First post, by NovaCoder

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I've now finished building my retro win98 machine, the aim was to build something that could run late DOS games well and also (obviously) win98 games.

I'd forgotten how much of a mix bag Dos compatibility was in win98, and I'm now experiencing it again first hand. I think back in the day I just gave up and switched to pure dos mode when I couldn't get something to run. I can't switch to pure dos mode on this new build because then I lose all USB input along with my soundcard 🙁

Some Dos games run just fine within win98 like Doom and Dune2 whereas many others either crash badly, won't install or require rebooting to pure dos. For example, I can't get any of these to run Descent, TFX, Syndicate, Duke Nukem.

I know that you can tweak the settings a bit in win98 to improve DOS compatibility, does anyone have a guide or is it done on a game by game basis. Maybe you just have to patch individual games to get them running? Or maybe it's just not possible to run most DOS games in Win98 with my setup?

These are my specs:

Geforce 4ti 200
Sound blaster Audigy 2zs
Win98 SE
Directx 9.0c

Thanks 😀

Reply 1 of 3, by analog_programmer

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There's a topic how to install and run driver in pure DOS for SB Audigy2 ZS here in sound hardware section of the forum. I think there are some USB DOS drivers for mouse too, but since I use PS/2 mouse for old system builds I never dug for such a thing.

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Reply 2 of 3, by Gmlb256

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Several popular DOS games that get mentioned here runs within Windows. PIF shortcuts have settings to tweak the amount of available memory for DOS applications (some tend to crash when there is too much RAM), there is an option to disable Windows detection and another one letting you use custom CONFIG.SYS and AUTOEXEC.BAT settings.

Note that Duke Nukem 3D requires a patch for PCI Sound Blaster cards, which can be found here. Descent requires slowing down the CPU or using the SVGA 640x480 option with a barebones HUD.

For those requiring and/or runs better in MS-DOS mode, just get a PS/2 mouse and keyboard or check if the motherboard BIOS has a legacy input support option for USB. Regarding the sound card, as analog_programmer said, there is a topic on how to install the DOS drivers for the Audigy 2 ZS, including using the VxD drivers on Windows 9x.

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Reply 3 of 3, by NovaCoder

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yep thanks guys.

I remembered the trick of creating a desktop shortcut to improve dos compatibility, I've also swapped my Audigy 2zs to a live (but using the Audigy drivers) and it seems much happier now and is running lots more DOS games from within windows....happy days 😀

I does have some IRQ sharing with the sound card and USB controller in Windows but I guess that's no big deal? It seems to run okay anyway 😀