VOGONS


First post, by DeadnightWarrior

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Hello,

I finally got most of the parts I wanted to build a new retro PC.
I now have an Asrock 775i65GV motherboard, 1Gb of DDR2 ram, a Celeron D that I'm soon swapping with a Pentium and a Terratec branded PCI ESS Solo-1 (back pic - front pic) that I picked off eBay for a laughable price.

I managed to install Windows 98 without trouble on a SATA SSD and installed Phil's drivers for the sound card.
All went smoothly, MIDI is fine, Wave is fine, CD audio is fine, the ESS Audio Rack software works perfectly.
Except for one thing: there is no game / MIDI port anywhere!
Not in Windows Device Manager (no yellow marks whatsoever) neither in DOS mode, which goes as far as telling you that "Game port is disabled"!

What's the deal here?
Am I missing something? Is Phil's driver missing something? Is there an image of the original driver CD to download? Do I have a broken card?

Thanks everyone!

P.S.: I did buy an SB0100 SoundBlaster Live as well, would you suggest trying this card instead for a hybrid DOS / Win9x / WinXP gaming machine?

Reply 1 of 13, by th1r5bvn23

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My Labway Solo-1 (this one) doesn't have gameport device in device manager, either, though external wavetable device is present in audio settings. I don't have any joystick device to test with, however. I used official latest 3055 driver for Windows XP. Driver on Phil's website is the official latest 1165 VXD driver.

As for SB Live, I don't think it's suitable for DOS gaming since it requires EMM386 to work which can break compatibility with certain DOS games. Selecting a sound card for hybrid DOS/98/XP gaming machine can be tricky. In general, there are 3 PCI sound cards considered the most compatible with DOS: Aureal Vortex 2, ESS Solo-1 and Yamaha DS-XG. Vortex 2 does not work well with Windows XP, and Solo-1 can't do any 3D sound. If 3D sound is what you're looking for, then DS-XG is the right choice. Otherwise, Solo-1 has the best compatibility overall.

Last edited by th1r5bvn23 on 2020-03-27, 07:23. Edited 1 time in total.

AMD K6-2+ 500, FIC PA-2013 2.0 1MB, 128MB SDRAM PC100, Voodoo3 3000 AGP, Labway Yamaha YMF719B-S with NEC XR385

Reply 2 of 13, by dr.zeissler

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hm..yesterday I got a compaq 1685 laptop with ALI chipset and ati gfx-chip.
this thing also has an ess-solo1. I got the dosdriver working but I hear nothing.
This dos-mixer says "no audiodrive found". Win3x driver is the same.
I thought solo1 was a no-brainer in dos, even with a notebook-computer...

https://www.cnet.com/products/compaq-presario … -gb-hdd-series/
http://www.soundcard-drivers.com/companies/236.htm?

sorry for bothering you with my problems...

http://cwcyrix.nsupdate.info/ftp-archives/ftp … om/pub/softpaq/

CPU: PII 133-333 MOBO: SNI-D981 RAM: 512- FDD: Dualfloppy 3,5"HD/5,25"HD - 3,5"HD - 5,25"DD ISA-Catweasel HDD: 2x40GB - DVD
ISA(3): Audician32-S2Dreamblaster - GusACE PCI(3): Monster3D- Intel NW AGP(1): 3dfx V3-3000

Reply 3 of 13, by derSammler

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As for the game port, it was the same on my Solo-1 as well. Simply install it manually and it will work. The default drivers don't seem to add it and unlike most other hardware, a game port can not be automatically detected by Windows.

http://retro-net.de/blog.html

Reply 4 of 13, by Garrett W

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Hi there, a bit unrelated, but if you are looking into making this board the host to faster CPUs and GPUs, you might want to rethink it. The i865GV this board is based on, lacks an actual AGP slot, unlike the i865G. ASRock have implemented what they call an AGI slot, which is supposedly compatible with AGP but AFAIK it essentially reroutes a PCI slot and somehow makes it compatible. In any case, it is not nearly as compatible as AGP and perhaps more importantly, performance is much lower than expected. Just wanted to let you know about this, since I used an P4i65GV many moons ago, its s478 counterpart, and had very bad performance from my top performing cards such as 6800GT and could not figure out what the hell was going on.

Reply 5 of 13, by DeadnightWarrior

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th1r5bvn23 wrote on 2020-03-24, 03:08:

My Labway Solo-1 (this one) doesn't have gameport device in device manager, either, though external wavetable device is present in audio settings. I don't have any joystick device to test with, however. I used official latest 3055 driver for Windows XP. Driver on Phil's website is the official latest 1165 VXD driver.

Can I ask you where did you find the latest driver?

th1r5bvn23 wrote on 2020-03-24, 03:08:

As for SB Live, I don't think it's suitable for DOS gaming since it requires EMM386 to work which can break compatibility with certain DOS games. Selecting a sound card for hybrid DOS/98/XP gaming machine can be tricky. In general, there are 3 PCI sound cards considered most compatible for DOS: Aureal Vortex 2, ESS Solo-1 and Yamaha DS-XG. Vortex 2 does not work well with Windows XP, and Solo-1 can't do any 3D sound. If 3D sound is what you're looking for, then DS-XG is the right choice. Otherwise, Solo-1 has the best compatibility overall.

Well, it actually works, I tried Doom II and Quake, though the music in Doom II sounded OK but... I don't know, slower than what I remember?

Reply 6 of 13, by DeadnightWarrior

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derSammler wrote on 2020-03-24, 09:10:

As for the game port, it was the same on my Solo-1 as well. Simply install it manually and it will work. The default drivers don't seem to add it and unlike most other hardware, a game port can not be automatically detected by Windows.

OK, so you mean I have to manually cycle through the "other devices" in Device Manager? And what about DOS mode?

Reply 7 of 13, by DeadnightWarrior

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Garrett W wrote on 2020-03-24, 09:27:

Hi there, a bit unrelated, but if you are looking into making this board the host to faster CPUs and GPUs, you might want to rethink it. The i865GV this board is based on, lacks an actual AGP slot, unlike the i865G. ASRock have implemented what they call an AGI slot, which is supposedly compatible with AGP but AFAIK it essentially reroutes a PCI slot and somehow makes it compatible. In any case, it is not nearly as compatible as AGP and perhaps more importantly, performance is much lower than expected. Just wanted to let you know about this, since I used an P4i65GV many moons ago, its s478 counterpart, and had very bad performance from my top performing cards such as 6800GT and could not figure out what the hell was going on.

Yep I actually figured it out the hard way: my Radeon 9600 Pro just wouldn't work at all. I'm sticking with the integrated graphics until a Sparkle GeForce 5600 arrives (and it's on the AsRock's compatibility list)... I'll just have to see how things go, maybe I'll look for a proper 478 board down the line.
However I should have a Presler 775 Pentium D somewhere, I'll try that one (as soon as I find it 😁 )

Reply 8 of 13, by derSammler

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DeadnightWarrior wrote on 2020-03-24, 09:39:

OK, so you mean I have to manually cycle through the "other devices" in Device Manager? And what about DOS mode?

I don't think any of those "other devices" are the game port. As written, Windows can't find a game port on its own and that is at all, since it's not a piece of hardware you can query in any way. If the driver doesn't tell Windows that there's a game port, it simply won't be there.

On my last Pentium III system with a Solo-1, I had no "other devices" after the Solo-1 drivers were installed, just no game port. I used the hardware assistent to manually add hardware, selected a standard game port and that's it. It works fine since then. As for DOS, you need to install the DOS support files for the Solo-1. It won't work out-of-the-box. But while I have installed DOS support, I have not used the game port in pure DOS so far.

http://retro-net.de/blog.html

Reply 9 of 13, by DeadnightWarrior

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derSammler wrote on 2020-03-24, 09:52:
DeadnightWarrior wrote on 2020-03-24, 09:39:

OK, so you mean I have to manually cycle through the "other devices" in Device Manager? And what about DOS mode?

I don't think any of those "other devices" are the game port. As written, Windows can't find a game port on its own and that is at all, since it's not a piece of hardware you can query in any way. If the driver doesn't tell Windows that there's a game port, it simply won't be there.

OK, I was asking because, with the SB Live installed, I actually had an "input device" detected and that was the game port.
I guess the Solo-1 doesn't give you that option, I'll try what you suggested then.
Thanks!

Reply 10 of 13, by derSammler

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Possible. But that "input device" is not a standard game port then, otherwise Windows would just use its internal driver for it. Probably depends on the implementation.

http://retro-net.de/blog.html

Reply 11 of 13, by derSammler

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That's my system, btw:
Flytech Carry-1 S370-based mini PC (2001)

On the last screenshot in post #2, you can see the game port apparently working in DOS with the DOS support files installed.

http://retro-net.de/blog.html

Reply 12 of 13, by th1r5bvn23

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DeadnightWarrior wrote on 2020-03-24, 09:37:

Can I ask you where did you find the latest driver?

I found the file name on archive.org and searched them on Google.

DeadnightWarrior wrote on 2020-03-24, 09:37:

Well, it actually works, I tried Doom II and Quake, though the music in Doom II sounded OK but... I don't know, slower than what I remember?

Yes, AudioPCI and SBLive will play FM music slower than normal. Also not all games won't run. If titles you want to play run fine, it's actually okay to use such cards.

AMD K6-2+ 500, FIC PA-2013 2.0 1MB, 128MB SDRAM PC100, Voodoo3 3000 AGP, Labway Yamaha YMF719B-S with NEC XR385

Reply 13 of 13, by DeadnightWarrior

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Update:
A better driver (or should I say a more complete one, like the one found on Vogons Drivers!) solved the game port issue.

Now I'm almost there, I still have a couple of questions about our beloved Solo-1:

1) So far in the couple of games I've tested, I have no FX sound, only music. Is there a solution or is it due to the infamous i865 / ICH5 incompatibility?
2) I have two separate partitions, one with plain DOS 6.22 and one with Win98: installing the driver under pure DOS (aka copying the files and updating config.sys and autoexec.bat) I get a warning that I should... use Windows to set up the sound card in DOS? What does it mean, that there is no native DOS driver?

Thanks again 😀