VOGONS


First post, by kevbo

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First of all, wow...this is amazing. SB16? Stereo? Really? Cool!

I am the proud owner of a Yamaha DB50XG. It used to sit happily on an SB16, then a Vortex (RIP Aureal), and now, it lives on a Turtle Beach Santa Cruz. I decided a week or so ago to try to play my old XWing CD, so I booted to 98, and found, to my horror, that it doesn't make a MIDI port available to DOS Windows...no MIDI at all in DOS, just FM...

So, I was planning all sorts of stuff...build a box just to put the Vortex in...use another sound card that DOES let DOS use 330, and use a software synth...

Then, I found this. WOW!!!

But, in my normal Windows 2000, XWing's music (and hence the game) is slow, about maybe 75% of what it should be.

I'm using VDMSound.2.0.4.update1, and VDMSLaunchPad.v1.0.0.7. I set it up to run command.com, and tried pitset and speedset, with various parameters. Speedset slowed it down, and sped it up too, but it didn't "feel" right, just, well, accelerated...the game seems to be timed OK other than for the music, so forcing it to run faster just wasn't right. Pitset didn't seem to do anything.

I scoured the board, and even found people who claim to have it working, so I'm at a loss.

Using the GUI, I set my polling to many things, finally ending up at 1/3. I looked at _default.pif to make sure I WASN'T using that bad option.

Again, thanks for this great program, and any help here would be much appreciated...

# Motherboard

Epox 8kha+

# Processor type and speed

Athlon XP 1800

# Amount and type of RAM

512MB DDR 2100 Crucial

# Video board w/ RAM amount and type

GeForce 3 Ti 200 64MB

# Sound board

Turtle Beach Santa Cruz, newest available 2000 drivers (sc_4164.zip)

# Operating system

Windows 2000 SP2

# Game name (and version, if applicable)

LucasArts XWing CD

# Reproducibility of problem (always, only once, always but only on a specific level, etc.)

Always...in the game (noticable from the intro on) and in setmuse.

# Sound mode used

SB16 (4.05), MPU-401 emulation forwarding directly to the Santa Cruz's external port, IO 330. From setmuse, chose "General MIDI, 330".

# Video mode (Software, OpenGL, Direct3D, or Glide, and resolution)

Good old 320x200...

Reply 1 of 15, by Snover

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One suggestion I'll start with is update to Windows 2000 SP3. While it probably won't solve the problem, it's still a good idea. 😁 If you're extremely paranoid (like me), don't worry, I haven't seen Windows try to do anything subversive on me (yet). Just be sure to run a software firewall (but then, that's kinda a big red "DUH").

Regarding the software...that's odd. I've never had something slow down like that. If you run it without VDMSound, does the game still run slowly?

The big problems with SPEEDSET are as follows:

  1. It's very granular
  2. It has some timing approximation issues (so the music sounds like a warped record or sommat)
  3. It just isn't perfect

I'll take a look at the SPEEDSET code tonight and see if I can't reduce the granularity. Hopefully it's a pretty straightforward program, but after looking at Vlad's PHP, I dunno...😉

Oh, yeah, you get a gold star for being the first person to follow my posting guidelines to the letter. GOOD FOR YOU!! «

Yes, it’s my fault.

Reply 2 of 15, by Nicht Sehr Gut

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Snover wrote:

Oh, yeah, you get a gold star for being the first person to follow my posting guidelines to the letter. GOOD FOR YOU!! [SIZE=large]«[/SIZE]

I noticed that too. So much easier than guessing at things and hoping people actually give back an answer.

Reply 3 of 15, by kevbo

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I'd done tons of work at trying to solve the problem before bugging you guys, and you've obviously done tons of work on the programs here in general, so it only seemed fair to give you what you asked for. 😀

I don't THINK it was slow without the music, but I need to try that again tonight. Will do...

Kevin

Reply 4 of 15, by Leolo

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Dear kevbo,

I'm currently playing XWING (MS-DOS CD-ROM version) without any problem.

I'm using Windows 2000 SP3 and a Celeron at 633 MHz (not overclocked).

Try unzipping my files in "C:\XWINGCD" and overwrite your old files. But make sure you have the game installed on "C:\XWINGCD", otherwise my files won't work.

Also, make sure you have VDMSound installed in "C:\Program Files\VDMSound"

Tell me if they work for you.

Edit: I forgot to say that I'm not using SPEEDSET nor PITSET.
Just double click the "BWING.VLP" file and you can play the game.

Oh, and MOST important of all: give Daemon-Tools a try, if you haven't already.
It's really really REALLY convenient to make an ISO image of the game and mount it using Daemon-Tools. That way you won't be annoyed by having to swap CDs, or hearing the terrible noises of the cdrom drive spinning.
And, as a bonus, the cinematic scenes will play very smoothly, without any jerky movements or interruptions.

Best luck.

Attachments

  • Filename
    xwingfix.zip
    File size
    828 Bytes
    Downloads
    278 downloads
    File license
    Fair use/fair dealing exception
Last edited by Leolo on 2002-08-22, 16:08. Edited 1 time in total.

Reply 5 of 15, by kevbo

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OK, I tried the files in the ZIP file that Leolo provided, with no success. Then, I tried to set it for no music...and still saw the problem.

So, then, I looked more closely.

Turns out, my DOS box (ntvdm session) quickly jumps up to 99% CPU utilization when the driver runs. I know this can't be right, because people with computers slower than mine have reported that they are fast enough.

So, what's up? 😀 Here's the data:

I found command.com in my winnt\system32 dir. I double clicked on it, and looked at Task Manager. 0%. Then, I right clicked on command.com and choose "Run with VDMS", and made a profile. I moved that command.vlp file to my desktop. Ran it: ntvdm process goes to 99% and the computer slows down.

Hmmmmm....

The INTERESTING thing is, after installing the update patch, I started getting an error about "Unable to initialize and configure emulation module "Joystick Controller"...something about a "T" not valid in joy3.map. The CPU utilization isn't high when that box is up. I click OK, and zoom up to 99% (I then fixed joy3.map, just to see...and I still see the high CPU.)

Since you've made the wonderful GUI tools, I've never had to configure VDMS manually, so I don't know what it really is doing. But something's making it eat CPU (At an empty command prompt) like there's no tomorrow.

Would the .vlp file help? It is attached. Note: I'm not using any .pif that I see, other than _default.pif (I suppose), and have never changed anything in there.

Attachments

  • Filename
    command.zip
    File size
    641 Bytes
    Downloads
    247 downloads
    File license
    Fair use/fair dealing exception

Reply 6 of 15, by Snover

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That's rediculous! Have you a virus scanner or something that might be causing this? I can't really think of anything that would cause your command.com to shoot up like that.

Yes, it’s my fault.

Reply 7 of 15, by kevbo

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I did more research last night, and it appears that 2000's ntvdm is kind of known for this. Which seems odd, because if that were true, then all of you guys would see this all the time.

When I said that my command.com, without the sound driver, was a 0%: it is only at 0% if it isn't doing anything. If I run something as simple as DOS Edit, or even the old DOS program "list", it shoots up to 100%.

I tried disabling and killing Norton Anti-Virus. I unloaded Motherboard Monitor.

I even tried it on my wife's PC, a slower Celeron 850, but still running Windows 2000. Same thing.

Since I set up both machines, it is quite possible it is something I do. But I'm about ready to chalk this up to "that's the way it is..."

The only thing I could fine was a Microsoft Q article that mentions that "computers over 2GHz might have this problem...contact us for a new ntvdm". Someone said that new ntvdm helps, but it isn't available for download, and I didn't try to get it. Also, since I saw the same thing on the Celeron 850, I'm not sure that that's it.

Thanks again guys...

Reply 8 of 15, by vladr

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This is a "known" problem with NTVDM in general (NT4, Win2k, XP), and as far as I can tell it's by design.

You can reduce the % usage by going for "reduce CPU usage" in the Performance properties for LaunchPad (equivalent to the idle sensitivity in .pif files), but since this messes with the DOS timer emulation (which is what accounts for the 100% CPU usage) the sound might break up.

NTVDM will go 100% always no matter how slow or fast the machine is, and apps will perfrom the same be it a 120MHz machine @ 100% CPU usage or a 1GHz machine @ 100% CPU usage. Take it "as is".

Also make sure to have the latest Motherboard Monitor since earlier versions effectively disabled VDMSound's emulation.

V.

Reply 9 of 15, by Snover

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kevbo, your comment on a "new" NTVDM is intriguing. If you can dig up the knowledge base question, I'd love to see if Microsoft would be willing to give me a copy (and, in turn, I'd distribute it to you all, of course 😀)

Yes, it’s my fault.

Reply 11 of 15, by kevbo

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I actually disabled Motherboard Monitor when I realized it could be a problem, but I'll make sure I have the newest version. I thought I was relatively up-to-date with it.

As I didn't uninstall it, just quit running it, it's device driver could still have been causing problems.

Reply 12 of 15, by Snover

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I believe Motherboard Monitor uses the nasty I/O DLL whose name I can't remember at the moment, but that basically makes VDMSound not work. I'm glad the mobo monitor that MSI (my mobo manufacturer) released doesn't use that ickyness.

I looked at the new way Microsoft is providing support and decided that, no, I'm not going to be the one to ask. If anyone else is willing (and has a Passport ID) please do so! See if you can't obtain the releases for all three flavours of NT -- NT, 2000, and XP. It appears Microsoft was kind enough to NOT provide the updated NTVDM.EXE in Windows 2000 SP3, and I can only imagine that they did not provide it in Windows XP SP1, either.

Yes, it’s my fault.

Reply 13 of 15, by DosFreak

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Wasn't MBM fixed to not interfere with VDMSound, Vlad?

DOSBox Compilation Guides
DosBox Feature Request Thread
PC Game Compatibility List
How To Ask Questions The Smart Way
Running DRM games offline

Reply 15 of 15, by Stiletto

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Kevbo, see this thread:
showthread.php?threadid=312

Let us know if it fixes the problem.

Actually, make a new thread for your reply, because I'd like to pool feedback on this fix all in one place.

"I see a little silhouette-o of a man, Scaramouche, Scaramouche, will you
do the Fandango!" - Queen

Stiletto