VOGONS


First post, by sKeletoN_SN

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I am planning to buy an AWE64 Gold model CT4390 sound card at a pretty low price. The seller advertise it as being defective because the Windows driver would not install it correctly. It could be many things but if it comes to a worst case scenario, something like a last resort measure, I will want to update the firmware on the card. I heard a couple of cases in which the firmware got corrupted (don't understand how and why) and the symptoms were identical and a firmware update fixed the issue.
If there is somebody that has the AWE64 CT4390 and the possibility to backup the firmware, I'll be grateful if you'll be able to send it. I also do not know what software would I need to use in order to update the firmware of this sound card.

Thanks in advance.

Reply 1 of 12, by Jager

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That's the only software I'm aware of. It's from DELL website, extracted from AWEFlsh.exe, and it updates on-board eeprom, making any AWE card into, presumably, CT4502.
Edit: There is also sb2awe, capable of writing anything into boards eeprom, but it's pretty hard to find.

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  • Filename
    C4502_C1.EXE
    File size
    27.47 KiB
    Downloads
    18 downloads
    File license
    Fair use/fair dealing exception

Reply 2 of 12, by sKeletoN_SN

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Thank you for you reply. This is a good answer I must say and the best solution is to find this sb2awe software on the web. Also, don't know where should I find a firmware update because I searched the web and couldn't get anything useful.

Reply 3 of 12, by Jager

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Looking at the exe I've attached I think that the actual firmware is right at the beginning of the file. Maybe it can be altered?
Also it is also possible to program 93c46/66 eeprom via LPT port, but you need soldering skills. (in russian www.sblive.narod.ru/UpToRealLive/UpToRealLive.htm)
So it's down to finding the original Creative firmware. I personally need CT3990 eeprom, in case I'll fix it (mine has dead EMU8000 in addition to broken firmware).

Reply 4 of 12, by sKeletoN_SN

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I see.

My plan in the beginning was to rewrite the original firmware with other CT4390 firmware that is known to be working. I have read articles in the past about people who used dos based software that was designed to backup or rewrite AWE64 firmware. This might be such a tool though the firmware that it has is for CT4502 - it will make the CT4390 work like a CT4502 to some degree.

Reply 5 of 12, by AmiSapphire

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I actually altered the Dell flash utility through hex editing to write my personal copy of the CT4390 config EEPROM last night since I own three AWE64 Gold cards (2x 4390 and 1x 4540), but I have no real way to test its flash capabilities other than the fact I didn't break the program. Never uploaded it anywhere yet due to that fact. I did upload the EEPROM contents to my site, however. And as mentioned, the other way is to use a programmer to write a known good copy of the data to the EEPROM (after removing the chip, of course). If only I could locate the SB2AWE program...

The CT3670 EEPROM dump I have is too large to fit in the Dell utility normally due to the IDE1 part of its EEPROM data, exceeding the usual 356 bytes (I ended up breaking the program trying anyway; danged pointers). Probably the same with the CT3990. Otherwise it's basically the same as the CT4502/CT4520 data.

And I actually previously owned such a CT3990 card, but I sold it about 3 years ago. I mainly got it because it had a Yamaha DB50XG daughter card attached to it. So, no personal EEPROM dump from me...

In general, the EEPROM contents in the utility are not encrypted, so any Creative AWE PnP card config that is 356 bytes long can fit easily without altering anything else.

Edit: to answer Jager's question, the config EEPROM contents in the Dell utility starts at offset 6436 and ends at offset 6599. If the utility (somehow) can be properly expanded to fit the entire 512 bytes, then the CT3670 and CT3990 config data can fit there at least.

Computer in my collection that had too much work done is... Compaq Armada 1573DM!

- Original DSTN panel replaced with an HPA panel
- Left hinge repaired twice
- Front panel replaced twice
- Replaced busted inverter
- Chassis replacement

Reply 6 of 12, by Jager

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AmiSapphire wrote:

Edit: to answer Jager's question, the config EEPROM contents in the Dell utility starts at offset 6436 and ends at offset 6599. If the utility (somehow) can be properly expanded to fit the entire 512 bytes, then the CT3670 and CT3990 config data can fit there at least.

I have necessary eeprom burner and mediocre soldering skills, I think I'll go this way. Finding replacement CT1971 is a much bigger problem. 😢

Reply 7 of 12, by TheNoOne

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My CT4390s right output channel stopped working. Also line-in is only passed thru without the right channel, so I suspect a mixer issue?

AmiSapphire wrote:

I did upload the EEPROM contents to my site, however. And as mentioned, the other way is to use a programmer to write a known good copy of the data to the EEPROM (after removing the chip, of course).

Where can I find this EEPROM dump?

Reply 10 of 12, by franky52

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AmiSapphire wrote:

I actually altered the Dell flash utility through hex editing to write my personal copy of the CT4390 config EEPROM last night since I own three AWE64 Gold cards (2x 4390 and 1x 4540), but I have no real way to test its flash capabilities other than the fact I didn't break the program. Never uploaded it anywhere yet due to that fact. I did upload the EEPROM contents to my site, however. And as mentioned, the other way is to use a programmer to write a known good copy of the data to the EEPROM (after removing the chip, of course). If only I could locate the SB2AWE program...

The CT3670 EEPROM dump I have is too large to fit in the Dell utility normally due to the IDE1 part of its EEPROM data, exceeding the usual 356 bytes (I ended up breaking the program trying anyway; danged pointers). Probably the same with the CT3990. Otherwise it's basically the same as the CT4502/CT4520.

@AmiSapphire Would you mind sharing your altered flash utility for the CT4390?

I had to reflash my CT4390 with the Dell flash tool and now it’s a CT4502

Thank you.

Reply 11 of 12, by Thermalwrong

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If you've got an EEPROM flahser, or if you can get the utility to use a different eeprom file, try Tiido's ROM files intead, that should make it a 4390 again:
https://www.vogons.org/viewtopic.php?f=62&t=69630