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Help getting sound/ music working on DOS games running under XP

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Everyone knows there are lots of compatibility issues running DOS games under anything later than Windows 95.

For most games, sounds don't work properly, or at all, or cause game slowdowns or crashes.

 

The first program I downloaded was DOS Box, which I personally found over complicated and confusing for my taste.

 

Next was SoundFX2000, which worked great, but was a trial version only, and crashes the game after playing for 5min saying "This is a trial version yada yada purchase the full version", (which is unsupported and hasn't been updated in years).

 

Last but not least, was VDMSound. This one was hailed to be the best, but after properly installing it and following the instructions, I get a 16 bit MS-DOS Subsystem error that reads "C:\DOCUME~1\ARCADE\LOCALS~1\Temp\~VLP73AA.PIF Invalid startup directory, please check your pif file. Choose 'Close' to terminate the application." (the .PIF file named in the error changes each time you try to run the game using VDMSound, I have tried several games that are supposed to be compatible, including Wolf3D and Heretic.)

 

Any help/suggestions (for someone with non-programming skills)?

Thanks!

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Dosbox isn't that bad if you use a application launcher in conjunction with it, eg. Dosshell.

 

Then you can easily boot your programs from within Dosshell.

 

The only part that you want to run within Dosbox itself is the initial game install (using these instructions http://www.dosbox.com/wiki/Basic_Setup_and_Installation_of_DosBox... The trickiest part of running something within Dosbox is mounting the proper directory.) Then run game setup, etc. via dosshell.

Edited by mbd30

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I would recommend D-Fend Reloaded, arguably the best DOSbox Frontend for Windows in existance. It also comes in an all-in-one-pack, you just install D-Fend Reloaded and it has DOSbox already included.

 

All your games and stuff can convenietly be placed inside the "VirtualHD" subdirectory. This will be your "C: drive" inside DOSbox.

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I use DOSBOX 0.72.for the downloaded Dos games.Other than that,I've kept my old DOS 6.22,WIN 3.11,software and my 386/dx pc for hassle free easy playing. :) :thumbsup:

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Hmm, I don't have any experience with any other apps outside of DosBox. As far as compatibility within it, make sure you're enabling high-memory areas, otherwise some games will naturally run poorly (or not at all). The only other thing I can recommend is making sure you raise the clock cycles as well.. DosBox defaults to something low, and the game will not run at full speed unless you raise the CPU cycles. After getting used to mounting your base directory, It's best to create a script that loads all this for you when you load the program. Asides from that, I don't think I've had a game in DosBox just flat-out not work. My biggest compatibility issues have come with graphical glitches (screen artifacting or turning rainbow colors on certain games, seems to be non-fixable), and sound glitches (low sound compatibility limited often to Adlib (ugh), sound lagging/chopping/or crackling, and some games lagging up severely with sound enabled). From what I understand, VDMSound is supposed to be used in conjunction with DosBox for maximum sound compatibility, but I never managed to get it set up correctly.

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I've been downloading the old dos games from various abandonware sites.Its been as simple as dragging the appropriate icon from the downloaded folder to the DOSBOX icon on my desktop where the game starts automatically with no probs,well about 98 % of time anyway.Other than that just a little tweaking and I'm good to go!I don't know how well this will work with anything past Windows 2000 though.

Edited by Rik

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I've been downloading the old dos games from various abandonware sites.Its been as simple as dragging the appropriate icon from the downloaded folder to the DOSBOX icon on my desktop where the game starts automatically with no probs,well about 98 % of time anyway.Other than that just a little tweaking and I'm good to go!I don't know how well this will work with anything past Windows 2000 though.

what kind of DOSbox config do you use?

The way you're using it appears quite out-of-the-ordinary. You propably are mounting a root directory, maybe even your C: root directory into DOSbox - which is strongly recommended against!

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"The only other thing I can recommend is making sure you raise the clock cycles as well.. DosBox defaults to something low, and the game will not run at full speed unless you raise the CPU cycles. After getting used to mounting your base directory, It's best to create a script that loads all this for you"

 

Yeah, I remember having to give dosbox as many CPU cycles as possible for "Duke Nukem 3D" to run smooth in high res mode. Not every game is so demanding though.

 

You don't have to keep mounting directories if you use a frontend.

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I've been downloading the old dos games from various abandonware sites.Its been as simple as dragging the appropriate icon from the downloaded folder to the DOSBOX icon on my desktop where the game starts automatically with no probs,well about 98 % of time anyway.Other than that just a little tweaking and I'm good to go!I don't know how well this will work with anything past Windows 2000 though.

what kind of DOSbox config do you use?

The way you're using it appears quite out-of-the-ordinary. You propably are mounting a root directory, maybe even your C: root directory into DOSbox - which is strongly recommended against!

I don't know,all i know it works great.I'm not computer savvy so i couldn't tell you,just that it works FANTASTICALLY!!! :thumbsup:

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Some people have screwed up their entire system with Dosbox. They somehow set it up so that everything automatically opens via Dosbox. I don't know how they managed to do that, but it's a terrifying prospect. Be careful.

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Some people have screwed up their entire system with Dosbox. They somehow set it up so that everything automatically opens via Dosbox. I don't know how they managed to do that, but it's a terrifying prospect. Be careful.

Thanks for the warning,I thought that's the way its suppose to work!but,I've been using it like that for over 5 years now,and have had no problems.I'll try and explain the best i can since i am not a techy.I simply downloaded Dosbox 0.72,which installed an icon on my desktop.After downloaded dozens of abandonware games,the intructions said to simply drag and drop the executable game folder(i think its called)to the dosbox icon and game will start.Like i said this has worked only 98 % of time,the rest needed tweaking.No problems on my pc,i dont know what all the fuss is about really.Isn't Dosbox designed to make dos gaming easy,to take all the complicated configuring away?Its done that for me. :thumbsup: Maybe its not the right way to do it,but it works.The worst that can happen is a have to re-install everything on the c:,but i have all my important stuff on another hard drive on my system,so its no big deal for me.NOTE!!!!!FOR EVERYONE ELSE,THESE ARE JUST SUGGESTIONS THAT HAVE WORKED FOR ME,PLEASE DO NOT TRY IF NOT YOU HAVE SLIGHTEST DOUBT!i thought that that was how dosbox worked,but from the various responses apparently not,what works for me,might not for you.Thank you

Edited by Rik

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Some people have screwed up their entire system with Dosbox. They somehow set it up so that everything automatically opens via Dosbox. I don't know how they managed to do that, but it's a terrifying prospect. Be careful.

Thanks for the warning,I thought that's the way its suppose to work!but,I've been using it like that for over 5 years now,and have had no problems.I'll try and explain the best i can since i am not a techy.I simply downloaded Dosbox 0.72,which installed an icon on my desktop.After downloaded dozens of abandonware games,the intructions said to simply drag and drop the executable game folder(i think its called)to the dosbox icon and game will start.Like i said this has worked only 98 % of time,the rest needed tweaking.No problems on my pc,i dont know what all the fuss is about really.Isn't Dosbox designed to make dos gaming easy,to take all the complicated configuring away?Its done that for me. :thumbsup: Maybe its not the right way to do it,but it works.The worst that can happen is a have to re-install everything on the c:,but i have all my important stuff on another hard drive on my system,so its no big deal for me.NOTE!!!!!FOR EVERYONE ELSE,THESE ARE JUST SUGGESTIONS THAT HAVE WORKED FOR ME,PLEASE DO NOT TRY IF NOT YOU HAVE SLIGHTEST DOUBT!i thought that that was how dosbox worked,but from the various responses apparently not,what works for me,might not for you.Thank you

 

Here is a thread on another forum showing how Dosbox can screw up your system if you don't know what you're doing. http://vogons.zetafleet.com/viewtopic.php?t=23525

 

And another thread: http://vogons.zetafleet.com/viewtopic.php?t=23607

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Pain in the ass, I know, but if you have the room under your desk, have you ever considered maybe a slimline machine? Like an old Dell Slimline Pentium 90 workstation or something? You could use a KVM switch and then just have DOS 5.0 Installed on it. You could run all of your old games effortlessly without problem. You could transfer files VIA CD, or if you're so inclined, you could set up a null-modem cable between the com-ports and transfer them between hyperterminal and PCPLUS or something...

 

 

That's what I do, and it works really well... although I haven't used it in a year...

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Some people have screwed up their entire system with Dosbox. They somehow set it up so that everything automatically opens via Dosbox. I don't know how they managed to do that, but it's a terrifying prospect. Be careful.

Thanks for the warning,I thought that's the way its suppose to work!but,I've been using it like that for over 5 years now,and have had no problems.I'll try and explain the best i can since i am not a techy.I simply downloaded Dosbox 0.72,which installed an icon on my desktop.After downloaded dozens of abandonware games,the intructions said to simply drag and drop the executable game folder(i think its called)to the dosbox icon and game will start.Like i said this has worked only 98 % of time,the rest needed tweaking.No problems on my pc,i dont know what all the fuss is about really.Isn't Dosbox designed to make dos gaming easy,to take all the complicated configuring away?Its done that for me. :thumbsup: Maybe its not the right way to do it,but it works.The worst that can happen is a have to re-install everything on the c:,but i have all my important stuff on another hard drive on my system,so its no big deal for me.NOTE!!!!!FOR EVERYONE ELSE,THESE ARE JUST SUGGESTIONS THAT HAVE WORKED FOR ME,PLEASE DO NOT TRY IF NOT YOU HAVE SLIGHTEST DOUBT!i thought that that was how dosbox worked,but from the various responses apparently not,what works for me,might not for you.Thank you

 

Here is a thread on another forum showing how Dosbox can screw up your system if you don't know what you're doing. http://vogons.zetafleet.com/viewtopic.php?t=23525

 

And another thread: http://vogons.zetafleet.com/viewtopic.php?t=23607

One can screw up their system with anything if they don't know what they're doing really,good to know though that dosbox is one of them.Dosbox has served me well and ill keep using it the way i have,as the right way is too complicated as it seems,if something happens that's okay no biggy for me,i'm not worried about it.I don't use dosbox on this PC anyway.

Edited by Rik

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I've been using DOSBox for a while now, the way I do it, I mount the folder with the games as c: then I just change to C: and I cd into the folder with the game I want to play. I do have a a SoundBlaster 16 in my system though.

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