Sound Driver Issues with DOS 7.1

Microsoft Windows 3.11
March 13, 2010 at 18:04:42
Specs: DOS 7.1 and Windows 3.x
I have a PC that I am dual booting Windows XP and DOS 7.1. I want to be able to run Windows 3.1 and old dos games/software. I can't get the sound to work. Please help. According to a dxdiag, my sound device is a Realtek AC97 Audio, and the driver windows XP is using is ALCXWDM.SYS. How do I get sound to work in dos/windows 3.x?

See More: Sound Driver Issues with DOS 7.1

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March 13, 2010 at 20:25:39
Tell us the make and model of your brand name system, or if you have a generic desktop system, the make and model of the mboard.
The specific model of a brand name system is shown on a label on the outside of the case somewhere, or it can often be determined by going to the brand name's web site.
The model, sometimes the make, of a mboard in a generic desktop system is usually printed on the mboard's surface in obvious larger characters, often between the slots.

The model is often also displayed on a logo (graphical) screen early in the boot, but it's often not as specific as the specific model number.

For Dell computers, they have a Service Tag number - the specific model can be determined by using that on their site, or can often be determined there automatically by you downloading some software. The Service Tag number should be on a label on the outside of the case, probably on the bottom on a laptop, on the back on a desktop, and is often also shown in the bios Setup.

Generically, you have to find out which Realtek audio chip model you have on the mboard. It may not actually be a Realtek chip - Realtek supplies drivers for other manufacturers chips as well as their own chips.

Win 3.1 came out in 1992 - driver support petered out in about 98. AC97 is an audio standard that indicates the chip was first made no earlier than late 96 or so - there may be no Dos / Win 3.1 drivers available for it.

Are you triple booting, or are you dual booting and trying to run Dos games in XP ? You can get many later Dos games to run in XP, if you use the right methods, and you don't need the Dos drivers for the sound in that case.

By the way, I found out thru experiencing it that when you dual boot XP and Vista, and probably XP and Windows 7, the System Restore restore points are LOST in Vista, and probably in Windows 7, EVERY TIME you boot XP.
Take a look in System Restore in Windows 7.

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March 14, 2010 at 08:49:37
The computer is a generic that I pieced together myself. The motherboard is NForce3-A ver. 1.0A. I have dual booted dos 7.1 and windows XP. I have used dos emulators before, but they don't run quite the same as a true dos environment plus I just miss having windows 3.1.

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March 14, 2010 at 10:53:11
"NForce3-A ver. 1.0A"

ECS nForce3-A Socket 754 v. 1.0A

ver. 1.0A and ver. 1.0B are different - DO NOT use bios updates for 1.0B on 1.0A unless the notes where the bios updates are say the update can be used on either version !

NFORCE3-A(V1.0A) Downloads


Page 12 of the pdf - the sound chip may be the one to the left of the 16 header, but that's too blurry for me to read when I zoom in on it (it appears it's not a Realtek chip).

I doubt you'll find any Dos drivers for that.

I've been able to get some later Dos games to work fine in XP by using this:


Sometimes you need to tweak settings in it, sometimes it works fine set as it is.

It's both a virtual box and something that helps enable the sound.

Sometimes you need to make a MsDos shortcut to a progam to have VDMSound install, or configure, the game.
You need to make a MsDos shortcut to the game's program to have VDMSound run the game's program.

E.g. I got Monster Bash, Hocus Pocus to work fine in XP.
The Jill of the Jungle series is finicky to get the sound to work properly - they work fine with some sound chipsets, don't work with others.

I don't miss Win 3.1 at all - I stopped using it in late 1999 because it performed poorly on the web, and got 98SE.
Windows games for Win 3.1 were relatively crappy in comparison to the later Dos games.
Most of my Dos games work fine in 98SE , when I tweak the Properties of the files that install or that run them to use specific Autoexec.bat and Config.sys settings.

"I have dual booted dos 7.1 and windows XP."

Take a look in System Restore in Windows 7 - you'll probably find there are NO restore points after you have booted XP.

I set up a friend's system to dual boot XP MCE 2005 and Vista Premium.
When I discovered the restore points were not there in Vista I investigated why that is.
There is no Microsoft fix. There are Microsoft suggested workarounds, but one - using bitlocker - is only available to you if you have a Vista Ultimate or a Vista Business version (most people are using Vista Home Basic or Vista Home Premium because they're cheaper - brand name systems usually have Home Basic or Home Premium on them), and there is a Microsoft suggested registry tweak you can do in Vista, if you don't have the Ultimate or Business version of Vista, but not every program you can load in Vista is compatible with that tweak, and in that case you have to undo the registry tweak at least temporarily, and then you lose the Vista restore points anyway.

I ended up buying a third party boot manager program - BootIt! Next Generation - to do the dual booting rather than using the built in multiboot feature of Vista, and the restore points in Vista are always there now. You have to set whatever boot manager program so it hides the partition Vista's Windows was installed on while booting XP.

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