First post, by Joseph_Joestar
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.
2.1 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
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:
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
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)
6.3 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.