First post, by Queen K Juul
Hi loves. I've recently set up a Windows 98SE machine (P3, ATI 9600, SB0100) and I'm absolutely loving it. It's all running pretty well, so I've been messing around with some of the deeper dives. One such thing was loading SoundFont banks for General MIDI.
I found the Noptyx 32MB GM SoundFont online. I opened Creative AudioHQ, and opened the SoundFont app. From there, I'm able to replace the default 4MBGM file with whatever I want. I went to Options, increased the Static Cache to 40MB, and then I replaced the 4MBGM file with the Noptyx 32MB file. The computer hung for several minutes, but eventually, it came back to life. And after it did, I played PASSPORT.MID, which sounded absolutely incredible. I fired up Descent II, which also sounded absolutely fantastic. I thought I'd worked it all out.
Then I had to reboot the machine, and I get nothing but BSOD citing a VFAT driver problem. I've seen this same BSOD before, it's generally because the VFAT driver is late in the list to get loaded up at boot, and this means that the system has "run out of memory" before it could get there.
So I booted into Safe Mode, I uninstalled all the Creative drivers entirely, and rebooted. I installed them again, this time omitting the DOS drivers (Which I never should have installed to begin with tbh) and then tried to load that same SoundFont again. Once again, it sounded absolutely fantastic, and was working great at first, but then a reboot caused a blue screen.
Luckily I'd backed up my SD (C: via an IDE board) beforehand, so when I screw it up it's just a couple minutes to re-flash the card and I'm back up and running. But I feel like I have to be missing something here. There's instructions (on this site maybe iirc) on how to edit the registry to install 100MB+ SF2 files, so why does a 32MB file cause my system to break? Do I need to manually unload the file before shutdown?
Dell Dimension 4100
Intel 815 chipset (proprietary Dell mobo)
Sapphire ATI 9600 Atlantis 256MB
Sound Blaster Live! SB0100 running Retail WDM drivers*
* i know the VXD are supposed to be better, but I never had issues with the WDMs back when I owned this same card in the 2000s, and almost all my games are running from ISO backups via Daemon Tools which I have read requires WDM drivers for CDDA emulation)