First post, by DCG Retrowave
My only modern PC is a 2014 Lenovo Thinkcentre M78 SFF A8-6500 which is good enough for the few things I require from a modern computer. However, because this business machine has PS/2, two serial ports, and two PCI slots, I have this incredible urge to install very old things on it and see what happens 😁
Sure, Lenovo's website has Windows XP drivers for this model and I have run XP on here before, but that's not good enough! My goal is to run MS-DOS 6.22 on a secondary hard drive with Windows for Workgroups 3.11 because I can! I have plenty of older computers that are better suited for DOS and Windows 3.1 (I have a fantastic MS-DOS/Windows 3.1 PC set up at my main desk with a beautiful CRT and the amazing Roland Sound Canvas SC-88), but why wouldn't I enjoy having a Windows 10/MS-DOS hybrid PC? 😁 This is simply a fun project I've been wanting to do for quite some time, partially inspired by LGR's video regarding MS-DOS compatibility on a modern gaming PC.
After ripping the small form factor PC apart and shoving all the components into an old beige case (not easy because the motherboard's ATX connector is proprietary so I'm stuck with the original PSU hanging by a single screw 🤣), I was ready to get a full sized PCI sound card installed. My two PCI sound cards that aren't currently in use in another PC are two AudioPCI cards, one has the ES1371 chip (I don't see any model number on the card) and the other one has the ES1373 chip (CT5803, Sound Blaster 16 PCI). Unfortunately, while both work in Windows 10 using Vista drivers from Windows update, neither of them work with any DOS drivers on Vogons or archive.org. The drivers appear to load normally when DOS starts, but when I run APTEST (AKA SBTEST when testing the newer drivers) it says it can't detect a PCI sound card. My BIOS doesn't have any PCI options aside from setting the default graphics card to PCI and for audio, it just lets me disable the on-board Realtek. To make sure that DOS/Windows3.1 simply can't detect PCI devices at all on this machine, I threw a S3 ViRGE DX 4MB in this PC and sure enough, Windows for Workgroups let me install the drivers and now I have higher resolutions and color depths. Of course, Windows 10 is now very confused and wants me to use dual displays 🤣
So, is this just an issue with the AudioPCI cards, the drivers, my modern motherboard, or something else? At least I know both sound cards work in Windows 10 and the S3 ViRGE proves that DOS/Windows 3.1 are able to detect PCI devices in this machine. Obviously, I am fully aware that this is a ridiculous setup for such an old operating system, but it's a fun experiment for me and I'd really love to get sound working. If anyone has any PCI sound card recommendations (preferably not too expensive because this is just for fun) or any advice on how to get one of the AudioPCI cards working in DOS, that would be greatly appreciated 😁
P.S. Yes, I know DOSBox exists, but that's too easy 😁