Help with Sound Blaster CT2800 in Win 95/DOS

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

Help with Sound Blaster CT2800 in Win 95/DOS

Postby 35mmshowdown » 2017-4-26 @ 02:27

Hullo Vogons!

I recently purchased a shiny ISA SB CT2800 Vibra card with IDE/Waveblaster header and OPL3 chip, to install in my less-than-shiny Socket 7 machine. A little background on the machine- I've set up a multiboot with Ranish, and am running a squeaky clean install of '95 on half my hard drive, and a clean install of DOS 6.22 on the other. I have yet to tackle setting up CD-ROM or card support in the DOS environment, so I'm focusing on Win 95 for now.

Research indicates that my card is a PnP device- and I have a PnP bios- so installing it in 95 using Add New Hardware went just fine, and I ran the general SB 16 install disc to complete card driver installation. Everything worked fine, at first. Samples from the samples folder played fine. I ran DIAGNOSE.EXE and everything went fine, but I noticed that DIAGNOSE listed different IRQ and DMA numbers than in the Device Manager panel. I ran the SETUP program off the disc, which runs in a DOS box as opposed to the previous install wizard interface. This kicked out a few file overwrite/bkup errors, but I skipped through them. I went into Device Manager, and manually configured the IRQ to 7, Address to 220, and DMAs to 1 and 5, respectively (generally considered the 'default' settings, IIRC).

Now, the card works fine. However, DIAGNOSE pops up an error as soon as it attempts to check the first configuration setting (220h). When I run Doom, regardless of my DOOM Sound setup (Music/No FX; FX/No Music; any combo of IRQ or DMA settings) I get music, but no FX. Even setting Adlib to music and FX to the current 95 DMA and Address and IRQ settings, same thing.

So... what am I doing wrong? And, pardon my ignorance, but how does SB and Windows and games running in DOS boxes through windows handle the settings? Does a DOSBOX in 95 need autoexec settings, or the CTCM.EXE initialized, or does it refer to the Device Manager settings in 95? Should I run CTCM, or the setup again? Should I make the Device manager settings match what CTCM initializes, or the other way around?

Any help would be mucho appreciated!!!
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Re: Help with Sound Blaster CT2800 in Win 95/DOS

Postby Jorpho » 2017-4-26 @ 03:25

35mmshowdown wrote:I went into Device Manager, and manually configured the IRQ to 7, Address to 220, and DMAs to 1 and 5, respectively (generally considered the 'default' settings, IIRC).
I'm not clear on why you felt the need to do that..? IRQ 7 actually tends to be problematic as it is often already taken by the parallel port. I know in some contexts it's described as the "default" but I don't think I ever encountered anything that forced you to use IRQ 7 and nothing else.

On that note, if you're not using the serial ports and parallel ports on your motherboard, you should probably disable them in your BIOS.

I'm a bit fuzzy on which versions of CTCM work with Windows and so on, but if no one else chimes in there should be ample documentation supplied with the drivers themselves.

(Also, it's probably a bad idea to refer to the "MS-DOS Prompt" in Windows 95 as DOSBox. That just confuses people.)
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Re: Help with Sound Blaster CT2800 in Win 95/DOS

Postby 35mmshowdown » 2017-4-26 @ 04:03

Thanks for the reply.

As for why I made the manual changes:
A) I have indeed removed my printer port and disabled it in BIOS, so there is no conflict issues there.
B) I started reading some documentation indicating what the default values were, particularly in the early days of SB cards. Since I wanted compatibility with any games which might be hard coded to IRQ 7, I changed it. Also, when I first installed the card, Windows/the SB installer set the IRQ to 10- a value that doesn't even exist as an option in the Doom sound setup. So it seemed to me that it was safer to set them down at the 5 or 7 neighborhood, for game compatibility.

I will re-read the README texts in the driver files, but they are mostly geared towards DOS/3.11 installation, and seem to just say "hey, 95 supports PnP, so do what you do and have fun"- not much else, but I'll re-read anyway.

And I shall stick with DOS prompt from now, thank you. I only called it DOSbox because, well.. Windows 95 actually refers to it as "DOS Box" when shooting back errors regarding shell integration. Pretty sure that's where DOS Box got the name from, but you're right, it avoids confusion.
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Re: Help with Sound Blaster CT2800 in Win 95/DOS

Postby Jorpho » 2017-4-26 @ 04:44

35mmshowdown wrote:I will re-read the README texts in the driver files, but they are mostly geared towards DOS/3.11 installation, and seem to just say "hey, 95 supports PnP, so do what you do and have fun"- not much else, but I'll re-read anyway.
Where did you get your drivers from? I think you might need sbw9xup.exe .

Since I wanted compatibility with any games which might be hard coded to IRQ 7, I changed it.
I reckon you shouldn't worry about that until you actually encounter such games, as they'll probably have all sorts of other compatibility problems.
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Re: Help with Sound Blaster CT2800 in Win 95/DOS

Postby 35mmshowdown » 2017-4-26 @ 11:21

Jorpho wrote:Where did you get your drivers from? I think you might need sbw9xup.exe


I will load up the disc after I return from finals this afternoon, but I know for a fact I used this SB16 ISO from the Vogons library (http://www.vogonsdrivers.com/getfile.ph ... tate=42,35) It has drivers for 6.2, 3.11, and 95, but I don't recall an exe by the name of sbw9xup, that's true.

Jorpho wrote:I reckon you shouldn't worry about that until you actually encounter such games, as they'll probably have all sorts of other compatibility problems.


LIke I said, I ran into a proximally relevant issue with Doom- in the sound setup, it gave me a list of IRQ options to choose from, but the list only went up to 7. If I'd stayed with the IRQ of 10 that windows defaulted to, I'm not sure it would have worked. Then again, it only sort of works as it is...
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Re: Help with Sound Blaster CT2800 in Win 95/DOS

Postby 35mmshowdown » 2017-4-26 @ 23:36

UPDATE: After running into a HIMEM issues related to my latest attempt to install a COAST module on the mobo, I was forced to restart Windows in safe mode and then restart the system. On a wild hunch, I attempted to run DIAGNOSE again...

...total success! All IRQ, DMA, and Address settings passed (using auto, which chose all the settings I'd manually picked in Windows anyway) and it successfully wrote to the SB16 drivers and SYSTEM.INI file. On a restart, I suddenly got the classic 95 boot sound, and DOOM, DOOM II, and Wolf3D all operate with normal music as well as FX. I don't know why what happened happened, but there you go..

Next question, if anyone could be so kind- what is the purpose of these jumpers?

Image Image

The first has two rows- an on/of (JP11) for RSPK_EN (Don't know what this function is) and a 4 position gang (JP14) for AUDIO_PWB (not sure what this is either).

Does this have to do with the audio pre/post amplification? And if so, how, and on what outputs?

The second pick is a mystery 3 pin jumper simply listed as JP15. Any ideas?
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Re: Help with Sound Blaster CT2800 in Win 95/DOS

Postby gdjacobs » 2017-4-27 @ 10:15

I don't believe so. Creative cards either have four jacks where two are the line and speaker (amplified) outputs, they have a standard jumper block for enabling or bypassing the amp (as in CT41xx Vibras), or (like my CT2770) they omit the output amp entirely and just ship a line output.

Some info on AUDIO_PWB (the diagnostic pins).
viewtopic.php?t=24174
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