial 512x2 3200
    NVidia GeForce 6600GT
    Audigy 2 ZS Platinum
    Logitech Rumblepad 2, N64 w/Adaptoid

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