Troubleshooting Sound Support for MS-DOS Games in WSS 1.0a

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Article ID: 98564 - View products that this article applies to.
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Windows Sound System version 1.0a software provides Sound Blaster emulation, which enables you to use a larger variety of MS-DOS-based games that use the Sound System hardware. To get Sound Blaster support, you must run your MS-DOS-based game in full-screen mode from the MS-DOS Prompt program in Windows running in 386 enhanced mode.

However, some MS-DOS-based games may not work properly when run this way and you may experience problems using the Sound Blaster emulation. When this happens, try the following troubleshooting tips:

  1. Ensure that you have enough system resources to run the game in MS-DOS; check the documentation included with the game for system requirements and test the game in MS-DOS. The Sound System board provides AdLib support for synthesized sounds in MS-DOS.
  2. Find out if there are any restrictions when running the game in full-screen mode from the MS-DOS Prompt program with Windows; some games will not run from MS-DOS Prompt with Windows running in 386 enhanced mode. In some cases, you'll need to modify your CONFIG.SYS and AUTOEXEC.BAT files to free conventional memory for your game to run properly in MS-DOS; again check the game documentation.

    Also make sure that you have the maximum amount of conventional memory possible under MS-DOS Prompt while in Windows 386 enhanced mode by checking the PIF settings in your DOSPRMPT.PIF file. Consult your Windows manual for information on how to use the PIF Editor.
  3. If there are no problems with running the game with Windows, you can go ahead and test for sound support. AdLib support will also be available from MS-DOS Prompt with Windows. Test the game with AdLib support.
  4. Test the game with Sound Blaster support. Enable Sound Blaster support or emulation by running the Games Configuration program from the Windows Sound System group. You must be careful not to create an IRQ or I/O address conflict when you enable digitized sounds because you must select IRQ 7 or 9 and an I/O address between 220h and 260h (here "h" means Hexadecimal). The defaults are IRQ 7 and I/O 220h, and will work most of the time. Also you'll need to have the DMA channel set to 1 before you can enable digitized sounds.
  5. Once Sound Blaster emulation has been set, test the game by running it in full-screen mode from MS-DOS Prompt with Windows running in 386 enhanced mode and not by running in a MS-DOS window. Most MS-DOS-based games will not work in a MS-DOS window. Playing digitized sounds through an MS-DOS-based game will in many cases require more conventional memory; therefore, if the game seems to stop when it plays a digitized sound (where a digitized sound could be a human voice) you may need to free more conventional memory with MS-DOS.
NOTE: Some game developers are updating their games to support the Windows Sound System in native mode. You should contact the manufacturer of the game to see if the company is planning to release such a game.


Article ID: 98564 - Last Review: September 19, 1999 - Revision: 1.0
  • Microsoft Windows Sound System 1.0a
Retired KB Content Disclaimer
This article was written about products for which Microsoft no longer offers support. Therefore, this article is offered "as is" and will no longer be updated.

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