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First post, by kixs

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I want to add a Soundblaster to 286 and 386 based system. I only have PnP cards... is there any way to configure them to work? If I use the Diagnose program it says the base address is in use for all addresses (220-280).

Or should I get me a non-pnp card?

Reply 1 of 25, by FGB

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You can use these PnP SoundBlaster cards in a non-PnP System.

DIAGNOSE failes to access the port adresses because the adresses do not exist (yet). That is because you didn't initialize the card first. After the initialization, the adresses are available and the sound card can be accessed. So please use CTCM (Creative Configuration Manager) before running DIAGNOSE or a game. CTCM will also post the adresses (Port, IRQ, DMA) and set the BLASTER environment variable.

Btw. you can change the adresses using CTCU (Creative Configuration Utility).

Cheers
Fabian

www.AmoRetro.de Visit my huge hardware gallery with many historic items from 16MHz 286 to 1000MHz Slot A. Includes more than 80 soundcards and a growing Wavetable Recording section with more than 300 recordings.

Reply 2 of 25, by RacoonRider

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I just tried this thing on a 486DX2-66 (OPTi 895 chipset) with SB32 CT3670 PnP and weird thing happened. BIOS reports drive A: controller failure and as I boot the system from C: the VGA signal of the videocard is slightly distorted. As I try to access A: drive, the video signals disappears for a second and then starts pulsing black.

I'm not sure at all PnP cards can ever work in non-PnP systems.

Reply 3 of 25, by kixs

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FGB:
I think I already tried with CTCM and CTCU... but let me try again... I have several different Soundblasters... mainly Vibra ones.

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Reply 6 of 25, by kixs

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FGB:
tried again on one 486DLC VLB and 486DX2 VLB. On DLC it works. On DX2 works too, but if you soft-reset it beeps three times while posting. But it works anyway.

It's good to know that it is possible to get PnP card working.

I think I previously tried this on a 286 and it also locked the machine.

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Reply 7 of 25, by Anonymous Coward

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Interesting. I've never tried PNP on a 286 before. I would have figured it should work. I thought I remember somebody getting vibra cards going in an XT. Maybe I was just imagining things.

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Reply 8 of 25, by FGB

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PnP-Initialization on 286 systems has another issue:
Many initialization programs require a 386 processor because of the compiler the companies used to convert their source code. Some of them just lock the system if the processor detection went wrong.

These programs may run when you load a 386 emulator on the 286 before you the PnP initialization.
This emulator enables the 286 to execute 386 stuff by converting cpu instructions. But it works only in real mode and will slow down the machine if much specific 386 operation code is in use (because the program has to translate a single 386 opcode into multiple 286 opcode).

Works fine with games like Epic Pinball for example, which otherwise would refuse to start at all. The actual slowdown here is ZERO.

A good program to use is EMU386, here the link to the download page, a brief description can be found inside the ZIP file:

http://survpc.tripod.com/emu386/download.htm

Cheers
Fabian

www.AmoRetro.de Visit my huge hardware gallery with many historic items from 16MHz 286 to 1000MHz Slot A. Includes more than 80 soundcards and a growing Wavetable Recording section with more than 300 recordings.

Reply 9 of 25, by matze79

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You could try the Intel PnP Manager Software, this one should work with Soundblaster too and requieres no 386 CPU.

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Reply 10 of 25, by dr.zeissler

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I tried a CT4170 in a newer Pentium1 (75Mhz)
If I put the card in and do not load "ctcm" and do not start "ctcu" and do not run "setblaster",
the card is recognized and works very will with e.g. "VECTORDEMO". If I load "ctcm" or the blastervariable at autoexec.bat I get errors/freezes in the Vectordemo.

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Reply 11 of 25, by dr.zeissler

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according to http://support.creative.com/kb/ShowArticle.aspx?sid=5800

what does this mean:

Note: all settings are software selectable via Plug and Play.
...
MPU-401 Port [Enabled] (MFBEN closed), Disabled (MFBEN open)

Is it possible to disable the MPU-Port per Jumper?

Doc

Retro-Gamer 😀PowerMac 6100-66/Houdini 486/66 - G4 Cube 450/Rage128pro OS9.0.1 - Macintosh LC/Apple IIe Card OS6.0.8 - Acorn A4000 Archimedes - Unisys CWD 486/66 + Aztech Washington

Reply 12 of 25, by matze79

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dr.zeissler wrote:

I tried a CT4170 in a newer Pentium1 (75Mhz)
If I put the card in and do not load "ctcm" and do not start "ctcu" and do not run "setblaster",
the card is recognized and works very will with e.g. "VECTORDEMO". If I load "ctcm" or the blastervariable at autoexec.bat I get errors/freezes in the Vectordemo.

A Pentium 75Mhz or Late PCI 486 should Support PNP by BIOS.
No need to load CTCM.

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Reply 13 of 25, by dca2

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TheLazy1 wrote:

In my 286 all the PNP utility did was hard lock the system.

Markk wrote:

The same happened to me when I tried that on two different 286 boards, and on a friend's 286 pc.

I managed to have SB ViBRA16X (CT4170) working in my XT box. Since ctcm.exe doesn't work on 286 or before, I actually coded an old school Turbo-C program for doing ISA PnP:

Filename
CT4170.zip
File size
12.12 KiB
Downloads
448 downloads
File license
Fair use/fair dealing exception

There is definitely no guarantee that it will work in general (as it is just an in-house tool), and not all jumper-less sound cards are PnP cards (e.g.: CT2770). But it also won't hurt to have a try. It's a non-TSR utility (won't stay in memory after run).

It's better to put it in AUTOEXEC.BAT and position it AFTER the 'BLASTER' environment var:
-------------------------------------------
set BLASTER=A220 I5 D1 H1 P330 T2
ct4170.exe
-------------------------------------------

Dispite its file name, it should be suitable for a few other PnP sound cards than CT4170, in both XT or AT systems.

Reply 14 of 25, by dr.zeissler

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matze79 wrote:
dr.zeissler wrote:

I tried a CT4170 in a newer Pentium1 (75Mhz)
If I put the card in and do not load "ctcm" and do not start "ctcu" and do not run "setblaster",
the card is recognized and works very will with e.g. "VECTORDEMO". If I load "ctcm" or the blastervariable at autoexec.bat I get errors/freezes in the Vectordemo.

A Pentium 75Mhz or Late PCI 486 should Support PNP by BIOS.
No need to load CTCM.

activating the pnp-bios does the job, it's working fine now.

Retro-Gamer 😀PowerMac 6100-66/Houdini 486/66 - G4 Cube 450/Rage128pro OS9.0.1 - Macintosh LC/Apple IIe Card OS6.0.8 - Acorn A4000 Archimedes - Unisys CWD 486/66 + Aztech Washington

Reply 15 of 25, by matze79

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dr.zeissler wrote:
matze79 wrote:
dr.zeissler wrote:

I tried a CT4170 in a newer Pentium1 (75Mhz)
If I put the card in and do not load "ctcm" and do not start "ctcu" and do not run "setblaster",
the card is recognized and works very will with e.g. "VECTORDEMO". If I load "ctcm" or the blastervariable at autoexec.bat I get errors/freezes in the Vectordemo.

A Pentium 75Mhz or Late PCI 486 should Support PNP by BIOS.
No need to load CTCM.

activating the pnp-bios does the job, it's working fine now.

Would u like to share your Code with us, so everyone could customize it for other PnP Soundblasters ?

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https://www.retroianer.de - under constructing since ever

Co2 - for a endless Summer

Reply 17 of 25, by saturday_sun

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dca2 wrote:
I managed to have SB ViBRA16X (CT4170) working in my XT box. Since ctcm.exe doesn't work on 286 or before, I actually coded an o […]
Show full quote
TheLazy1 wrote:

In my 286 all the PNP utility did was hard lock the system.

Markk wrote:

The same happened to me when I tried that on two different 286 boards, and on a friend's 286 pc.

I managed to have SB ViBRA16X (CT4170) working in my XT box. Since ctcm.exe doesn't work on 286 or before, I actually coded an old school Turbo-C program for doing ISA PnP:

CT4170.zip

There is definitely no guarantee that it will work in general (as it is just an in-house tool), and not all jumper-less sound cards are PnP cards (e.g.: CT2770). But it also won't hurt to have a try. It's a non-TSR utility (won't stay in memory after run).

It's better to put it in AUTOEXEC.BAT and position it AFTER the 'BLASTER' environment var:
-------------------------------------------
set BLASTER=A220 I5 D1 H1 P330 T2
ct4170.exe
-------------------------------------------

Dispite its file name, it should be suitable for a few other PnP sound cards than CT4170, in both XT or AT systems.

Works with CT4170 on my non-PNP 486 motherboard aswell. Thank you!

My computer

Reply 18 of 25, by dca2

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albr wrote:

Great thanks, your utility works fine for me! 😀

Glad to here about it!

saturday_sun wrote:

Works with CT4170 on my non-PNP 486 motherboard aswell. Thank you!

Glad to know it too. However, on a non-PnP 486 (386 +) system, the official utilities (CTCM, DIAGNOSE) are available and should be better choices.

matze79 wrote:

Would u like to share your Code with us, so everyone could customize it for other PnP Soundblasters ?

Just noticed your post (quoting a different context?). Actually, the program was mis-named "CT4170". It doesn't have CT4170 specific code and "should" work for a few other PnP Soundblasters without customization.

Reply 19 of 25, by matze79

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simple get intel icu install it and all PnP Cards work in a 286.
i have a AWE 32 inside mit 286-16 and a PnP Networkcard.
Both working Fine, also aweutil works. But you need to run Diagnose with /s parameter before aweutil to get it loaded proberly.
But CTCM/CTCU don't work. But both are unneeded.

your tool did work for a vibra 16 well but not for awe32.

Use the msdos Version of Intel ICU, the Windows GUI does not work on 286's.

Here are Disk 1 and 2.
ftp://ftp.brain.it/public/Old_Driver/Driver%2 … PnP%20Creative/

https://dosreloaded.de - The German Retro DOS PC Community
https://www.retroianer.de - under constructing since ever

Co2 - for a endless Summer