VOGONS


First post, by JazeFox

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Following advise on this post: Using VIA VT8231 southbridge for sound blaster pro emulation (edit : sound blaster emulation available using software !) I open a new thread in Sound sub-forum for this tool. Thanks to Prez for all the info and testing.

VIASBCFG is a little tool to enable and configure the SBPro feature in compatible VIA chipsets: VT8231 and VT82C686/A/B, where there are no BIOS options available to do so.

(download link at the end of this post).

- Features:

  • VIA chipset detection
  • Supported VIA southbridges: VT8231, VT82C686/A/B
  • Enable / Disable SBPro feature
  • Optionally Configure resource settings: SB addr, IRQ, DMA, MPU addr, Joyport addr via BLASTER environment variable. If no BLASTER var is found, default settings are: A220 I5 D1 P330 J200.
  • To disable MPU port, set P0, to disable Joyport, set J0. (for boards without DB15 port)
  • Set VIA AC97 Codec volume and SB Mixer volume

- Usage: run VIASBCFG /H to get usage help. But the easy steps are:

  1. (optional) Set BLASTER environment variable with your preferred settings. Example: SET BLASTER=A220 I5 D1 T4 P0 J0
  2. Run VIASBCFG

- This tool does NOT provide FM/Adlib emulation, so if you need it, you must
run VIAFMTSR after VIASBCFG. (VIAUDIO.COM is not needed).

- This tool may contain bugs. Use at your own risk.

- This tool has been tested successfully with these systems:

  • VIA EPIA-V mini ITX board (VT8231 southbridge)
  • HP T5500 Thin Client (VT8231 southbridge)
  • Unbranded SBC board with VIA C3 533A CPU (VT8231 southbridge)
  • HP T5710 Thin client (VT8231 southbridge) - Thanks to PhilsComputerLab
  • Motherboard with VT82C686B southbridge - Thanks to Prez

- If a game or program chrashes trying to play audio, it could be a resource conflict problem. In that case, try to reserve that resources in the BIOS. Change the "Resources controlled by" to "Manual" in BIOS (PnP/PCI section) and change desired IRQ/DMA setting to "Legacy ISA" (some BIOSes) or to "Reserved" (some other BIOSes). If your BIOS does not have that options available, try to configure different IRQ/DMA resources in BLASTER var and re-run VIASBCFG.

----

Download VIASBCFG:

https://mega.nz/file/zJhh0BKL#jzzC56HhVcRB_r- … jrw9SCW1FnUwsv0

Download original VIAFMTSR:

https://mega.nz/file/bUglSbLD#crVTJDjbt8M7Im8 … Kgv_5dLonc9_jR8

Last edited by JazeFox on 2020-05-12, 23:27. Edited 1 time in total.

Reply 1 of 26, by Prez

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Very nice ! Thank you very much !!
I'm eager to try this tool on my new HP thin client !

Best regards
Philippe

Old computers and videogames freak
President of french association https://mo5.com
Get better, get old ! 😁

Reply 2 of 26, by bmwsvsu

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Excellent! Now I finally have a use for all of these motherboards that I re-capped last year:

t5700-1.jpg

These are from the HP T5700 thin client (VT8231). I am happy to report that both sound and music work flawlessly in at least some games. Tested Duke 3d, Epic Pinball, and Jazz Jackrabbit. The sound quality is actually pretty good. Only issue was music was choppy in Duke 3d.

The onboard video is an ATI Rage XL. Seems to work well in the games I've tested.

Reply 3 of 26, by Prez

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Hi all !

I did receive my HP Thin client T5710 today with the VT8231 southbridge, no activation in bios for soundblaster, and VIASBCFG does works perfectly !!
A fast and ugly video in French : https://www.facebook.com/prez.philippe.dubois … t=video_comment

Best regards
Philippe

Old computers and videogames freak
President of french association https://mo5.com
Get better, get old ! 😁

Reply 5 of 26, by Weebob

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Weebob wrote on 2020-05-05, 15:31:

Awesome!!!!! great work!, just watched Phils vid on it.

Is there any chance this will work on a VT8235?

Doh, AC-97, that will be the end of that. But hey I managed to answer my own question

bjxhae-6.png

Reply 6 of 26, by JazeFox

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Weebob wrote on 2020-05-05, 15:34:
Weebob wrote on 2020-05-05, 15:31:

Awesome!!!!! great work!, just watched Phils vid on it.

Is there any chance this will work on a VT8235?

Doh, AC-97, that will be the end of that. But hey I managed to answer my own question

Yep, from VT8235, VIA dropped legacy hardware emulation. A pity. AC'97 only.

Reply 9 of 26, by Prez

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Hi all !
Remember that you can have a look at this primary list of 'should be' compatible thin clients ! List of known Thin Clients with SoundBlaster support for cheap MS-DOS gaming & more !

Best regards
Philippe Dubois

Old computers and videogames freak
President of french association https://mo5.com
Get better, get old ! 😁

Reply 10 of 26, by RoberMC

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Very nice!

It is a nice feature to have, i tried it today in a Thinclient and it works, but anyway the FM emulation is one of the worst i have ever heard, really, it is not usable at all once you have heard how those games should sound.

I have also noticed there are some sound effects missing, sometimes, in some games, anybody is experiencing this?

Reply 11 of 26, by RichB93

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Just tried on my NEC Versa C140 laptop (which has been stuck on a pile for ages because it's not the most amazing spec, but this would make it somewhat useful), and it initialised okay (VT8231), plus the FM Emulation loaded, but I couldn't get any sound output sadly. Anything I can do to help troubleshoot?

Reply 12 of 26, by will1384

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I tried VIASBCFG on a HP Compaq T5300 Thin Client and at first it was locking up on boot, it would lock up right after VIASBCFG would show it's information text on screen during boot, I had DOS v6.22 and Windows 3.11 installed, I found out what was causing the problem, my CONFIG.SYS had this:

DEVICE=C:\WINDOWS\HIMEM.SYS /TESTMEM:OFF
DEVICE=C:\WINDOWS\EMM386.EXE RAM

and when using the HIMEM.SYS and EMM386.EXE from Windows 3.11 VIASBCFG would lock up on boot, but then I remembered that DOS has its own versions of the same files, and so I edited my CONFIG.SYS file to have this:

DEVICE=C:\DOS\HIMEM.SYS /TESTMEM:OFF
DEVICE=C:\DOS\EMM386.EXE RAM

and now VIASBCFG works.

Reply 13 of 26, by darry

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will1384 wrote on 2020-05-10, 23:22:
I tried VIASBCFG on a HP Compaq T5300 Thin Client and at first it was locking up on boot, it would lock up right after VIASBCFG […]
Show full quote

I tried VIASBCFG on a HP Compaq T5300 Thin Client and at first it was locking up on boot, it would lock up right after VIASBCFG would show it's information text on screen during boot, I had DOS v6.22 and Windows 3.11 installed, I found out what was causing the problem, my CONFIG.SYS had this:

DEVICE=C:\WINDOWS\HIMEM.SYS /TESTMEM:OFF
DEVICE=C:\WINDOWS\EMM386.EXE RAM

and when using the HIMEM.SYS and EMM386.EXE from Windows 3.11 VIASBCFG would lock up on boot, but then I remembered that DOS has its own versions of the same files, and so I edited my CONFIG.SYS file to have this:

DEVICE=C:\DOS\HIMEM.SYS /TESTMEM:OFF
DEVICE=C:\DOS\EMM386.EXE RAM

and now VIASBCFG works.

Here are the versions included with DOS and Windows

https://retrocomputing.stackexchange.com/ques … ows-3-x-version
Windows 3.0: HIMEM.SYS 2.60
MS-DOS 5.0: HIMEM.SYS 2.77
Windows 3.1: HIMEM.SYS 3.07
MS-DOS 6.2 and later, Windows for Workgroups 3.11: HIMEM.SYS 3.10

https://www.infania.net/ms6kb/Q98768.htm
Product Version of EMM386.EXE
MS-DOS 6.0 4.45
MS-DOS 6.2 and 6.21 4.48
MS-DOS 6.22 4.49
Windows for Workgroups 3.1 4.44
Windows for Workgroups 3.11 4.48
Windows 95 4.95

Reply 14 of 26, by will1384

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darry wrote on 2020-05-10, 23:44:
Here are the versions included with DOS and Windows […]
Show full quote
will1384 wrote on 2020-05-10, 23:22:
I tried VIASBCFG on a HP Compaq T5300 Thin Client and at first it was locking up on boot, it would lock up right after VIASBCFG […]
Show full quote

I tried VIASBCFG on a HP Compaq T5300 Thin Client and at first it was locking up on boot, it would lock up right after VIASBCFG would show it's information text on screen during boot, I had DOS v6.22 and Windows 3.11 installed, I found out what was causing the problem, my CONFIG.SYS had this:

DEVICE=C:\WINDOWS\HIMEM.SYS /TESTMEM:OFF
DEVICE=C:\WINDOWS\EMM386.EXE RAM

and when using the HIMEM.SYS and EMM386.EXE from Windows 3.11 VIASBCFG would lock up on boot, but then I remembered that DOS has its own versions of the same files, and so I edited my CONFIG.SYS file to have this:

DEVICE=C:\DOS\HIMEM.SYS /TESTMEM:OFF
DEVICE=C:\DOS\EMM386.EXE RAM

and now VIASBCFG works.

Here are the versions included with DOS and Windows

https://retrocomputing.stackexchange.com/ques … ows-3-x-version
Windows 3.0: HIMEM.SYS 2.60
MS-DOS 5.0: HIMEM.SYS 2.77
Windows 3.1: HIMEM.SYS 3.07
MS-DOS 6.2 and later, Windows for Workgroups 3.11: HIMEM.SYS 3.10

https://www.infania.net/ms6kb/Q98768.htm
Product Version of EMM386.EXE
MS-DOS 6.0 4.45
MS-DOS 6.2 and 6.21 4.48
MS-DOS 6.22 4.49
Windows for Workgroups 3.1 4.44
Windows for Workgroups 3.11 4.48
Windows 95 4.95

Using a HEX editor on my Linux PC I opened the Windows files I was having trouble with and found this:

HIMEM: DOS XMS Driver, Version 3.10 - 09/30/93
MICROSOFT Expanded Memory Manager 386 Version 4.48..Copyright Microsoft Corporation 1986, 1993

The DOS versions were:

HIMEM: DOS XMS Driver, Version 3.10 - 09/30/93
MICROSOFT Expanded Memory Manager 386 Version 4.49..Copyright Microsoft Corporation 1986, 1994

Reply 15 of 26, by JazeFox

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RichB93 wrote on 2020-05-10, 18:17:

Just tried on my NEC Versa C140 laptop (which has been stuck on a pile for ages because it's not the most amazing spec, but this would make it somewhat useful), and it initialised okay (VT8231), plus the FM Emulation loaded, but I couldn't get any sound output sadly. Anything I can do to help troubleshoot?

The sound works in Windows 9x with original drivers installed?
What are you loading in CONFIG.SYS and AUTOEXEC.BAT?
What is the codec's base address? (you can checkit it in VIASBCFG at run time, the firt line, at the end, somethig like: Base: [xxxx]
You can also run this to dump PCI devs:
http://bearwindows.zcm.com.au/pci.zip

Run PCI.EXE>PCILOG.TXT
and attach the log here.

Reply 19 of 26, by Prez

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I use DOS 7.1, it works perfectly well !
I did install W98SE as well and it works great.
With FAT32 you have many GBs ahead 😉

Old computers and videogames freak
President of french association https://mo5.com
Get better, get old ! 😁