Disabling MPU-401 for SB16 in DOS...

Discussion about old PC hardware.

Disabling MPU-401 for SB16 in DOS...

Postby LSS10999 » 2010-1-25 @ 11:26

These days, I reused my old EP-8KTA3PRO motherboard, with a Sound Blaster 16 (Actually it's a Vibra 16 based CT3110). Everything works fine as it used to but I still have one problem: to disable the non-working MPU-401 port. (Probably I need an real external synth to make it work, which is now hard to find in the place where I live).

The non-working MPU-401 caused me some problems with sounds, especially when playing a DOS game made by Wiering Software, I need to use a parameter to force it use Adlib, or I won't hear a sound unless I'm running it under Windows. Even SBMPU401 doesn't seem to help.

Creative's own apps won't work as a working MPU-401 port setting is mandatory when checking the card using DIAGNOSE, and setting the BLASTER variable without Pxxx parameter doesn't help either.

Can you help me about this, or have anyone already posted this problem before?
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Re: Disabling MPU-401 for SB16 in DOS...

Postby 5u3 » 2010-1-25 @ 14:24

Sounds like a hardware conflict. The EP-8KTA3 has an onboard MIDI port, did you disable that one in the BIOS?
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Re: Disabling MPU-401 for SB16 in DOS...

Postby LSS10999 » 2010-1-26 @ 04:06

Of course, I disabled the onboard audio and everything related to it in BIOS, and SB16 DIAGNOSE program can set it to Port 330h.

I really don't know what MPU-401 is, anyway, as it's often stated as an external MIDI port or something...

In fact, in some cases I prefer Adlib sounds instead of MIDI... I had an old DOS game called 18th Airborne, which sounds better in Adlib, but it uses General MIDI prior to Adlib if both are detected, so in DOS I won't hear any music, and in Windows I can only hear the music coming from the MIDI synth (which sounds bad in my opinion)... Actually I had an old ES688 Audiodrive which didn't have this problem as it didn't have a hardware MPU-401 support.

I just want to disable the SB16's MPU-401 so the games won't detect it and will play sounds using SB/Adlib.
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Re: Disabling MPU-401 for SB16 in DOS...

Postby Jo22 » 2010-1-26 @ 23:52

I think the EP-8KTA3 was made by Epox. Maybe you find something on their website (manuals, updates, ..).
Good luck!
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Re: Disabling MPU-401 for SB16 in DOS...

Postby swaaye » 2010-1-27 @ 00:52

does the sound card have any jumpers? Have you tried reconfiguring by running Diagnose.exe and changing the port to other values (maybe the game wont work with it)?
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Re: Disabling MPU-401 for SB16 in DOS...

Postby Jo22 » 2010-1-27 @ 01:01

Swaaye, that's an interesting question.
Early SBs had jumpers for that, even the PnP ones.
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Re: Disabling MPU-401 for SB16 in DOS...

Postby LSS10999 » 2010-1-27 @ 04:18

I don't know how to configure the jumpers of these, anyway (there seem to be a lot, and some are probably factory configured that I shouldn't change)... Whatever it is, I'll have a look...

Besides, there are no such settings about disabling MPU-401 (General MIDI port) in Diagnose.exe.

Actually, this wasn't really difficult on PCI audio cards like ES1938 as its MPU-401 can be disabled using its setup... but however, I'm not going to use one as PCI audio cards are not stable with VIA-based chipsets.

EDIT: I did it! The way to disable is is indeed to open the jumper MPUEN on board. However, if you do, you won't be able to use DIAGNOSE to test your card (while you can still use DIAGNOSE /S to set your card), as DIAGNOSE itself requires a working MPU-401 port.
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Re: Disabling MPU-401 for SB16 in DOS...

Postby Stiletto » 2015-4-23 @ 16:08

To amuse Michal, we'll bump this old thread to link his recent blog post :)

http://www.os2museum.com/wp/sound-blast ... d-mpu-401/

All it takes is to run

Code: Select all
DIAGNOSE /DMPU


and DIAGNOSE.EXE will skip MPU-401 detection entirely and continue on to the next test
"I see a little silhouette-o of a man, Scaramouche, Scaramouche, will you
do the Fandango!" - Queen

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