VOGONS


First post, by XtoF

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Hi! My sound blaster give me some headaches, maybe you can help.

I’ve got a 486 full ISA PC, in which I plugged this Sound Blaster AWE 32 CT2760 (rev1?).

486-SBAWE32.jpg

This was a model I bought in 1994 and which served me well, until the disappearance of ISA slots from motherboards. In fact this is the last sound card I ever bought!
I is equipped with 8Mb of memory that I added back in the days.
On my 486 I play games ranging from the end of the 80’s to 1993-1994. I thought the AWE32 would be well perfect with its “plain” sound blaster compatibility and the direct support from the most recent games of that era.
Unfortunately, perfect it is not.

Indeed, my computer sometimes freezes when playing digitized sounds.

The behavior:

  • In most DOS games there is no freeze. Ultima Underworld intro or games with 8-bit sound effects are OK. All the most “recent” games such as TIE fighter, Doom are also OK.
  • It will always freeze at the same moment in
    • Wing Commander II, as soon as a few seconds of sound are played. In the intro or during the game.
    • Day of the tentacle. Late during the intro or if I interrupt a spoken dialog.
  • It randomly freezes in Windows 3.11 if using the plain Sound Blaster 2 driver
  • It freezes in Windows 3.11 as soon a sound is played if using the AWE32 drivers

I don’t remember those kind troubles with this very sound card back in the time. But my memory may be faulty. I am sure that Windows was stable, but I am not sure that I used it with “older” games such as Wing II.
I of course tried many combinations of IRQs and DMAs and my AWEUTILS is 1.11. I never git any problem in diagnose.

Any idea? Is this model known to be "unstable"?

Reply 1 of 3, by cyclone3d

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Have you tried cleaning the edge connector on the card as well as the slot? Oxidation / bad connections can cause some really weird problems.

Have you tried removing the sticks of RAM?

Anything else you have tried?

What is in the config.sys and autoexec.bat?

Yamaha YMF modified setupds and drivers
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AW744L II - YMF744 - AOpen Cobra Sound Card - Install SB-Link Header

Reply 2 of 3, by XtoF

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Yes the contacts were cleaned. I removed the optional RAM then tried again, same behavior 🙁
Here are my config.sys and autoexec.bat.

CONFIG.SYS
========

DEVICE=C:\DOS\HIMEM.SYS /SHADOWRAM:ON /VERBOSE
DEVICE=c:\windows\ifshlp.sys
DEVICEHIGH=C:\DOS\EMM386.EXE AUTO RAM M3 A=64 H=128 D=256 HIGHSCAN X=B800-C7FF I=C800-EFFF I=B000-B7FF NOTR
DRIVPARM=/D:0 /F:7
BUFFERS=15,0
FILES=40
DOS=HIGH,UMB
LASTDRIVE=Z
FCBS=4,0
DEVICEHIGH=C:\DRIVERS\SCSI\EZSCSI5\ASPI4DOS.SYS /D /P130
DEVICEHIGH /L:1,10896 =C:\DRIVERS\SBAWE32\DRV\CSP.SYS /UNIT=0 /BLASTER=A:220
DEVICEHIGH /L:2,27008 =C:\DRIVERS\SBAWE32\DRV\CTSB16.SYS /UNIT=0 /BLASTER=A:220 I:5 D:1 H:6
DEVICEHIGH /L:1,10432 =C:\DRIVERS\SBAWE32\DRV\CTMMSYS.SYS
DEVICEHIGH /L:2,12368 =C:\DOS\SETVER.EXE
COUNTRY=033,850,C:\DOS\COUNTRY.SYS
DEVICEHIGH /L:2,15856 =C:\DOS\DISPLAY.SYS CON=(EGA,,1)

AUTOEXEC.BAT
===========

rem LH /L:0;2,45968 /S C:\DOS\SMARTDRV.EXE /X
C:\windows\net start
@ECHO OFF
PROMPT $p$g
PATH C:\DOS;C:\WINDOWS;c:\tools\arj;c:\tools\pkzip

SET TEMP=C:\TEMP
SET TMP=C:\TEMP

MODE CON CODEPAGE PREPARE=((850) C:\DOS\EGA.CPI)
MODE CON CODEPAGE SELECT=850

SET SOUND=C:\DRIVERS\SBAWE32
SET BLASTER=A220 I5 D1 H6 P330 E620 T6
SET MIDI=SYNTH:1 MAP:E MODE:0
C:\DRIVERS\SBAWE32\DIAGNOSE /S
C:\DRIVERS\SBAWE32\AWEUTIL /S
C:\DRIVERS\SBAWE32\SB16SET /P /Q

LH /L:0;1,3328 /S C:\DRIVERS\MOUSE\ctmouse.exe
LH /L:2,6432 doskey /insert
LH /L:2,17152 KEYB FR,,C:\DOS\KEYBOARD.SYS

Reply 3 of 3, by TechieDude

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Have you tried newer drivers and/or without EMM386? Some games can be really picky with the latter. Hell, you should probably even check your system RAM for errors, and try cleaning the contacts of the SIMMs. On second thought, What are the full specs of your system?