First post, by VenomSpark
I would start with my usual introductions, despite i didn't log into this account since 2017 and I've been a HUGE fan of this ridiculous AMAZING site.
Anyway, I'd like to go straight to the point, where maybe you guys could really help me when my mid-range old hardware skills cannot. The question is the one of the topic, but a little super fast background on the patient hardware:
I have a lot of pc in my room, one of these is a "mid modern game machine" which i built lately these years, with a fully working Windows 7 x64, Windows XP Pro 32bit (original legit CD and activated, the one where i am writing right now) and FreeDOS. My goal is to be able to play from mid modern to DOS games under pure native hardware, no DOSBox (despite i have a W98 Pentium III machine for that, but ya know believe it or not, with modern hardware even in real dos environment games runs more smoothly)
So the build is like this:
ASUS M2N (no other letters, just pure and simple M2N) from 2006
AMD Athlon 64 3500+ 2.20Ghz SINGLE Core, codename Orleans socket AM2
8GB DDR2 (2x2x2x2) 667Mhz
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 260 Core 216 by Sparkle 896MB GDDR3 448bit PCI-Express
Sound Blaster Live! 5.1 model SB0060 (got also a SB0100) PCI
I know is a pretty modern and strange build (i am a strange guy after all) but after hard work, 7 and XP works like a charm. Zero problems. With a single core AMD and despite having 8GB, which are a lot i know, pratically 98% of the 400+ games I have here works perfectly. The only problem is FreeDOS. My dream was to have also a real dos environment on this pc for make a 3 in 1.
By far, was pretty hard to make it all run together (one HDD has been partitionated, one 40GB FAT32 for FDOS, the rest NTFS for XP) but they run at boot selection just FINE. The only two problems Im having with FDOS, well three. First i never liked FDOS, but is the only option I have for now. The second is when I choose the first two options at boot (can't remember exactly names, one with Extended memory JEMMEX and the other JEMM386) it crashes, or better it give a terminal error with beeping sounds and it loops until im forced to reboot. With the third option it runs fine, or at least looks like. This started happening when I put a 2GB stick for make 8GB. With 6GB all options were working and booting okay.
Now the REAL question, sorry for long writing but I like to be more precise than I can, sorry 🙁
I cannot get sound on freaking FreeDOS. Now, i know that soundcard are like the ultima weapon of problems for we retrogamers, but I just can't here in my situation, and is the last step\puzzle piece i miss for make this build complete, for my needs at least.
OK first preliminares: the soundcard works FINE. My baby still works after 20+ years, and I can assure it as I tested on the other real retro PC (ASUS CUV4X-E, PIII 800mhz blabla) and under REAL MSDOS she works, so is not a problem to the card.
Then, Im having a little experience lately due to losing hours on the other pc for make these hell of a cards working, and I almost did what I've done to other pc here, but i just don't work.
I am using the classic creative DOS drivers (LIVEDOS), the same I use on other fully working pc, i fire up then the SBEINIT.COM thing, and it looks like it recognize the card (it recognize the PCI card, on IRQ 10 or 7 or 11, doesn't matter which IRQ i select as no one works) but after "initialization complete" message, it is supposed to work but it doesn't. If i go to SBEGO.exe, it says "??? is SB Emulation enabled?", and of course any game wouldn't recognize her. DUKE3D says "could not detect FM chip" or something, and whatever option I choose from Sound setup it says like "Sound Blaster not responding on selected port".
What I can do? The same card using the same drivers works (well, no one wonders I know...) on the other pc, here not. Maybe is this motherboard too ""modern"" for real PCI hardware emulation under dos? (is a 2006 mobo). It have two white classic PCI ports, already tried to use both of them but it won't work. Tried to disable the Azalia integrated audio from BIOS, and don't work. Tried from IRQ 7 to IRQ 11 into the CTSYN.ini and don't work. Put "Reserved" on IRQ7\10 under BIOS and don't work. Set right the "SET BLASTER" line on FDOS but still don't work. Is there any hope to get the sound blaster live! 5.1 working under FreeDOS with a semi modern PC? It would be amazing if you can help me or give me advice to try. What really grinds me is that apparently, the system is able to recognize it after writing\using SBEINIT, with IRQ and ecc. just like the other pc, but after that is like the card says NOPE 🤣.
If you say the classic things like : why get so mad if you already have a retro pc? Man i could take whole forum pages to explain, but the point is PLEASE don't answer me with things like this, please 🙁 There are few pros and cons for this, i know. I also know that GTX260 is pretty obvious too modern under real DOS, for example i tried Commander Keen 4,5 and 6 and i get like a red color during all time, despite the game runs ok but without sound. I just want it for play few games under real dos, which I noticed (for example Duke Nukem 3D) runs extra smooth and fully VESA compatible, even more than my Pentium 3 real machine. The only thing I miss is the audio, would be complete for me if i can manage to hear audio from my real Sound Blaster under this machine.
Please help me, thanks if you read so far, sorry for my horrible language or grammar (im from Italy) and thanks for any possible answer 😀