DOS game sound in Windows 9x

Getting old software/games running on older hardware.

DOS game sound in Windows 9x

Postby WildW » 2019-5-13 @ 11:23

Trying to remember how this works. I'm talking specifically about running a DOS game within Windows 9x itself, not rebooting into DOS mode. I seem to remember that some games would work this way, some wouldn't.

If running a DOS game this way (by just running the exe under Windows), does the sound subsystem have to be DOS compatible for sound to work? e.g. if you have an ISA Soundblaster, and you know the Port/IRQ/DMA this remains true under Windows 9x and you can configure the game (or it can autodetect). I seem to think you can also do this for a DOS-aware sound card like an Ensoniq AudioPCI as the driver makes a Port/IRQ available. If you're running a true Windows sound card or on-motherboard sound device, a DOS program can't produce sound? Am I remembering this correctly?
User avatar
WildW
Member
 
Posts: 103
Joined: 2017-1-24 @ 08:57

Re: DOS game sound in Windows 9x

Postby appiah4 » 2019-5-13 @ 13:15

Windows 9x is for all intents and purposes a GUI on top of MS-DOS 7.x, if you have an ISA sound card with sound blaster compatibility in the system and the corresponding drivers for Windows 9x installed, it will behave pretty much identical to how it would in true MS-DOS.
A500:Rev6|+512K|ACA500+|C1084S
i386:Am386SX25|4M|GD5402|ES688|MuntPi3
i486:U5S33|8M|GD5428|YMF719|DB-S2
i586:P133|32M|T64+/MX2|V1|CT3980/32M
i686:K6-2/400|128M|V2/SLI|CT4520/32M
S370:P3-1200|384M|GF4-4200|MX300
S754:A3700+|2G|X1950PRO|SB0350
User avatar
appiah4
l33t
 
Posts: 4044
Joined: 2017-2-19 @ 07:36

Re: DOS game sound in Windows 9x

Postby dr_st » 2019-5-13 @ 15:17

Windows drivers and DOS drivers are very different and often expose different audio capabilities, even for the same card, or have features working better or worse. Think of General MIDI capabilities that work flawlessly out of the box on Creative AWE or Crystal CS46xx cards for DOS games running in Windows, but not in DOS.

If the Windows drivers provide an SB emulation layer, then DOS games will be able to detect a Sound Blaster. It has nothing to do with whether the DOS driver for that card provides such a layer, or whether there exists a DOS driver at all.

So generally, getting DOS games to play sound under Win9x may be easier than in pure DOS; there may be other issues running the game in Windows, though.
User avatar
dr_st
Oldbie
 
Posts: 1984
Joined: 2015-4-09 @ 07:18

Re: DOS game sound in Windows 9x

Postby WildW » 2019-5-13 @ 16:03

So the original reason for this question was when I tried to run Master or Orion, a fairly old DOS game.I have a CD version of it that has a Win9x front-end but it's basically just running an old DOS game. It runs ok but there's no sound, and while there is a sound config option it just calls the DOS setup.exe and wants to know Port/IRQ/DMA. Right now I'm using motherboard audio and I don't think there's any DOS compatibility provided by it, so I suspect that I will need to install my old AudioPCI card instead if I want sound from DOS games.
User avatar
WildW
Member
 
Posts: 103
Joined: 2017-1-24 @ 08:57


Return to Software

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest