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First post, by Joseph_Joestar

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1. Introduction:

To get DOS support on an Auudigy2 ZS, you would normally need to install WDM drivers from the CD (which is a lengthy and complicated process, sometimes prone to failure), then run the Creative Driver Utility to install VxD drivers and finally install the DOS support pack. With the new method, this is no longer necessary. You can install VxD drivers right from the start and then proceed with installing DOS support. For reference, by using this guide, you get the following features from your Audigy2 ZS under Windows 98SE:

  • EAX 1, 2 and 3 support for Windows9x games
  • Sound Blaster 16 emulation for DOS games
  • FM Synthesis emulation for DOS games
  • General MIDI emulation for DOS games
  • Soundfont support for DOS games running under Windows 98SE

Note that soundfonts only work when DOS games are running from within Windows 98. If you go to pure DOS (by choosing Start > Shutdown > Restart in MS-DOS mode) then the soundfonts won't load and the card will use those crappy .ECW sets instead. To my knowledge, there is no way to use .SF2 based soundfonts in pure DOS with an Audigy 2 ZS.

Before starting the installation you need to determine whether your Audigy2 ZS is made by Dell or by Creative. Dell cards have three, large white stickers on the back side and their serial number contains the string "SB0358". Creative cards don't have those white stickers and their serial number contains the string "SB0350". This guide is aimed at Audigy2 ZS cards made by Creative. I'm not sure whether this method will work on Dell branded cards since I don't own one of those, and they are known to be picky when it comes to driver packs.

Lastly, you don't need to modify the drivers in any way for this to work. All you need is some way to unpack a single CAB file, and 7-Zip does that nicely. This guide assumes that you have a clean install of Windows 98SE and an Audigy2 ZS (model SB0350). It will probably fail if you already have other versions of Creative's drivers installed, but it works 100% on a clean install.

2. Preparation:

2.1 Download and install 7-Zip version 9.20 for 32-bit Windows (it works fine on Win98)
2.2 Download the Audigy2 ZS driver CD ISO
2.3 Use 7-Zip to extract the contents of the "Audigy_2_ZS_Install_CD.7z" to C:\AU1
2.4 After that, right click on "C:\AU1\Audigy 2 ZS Install CD.iso" > 7-Zip > Extract Here to unpack the contents of the ISO image (it may report some errors with CHM files but that's ok)
2.5 Download the Audigy DOS support package
2.6 Extract the contents of audigy2-dospack.rar to C:\AU2 (note: it appears that this archive was created with a newer version of WinRAR, you may need to unpack it on your modern computer)

3. Windows Driver Installation

3.1 Right click on My Computer > Properties > Device Manager > Sound, video and game controllers. If there is an "Ad Lib Compatible (OPL2)" device present there, right click on it > Remove > Ok
3.2 Run C:\AU1\CTShared\LaunchApp\SysInfo\Setup.exe which will install the Creative System Information utility and update the InstallShield Engine (important later)
3.3 Run C:\AU1\DirectX\dxsetup.exe which will install DirectX 9.0a and restart your computer (if you already have a newer version installed, skip this step)
3.4 Go to C:\AU1\Audio\Drivers\VxD > right click on VxD.cab > 7-Zip > Extract Files > C:\AU1\Audio\Drivers\ (this should populate the existing VxD folder with the files from the CAB)
3.5 Run C:\AU1\Audio\Drivers\CTZAPXX.exe and select "Driver Installation" and "VXD Drivers" then click Ok
3.6 Driver installation will take several minutes, don't interrupt the process until you are prompted to Restart then click Ok
3.7 After the restart, wait until the installer finishes, then go to Start > Settings > Control Panel > Multimedia > Audio > Playback > Advanced Properties > Performance > Sample Rate Conversion Quality > move the slider to "Best"
3.8 Run C:\AU1\Audio\SFBMgr\Setup.exe and install the Sound Font Bank Manager (if you get an InstallShield Engine error here, repeat step 3.2)
3.9 Start > Run > sndvol32.exe > Ok. Note that all the volume sliders are currently at 50% which is fairly quiet. You might want to move the sliders to a higher value, depending on your speaker setup

4. DOS Driver Installation

REGEDIT4

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Control\Creative Tech\Emu10kx\Emulation]
"EnableSB16Emulation"=dword:00000001

4.1 Paste the code listed above into Notepad and save it as SB16.txt
4.2 Next, rename SB16.txt to SB16.reg, then double click on that file and answer Yes > Ok when prompted (without this registry change, the SB16 Emulation driver will not install correctly on an Audigy2 ZS card)
4.3 Run C:\AU2\AUDIGY DOS DRIVER\Setup.exe and restart when prompted
4.4 Wait until the Creative SB16 Emulation drivers are fully installed (this may take a few minutes) then restart again when prompted
4.5 When the installer finishes, you will have a non-functional Creative SB16 Emulation device (yellow exclamation mark) in Device Manager. This is expected behavior, in the next step we will add the functional version of the same device
4.6 Start > Settings > Control Panel > Add New Hardware > Next > Next > No, the device isn't in the list > Next > No, I want to select the hardware from a list > Next > Sound video and game controllers > Next > Creative Technology, Ltd. > Creative SB16 Emulation > Next > Finish
4.7 Restart your computer when prompted
4.8 During the boot process you might see a "Config file is incomplete" error. If this happens, restart your computer one more time and it should disappear

If the installation was successful, you should now have the following under Device Manager:

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Important: do not remove the Creative SB16 Emulation device with the yellow exclamation mark! Leave both devices as they are, otherwise, your DOS compatibility may cease to function. In addition, if you want to use this card in pure DOS you will need to run C:\AU2\AUDIGY12 PATCH\AUDIGY12.EXE each time you choose Restart in MS-DOS mode. This is only necessary in pure DOS, do not run that executable when playing games from within Win98SE.

Currently, the Audigy 2 ZS is using Creative's default 2 MB soundfont. If you want something that sounds much better, see below.

5. SC-55 Sound Font Installation (optional)

5.1 Download Patch93's SC-55 soundfont and extract the archive contents to C:\AU3
5.2 Download SF Pack and extract the archive contents to C:\AU3
5.3 Run C:\AU3\SFPACK.EXE > Ok > File > Add Files > Files of type: SFPack Files > C:\AU3\SC-55.sfpack > Open
5.4 After that, click File > Go/Stop. Wait for about 30 seconds. Now, if everything worked ok, you should have a SC-55.sf2 file in C:\AU3 (file size should be 45.1 MB)
5.5 Start > Programs > Creative > SoundFont Bank Manager
5.6 Click on "Midi Devices" and use the slider to set SoundFont Cache to slightly more than 50 MB then click Ok
5.7 Click on "Bank" then click on the default soundfont (2GMGSMT) to select it, then click Replace, point to C:\AU3\Sc-55.sf2 wait a few seconds until it loads then click Ok
5.8 Run your favorite DOS game (like Doom for example) and in setup choose General MIDI for music

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Listen to the MP3 file attached above to check how Doom sounds on an Audigy2 ZS using this soundfont. For comparison, here's Doom on a real SC-55.

6. Getting MT-32 compatibility in pure DOS (optional)

6.1 Start > Shutdown > Restart in MS-DOS mode
6.2 C:\AU2\AUDIGY~2\AUDIGY12.EXE (this unmutes the card in pure DOS)
6.2 C:\Progra~1\Creative\DOSDrv\sbemixer.exe
6.3 Make sure that the MT-32 option is checked, then click Save and press ESC to exit
6.4 Run your favorite DOS game that supports MT-32 (like Monkey Island for example)

Note that MT-32 emulation doesn't sound too great on this card, but I'm including it for completeness sake. That said, these drivers also allow your Audigy2 ZS to emulate FM Synthesis, should you want that. Of course, this sounds different from a genuine OPL3 chip, but I'd still consider it tolerable.

Last edited by Joseph_Joestar on 2020-06-08, 12:54. Edited 1 time in total.

Using Audigy drivers with a Sound Blaster Live
Installing DOS drivers on an Audigy2 ZS
OPL3 vs. ESFM vs. CQM vs. SBLive
OPTi 82C930 review

Reply 1 of 19, by Joseph_Joestar

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During to my recent experiments with using Audigy drivers on a SBLive, I have found an easier way to install VxD drivers and DOS support for an Audigy2 ZS.

I've updated this thread to serve as a step-by-step guide which will hopefully make the entire process clearer. It's more or less the same guide as for the SBLive, but with a few extra steps that are specific to the Audigy.

Using Audigy drivers with a Sound Blaster Live
Installing DOS drivers on an Audigy2 ZS
OPL3 vs. ESFM vs. CQM vs. SBLive
OPTi 82C930 review

Reply 2 of 19, by crvs

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For those who have several sound cards installed, it's also possible to setup SB16 emulation with non-default settings
I have patched VxD from Audigy2 ZS driver CD ISO in order to modify MPU-401 and Adlib ports

  • Input/Output Range: 0330-0331 => 0320-0321
  • Input/Output Range: 0388-038B => 0288-028B

Other parameters of the driver can be changed in Windows Device Manager; this should resolve all conflicts

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Reply 3 of 19, by Joseph_Joestar

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crvs wrote on 2020-06-14, 09:15:

I have patched VxD from Audigy2 ZS driver CD ISO in order to modify MPU-401 and Adlib ports

I don't think this is necessary.

Using the original drivers, right click on My Computer > Properties > Device Manager > Sound, Video and Game Controllers > Creative SB16 Emulation > Properties > Resources and uncheck "Use automatic settings". Then, choose "Basic Configuration 0002" > Change Setting.

This will allow you to manually change any settings except for the Adlib port (0388-038B). If you already have a different Adlib device installed (from a second sound card) it will show a conflict, but that won't affect the playback of the secondary sound card in any way.

You can also choose "Basic Configuration 0004" which will completely disable the Adlib port on the Creative SB16 Emulation device while leaving the MPU-401 available for General MIDI via soundfonts.

Using Audigy drivers with a Sound Blaster Live
Installing DOS drivers on an Audigy2 ZS
OPL3 vs. ESFM vs. CQM vs. SBLive
OPTi 82C930 review

Reply 4 of 19, by crvs

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Joseph_Joestar wrote on 2020-06-14, 09:53:

I don't think this is necessary.

Depends on what you wished to achieve. I wanted both cards fully functional, including possibility to use MPU / Adlib of Audigy 2.

Joseph_Joestar wrote on 2020-06-14, 09:53:

Using the original drivers, right click on My Computer > Properties > Device Manager > Sound, Video and Game Controllers > Creative SB16 Emulation > Properties > Resources and uncheck "Use automatic settings". Then, choose "Basic Configuration 0002" > Change Setting.

This will allow you to manually change any settings except for the Adlib port (0388-038B).

Any settings besides Adlib (0388-038B) and MPU-401 (0330-0331).

Reply 5 of 19, by Joseph_Joestar

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crvs wrote on 2020-06-14, 15:14:

Any settings besides Adlib (0388-038B) and MPU-401 (0330-0331).

I can change the MPU-401 settings without any issues.

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Did you follow the steps I posted above? Like I said, you need to use "Basic Configuration 0002" for this to work.

Using Audigy drivers with a Sound Blaster Live
Installing DOS drivers on an Audigy2 ZS
OPL3 vs. ESFM vs. CQM vs. SBLive
OPTi 82C930 review

Reply 7 of 19, by Joseph_Joestar

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SilverHawk wrote on 2020-08-07, 12:40:

Excellent write up, thank you for this.

You're welcome!

Using Audigy drivers with a Sound Blaster Live
Installing DOS drivers on an Audigy2 ZS
OPL3 vs. ESFM vs. CQM vs. SBLive
OPTi 82C930 review

Reply 8 of 19, by undeon

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Thanks Joseph, your guide worked, somehow, to install my Audigy 2ZS on my Windows Millenium PC. The only however was the DOS Driver Installation. The step 4.3 wont worked, because the setup refused to go saying that I'm not using an Win9x OS.... But it didn't matter because after that, even with an error, the Creative SB16 Emulation showed on my Device List as expected...

Reply 9 of 19, by Joseph_Joestar

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undeon wrote on 2020-08-26, 12:21:

Thanks Joseph, your guide worked, somehow, to install my Audigy 2ZS on my Windows Millenium PC.

Unexpected, but nice to hear that this works on WinME as well!

The only however was the DOS Driver Installation. The step 4.3 wont worked, because the setup refused to go saying that I'm not using an Win9x OS.... But it didn't matter because after that, even with an error, the Creative SB16 Emulation showed on my Device List as expected...

Interesting. I think the error occurred because WinME does not process AUTOEXEC.BAT and the SB16 emulation needs to add the DOS portion of the driver (SBEINIT.COM) to it.

DOS games might still work under the Windows prompt, even without SBEINIT.COM, but some issues may arise especially in older titles. Let us know how it turns out.

Using Audigy drivers with a Sound Blaster Live
Installing DOS drivers on an Audigy2 ZS
OPL3 vs. ESFM vs. CQM vs. SBLive
OPTi 82C930 review

Reply 10 of 19, by Renaissance 2K

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Thanks for posting such a detailed guide. I'm trying to see if it's feasible to use the Audigy 2 in Pure DOS using AUDIGY12.EXE, and I've been splicing tips and hints from different posts, but it's really helpful to have all the info in one place.

Currently, AUDIGY12.EXE hangs after telling me that it found the device. Cursor continues to blink, but it doesn't respond to any keyboard inputs, and I can't do anything other than restart. Going to try again tomorrow with OP's guide and see if I have better luck.

cf9hXFz.jpg

Reply 11 of 19, by Joseph_Joestar

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Renaissance 2K wrote on 2020-09-06, 05:48:

Currently, AUDIGY12.EXE hangs after telling me that it found the device. Cursor continues to blink, but it doesn't respond to any keyboard inputs, and I can't do anything other than restart.

I remember trying to get the Audigy2 ZS to work in DOS 6.22 one time and failing with similar issues. Not sure why this happens, as the card works perfectly fine in pure DOS 7.1 using the "Restart in MS-DOS mode" shutdown option from Win98. I didn't experiment with DOS 6.22 any further though.

That said, the main goal of this guide was to get that awesome soundfont-based General MIDI music in DOS games, which is only possible when you run them under the Win98 DOS prompt. In pure DOS, you cannot load soundfonts on this card, so you're stuck with ECW sets for General MIDI music or Creative's FM emulation for FM synth music. Neither of those two sound particularly good.

Using Audigy drivers with a Sound Blaster Live
Installing DOS drivers on an Audigy2 ZS
OPL3 vs. ESFM vs. CQM vs. SBLive
OPTi 82C930 review

Reply 12 of 19, by crvs

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Renaissance 2K wrote on 2020-09-06, 05:48:

Thanks for posting such a detailed guide. I'm trying to see if it's feasible to use the Audigy 2 in Pure DOS using AUDIGY12.EXE

YES. Audigy 2 ZS works in DOS 6.22 like a charm. I fixed similar issues pretty quickly so don't remember exact steps, try the following:

  1. Verify that PCIIRQ value in "CTSYN.INI" (basing on screenshot, in your case it's 10) equals to IRQ assigned to the card by BIOS
  2. Check same IRQ isn't shared with other devices - in particular mass storage or LAN - in true DOS it may cause instant freeze
  3. Like other SB PCI cards, Audigy needs EMM386 or alternative (I also succeeded with JEMM386) - make sure it's properly configured, parameters like for SB Live! will fit

+ If you have more than one sound card in your system, there could be also other conflicts.

Reply 13 of 19, by Renaissance 2K

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Thank to both of you for your replies. I wiped my Windows 98 partition and reinstalled everything from scratch, following Joseph's instructions in the OP to the letter. At least in Device Manager, I got the end result I wanted - including the dual SB16 emulation devices, one of which has a conflict - but I'm starting to wonder if there's something more fundamental wrong with my hardware or its configuration.

AUDIGY12.EXE runs in Windows 98 MS-DOS mode without hanging, which is great. Unfortunately, the system hangs instead - blank empty screen, except for a blinking cursor - when I try to start a game. Someone in a Retro PC Discord said this means that I misconfigured the sound hardware during the game's setup, but one of the games I tested - One Must Fall 2097 - doesn't offer any configuration other than the hardware type (I chose "Sound Blaster 16") and audio quality; no need to specify IRQ, DMA, etc. To make matters worse, as the afternoon wore on, Windows 98 suddenly stopped booting into MS-DOS mode, getting stuck on the same empty screen with a blinking cursor after the Windows desktop disappears.

Gonna table that for a moment, since @crvs inspired me to try MS-DOS 6.22 again.

After disabling all vestigial devices in my BIOS, the Audigy was auto-assigned IRQ 11. The only device that it shares the IRQ with is one of the Serial Bus Controller devices. I've disabled all the serial ports, and if I force an IRQ for a PCI slot in my BIOS, the same SBC device adopts the new IRQ as well. I don't know if this is just an alias for one of the I/O devices on the Audigy itself, or if there's some other IRQ black magic going on, and this is actually why I'm getting the insta-freeze behavior.

I ran MSD, and it confirmed that IRQ 11 belongs to the Audigy. Or, at least, that's how it looks.

I edited the two PCIIRQ lines in CTSYN.INI, ran SBECFG, and double-checked AUTOEXEC.BAT and CONFIG.SYS. Unfortunately, I got the same result when I ran AUDIGY12 again. Hmm.

If I can't figure out why Windows 98 MS-DOS mode isn't booting, I might try to wipe and reinstall again and see if I can triple check that the audio config for some of these DOS games is indeed correct. Otherwise, it might be less trouble (though more money) to get an AWE64 for these DOS titles. My motherboard does have an ISA slot, and juggling multiple sound cards doesn't sound like much trouble if I just disable the AWE in Windows and use it only in Pure DOS.

Again, many thanks for the detailed posts.

Reply 14 of 19, by Joseph_Joestar

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Renaissance 2K wrote on 2020-09-07, 05:12:

Someone in a Retro PC Discord said this means that I misconfigured the sound hardware during the game's setup, but one of the games I tested - One Must Fall 2097 - doesn't offer any configuration other than the hardware type (I chose "Sound Blaster 16") and audio quality; no need to specify IRQ, DMA, etc.

I would try with a simpler game, like Doom or Descent for example. Both of them allow you to select address, IRQ and DMA in setup.

Before that, right click on My Computer > Properties > Device Manager > Sound, Video and Game Controllers > Creative SB16 Emulation > Properties > Resources and check which values are assigned. By default, it should be Address = 220, IRQ = 5, low DMA = 1, high DMA = 5, FM synth = 388 and MPU-401 = 330. If those values are different, then the card has a resource conflict with something else on your system.

After disabling all vestigial devices in my BIOS, the Audigy was auto-assigned IRQ 11. The only device that it shares the IRQ with is one of the Serial Bus Controller devices. I've disabled all the serial ports, and if I force an IRQ for a PCI slot in my BIOS, the same SBC device adopts the new IRQ as well. I don't know if this is just an alias for one of the I/O devices on the Audigy itself, or if there's some other IRQ black magic going on, and this is actually why I'm getting the insta-freeze behavior.

It could be the Audigy's own FireWire port, but you seem to have a lot of devices on that system so it's hard to say. To ensure that you have no IRQ or DMA conflicts, under Win98 go to Start > Programs > Accessories > System Tools > System Information. Once there, click on Hardware Resources and then check the IRQ and DMA sections.

This should show you if any of the IRQ or DMA values used by your sound card are shared with other devices. If they are, try turning off those devices and see if it helps. Specifically, turning off the serial and parallel ports in BIOS is helpful, unless you use them. Same for the integrated USB controller.

Since installing the Audigy drivers is difficult enough even without any hardware conflicts, I would also suggest physically pulling out any cards from your motherboard other than the Audigy and your GPU. You can add them back later, one by one, after successfully configuring the Audigy and see which one causes the conflict.

Using Audigy drivers with a Sound Blaster Live
Installing DOS drivers on an Audigy2 ZS
OPL3 vs. ESFM vs. CQM vs. SBLive
OPTi 82C930 review

Reply 15 of 19, by crvs

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Renaissance 2K wrote on 2020-09-07, 05:12:

I edited the two PCIIRQ lines in CTSYN.INI, ran SBECFG, and double-checked AUTOEXEC.BAT and CONFIG.SYS. Unfortunately, I got the same result when I ran AUDIGY12 again. Hmm.

Here is my minimal config that 100% works in MS-DOS 6.22, at least in my machine, maybe it will give you a clue. Just note that "SET BLASTER" values (and respective parameters in "CTSYN.INI") are non-standard, as I have 2 soundcards in this setup.

PS: An idea to disconnect all other extension boards while testing is really good. You can also try to put Audigy into a different PCI slot, sometimes it helps. By the way, which motherboard/chipset are you using?

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Reply 16 of 19, by Renaissance 2K

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Motherboard is an Asus P3B-F, which is the 440BX chipset. I had the sound card in a different slot originally, but my BIOS seems to give PCI 1 and 2 a dedicated IRQ, while 3/6 and 4/5 share IRQs, so I moved the sound card to PCI 2. I also disabled the serial and parallel ports, but had to leave USB intact since none of my USB-to-PS/2 adapters seem to work, and my dedicated PS/2 peripherals are en route.

The device sharing an IRQ with the Audigy was an USB 2.0 expansion card, which I removed. Still, even with a clean install and a near-empty motherboard, I still ran into the same issues. In Windows, the Audigy was showing non-standard IRQ and DMA assignments, DOS 6.22 would freeze upon running AUDIGY12.EXE, and DOS 7.1 would freeze upon starting a game (if it made it to DOS Mode at all).

And then something crazy happened...

After installing a new game, I ended up on the Windows 98 boot menu, which defaulted to Command Prompt mode. I was about to reboot into Windows, but then I saw the SB-related AUTOEXEC commands in the console, so I figured... why not try to boot up a game. I ran AUDIGY12.EXE successfully, booted OMF, and - BOOM - heard that game-starting thunder crack in all its 16-bit glory. Needless to say, I'm thrilled.

Not quite the route I expected to take, but it works. I have SB16 emulation in Pure DOS if I launch it from the Windows 98 Boot Menu. Still not sure why I suddenly can't use "Restart into MS-DOS Mode" but that's a question for another day, I guess.

Thanks again, everyone.

Reply 17 of 19, by crvs

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Renaissance 2K wrote on 2020-09-07, 22:28:

Motherboard is an Asus P3B-F, which is the 440BX chipset

I have the same MB, rev 1.03 🤣 You should definitely try my package for DOS "as is".
Install Audigy2 into the 5th PCI slot (counting from processor) and assign to it IRQ 10 in BIOS, I believe all should just work.

Reply 18 of 19, by Renaissance 2K

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crvs wrote on 2020-09-08, 19:26:
Renaissance 2K wrote on 2020-09-07, 22:28:

Motherboard is an Asus P3B-F, which is the 440BX chipset

I have the same MB, rev 1.03 🤣 You should definitely try my package for DOS "as is".
Install Audigy2 into the 5th PCI slot (counting from processor) and assign to it IRQ 10 in BIOS, I believe all should just work.

Well, hot damn!!
7o0of2C.jpg

Reply 19 of 19, by Renaissance 2K

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I think I'm in pretty good shape now. I adopted @crvs' interior decorating skills and moved my sound card to PCI 5, forced IRQ 10 for it in the BIOS, and DOS 6.22 booted up without a hitch. I heard glorious, glorious sound in Doom and OMF without issue. After adding back my Voodoo 2s and my PCI expansion card, everything was still working perfectly. I'm ecstatic. Thank you so much.

I did try to get sound working in Windows 3.11 as well, but that might be a bridge too far. We'll see.

Looking forward to finally screwing the cover back on my case and enjoying the new machine.