Sound card not working + built in audio

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Sound card not working + built in audio

Postby britain4 » 2018-6-14 @ 20:44

I have a Socket 7 build using an ASUS SPAX board (flashed with an SP97-XV BIOS) which works perfectly except for the fact that ISA sound cards don’t seem to function in it. My ESS Audiodrive card causes it to hang at POST, while my Yamaha OPL3-SAX based card is recognised and installs OK but there is no sound from it. Both function fine in a different system (with no onboard audio).

There’s no option to disable the onboard audio in the BIOS - one of the only differences between the SPAX HP board and the SP97-XV is that the latter has no onboard audio...

Am I correct in thinking that the onboard audio would need disabling in the BIOS for an ISA card to work properly? As the onboard audio is picked up as a PnP device could there any way to disable that?
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Re: Sound card not working + built in audio

Postby derSammler » 2018-6-14 @ 20:48

Re-flash the original BIOS and try with that.
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Re: Sound card not working + built in audio

Postby britain4 » 2018-6-14 @ 21:50

I’m having difficulty flashing the original HP BIOS back.. the HP flash utility comes up with an error and using Uniflash resulted in a bad flash and BIOS beep code (1-3-3-1).

Without disabling the onboard audio am I pretty much stuck? :/

Since the HP bios is rubbish and I don’t even seem to be able to flash it.. and the onboard audio is very poor/next to useless... do you think there’d be any ill effects from just physically removing the audio chip from the board to get rid of it completely?
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Re: Sound card not working + built in audio

Postby Ozzuneoj » 2018-6-15 @ 03:17

britain4 wrote:I’m having difficulty flashing the original HP BIOS back.. the HP flash utility comes up with an error and using Uniflash resulted in a bad flash and BIOS beep code (1-3-3-1).

Without disabling the onboard audio am I pretty much stuck? :/

Since the HP bios is rubbish and I don’t even seem to be able to flash it.. and the onboard audio is very poor/next to useless... do you think there’d be any ill effects from just physically removing the audio chip from the board to get rid of it completely?

Did you try a few different settings in uniflash? I think uniflash puts extra information into the BIOS if you choose to include the boot block and this could be incompatible with the OEM HP BIOS. I recently used uniflash on a PC Chips SIS board to flash a BIOS chip for a completely unrelated device (a Roland MT-200) and when I told it to include the boot block it didn't work. I then dumped this ROM and inspected it with a hex editor and I found all sorts of extra junk in the file related to ASUS and other vendors... things that were obviously not in the ROM image that I flashed to the chip. When I told uniflash to flash without the boot block it worked perfectly. Perhaps the OEM BIOS needs to be flashed this same way, without uniflash adding any extra stuff.
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Re: Sound card not working + built in audio

Postby britain4 » 2018-6-15 @ 08:22

I could certainly try that out. When I first got the board it had a suspected bad flash/corrupted BIOS which was fixed by me hot flashing the very same HP BIOS on there with Uniflash - which now results in it refusing to POST.

I then flashed a modified SP97-XV BIOS since the boards are nearly identical thanks to advice from this forum (the SP97 has SIMM slots but no onboard audio, and is otherwise identical) and it gave loads of extra features, a faster POST, large hard drive support, K6+ support, no annoying HP logo and the option of populating the empty PCI and ISA pads if I so desire.

To be honest I’d rather just get rid of the sound chip than go back to the HP BIOS for the reasons specified above but I don’t want to be stuck with no audio at all if it doesn’t work. I’m going to try the HP one again using the method you described, see if there’s an option to disable the audio in there and take it from there. There’s a jumper for the video but not the audio!

I don’t really understand why the audio wouldn’t work as is, there aren’t any conflicts reported and it has the option to switch between the onboard Crystal and Yamaha audio in Windows, and the drivers are installed - but when the Yamaha card is in there neither of them work so there must be some odd conflict going on somewhere probably related to them both being on the ISA bus? And the ESS Audiodrive just results in it hanging at POST!
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Re: Sound card not working + built in audio

Postby canthearu » 2018-6-16 @ 08:57

You could try some contact cleaner in the ISA slots. Of course, let it dry fully before powering back on.

My socket 7 motherboard needed the ISA slots to be exercised a bit before they start working properly.
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Re: Sound card not working + built in audio

Postby dionb » 2018-6-16 @ 12:37

It sounds like you're labouring under an incorrect asssumption: you seem to think you can only have one sound card in a system, and so that the issues you are having with your ISA sound cards might be solved by removing the onboard sound. That simply isn't true. You can easily have multiple sound cards in the same system, even working simultaneously if they don't have resource conflicts. Moreover, conflicts would only lead to one or both of the devices not functioning. It would not impact booting.

So, getting rid of the onboard sound isn't magically going to fix your problems. Don't waste time (or vandalize your board) barking up that tree.

The problem sounds like hardware, but it might als be resource related. Are these PnP cards? And which address, IRQ and DMA are they using?
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Re: Sound card not working + built in audio

Postby britain4 » 2018-6-16 @ 17:52

dionb wrote:It sounds like you're labouring under an incorrect asssumption: you seem to think you can only have one sound card in a system, and so that the issues you are having with your ISA sound cards might be solved by removing the onboard sound. That simply isn't true. You can easily have multiple sound cards in the same system, even working simultaneously if they don't have resource conflicts. Moreover, conflicts would only lead to one or both of the devices not functioning. It would not impact booting.

So, getting rid of the onboard sound isn't magically going to fix your problems. Don't waste time (or vandalize your board) barking up that tree.

The problem sounds like hardware, but it might als be resource related. Are these PnP cards? And which address, IRQ and DMA are they using?


It’s not necessarily that, I guess I was just wondering if there was some kind of conflict related to the BIOS from a board with no onboard sound on it. The sound cards both work fine when tested in another system so it seems like it’s related to the board. I’ll start looking elsewhere then :)

The onboard sound does register as a PnP card as does the Yamaha one. I haven’t looked into exactly which resources each are using but Windows isn’t reporting any conflicts.
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Re: Sound card not working + built in audio

Postby chinny22 » 2018-6-21 @ 12:29

Plus removing the chip wont guarantee the motherboard still wont detect the soundcard, even if the chip is missing.
Much better to work out what resources the onboard device is using and work around them.

Do you have an option to turn PNP off? that way you can set the resources manually. Early PNP was pretty bad anyway
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