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AWE64 problems

DonutKing

Experienced Member
Joined
Mar 24, 2011
Messages
96
Location
Gold Coast, Australia
I'm trying to consolidate my parts stockpile into systems so I can get rid of them.

The machine I'm working on at the moment is:

UM8810 rev 1.1 BIOS 3.2J
Am5x86-133
16MB 60ns RAM single SIMM
512KB 15ns cache
S3 Trio DX 2MB
AWE64 CT4500
DOS6.22 (no windows)

I seem to have hit a strange problem with certain games, such as Doom, Heretic, Hexen, and Raptor.

When using Sound Blaster digital sound effects, instead of music I hear horrible popping/static, and the keyboard becomes very slow to respond. If I do manage to quit to DOS the keys are swapped around seemingly randomly i.e. typing QWERTY will give heaps of random letters and numbers. Trying to CTRL + ALT + DELETE just types random characters onto the command line. A hard reset seems to be the only solution.

It works fine if I use AWE music, but no digital sound effects device. Setting no music device but AWE or sound blaster for digital sound, causes the issue.

Funnily enough Tyrian, Blood and Duke 3D work perfectly with AWE sound and music. So it doesn't just seem to be a protected mode thing. Possibly a DOOM engine thing but I don't know why raptor does it too (unless it shares some part of sound code?) I've also tried Duke 2 and Halloween Harry without problems.

I do not have aweutil resident, only the /S in autoexec to initialise it.

To resolve this I have tried:

-Replacing the CT4500 with an AWE64 Gold CT4390
-disabling all drivers and EMM386 from autoexec.bat/config.sys (game doesn't run at all without himem.sys loaded)
-different versions of aweutil (1.20 and 1.36) and diagnose (4.04 and 4.05)
-patched raptor from 1.0 to 1.2
-replaced DOS4GW with DOS32A (using SB utility)
-Disabled all ROM shadow and cache in BIOS
-Set all RAM and cache timings, and PCI-Host wait state to slowest possible settings in BIOS
-Changed from IRQ5/DMA1 to IRQ7/DMA0 for sound card using CTCM/CTCU
-Disabled turbo mode (button on case)
-Confirmed motherboard jumpers
-Tried /A20CONTROL:OFF option for HIMEM.SYS
-Disabled L1 and L2 cache

None of these have helped.
I note that after switching to DOS32A I get the following message if I manage to exit to DOS:



WARNING: real mode interrupt vector has been changed: INT00H
WARNING: real mode interrupt vector has been changed: INT18H



I've used norton utilities to perform a comprehensive memory test, it ran over 3 hours and found no faults.

I'm out of ideas :/

Attached is config.sys/autoexec.bat
Any suggestions would be appreciated!
 

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  • config.zip
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kithylin

Experienced Member
Joined
Aug 15, 2011
Messages
91
I looked at your config files and you're missing some creative software in the config.sys.

On my AWE64 DOS machine I have these two in config.sys:
DEVICE=C:\SB16\DRV\CTSB16.SYS /UNIT=0 /BLASTER=A:220 I:5 D:1 H:5
DEVICE=C:\SB16\DRV\CTMMSYS.SYS

These two are important because they're the TSR's that stay resident in memory to drive the PnP creative cards in dos correctly.

I don't know if this is the exact reason for your problems, and I can't guarantee that even if you put these in it will work correctly, but it might be a place to start. If you ran the creative installer from the CD-ROM, it should of installed these for you automatically, so I'm not sure how they ended up not in your config.sys file.
 

DonutKing

Experienced Member
Joined
Mar 24, 2011
Messages
96
Location
Gold Coast, Australia
Those drivers aren't actually required for dos games. I've got another machine with an AWE64 working perfectly without them.

I installed the drivers using the awe64 basic driver disk and ctcmbbs installer from creatives site.

In any case the same problem occurs With a Sound Blaster Pro, SB16 and an ESS 688 card.
Something very strange is happening here...
 

kithylin

Experienced Member
Joined
Aug 15, 2011
Messages
91
I ran through the installer on the CD-ROM for my awe64 and the installer said they're necessary to program the PNP aspects of the card in dos so I thought they were necessary to function.. oh well. I usually leave em in anyway, I like stability in my dos gaming machines.
About your hardware..possibly hardware conflicts somewhere?

What about trying removing everything except the video card and sound card and see if the problem persists... and if it does, re-install things one at a time to find the problem? That is if you can work the hard drives without a controller card (Onboard IDE?) I'm just tossing out suggestions though, I've never seen an issue like that in any of the PC's I've used before, you've got a weird one there.
 

twolazy

Veteran Member
Joined
May 22, 2011
Messages
1,600
Location
Chicago, IL
Weird question, I noticed the int18h error, are you running a network card or addon ide/scsi card by chance? If I remember correctly int18h is called only after int19h fails. It allows booting from other devices, when hdd/floppy etc fail, and can initiate booting via network (think option rom?). I know this is true at boot time, not sure how it would apply to protected mode though.

Perhaps you have an issue with your storage device failing in protected mode? Have you tried booting this same config off a floppy disk yet?
 
Last edited:

DonutKing

Experienced Member
Joined
Mar 24, 2011
Messages
96
Location
Gold Coast, Australia
I ran through the installer on the CD-ROM for my awe64 and the installer said they're necessary to program the PNP aspects of the card in dos so I thought they were necessary to function..
That's what CTCU /S and CTCM.EXE are for. The CTSB16.SYS is, to my knowledge, only used for audio recording features, which none of my games use. Some Creative utilities might use it but I'm not aware of anything else. Stability has nothing to do with it - unless you're using an application that requires it, you can remove the CTSB16.SYS from your config and save some memory ;)

In any case, the drivers I downloaded from Creative didn't install the CTSB16.SYS file. What's in the config files is what they installed, only thing I've changed in that regard is trying different versions of DIAGNOSE and AWEUTIL.

Weird question, I noticed the int18h error, are you running a network card or addon ide/scsi card by chance? If I remember correctly int18h is called only after int19h fails. It allows booting from other devices, when hdd/floppy etc fail, and can initiate booting via network (think option rom?). I know this is true at boot time, not sure how it would apply to protected mode though.

There is nothing in the machine except the sound card, video card and disk drives.

This machine DOES have onboard CMD640 IDE controller, however I have disabled its 'enhanced' features in the BIOS. I am aware that this controller is pretty notorious for being buggy, although my research led me to believe that under DOS its usually OK.

Perhaps I need to try an IDE controller ISA card, or a different hard disk.
 

DonutKing

Experienced Member
Joined
Mar 24, 2011
Messages
96
Location
Gold Coast, Australia
I found another motherboard of the same model/type, swapped them over and get the exact same error.

Different hard drives cause the error too.

Disabling the onboard IDE and using an ISA controller card, gives the error too.


I've basically had enough, it must be something dodgy about this motherboard.
 

robojohn1

New Member
Joined
May 24, 2012
Messages
2
Different hard drives cause the error too So,the only thing is to suggest at this point is to move it to another slot.
 
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