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Compaq Pentium 166

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First post, by Law212

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HI people! I have had some issues with my Pentium 166. THe most aggravating issue at the moment in the sound. I had the system running well previously but stuff happened and I had to redo everything. The main issue now is the sound .

I put in a Sound Blaster Live 5.1 This wasnt originally in the system, but when I first put it in, windows (oh yeah im running windows 98 SE) detected the card as a SB live 5.1 no problem. Now it detects it as a sound blaster live series.

In games like Doom 2, the music will work but the sound FX will mess up. Making a loud reverb sound. I did manage to get the sound working better when I installed a different driver, which showed the card as a soundblaster live series (WMD) Then I had the music play using Roland, and selected soundblaster for FX. that worked. but another game which used to work perfectly now freezes when I set it to sound blaster. (prince of Persia 2. )

It will work if I turn the sound to roland midi and pc speaker fx.

It has been driving me mad. I cant fix this issue.

Any ideas?

the system has 64 megs or ram, and a 2 gig HDD.

Reply 1 of 40, by Warlord

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"I put in a Sound Blaster Live 5.1 This wasnt originally in the system"
Not in the system before no problem, in the system now problem now. The sound card is the culprit. Id suggest using a different sound card. besides have have never read anything good about SBLIVE on this forum from anyone. Most people would suggest use an ISA card for better compatibility with DOS games, or a pci card if you must like a Vortex 2.

Reply 2 of 40, by Falcosoft

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The problem is you have installed the WDM driver instead of the Vxd one. With the WDM driver installed you have only generic SB DOS compatibility through Windows WDM driver infrastructure. The Vxd driver provides much better SB DOS compatibility through Creative's own SB 16 emulation . In case of SB Live cards the Vxd driver is preferred even in Windows. It is faster and provides better EAX compatibility. Contrary what Warlord suggests the SB Live is not a bad card at all. Especially not under Windows 9x.
DOS compatibility is not perfect but none of the PCI sound cards is perfect under DOS. The Vortex 2 has similarly bad OPL/FM emulation under DOS and without a 3rd party WaveBlaster compatible module it has no GM support in DOS (unlike the SB Live).
Here's an unbiased review from Phil (it can also help you how to re-install the Vxd drivers):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z-HiLp5p820

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Reply 3 of 40, by hyoenmadan

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Just keep in mind many VxD drivers, specially SBLive and Terratec ones, don't like to be used in ACPI environments and/or in tandem with other WDM drivers (capture, dvd decoding drivers, printers, scanner stuff etc). VxD drivers also don't like newer DirectX versions. If you will use VxD drivers for SBLive max performance and better DOS box sound emulation in Win98SE, ensure all your hardware is VxD driven in that machine, disable ACPI (both BIOS and windows setup /pi switch) and use DirectX7. Also, this card doesn't like VIA chipsets a lot. Use an Intel driven board for this card.

Reply 4 of 40, by Law212

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Warlord wrote on 2020-01-28, 07:13:

"I put in a Sound Blaster Live 5.1 This wasnt originally in the system"
Not in the system before no problem, in the system now problem now. The sound card is the culprit. Id suggest using a different sound card. besides have have never read anything good about SBLIVE on this forum from anyone. Most people would suggest use an ISA card for better compatibility with DOS games, or a pci card if you must like a Vortex 2.

The system was fine when i installed the SB live 5.1 the first time. It worked perfectly.

Reply 5 of 40, by Law212

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Falcosoft wrote on 2020-01-28, 08:39:
The problem is you have installed the WDM driver instead of the Vxd one. With the WDM driver installed you have only generic […]
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The problem is you have installed the WDM driver instead of the Vxd one. With the WDM driver installed you have only generic SB DOS compatibility through Windows WDM driver infrastructure. The Vxd driver provides much better SB DOS compatibility through Creative's own SB 16 emulation . In case of SB Live cards the Vxd driver is preferred even in Windows. It is faster and provides better EAX compatibility. Contrary what Warlord suggests the SB Live is not a bad card at all. Especially not under Windows 9x.
DOS compatibility is not perfect but none of the PCI sound cards is perfect under DOS. The Vortex 2 has similarly bad OPL/FM emulation under DOS and without a 3rd party WaveBlaster compatible module it has no GM support in DOS (unlike the SB Live).
Here's an unbiased review from Phil (it can also help you how to re-install the Vxd drivers):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z-HiLp5p820

Interesting you mention the VXD drivers over the WDM. I had no idea there was an option to install the VXD. Here is a little bit more from me tinkering with this last night. I was using a sounblaster live install cd i got from the net. It did not have the option to use VXD... I then managed to find my original SB live 5.1 install cd. When installing , it gave the option to install the VXD drivers. So i chose that. Unfortunately, the disk is scratched a lot and has trouble reading., so the installation would never finish.

I managed to copy the cd contents to my HDD on my modern PC, and will try to find a cd to burn it to today so i can try the install from that disk.
I dont know how i got it to work that first time. Windows just recognized it, but every time after , it wouldnt.... Anyway , I will update tonight after work when i get a chance to try . Thanks to all for the help so far.

Reply 6 of 40, by Law212

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In the meanwhile, Here is another issue. The system has a 2 gig hdd. I have tried to use a bigger HDD with the system, but when i use the win 98 startup disk, i run fdisk, and i get the message No fixed disk present. I have tried multiple hard drives. One was 40 gigs, one 500 gigs, one 80 gigs... The only one that works is the current 2 gig drive. Are those other drives too large?

Also, When i re did the system I lost the bios partition? so every time I start the computer the I have to select "save changes" then "boot" instead of just having the system start and go into windows like it did before.
I have looked online for a compaq desktop 2000 bios utility but cant find anything.

Reply 7 of 40, by Law212

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hyoenmadan wrote on 2020-01-28, 16:28:

Just keep in mind many VxD drivers, specially SBLive and Terratec ones, don't like to be used in ACPI environments and/or in tandem with other WDM drivers (capture, dvd decoding drivers, printers, scanner stuff etc). VxD drivers also don't like newer DirectX versions. If you will use VxD drivers for SBLive max performance and better DOS box sound emulation in Win98SE, ensure all your hardware is VxD driven in that machine, disable ACPI (both BIOS and windows setup /pi switch) and use DirectX7. Also, this card doesn't like VIA chipsets a lot. Use an Intel driven board for this card.

Thanks for this, I didnt know.

Speaking of capture, whats a good program for this system for screen recording?

Reply 8 of 40, by Law212

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So I couldn't get the 5.1 working well so I tried a soundblaster live. It didn't work at all. I think it's dead but I do have a sounblaster PCI 128. I'm going to try that tonight. I think others mention an awe 32. I might try to find one .

I also need to get the nice card working it's a Belkin. Card. I haven't tried to yet but it would be nice.

Also want to get a iomega zip drive working on the system.

I think I'm going to start from scratch and I am looking for the Compaq user utility disks Soni can set up the bios first, then try a slightly larger HDD , then I stall windows 98 se and go from there.

I have a voodoo 3 2000, but when I Installed it, older games ran too fast.

I'll post pics of the system and parts as I go .

I also have a Celeron Hewlett Packard system running Windows ME
A Pentium 4 running Windows XP
And I am building another p4 with parts I used in the 90s that I found lying around my mom's house...

I also have an old motherboard , cpu and ram that a friend gave me as he had no idea what it was , so I might try to do something with them. I'll post pics of all later tonight.

Reply 9 of 40, by aaronkatrini

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Win98 doesn't support natively drives bigger than 30gb, some hdd have a jumper to limit the capacity just so it can be recognized by the Win98 system.

About the sound card. Yeah, first try out what you already have, but personally I'd go for a cheap Vibra 16 Isa, it should fit what you're after. Although an Awe32 is great, it can be difficult to find, especially what people are asking for it on eBay!

Reply 10 of 40, by derSammler

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aaronkatrini wrote on 2020-01-30, 15:39:

Win98 doesn't support natively drives bigger than 30gb, some hdd have a jumper to limit the capacity just so it can be recognized by the Win98 system.

There's no such thing as a 30 GB limit. Win98 supports drives up to 128 GB. Larger drives are still recognized and you can read from them, but writing will cause havoc.

Reply 11 of 40, by Law212

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aaronkatrini wrote on 2020-01-30, 15:39:

Win98 doesn't support natively drives bigger than 30gb, some hdd have a jumper to limit the capacity just so it can be recognized by the Win98 system.

About the sound card. Yeah, first try out what you already have, but personally I'd go for a cheap Vibra 16 Isa, it should fit what you're after. Although an Awe32 is great, it can be difficult to find, especially what people are asking for it on eBay!

I watched a video earlier of a guy installing a sounblaster live 5.1 in windows 98 se. I will have to follow his guide as his worked perfectly.

Though his machine was a pentium 3 at 600 mhz.

I have a handful of hard drives, maybe ill try the 40 gig drive again and see if i can get it to work with the system.

Reply 12 of 40, by Law212

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derSammler wrote on 2020-01-30, 15:49:
aaronkatrini wrote on 2020-01-30, 15:39:

Win98 doesn't support natively drives bigger than 30gb, some hdd have a jumper to limit the capacity just so it can be recognized by the Win98 system.

There's no such thing as a 30 GB limit. Win98 supports drives up to 128 GB. Larger drives are still recognized and you can read from them, but writing will cause havoc.

Any time i try to run fdisk on any other drive, i get the error "no fixed disk found"

Reply 13 of 40, by derSammler

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That answer was directed to the wrong statement by aaronkatrini and has nothing to do with your issues.

Your BIOS may simply not support LBA addessing, which means it can't use hard disks larger than 8 GB. Were the larger hard disks detected during POST at all?

Reply 14 of 40, by Law212

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derSammler wrote on 2020-01-30, 18:06:

That answer was directed to the wrong statement by aaronkatrini and has nothing to do with your issues.

Your BIOS may simply not support LBA addessing, which means it can't use hard disks larger than 8 GB. Were the larger hard disks detected during POST at all?

I can't get into bios at all anymore after I formatted the system.

I'll try to find a 4 or 8 gig HDD. That would be better than the current 2 gig

Reply 15 of 40, by Law212

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So a bit of an update. I still have the 2gig HDD. But I was able to get a 5.25 floppy drive and install it.

Can't figure out how to install my iomega zip drive...

I put the live 5.1 back in and followed instructions from a YouTube video and it seems to be working well but I still need to install the dos drivers

I also haven't tried doom 2 yet to see if it still has issues but the games I have played work great.

Well.....
I have one game seperation anxiety that plays too fast. I figured it was because I had the voodoo 3 installed... But even after removing it the game is too fast.

The odd part is the game ran fine before when I didn't have the voodoo in, or when I set the video settings to use no hardware rendering at all... This time that option isn't changing anything. And even having the card removed doesn't change this....

Frustrating

I'll have to mess around with it more.

In the meantime I'm going to look into finishing the p4 build and I have two 486 motherboards I want to build into systems .

Reply 16 of 40, by Law212

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So I reinstalled the video drivers and everything seems to be back in order in that regard, but I may put the voodoo 3 back in , and just set the settings to no hardware acceletarion when I want to play a game that runs too fast with the hardware acceleration.

Trying to install DOS soundblaster drivers but I cant get it to install …. I might have to install them from the 5.1 install cd but I heard that causes issues which could be why I was having issues in the first place.

Lastly I cant install my iomega zip drive. Ill have to figure that one out as well.

Is there a good way to record gameplay from old machines like this one?

Reply 17 of 40, by Law212

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Still having sound card issues.
I tired installed Duke Nukem 3D and when testing the sound card, it will play the music test fine, but the FX wont play and it will say there might be a DMA issue.

Lots of games I run on this play the music just fine, but have no sound FX.
Rayman is another example.

What could cause this?

Reply 19 of 40, by Law212

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I tried , Its not just Duke , but other games dont play SFX. I was trying Under a steel sky and it was the same. I tried a SB Live SB0200 card but couldn't find a driver that would work for it. So back to the 5.1 card. Very frustrating