VOGONS


First post, by bjwil1991

User metadata
Rank l33t
Rank
l33t

I recently upgraded my Windows 98SE machine from the K6-2/300 setup to a Socket 370 setup since some of the games I have don't work nicely with the K6-2/300 system.

I installed the appropriate drivers, however, MS-DOS games don't work since I don't see the drivers for MS-DOS for the sound card. The sound card is a VIA AC'97 that has Sound Blaster capability within the BIOS and the games just don't seem to detect it (mainly because the TSR driver for the sound card isn't there, or I have to guess where the TSR programs are). I had my Sound Blaster Blaster 16 WavEffects CT4170 installed, but the IRQ was wrong, no DMA, and Windows games won't detect the sound card (Rollercoaster Tycoon). The sound card's chipset last 4 digits are 686B.

Where should I start?

Edit: found an FTP site that has the drivers.

If anyone needs drivers for the VIA VT82C686A/686B/VT8231 southbridge chips, here's the FTP site: VIA Audio drivers

Discord: https://discord.gg/U5dJw7x
Systems from C64 to FX-6300.

Reply 1 of 11, by gdjacobs

User metadata
Rank l33t++
Rank
l33t++
4) DOS A) VIA Sound Blaster Pro Compatible Setup Program **************************************************** ** V […]
Show full quote

4) DOS
A) VIA Sound Blaster Pro Compatible Setup Program
****************************************************
** VIA Sound Blaster Pro Compatible Setup Program **
****************************************************
Please "Enabled" the Sound Blaster setting on the BIOS first before you
want to play the Sound Blaster compatible DOS games. You could follow
the selecting to enable the setting on the BIOS :

INTEGRATED PERIPHERALS -> Onboard Legacy Audio (Enabled)
-> Sound Blaster (Disable -> Enabled)

The Sound Blaster Pro Compatible sound chip is integrated into the VIA
PCI audio device in order to have Sound Blaster compatible DOS games
running on the system.

If you want to play those Sound Blaster compatible DOS games under the
real mode MS-DOS or the "Restart in MS-DOS" from Win9x. Then you should
run this setup program to enable the OPL3 MIDI music. Otherwise, the
music will not be heard but the sound still could be heard.

If you want to play the legacy games on the Windows DOS Box then you
need not to install this program.

***************************************************
** VIA Sound Blaster Pro Compatible Installation **
***************************************************
You could enable the Sound Blaster Pro compatible funciton by using
this setup program.

a) You should enable the Sound Blaster first on the BIOS setting of
the "On board Legacy Audio".

b) Run the "install.exe".

A> INSTALL

c) The program will copy the relative files into the directory which
you assigned. Then the program will insert the following new line
into the AUTOEXEC.BAT and copy the original AUTOEXEC.BAT to
AUTOEXEC.VIA.

C:\VIAUDIO\VIAUDIO.COM

d) Reboot the system when the installation is completed.

*****************************************************
** VIA Sound Blaster Pro Compatible Uninstallation **
*****************************************************
You could uninstall this program by delete the line from the AUTOEXEC.BAT.

C:\VIAUDIO\VIAUDIO.COM

VIAUDIO.COM is found under "Legacy Audio driver with DOS file" at the following URL:
http://download.viatech.com/DriverDownloadSubmitAjaxSvl

The file name is 68mu220b.zip, so you can also find it elsewhere on the intertubes.

All hail the Great Capacitor Brand Finder

Reply 2 of 11, by bjwil1991

User metadata
Rank l33t
Rank
l33t

Finally now have the Sound Blaster working on my computer. Found out I needed another program called viafmtsr (Sound Blaster) and here's the list of commands I've setup:

C:\viaudio\viaudio.com
C:\viaudio\viafmtsr.com
SET BLASTER=A220 I5 D1 H1 P330 T6

Now I'm happy that I can now play my MS-DOS games.

Edit: Windows 98SE doesn't like to play nice (no FM Synthesizer whatsoever), but I do get sfx in games, like DooM, no music. In pure DOS, I get the whole 9 yards. Am I missing something?

Even one of the steps in the readme file says this.

************************************************* ** Sound Blaster Compatible DOS Game Supported ** **************************** […]
Show full quote

*************************************************
** Sound Blaster Compatible DOS Game Supported **
*************************************************
You can play Sound Blaster compatible DOS games with GENERAL MIDI
music format ONLY in the Windows DOS box. You don't need to enable the
"Sound Blaster" setting in the BIOS. The Sound Blaster emulation is
done by Microsoft and OPL3 music format is not supported under the
Microsoft WDM driver archetecture.

You should change the MUSIC setting in your Sound Blaster compatible
DOS game from FM MIDI to GENERAL MIDI. Otherwise, there will be no music
heard when the Sound Blaster compatible game is played.

And when I try to use the VxD driver in Windows, it gives me the BSOD.

Discord: https://discord.gg/U5dJw7x
Systems from C64 to FX-6300.

Reply 3 of 11, by cde

User metadata
Rank Member
Rank
Member
bjwil1991 wrote:
Finally now have the Sound Blaster working on my computer. Found out I needed another program called viafmtsr (Sound Blaster) an […]
Show full quote

Finally now have the Sound Blaster working on my computer. Found out I needed another program called viafmtsr (Sound Blaster) and here's the list of commands I've setup:

C:\viaudio\viaudio.com
C:\viaudio\viafmtsr.com
SET BLASTER=A220 I5 D1 H1 P330 T6

Now I'm happy that I can now play my MS-DOS games.

Thanks to your post, I also got sound under DOS for the QDI KinetiZ 7E (a KT133A/VT82C686B motherboard, similar to the Abit KT7A). I downloaded the viados driver package from https://sites.google.com/site/cocktailcabinet/downloads

One drawback of this driver is that VIAFMTSR.COM (necessary for FM) uses 39K of conventional memory. This can be mitigated by loading high with EMM386; otoh loading high with UMBPCI leads to a crash as soon as a game tries to output sound.

OPL3 emulation sounds decent overall. I do still prefer the ES1868F due to its excellent compatibility and ease of use in DOS/Windows 9x/XP/Linux.

Attachments

  • Filename
    viados.zip
    File size
    235.34 KiB
    Downloads
    91 downloads
    File license
    Fair use/fair dealing exception

Reply 4 of 11, by kjliew

User metadata
Rank Oldbie
Rank
Oldbie

From a technical perspective, I remember VIA 686B southbridge supports special logics for trapping legacy SoundBlaster compatible I/O, so the driver actually uses that to emulate SBPro compatibility in DOS with AC97 audio. This was something that Intel had never bothered to support, but unfortunately VIA unique proposition wasn't very successful and not many people would buy into it. In fact, with PCI bus as the north-south interconnect in this generation of VIA chipsets, any PCI addon sound could trap SB I/O flowing downstream and implement their own SBPro emulation, making AC97 solution an even harder sell in general.

The README also mentions 2 Microsoft WDM Audio components which are supposed to provide SBPro compatibility for WDM-based drivers under Windows DOS box - SBEMUL.SYS and SWMIDI.SYS. Unfortunately, none of the AC97 vendor drivers would include them, making Windows DOS box essentially dead for DOS games.

Reply 5 of 11, by cyclone3d

User metadata
Rank l33t
Rank
l33t
kjliew wrote:

From a technical perspective, I remember VIA 686B southbridge supports special logics for trapping legacy SoundBlaster compatible I/O, so the driver actually uses that to emulate SBPro compatibility in DOS with AC97 audio. This was something that Intel had never bothered to support, but unfortunately VIA unique proposition wasn't very successful and not many people would buy into it. In fact, with PCI bus as the north-south interconnect in this generation of VIA chipsets, any PCI addon sound could trap SB I/O flowing downstream and implement their own SBPro emulation, making AC97 solution an even harder sell in general.

The README also mentions 2 Microsoft WDM Audio components which are supposed to provide SBPro compatibility for WDM-based drivers under Windows DOS box - SBEMUL.SYS and SWMIDI.SYS. Unfortunately, none of the AC97 vendor drivers would include them, making Windows DOS box essentially dead for DOS games.

SBEmul System Driver The SBEmul system driver (Sbemul.sys) provides Sound Blaster emulation for MS-DOS applications. The SBEmul […]
Show full quote

SBEmul System Driver
The SBEmul system driver (Sbemul.sys) provides Sound Blaster emulation for MS-DOS applications. The SBEmul driver is a client of the SysAudio system driver. To render and capture content, the SysAudio driver uses the preferred wave and MIDI devices (as set in the Multimedia property pages in Control Panel).

Sound Blaster emulation is supported only in Windows 98/Me.

SWMidi System Driver
The SWMidi system driver (Swmidi.sys) is the KS filter that provides software-emulated General MIDI (GM) and high-quality Roland GS wavetable synthesis. A midiOutXxx application uses SWMidi when a hardware synthesizer is unavailable. The SWMidi filter receives as input a time-stamped MIDI stream from the WDMAud system driver and outputs a PCM wave stream to the KMixer system driver. SWMidi mixes all of its voices internally to form a single two-channel output stream with a PCM wave format.

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-hard … udio-components

Configuring SBEMUL.SYS

So the 9x/ME SBPro and MIDI emulation was not sound card driver dependent.

Looking around, it looks like for Crystal CS4232 and CS4236, an inf change was needed to enable the Microsoft Sound Blaster emulation.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 6.0 Legacy Audio Support --------------------- […]
Show full quote

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
6.0 Legacy Audio Support
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Legacy audio (Sound Blaster* and Sound Blaster Pro*) is hardware accelerated
by default. However, if you are installing this driver on a CS4232 or
CS4236, it is recommended that you use Microsoft Sound Blaster emulation.

To enable Sound Blaster emulation, find the section of cwbwdm.inf listed
below and follow the instructions as outlined below and in the inf.
Accelerated legacy audio is not yet supported under NT5.0 and it is not
necessary to make any changes to the INF file.

CWBWDM.INF Section:

HKR,,NTMPDriver,,"cwbwdm.sys,cwsb.sys"

; Comment out the line above and uncomment out the line below to use
; Microsoft Sound Blaster emulation. It should be used for CS4232
; and CS4236.

;HKR,,NTMPDriver,,"cwbwdm.sys,sbemul.sys"

http://ps-2.kev009.com/pccbbs/commercial_desktop/qd6t00a.txt'

VIA .inf that sets it up:
http://www.bluestarinc.com/techsupport/Elo%20 … WDM/VIAComp.inf

Commented out for eMPIA USB 2.0 audio devices.. in a driver for 2000 and XP:
http://courses.washington.edu/engr100/Section … 2.1/EMAUDIO.INF

C-Media:
http://ifsc2.ifsc.usp.br/drivers/Mainboard/GI … r/WDM/CMUDA.INF

nVidia:
http://www.geekstogo.com/forum/index.php?app= … attach_id=86485

Last edited by cyclone3d on 2019-11-27, 05:01. Edited 4 times in total.

Yamaha YMF modified setupds and drivers
Yamaha XG resource repository - updated November 27, 2018
Yamaha YMF7x4 Guide
AW744L II - YMF744 - AOpen Cobra Sound Card - Install SB-Link Header
Epstein didn't kill himself

Reply 6 of 11, by kjliew

User metadata
Rank Oldbie
Rank
Oldbie
cyclone3d wrote:

So the 9x/ME SBPro and MIDI emulation was not sound card driver dependent.

Yes, they wasn't, which in theory gives *free* SBPro compatibility for all AC97 solution within Windows DOS box, say Win98SE or WinME that supports WDM Audio. However, it was very strange that *NONE* of the AC97 vendor drivers, AFAIK include them for DOS support. It would be interesting if someone was able to get them working. If they really worked, then it should be equivalent in sound quality as a SBPro with GS/GM MIDI support, which I would say adequately decent sound system for DOS games.

Reply 7 of 11, by kjliew

User metadata
Rank Oldbie
Rank
Oldbie

Alright, look like Sigmatel C-Major AC97 WDM driver also include SBEMUL and SWMIDI in the INF. And, it also setup BLASTER=A220 I5 D1 T4 P330 in Win98SE DOS box. I was able to get PCM/wave working for games, so that was sound effects through SBPro emulation. However, I couldn't get game music working with MIDI which, if emulated properly, would be a decent licensed Roland GS/GM MIDI from Microsoft software synthesizer.

Anyone has any luck on getting DOS MIDI emulation working with WDM audio drivers?

Reply 8 of 11, by betamax80

User metadata
Rank Newbie
Rank
Newbie

I just want to make a quick note that DOS mode does work (using steps above - make sure you have both TSR's) on EPIA-5000 / 800 (and I presume V-series) boards.
HOWEVER, counter-intuitively you have to enable the (non existant) gameport and MPU-401 modes in the BIOS, otherwise the VIAUDIO.COM file just seems to hang in limbo.
I also wanted to clarify that you can use this in PURE MS-DOS mode on Win98, but you need to be using the VxD (Win95/98 FE) version of the Windows drivers - which can be manually installed from the 686MU220b.zip drivers (ugh no official site - needs a quick search.... and obtain VIAFMTSR.COM from link above).

Reply 9 of 11, by kjliew

User metadata
Rank Oldbie
Rank
Oldbie
betamax80 wrote on 2020-03-10, 18:49:

I just want to make a quick note that DOS mode does work (using steps above - make sure you have both TSR's) on EPIA-5000 / 800 (and I presume V-series) boards.
HOWEVER, counter-intuitively you have to enable the (non existant) gameport and MPU-401 modes in the BIOS, otherwise the VIAUDIO.COM file just seems to hang in limbo.
I also wanted to clarify that you can use this in PURE MS-DOS mode on Win98, but you need to be using the VxD (Win95/98 FE) version of the Windows drivers - which can be manually installed from the 686MU220b.zip drivers (ugh no official site - needs a quick search.... and obtain VIAFMTSR.COM from link above).

What I discussed earlier was a generic SoundBlaster Pro and SWMIDI solution for *ANY* AC97 audio controller with WDM audio driver. You are right that VIA chipsets has special logic that works with their software for pure DOS support. However, Microsft WDM audio specification already includes SoundBlaster Pro and SWMIDI emulation through the OS if one plays the DOS games from Win9x DOS box, without the needs of any real-mode drivers from CONFIG.SYS or AUTOEXEC.BAT. I confirmed that SoundBlaster Pro wave/pcm playback indeed worked very well, but not the SWMIDI. The WDM audio driver even provides a correct BLASTER env (BLASTER=A220 I5 D1 P330 T4) a SoundBlaster Pro and MIDI port at 330h. I expected the MIDI support would have been routed to DirectMusic Roland GS synthesizer licensed by Microsoft for games supporting General MIDI, but that was not the case, which was a let-down.

Reply 11 of 11, by ShovelKnight

User metadata
Rank Member
Rank
Member
kjliew wrote on 2019-11-27, 04:53:
cyclone3d wrote:

So the 9x/ME SBPro and MIDI emulation was not sound card driver dependent.

Yes, they wasn't, which in theory gives *free* SBPro compatibility for all AC97 solution within Windows DOS box, say Win98SE or WinME that supports WDM Audio. However, it was very strange that *NONE* of the AC97 vendor drivers, AFAIK include them for DOS support. It would be interesting if someone was able to get them working. If they really worked, then it should be equivalent in sound quality as a SBPro with GS/GM MIDI support, which I would say adequately decent sound system for DOS games.

Interestingly, installing TerraTec Aureon 5.1 Fun drivers also installed SB Pro emulation in Windows 98 SE.