VOGONS


First post, by CodeFuApprentice

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Hi everyone,
I started using my Super Socket 7 build a bit more recently. Still the same specs as below, but with an added HDD for MS-DOS 6.22, as previously i only used this system for Windows 98.
I can only remember using DOS on a 386 or 486, and didn't expect any issues at first.

When i tried to run some games, I'd find that sometimes i'd have no sound, and when i did, i'd have no Adlib/Wavetable or MIDI playback in general.
Games like Jill of the Jungle 1.0 and the patched version, Skyroads, Jumpman Lives, Titus the Fox and Wolf 3D would start, but without any music.
Games like Tyrian would reboot my PC.
I've not tried some other games like Day of the Tentacle, Flashback yet, but i know they've worked before.

I went through all i could remember in Autoexec.bat, and Config.sys:
Making sure my AWE32 was configured correctly. (Yamaha DB50XG not currently installed)
Freeing up conventional memory
Loading DOS into UMB/HMA
Using EMM386 with various arguments.
Not loading CD rom drivers when not needed.
Stacks, Shell, FCBS, Files, Buffers etc

I then started tweaking some BIOS settings, like Disabling Level 1/2 cache and the External Cache.
Then found out about a few settings which could maybe interfere, like Passive release , which made me wonder if my Geforce 2 MX AGP could be causing problems with my ISA sound card?
I was reading about PCI IRQ activated by: Level or Edge.
Apparently Edge is for ISA/Older PCI cards, and Level is used for Newer PCI/AGP cards. Would Edge Triggering work normally with AGP cards?
Has anyone else had MIDI issues with this hardware or similar using MS-DOS 6.22?
I don't have any PCI video cards, and as much as i'd like to get a Voodoo 3 2000 or slightly lower, those are a little bit pricey.

Sorry if a little all over the place.

AMD K6-3 400 | Gigabyte GA-5AX R4.1 | 256MB PC-100 | 20GB Quantum Fireball LMPlus | Windows 98 SE
*Alternating between: Geforce 2 MX AGP or 3DFX Voodoo 5 5500 AGP. *Sound Blaster AWE-32 CT2760 or Turtle Beach Santa Cruz w/ Yamaha DB50XG.

Reply 1 of 12, by keenmaster486

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AWE32 should be okay. If you are loading drivers resident, try initializing only without TSRs.

Also try JEMMEX instead of EMM386, or HIMEM only. That might help some games to run properly.

I flermmed the plootash just like you asked.
World's foremost 486 enjoyer.

Reply 2 of 12, by CodeFuApprentice

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keenmaster486 wrote on 2022-04-20, 16:41:

Also try JEMMEX instead of EMM386, or HIMEM only. That might help some games to run properly.

Oooh, Thank you. I'll be sure to give JEMMEX a try, I've downloaded it already, though i've not had a chance to try it out yet.
I've seen other memory managers mentioned here before, and some clever RAM configurations too.

Usually i would only load HIMEM.SYS. I'd only load EMM386 if i'm sure a game or software requires it.
Then i'd get over 600k of base ram with this. NOEMs would cause some games to complain, RAM would cause a reboot with Tyrian's Setup program for example.
DEVICEHIGH and LOADHIGH on anything i can use it for.

AMD K6-3 400 | Gigabyte GA-5AX R4.1 | 256MB PC-100 | 20GB Quantum Fireball LMPlus | Windows 98 SE
*Alternating between: Geforce 2 MX AGP or 3DFX Voodoo 5 5500 AGP. *Sound Blaster AWE-32 CT2760 or Turtle Beach Santa Cruz w/ Yamaha DB50XG.

Reply 3 of 12, by waterbeesje

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Didn't DOS 6.xx have trouble with more than 64MB of ram? Could you test things with only 64 or 32 MB installed?

Still a nice setup though 😁

Stuck at 10MHz...

Reply 4 of 12, by Gmlb256

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waterbeesje wrote on 2022-04-22, 13:47:

Didn't DOS 6.xx have trouble with more than 64MB of ram? Could you test things with only 64 or 32 MB installed?

Yes. HIMEM.SYS in MS-DOS 6.22 was limited to 64MB RAM, replacing it with HIMEMX would address this limitation.

Aside of that certain DOS games using the DOS/4GW extender won't work with more than 64MB RAM. The workaround is to replace the DOS extender with DOS/32A or limit the amount of available RAM thru software (either with HIMEMX or XMSDSK for example).

Reply 5 of 12, by CodeFuApprentice

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Gmlb256 wrote on 2022-04-22, 13:55:
waterbeesje wrote on 2022-04-22, 13:47:

Didn't DOS 6.xx have trouble with more than 64MB of ram? Could you test things with only 64 or 32 MB installed?

Still a nice setup though 😁

Yes. HIMEM.SYS in MS-DOS 6.22 was limited to 64MB RAM, replacing it with HIMEMX would address this limitation.

Aside of that certain DOS games using the DOS/4GW extender won't work with more than 64MB RAM. The workaround is to replace the DOS extender with DOS/32A or limit the amount of available RAM thru software (either with HIMEMX or XMSDSK for example).

You know, something you both said that I didn't actually consider was the MS-DOS memory limitation. I honestly didn't think about this being an issue or that there was even a limitation.
I'm now realising that it doesn't support above 64MB going by MEM and MSD. I just wasn't expecting issues.
Luckily, I do still have a 64MB module from when i 1st built this computer, so i will try that to see if there's any difference.
Thank you both for pointing this out to me 😀

Also, Thank you @Gmlb256, I've always enjoyed using this build.

AMD K6-3 400 | Gigabyte GA-5AX R4.1 | 256MB PC-100 | 20GB Quantum Fireball LMPlus | Windows 98 SE
*Alternating between: Geforce 2 MX AGP or 3DFX Voodoo 5 5500 AGP. *Sound Blaster AWE-32 CT2760 or Turtle Beach Santa Cruz w/ Yamaha DB50XG.

Reply 6 of 12, by Gmlb256

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CodeFuApprentice wrote on 2022-04-22, 14:55:

Also, Thank you @Gmlb256, I've always enjoyed using this build.

You're welcome!

I have a quite similar but non-Super Socket 7 build like yours using a AMD K6-2+ CPU which is mostly focused on DOS and could relate the things you mentioned notably the "Passive Release" and "Delayed Transaction" options.

In the BIOS settings if available, playing with 8-bit and 16-bit I/O recovery times can also help with ISA sound cards.

Reply 7 of 12, by CodeFuApprentice

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Update:
I've had a chance to try JEMMIX without HIMEM.SYS and EMM386.EXE, I was actually surprised at how much conventional RAM became available.
Also pleased that i had various memory specs available. XMS/EMS/UMB etc. I did also reinstall my 64MB module.
I've just been briefly messing around with Autoexec.Bat/Config.sys settings that i'm aware of would work, but haven't made notes of whats worked.
I've also changed some BIOS settings like IO Recovery, AT Bus Clock, ISA Line Buffer etc. Disabled PNP OS, Assigned relevant IRQs and DMAs to Legacy ISA etc.

Following this, and Regarding Adlib/Midi: I've remarked out the Config.sys drivers, and ran Diagnose.exe /S in Autoexec.bat. No change, No adlib and only sound effects,
However, now, after running the Diagnose utility, Adlib/MID is working, saved config,Tried some games with Adlib and it worked ,rebooted, and no adlib again?? What's going on?
Have i missed something? Does Diagnose have issues with some versions? I have v2.03.

Any ideas?
I forgot to mention, I haven't installed Windows 3.1x yet, so just DOS for now.

AMD K6-3 400 | Gigabyte GA-5AX R4.1 | 256MB PC-100 | 20GB Quantum Fireball LMPlus | Windows 98 SE
*Alternating between: Geforce 2 MX AGP or 3DFX Voodoo 5 5500 AGP. *Sound Blaster AWE-32 CT2760 or Turtle Beach Santa Cruz w/ Yamaha DB50XG.

Reply 8 of 12, by Gmlb256

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Your AWE32 in DOS must be initialized like this in AUTOEXEC.BAT:

DIAGNOSE /S
AWEUTIL /S /R:0 /C:0
MIXERSET /P /Q

BLASTER and SOUND environment variables must be set prior setting these lines. AWEUTIL and MIXERSET are located in the same directory where DIAGNOSE is.

The /S command line switch on AWEUTIL is for initialization only and sets the reverb and chorus to 0%. The reasoning for this is that on certain AWE32 models (including yours) has the FM synth output routed through the EMU8K chip.

And MIXERSET is for loading the mixer configuration for the sound card. Two command line switches are used:

  • /P: Loads CTMIX.CFG file for setting the mixer values. Located in the same directory where MIXERSET is.
  • /Q: Don't display anything.

Reply 9 of 12, by CodeFuApprentice

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Gmlb256 wrote on 2022-04-22, 21:55:
Your AWE32 in DOS must be initialized like this in AUTOEXEC.BAT: […]
Show full quote

Your AWE32 in DOS must be initialized like this in AUTOEXEC.BAT:

DIAGNOSE /S
AWEUTIL /S /R:0 /C:0
MIXERSET /P /Q

BLASTER and SOUND environment variables must be set prior setting these lines. AWEUTIL and MIXERSET are located in the same directory where DIAGNOSE is.

The /S command line switch on AWEUTIL is for initialization only and sets the reverb and chorus to 0%. The reasoning for this is that on certain AWE32 models (including yours) has the FM synth output routed through the EMU8K chip.

And MIXERSET is for loading the mixer configuration for the sound card. Two command line switches are used:

  • /P: Loads CTMIX.CFG file for setting the mixer values. Located in the same directory where MIXERSET is.
  • /Q: Don't display anything.

I kept thinking i've done all you've suggested, right until you mentioned Mixerset? Isn't that a Windows utility? I haven't seen that in my AWE32 Directory, I had SB16Set, I then started thinking look for another driver package.
I don't have original disks or CDs for my card anymore, but i did download from this site a little while ago. Copied across and now referring to those files. (They're a little bit newer than what i was using)
I re did Diagnose, Ok, that worked like last time, Tried some games, Yay!! Adlib and midi again 😀
Rebooted expecting the same again. Booted up Jill of the jungle..ADLIB?? Holy smokes it's working!! No need to Diagnose. Tried Tyrian 😀, Tried DOTT, Skyroads!! WOW!! Jumpman Lives. FINALLY!!!!
I thought i'd used the right drivers and was beginning to think my card was failing!! Not at all now 😀
Happy Happy Joy Joy!!

AMD K6-3 400 | Gigabyte GA-5AX R4.1 | 256MB PC-100 | 20GB Quantum Fireball LMPlus | Windows 98 SE
*Alternating between: Geforce 2 MX AGP or 3DFX Voodoo 5 5500 AGP. *Sound Blaster AWE-32 CT2760 or Turtle Beach Santa Cruz w/ Yamaha DB50XG.

Reply 10 of 12, by Gmlb256

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CodeFuApprentice wrote on 2022-04-23, 01:02:
I kept thinking i've done all you've suggested, right until you mentioned Mixerset? Isn't that a Windows utility? I haven't seen […]
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Gmlb256 wrote on 2022-04-22, 21:55:
Your AWE32 in DOS must be initialized like this in AUTOEXEC.BAT: […]
Show full quote

Your AWE32 in DOS must be initialized like this in AUTOEXEC.BAT:

DIAGNOSE /S
AWEUTIL /S /R:0 /C:0
MIXERSET /P /Q

BLASTER and SOUND environment variables must be set prior setting these lines. AWEUTIL and MIXERSET are located in the same directory where DIAGNOSE is.

The /S command line switch on AWEUTIL is for initialization only and sets the reverb and chorus to 0%. The reasoning for this is that on certain AWE32 models (including yours) has the FM synth output routed through the EMU8K chip.

And MIXERSET is for loading the mixer configuration for the sound card. Two command line switches are used:

  • /P: Loads CTMIX.CFG file for setting the mixer values. Located in the same directory where MIXERSET is.
  • /Q: Don't display anything.

I kept thinking i've done all you've suggested, right until you mentioned Mixerset? Isn't that a Windows utility? I haven't seen that in my AWE32 Directory, I had SB16Set, I then started thinking look for another driver package.
I don't have original disks or CDs for my card anymore, but i did download from this site a little while ago. Copied across and now referring to those files. (They're a little bit newer than what i was using)
I re did Diagnose, Ok, that worked like last time, Tried some games, Yay!! Adlib and midi again 😀
Rebooted expecting the same again. Booted up Jill of the jungle..ADLIB?? Holy smokes it's working!! No need to Diagnose. Tried Tyrian 😀, Tried DOTT, Skyroads!! WOW!! Jumpman Lives. FINALLY!!!!
I thought i'd used the right drivers and was beginning to think my card was failing!! Not at all now 😀
Happy Happy Joy Joy!!

As you mentioned SB16SET it becomes clear that you were using older drivers. MIXERSET is the DOS version of the mixer software found on the latest drivers and it gave you the idea to get these drivers. 😀

I'm glad that this fixed your problem with the AWE32. 👍

Reply 11 of 12, by keenmaster486

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One more thing: JEMMEX is only useful in pure DOS. Windows 3.1 only works with HIMEM.

I flermmed the plootash just like you asked.
World's foremost 486 enjoyer.

Reply 12 of 12, by CodeFuApprentice

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keenmaster486 wrote on 2022-04-23, 04:41:

One more thing: JEMMEX is only useful in pure DOS. Windows 3.1 only works with HIMEM.

Oooh, Now that is good to know, Thank you 😀 I probably might've found that out myself eventually.
I've also been switching between using JEMMEX or HIMEM.SYS and/or EMM386.EXE depending if i need it for a game or program.

Otherwise, I've actually been enjoying messing around with my now fully functioning DOS system.

As i've resolved the issues i had before, I've also encountered some other minor issues which i've managed to sort out.
I had audio crackling which i've resolved using Mixerset, lower volumes etc. I really need to get a TOSLINK backplate.
A few games are still giving me trouble, Flashback CD version being one.
I'll update my post if i can think of any others.

AMD K6-3 400 | Gigabyte GA-5AX R4.1 | 256MB PC-100 | 20GB Quantum Fireball LMPlus | Windows 98 SE
*Alternating between: Geforce 2 MX AGP or 3DFX Voodoo 5 5500 AGP. *Sound Blaster AWE-32 CT2760 or Turtle Beach Santa Cruz w/ Yamaha DB50XG.