ESS Allegro 1988 sound driver 4 DOS

June 11, 2006 at 12:31:57
Specs: DOS, evo n600c

does anybody know how to make this souncard (I have it built-in in my Compaq EVO N600c notebook) work under DOS? On ESS official site there's no DOS driver but I found some older driver for win95 which also include
ESSAUDIO.SYS and ESSAUDIO.COM. So I put this in my config.sys and autoexec but ESSAUDIO.COM show this strange message:

Please use Windows Software Applet to enable Sound Blaster, MPU401 and Game port for Real/Windows DOS

I also tried to install this driver but I can't see any "applet" in my windows control panels or elsewhere...

See More: ESS Allegro 1988 sound driver 4 DOS

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June 11, 2006 at 13:15:58

Under real Standalone DOS (do not know about WinDOS) it should work with the Set Blaster variable.

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June 11, 2006 at 13:21:14

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June 12, 2006 at 16:41:20

I already has SET BLASTER env. variable. I found that problem was missing file ESSAUDIO.INI which is not included in driver package but I found it in some unofficial archive. So I tried it again with that .ini and now ESSAUDIO.COM detects my soundcard successfully:

ESS PCI Audio DOS Device Setup Utility, Version 2.30I
(c) ESS Technology, Inc., 1996-1999. All rights reserved.
DMA Mode is TDMA Current PCI IRQ: 5 PCI IO Base: 2400

SBPro Game Settings:
SB IO=220h IRQ=5 DMA=1
MPU401 IO=330h
Game Port IO=200h

But now when I start any game or program it freeze at the moment when I should hear sound :(( I tried to cutdown DOS configuration to minimum but still the same. It seems to be a hardware conflict. But Compaq EVO BIOS SETUP is very poor, missing all P'n'P settings as you know on normal PC...
Maybe the content of ini file is wrong for my configuration but I don't know how to force that win9x driver to generate new .ini for me.
Any chance to make it work?

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Related Solutions

June 12, 2006 at 23:23:24

What has Windows got to do with MS-DOS?, the information I gave was based on a pure install of MS-DOS6.22 / PC-DOS 7

If you are saying that the ESS is plug'n'pray then you need a DOS Driver to emulate the IRQ5 setting, quite often p'n'p sound cards/chips are allocated IRQ10 by default, this is the case with Creative anyway.

I notice the sound is classed as a PCI bus and believe that is the problem as above. Quite often in readmes when they mention DOS they mean WinDOS.

The only solution is to boot from MS-DOS 6.22 and run MSD or alternatively use the DOS utility from:

to see what the actual IRQ etcetc allocation is..............

good luck

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June 13, 2006 at 00:26:02

In this readme it talks about "DOS Mode", which I presume on has upgrade to Windows from DOS:

Q: Does my sound card support pure DOS mode?

A: Not all ESS Technology sound cards support pure DOS mode. Pure DOS is called up when you boot your system to DOS 6.22 or Windows DOS 4.0 mode directly, instead of to the Windows desktop. For PCI sound cards, DOS mode is supported by their Windows 95/98 drivers in order to properly configure PCI resources in C:\CONFIG.SYS and C:\AUTOEXEC.BAT, and the DOS emulation is limited to IRQ5.

Q: Does the ESS Technology sound card support DOS box mode?

A: Yes. All ESS Technology sound cards support DOS box mode. In Windows, you launch the DOS box by double-clicking on the DOS icon. However, in Windows NT4/2000/XP, DOS-based programs and games are unable to access I/O port and resources directly in its (DOS) Command Prompt as in Windows 95/98/98SE/Me, thus audio function may not work in the Command Prompt window.

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June 13, 2006 at 00:35:16

Therefore this is a WinDOS problem not a pure Standalone DOS problem, so sorry outside my area of expertise but hope the information may prove useful......

Install DOS 5/6
Install Win9x

It may work when you reboot from GUI to DOS Mode as you are still under W9X control ???????

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June 13, 2006 at 13:38:29

Today I tried fast install of Windows 95 and install ESS drivers including DOS files. Instalation was done, soundacrd detected and DOS files put to root directory. Windows aslo generated new ESSAUDIO.INI for me so I was happy and went to try some games but all DOS apps freeze when start to playing sound :(

Now I have in windows device manager three entries:

ESS Allegro-1 Device Manager (es198x.vxd)
IRQ5, I/O 2400-24FF (IRQ cannot be changed)

ESS Allegro-1 DOS Emulation
DMA 0, I/O 220-22F,388-38B,300-301

ESS Allegro-1 PCI AudioDrive
IRQ5 - below list of conflicting devices:
PCI Card, PCI Ethernet Controller

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June 13, 2006 at 14:17:39

The ethernet card should be on IRQ10, you need to somehow manually re-assign. Quite often ethernet cards come with a DOS based utility to change the settings...

So yes it is a Windows being a pain ...... this article is good but a little techie:

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June 13, 2006 at 14:24:40

And IRQ cannot be changed even for Ethernet card, seems to be HW probmel - dos apps doesn't work with IRQ sharing...

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June 13, 2006 at 15:30:10

I know DOS does not understand IRQ Sharing and P'n'P as already discussed.

You are trying to run software written before W95 was conceived.

You have two choices either try and find a way of assigning IRQ5 to soundcard emulation, or get an ISA Creative SB non P'n'P Card.


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June 13, 2006 at 17:17:23

I looked for some config utility for intel 82559 eth. but there's none for DOS. Itel made config util only for older models Pro10 PCI which doesnt work. Then I found diagnostic utility but it only gives some info. So there's no way to change wth. IRQ separately.

And I found that also Lucent WinModem use IRQ5...

I also tried to boot Windows XP and see that these devices switched to IRQ11. Also DOS sound driver then sees PCI IRQ11. But I still cannot change IRQ for individual device.

When I try to run some DOS apps in windows9x DOS box they freeze too like under pure DOS. But windows apps play sounds well. Pure evil this sounchip, unfortunately I cannot replace it in notebook (if it would be a case of normal PC I will immediately thow this crap out and plug SB AWE64 :)

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June 13, 2006 at 21:54:55

Have you tried just DOS 6.22 without any Windows whatsoever ?

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June 14, 2006 at 02:05:26

Yes of course, I tried:
-run dos app in a windows dos box
-boot win95 first and then reboot to DOS 7.1 and run dos app
-boot DOS 6.22 / 7.1 (clean/himem/emm) and run dos app

But same resuls - every app freeze when starts to play sound.

It seems that IRQs are hardwired together. As I saw in HWinfo those devices also share same PCI INTA line. Only way maybe try to disable other devices via PCI config. registers if possible. But I think when device is not active - winmodem under dos and also network is not active under dos it should'n generate interrupt. Maybe I could try to trace some program in debugger and see when it hangs?

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June 14, 2006 at 02:53:53

boot DOS 6.22 / 7.1 ???

DOS7.1 does not really exist it is the Win 9x sub-system, anyway around 50 system files were changed in the DOS transitition to W95A and more with Win95 OSR2.xx and W98.

I meant do a full DOS6.22 install or alternatively DR-DOS7.03. Thats keeping to a pure FAT16 8.3FN 16bit O/S I am not interested in any hacked WinDOS sub system.


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June 14, 2006 at 10:57:04

Yes I have full MS-DOS 6.22 too, same result.
As DOS 7.1 I meant DOS included in windows 95.
I did all install on FAT16 partition.
I also tried pure system, system with himem.sys /himem+emm/qemm...

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