sound card drivers NOOB QUESTION

Discussion about old sound cards, MIDI devices and sound related accessories.

sound card drivers NOOB QUESTION

Postby lilkuz2005 » 2016-12-29 @ 16:23

hello all, i have around 8 or 10 sound cards that have windows 98 driver support, my question is swapping these cards out do i need to remove the drivers from the previous card? where are these drivers normally stored? is it okay to keep say an aureal vortex 2 driver installed and then install a creative sound blaster pci sound card? im looking for some info on this issue, any help would be appreciated
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Re: sound card drivers NOOB QUESTION

Postby Jorpho » 2016-12-29 @ 16:49

lilkuz2005 wrote:my question is swapping these cards out do i need to remove the drivers from the previous card?
It's probably fine if you leave them where they are. But that said, whoever wrote these drivers probably did not extensively test what would happen if you started swapping around 8 or 10 different cards and there is no guarantee that you might not run into problems. Probably the biggest concern would be the extra stuff installed with the drivers that might run in the background.

Why not just back up your Windows 98 installation before you start installing drivers? In theory, all you need to do is restart in MS-DOS mode, make a copy of the Windows directory on another drive, and then restore the copy when you need it. But to be on the safe side, you might want to consider making an image of the whole partition using a tool like Macrium Reflect. That way you can be certain the drivers are gone, but you don't have to keep re-installing Windows.
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Re: sound card drivers NOOB QUESTION

Postby lilkuz2005 » 2016-12-29 @ 17:27

thanks for the reply Jorpho, the reason i was asking is im going to be doing some sound testing to find the best sound option from my cards collection and i really wasn't sure if i would mess up my windows install or possibly affect any one particular sound card's sound quality. i really should make a clean windows 98 se backup when i find the best sound card to use on that build, i have ordered a sound blaster audigy 2 zs with the gameport that should be here soon, i think this will be the card ill keep in that machine, its a p4 rig with 512mb of ram running a geforce 6800GS OC edition gpu
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Re: sound card drivers NOOB QUESTION

Postby lilkuz2005 » 2016-12-30 @ 16:51

I have noticed that my windows 98 se boot times have really slowed down quite a bit dew to the other sound card drivers that load at boot. What ever sound card I have installed when the system boots it works. I removed the drivers for the cards I'm not using and it's booting quick again. So I guess that's the downside to not removing the drivers. I need to also remove some video drivers from the system. I may do a fresh install and just pick the parts I want to use on this build and make a backup so I can just copy paste if something gets messed up. I'm still waiting on my new sound blaster audigy 2 zs to come in the mail.
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Re: sound card drivers NOOB QUESTION

Postby chinny22 » 2016-12-31 @ 11:00

Yeh, Same with any software games, programs, drivers, updates. Windows was never that great at uninstalling stuff.

With new builds I usually do it twice, once as a test run, double checking versions of drivers work ok, working out what I want to install and what I don't (Audigy 2 ZS will have a bit of bloatware) then wipe it and install again with my final build.
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Re: sound card drivers NOOB QUESTION

Postby boxpressed » 2016-12-31 @ 14:52

Good question. Back in the day, I would install all kinds of software on my 98SE machine, and only when it stopped working would I reinstall Windows. Now, I'm installing only games and benchmarking software, so I like to keep things simple and clean. I don't like to install more than a couple of sound cards at a time.

Some of the installs leave behind mixer programs that still launch at startup even if the card has been removed from the system. I don't think they do any harm and are easy enough to uninstall, but it makes me wonder what else has been left behind.

Some ISA cards will "claim" an IRQ or DMA that you might need for a PCI card's legacy mode. Device manager will tell you that the IRQ/DMA is in use, but it's really not if you have disabled the ISA card in Device Manager. You can override with a manual config, but it might be confusing to some dealing with it for the first time.

Some Sound Blaster Live! installs messed up my system so badly that I will never install another one unless I have the install CD that it was bundled with. I bought a couple of NIB Live! cards for this reason only. If you pick the wrong the ISO from vogonsdrivers, the card will either not be recognized or run with glitches.

If you think you will be experimenting with a lot of hardware in your new hobby, I second the recommendation to use some kind of cloning software to make a "clean" image of your 98SE install. I use Norton Ghost 2003. If you don't have a lot of modern games on your system, a restore takes only 5-10 minutes.
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Re: sound card drivers NOOB QUESTION

Postby PhilsComputerLab » 2016-12-31 @ 15:00

In my lab, when working on Windows projects, I always take images. The timing varies, but if it's for a sound card roundup, I would install everything ready to go, then take the image before inserting and installing the sound card.

I take the images on my modern desktop, usually in a USB card reader (CF or SD), or USB 3 SATA adapter. Sound cards can leave DLL files behind, for example A3D, which can affect comparisons.
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Re: sound card drivers NOOB QUESTION

Postby clueless1 » 2016-12-31 @ 15:31

What software do you use to take images with?
The more I learn, the more I realize how much I don't know.
Let's benchmark our systems with cache disabled
DOS PCI Graphics Card Benchmarks
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