VOGONS


First post, by Pierre32

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The system: DOS 6.21, 386DX/40, Tseng ET4000AX video, 20MB RAM, sound was a Labway YMF-701 card followed by a GUS classic.

Background: Game was running fine, until the HDD died in an unrelated incident. I dropped a new HDD in and did a fresh OS install. (The previous install was still pretty new, so there wasn't much involved in getting it back to the same state). Labway sound card still in at this point.

Behaviour: SC2 is now the only game that won't launch. It starts loading, but then hangs at a blank screen.

I've now swapped the Labway card out for a GUS Classic, because it just arrived and it needed testing. That testing has gone great but the SC2 situation has not changed. I've tried SC2's startup switches with each card (/s:SBLASTER, /s:GRAVIS). I've also tried the colour pallette switch /g:BIOS.

Boot configs below. I'm using Phils startup configs for the menu, and none of the menu options have had an effect. The only other thing I can think to REM out of these is the CDISK driver for my external CF reader, but no help there. "SMONITOR" if you're curious is the Trident utility I use to force my Tseng to colour mode, which it needs for my CRT. Without this mode switch, SC2 doesn't even launch to a blank screen - it just dumps straight back to command line. In any case, SC2 worked fine with all these things before the rebuild!

autoexec.bat

@REM ===== Gravis initialization (4.00) =====
@SET ULTRASND=240,7,7,7,7
@SET ULTRADIR=C:\ULTRASND
@SET BLASTER=A240 I5 D1 T1
@C:\ULTRASND\ULTRINIT.EXE -ej
@REM ===== Gravis initialization ends =====
@ECHO OFF

PROMPT $P$G
SET PATH=C:\ULTRASND;C:\DOS
SET TEMP=C:\DOS
SMONITOR C

GOTO %CONFIG%
:EMC
:XMC
:CMC
LH C:\DOS\MSCDEX.EXE /D:OPTICAL
:EM
:XM
:CM
LH C:\DRIVERS\CTMOUSE.EXE /R2
:E
:X
:C

config.sys

[COMMON]
DOS=HIGH,UMB
FILES=40
BUFFERS=40
LASTDRIVE=H
DEVICE=C:\FLASHATA\CDISK.SYS

[menu]
menuitem=EMC, Expanded memory + Mouse + CD-ROM
menuitem=XMC, Extended memory + Mouse + CD-ROM
menuitem=CMC, Conventional Memory only + Mouse + CD-ROM
menuitem=EM, Expanded memory + Mouse
menuitem=XM, Extended memory + Mouse
menuitem=CM, Conventional memory only + Mouse
menuitem=E, Expanded memory
menuitem=X, Extended memory
menuitem=C, Conventional memory only

menudefault=EMC,10

[EMC]
DEVICE=C:\DOS\HIMEM.SYS /TESTMEM:OFF
DEVICE=C:\DOS\EMM386.EXE RAM
DEVICEHIGH=C:\DRIVERS\VIDECDD.SYS /D:OPTICAL

[XMC]
DEVICE=C:\DOS\HIMEM.SYS /TESTMEM:OFF
DEVICEHIGH=C:\DRIVERS\VIDECDD.SYS /D:OPTICAL

[CMC]
DEVICEHIGH=C:\DRIVERS\VIDECDD.SYS /D:OPTICAL

[EM]
DEVICE=C:\DOS\HIMEM.SYS /TESTMEM:OFF
DEVICE=C:\DOS\EMM386.EXE RAM

[XM]
DEVICE=C:\DOS\HIMEM.SYS /TESTMEM:OFF

[CM]

[E]
DEVICE=C:\DOS\HIMEM.SYS /TESTMEM:OFF
DEVICE=C:\DOS\EMM386.EXE RAM

[X]
DEVICE=C:\DOS\HIMEM.SYS /TESTMEM:OFF

[C]

I must be missing something stupid, but I need some fresh eyes. Any ideas?

For reference, games that run without issue (performance concerns aside): Doom, Prince of Persia, Wing Commander, Wolf3D, Jazz Jackrabbit, One Must Fall, Epic Pinball, Pinball Fantasies, also the Second Reality demo.

Reply 2 of 2, by Pierre32

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Here's the next post. It works, I'm probably stupid, but I still don't know why.

The short version is that in autoexec:

The line @SET ULTRASND=240,7,7,7,7 is now replaced with @SET ULTRASND=240,5,5,11,7

And line @SET BLASTER=A240 I5 D1 T1 (added by GUS setup) has been removed, and I have restored my usual SB config (for the Yamaha card that is also installed):

SET BLASTER=A220 I5 D1 T4
C:\OPL3SA\SETUPSA.EXE /S

config.sys is unchanged from the original.

I arrived at this the longest way possible by starting with a clean boot disk (which got it launching without sound) then setting up my boot configs, fully commented out then enabling one line at a time, until finally trying the SET ULTRASND address changes.

Based on the above, you'd think it was nothing more than an address conflict. And I should have tried changing this first, not last. But I didn't suspect it, because (i) the behaviour was the same before I installed the GUS and (ii) the game worked fine on the previous OS install, with the Yamaha card in and those same SB settings. So I'm none the wiser as to why it behaved this way. But it's working now, so I'm more than happy to stop thinking about it.