View Full Version : SB Live Value SB16 Emulation under WinME

15-03-2002, 11:37 PM
I have a PC Company Athlon-1400 with a Creative Labs Sound Blaster Live Value card installed, running on Windows ME. According to Creative Labs, the drivers I have are up-to date and correct, and the sound card should support SB16 Emulation for older DOS programs. But, of course, the emulation doesn't work.

The Device Manager lists the Creative SB16 Emulation under Creative Miscellaneous Devices and claims that 'this device is working properly'; the IRQ, Port and DMA settings aren't conflicting, they match the settings in the BLASTER environment variable, but in a DOS box the programs fail to detect a soundcard. In the case of a game ('Tyrian' by Epic Megagames), the setup utility won't even run due to a run-time exception error.

The DOS drivers for this require SBEInit.COM to be loaded, but even if I set the DOS box to 'Prevent MS-DOS programs from detecting Windows', it requires EMM386.EXE to be loaded on startup. Since Windows ME doesn't even parse Autexec.bat or Config.sys, I had to try a realmode DOS patch from www.geocities.com/mfd4life_2000. After rebooting with the EMM386 loaded in Config.sys, Windows informed me that it includes its own extended memory manager, wouldn't load EMM386, and hung - forcing me to reboot via boot disk and remove the entry from Config.sys. Well that didn't work either.

The memory tab for DOS boxes shows that extended memory is available, as is all the other memory types (EMS, DPMI, Conventional). A technical book suggested changing the values from Auto - I set the values to the highest allocations, but this didn't aid the situation.

Yes, I have contacted the PC Company (Wellington branch) frequently since I bought the machine in September - they have been unable to solve the problem.

I have concluded that there are two possible solutions:

1 - Stick with Windows ME.
Is there a way that I can disable Windows' memory manager so that EMM386 can be used, or is there a way that through Windows I can get the DOS driver SBEInit.COM to detect the memory manager and hence initialise properly?

2 - Upgrade to / Install Windows 98SE.
Can Windows ME be 'upgraded' to Windows 98SE? If not, where can I find the full version of it? I have heard from a few sources that the latter has been discontinued by Microsoft. Is Microsoft telling us that we can now have it for free, or legally install someone else's copy?

I am reluctant to have to pay for another operating system (which I requested right from the start) to get this to work. Why should I have to pay for two OS's if one of them would be used and the other considered useless?

Please do not suggest XP - I am avoiding it on common sense.

Thank you very much for your help.

16-03-2002, 12:16 AM
just a few comments- what are you doing playing dos games? no offence but after playing the later gen games at 1600x1200 res going back to something like doom is unbearable. much as i loved playing doom it looks like crap.

the os you have would be a 'restore disk' os not a full copy which makes life fun when the hardrive fails or you upgrade heaps. might be an idea to buy a full version on disk. win98se is still advailable and microsoft is still supporting it fore a few more years yet.

16-03-2002, 12:46 AM
to replace ME you will have to format your HDD contact me if you need some help as i am in wgtn cheers tennisplayer43@hotmail.com

16-03-2002, 01:30 AM
Your problem lies with the SBLive! card, not Windows ME. You would have the same problem if you were running DOS or Win98. the SBLive! has an emulator for older programs that won't run the new card, but as with all emulators, they don't work with everything.

Does this 'Tyrian' support specifically the 'Soundblaster 16'? or just Soundblaster? I believe that the emulator is for SB16, so would require a game looking for a SB16.

Your best chance of result is to install anohter older sound card which could be used for your old DOS games, and use the Live! card for newer games. This can be done, according to the www.creative.com support site.

16-03-2002, 03:24 PM
If you like the game, why not?

I struck this Soundblaster problem getting Heart of China going for some friends (that came on 5.25' disks').

The problem is that the programmes recognise ISA board SB cards and knows only the 'standard' IRQ and port addresses. These numbers are different on PCI (or onboard 'PCI cards').

I had to set 'PC Speaker' for sound card type.

You can get a standard(ish) DOS by booting from the Recovery floppy (or the <CTRL> restart menu). I found that HOC would run in a DOS window from ME, and did not run under the booted DOS.

Can you get hold of a DOS 6.22 disk and run the programme from that? You can have the game files on the HD.