Sound problens in Windows 98

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ssjlance
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Sound problens in Windows 98

Post by ssjlance » Sep 17th, 2015, 01:57

I've got an old Pentium 4 I recently installed Windows 98 SE on to be able to play Blood and other assorted Win9x/DOS games, and I've run into an annoying problem. Far from game-breaking, but very frustrating.

When I open the game to play it, it runs exactly as it should. Sound and music works perfectly. If I close the game and reopen it, it won't play sounds but the music will play, or it gives an error about conflicting DMA and won't start. Reboot, and it's fine again.

Any ideas what might be causing this? I'm guessing bad SB16 emulation, or perhaps it is somehow not exiting cleanly and leaving the resources tied up?

I run it from a batch script because BMOUSE and -noaim, and I'd noticed a glitch (game would start and crash with an error about drive D: when I had specified -nocd right after picking an episode) with it I couldn't repeat later when I tried, so maybe it has something to do with the batch script? It's a super basic, one-line "bmouse launch blood.exe -noaim -nocd" batch script.

It's an onboard sound card (ADI 198x), and being a Pentium 4, ISA is out. If it comes down to being my only option, I've heard there's decent compatibility with DOS games with the PCI Sound Blasters, and I could snag one online for $10 or less.

I'm familiar enough with using Windows 98 from being a kid back in the 90's, but I'm pretty much a noob when it comes to setting it up and making sure everything works, so any and all ideas are appreciated.

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Status Cruo
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Re: Sound problens in Windows 98

Post by Status Cruo » Sep 17th, 2015, 03:20

ssjlance wrote:I'm guessing bad SB16 emulation, or perhaps it is somehow not exiting cleanly and leaving the resources tied up?
I'd say you've guessed right (it's got all the symptoms), and I myself have seen some pretty bad audio drivers generating DMA conflicts, shutting down sound emulation altogether.

One chip set I can assure you won't give you an attitude is the CMI8738, and there are quite a few sound cards out there based on it, both new and old.

Yes, it sounds somewhat miserable because of the re-sampling quality (Win95 drivers being even worse than plain 9x's on this department) and it's native (technically speaking, emulated, yet on hardware) FM synthesis capabilities (a must for Bloodbath), as wonderful as they're on this piece of hardware, can't be made to properly cooperate with SB16 emulation...yet, sound's perfectly fine in Blood.

As for any PCI card featuring overall "decent" compatibility with DOS games...snake oil :lol:

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Corvin
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Re: Sound problens in Windows 98

Post by Corvin » Sep 17th, 2015, 03:59

You could read this, I kinda remember having this problem with Blood on my Win98 and ME machines.
So I may have added that information to the help document.

http://dukertcm.com/knowledge-base/docu ... sound.html


Is that on-board sound an ISA based or PCI based?
EDIT: I briefly looked up your onboard sound chip, it seems to be PCI based and there seems to be no Win9x drivers for it...IF its pci based most likely you'll need the echo dis-abler patch. Not all sound cards have the problem tho, so only use it if you think you need too.

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Daedolon
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Re: Sound problens in Windows 98

Post by Daedolon » Sep 17th, 2015, 22:42

The echo error appears with Sound Blaster 128 and Sound Blaster Live!, but beyond that I'm not aware of any other cards having the issue.
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ssjlance
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Re: Sound problens in Windows 98

Post by ssjlance » Sep 19th, 2015, 02:04

I haven't noticed it crashing upon entering water or with powerups, etc. I always used that patch just to be safe when running VDMSound, actually was unaware it entirely did away with the echo sound effects. Guess my medicore skills have me focusing too hard on survival to notice some things like that. lol

While the RTCM link made an interesting read, from everything I've tried, it seems to just be f'ed audio support for my sound card. I did actually track down working drivers for the sound card, it just has issues with DOS compatibility.

Actually don't see anything related to Sound Blaster settings in my AUOTEXEC.BAT. I've also found it almost seems to pick Interrupt and DMAs at random. I remembered it just worked with my usual config the first time I installed it, which should be set to 5. I'd backed up the 98 hard drive partition with Acronis since I figured there'd be a good bit of trial and error in getting Win98 running on a Pentium 4, reinstalled it, and the IRQ was invalid. Switched it to 7, got it working, rebooted into XP to do whatever, then rebooted again and the IRQ had changed back to 5. Of course, in Windows Device Manager, it says the IRQ is 3.

Either way, at worst, I can play it full speed (pretty much a dream of mine since discovering the game, it seems) if I don't mind dicking with settings before starting it up. Much better than 20 FPS in DOSBox with sound that works each time. Lol. Come payday, I'll try and get a better supported sound card and see how that goes.

Thanks for all the advice.

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