We help IT Professionals succeed at work.

We've partnered with Certified Experts, Carl Webster and Richard Faulkner, to bring you two Citrix podcasts. Learn about 2020 trends and get answers to your biggest Citrix questions!Listen Now


Installing SB AWE 64 Gold fails

raives asked
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2013-12-29
I can't get my new Sound Blaster AWE 64 Gold to work. (I have just replaced my earlier AWE 32 with this card.) I have installed the software several times, and Win95 has detected the hardware etc., but I still can't play wav files (e.g., WaveStudio tells me that "Sound Blaster not detected"), and when I play MIDI files, I don't hear anything. Windows' Sound Recorder informs me that it "cannot record or play back because a sound device is not installed". Under "Multimedia" in Win95's Control Panel it says that there are "No playback devices", and the same applies to recording devices.

I have been able to hear sound effects (but not CD music) in
Quake, but not in Windows games.

Win95's Device Manager lists 5 devices under "Sound, video and games controllers". The first two have no names whatsoever, but are, according to Windows, "working properly". The third device is 'Creative AWE 64 Gold Wavetable Midi (AWE 32 compatible)'. The fourth device is called 'Creative SBAWE MPU 401 Emulation' and has an exclamation mark next to it. The following
information can be found under its "Properties" tab:

Device Type: Sound, video and game controllers
Manufacturer: Creative
Hardware version: 1.0.20

'Try changing the driver for this device. If that doesn't work, see your hardware documentation. (Code 2)'

According to the Device Manager, the IRQ for this device is 5, while the Set Blaster line in my autoexec.bat reads:

SET BLASTER=A260 I9 D0 H5 E620 T6

(The fifth device listed by Device Manager is Matrox M3D
graphics accelerator, which has no problems.)

Thank you very much for your help!

P.S. Here are the contents of my autoexec.bat file:
SET BLASTER=A260 I9 D0 H5 E620 T6
rem LH /L:0;1,45536 /S C:\WINDOWS\SMARTDRV.EXE
rem SET BLASTER=A260 I9 D0 H5 E620 T6
rem C:\SB16\AWEUTIL /S
rem LH C:\SB16\SB16SET /P /Q
LH F:\hmouse\hmouse.com
keyb su,,C:\WINDOWS\COMMAND\keyboard.sys

Watch Question

The first thing to address is of course Code 2.
Code 2 This code means the device loader (DevLoader) failed to
load a device. To resolve this error code, use Device Manager to
remove the device and then run the Add New Hardware tool in
Control Panel.
Hi Raives!

Yours is not an uncommon problem. Here's how to fix it, but please don't miss a step.

1. Using your "Ctrl" "Alt" and "Del" keys, open you Close Programs dialogue box and close all running programs except for Systray and Explorer.

2. Click Start, Settings, Control Panel, then click the Add/Remove Programs dialogue box and remove Creative Inspire (if present) and then AWE 64 Gold. Once this process is done and they are removed, then go on.

3. Using Windows Explorer, find the directory for the Sound Blaster files and empty it completely.

4. Open your config.sys and autoexec.bat files and REM out all references to the sound blaster card.

5. Restart your system. It make come up with an error of a file not found, but don't worry about it. Again, Using your "Ctrl" "Alt" and "Del" keys, open you Close Programs dialogue box and close all running programs except for Systray and Explorer. Then Reinstall the AWE 64 software. Don't restart the system when asked, just go to the next step.

6. Go to device manager and scroll down to the sound blaster devices and highlight them and remove all of the devices you noted applicable to the AWE 64 card. Close device manager, then.....

7. Restart your system. Windows should find the devices and load the correct devices.

Please post your results, or if you have a questions.

Not the solution you were looking for? Getting a personalized solution is easy.

Ask the Experts


Please do these thing when you have the time and post results.
MM Sound Problems?

1. Go to Control Panel
2. Add/Remove
3. Windows Setup
4. Find Multimedia and remove all. Then, reboot and go back and
Click Multimedia having you Win95 CD in and Add all.
This will remove any corrupt files and replace them with fresh
uncorrupted copy and re-register them.

     Windows 95 Multimedia Questions and Answers

Article ID: Q132992
This article contains questions and answers about multimedia in
Windows 95.

1. Q. My sound card is supported by Windows 95, but Setup did
not detect it. How do I install it?
A. Use the Add New Hardware tool in Control Panel. If the sound
card is not detected, make sure its real-mode drivers are loading in
the Config.sys and Autoexec.bat files before you run the Add New
Hardware Wizard again.

If Windows 95 still does not detect the sound card, there may be a

conflict between the sound card and another device. Use the right
mouse button to click My Computer, click Properties on the menu
that appears, then click the Device Manager tab. Examine the
properties for each device to see if Windows 95 reports a device
conflict. Once any device conflict is resolved, run the Add New
Hardware Wizard again.

2. Q. Windows 95 does not have a driver for my sound card.
How do I use it in Windows 95?
A. To use your sound card in Windows 95, install its Windows 3.1
drivers. You may also want to contact your sound card
manufacturer about Windows 95 driver availability.

If the sound card driver files include an Oemsetup.inf file, use the
following steps to install the driver:

1. Click the Start button, point to Settings, then click Control
2. Double-click the Add New Hardware icon, then click Next.
3. When you are prompted "Do you want Windows to search for
your new hardware?" click No, then click Next.
4. In the Hardware Types box, click Sound, Video And Game
Controllers, then click Next.
5. Click the Have Disk button to install the sound card driver. If
the sound card driver files do not include an Oemsetup.inf file, use
the sound card's Setup program to install it. If there is no Setup
program, contact the manufacturer for assistance.

3. Q. The sound from my Creative Labs SoundBlaster sound card
is scratchy. How do I fix it?
A. This problem can occur when the SoundBlaster's DMA setting
does not match its DMA setting in Windows 95. To correct this,
follow these steps:
1. Use the right mouse button to click My Computer, then click
Properties on the menu that appears.
2. On the Device Manager tab, click Sound, Video And Game
Controllers, then click Remove. When you are prompted to restart
your computer, click Yes.
3. Click the Start button, point to Settings, then click Control
4. Double-click the Add New Hardware icon, click Next, then
click Next again.
5. Restart your computer when the Add New Hardware Wizard

4. Q. When I play .avi files they don't seem to play smoothly.
How can I correct this?
A. Try the following tips to smooth out .avi file playback:

- Do not run the file over a network.

- If you are playing the file from a CD-ROM, and the CD-ROM
uses protected-mode drivers, use the following steps to increase
the size of the CD-ROM cache:

1. Use the right mouse button to click My Computer, then click
Properties on the menu that appears.
2. On the Performance tab, click File System, then click the
CD-ROM tab.

- If the CD-ROM drive uses real-mode drivers, load
SMARTDrive in the Autoexec.bat file.
- For additional information, please see the following article in the
Microsoft Knowledge Base:

TITLE     : Troubleshooting Video Problems in Windows 95

5. Q. Why does Windows 95 not detect my SCSI CD-ROM
A. Windows 95 detects only proprietary CD-ROM drives (such
as Panasonic, Mitsumi, and Sony CD-ROM drives). Although
Windows 95 does not detect CD-ROM drives on SCSI
controllers, it does detect supported SCSI controllers. Your SCSI
CD-ROM drive is accessible because the enumerator for the
SCSI controller also enumerates the CD-ROM drive.

6. Q. Does Media Player support MPEG?
A. No. Windows 95 does not include an MPEG driver for Media
However, there are third-party products you can use to view
MPEG files in Windows 95.

7. Q. Some of the sounds played by my sound card sound fine,
and others sound scratchy. How can I correct this?
A. Try the following tips to improve the sound playback:

- Make sure you are using the proper DMA settings. Some sound
cards use a High and a Low DMA setting.

- Make sure the format of the wave file is supported by your
sound card. For example, you cannot play a 16-bit wave file on an
8-bit sound card.

8. Q. My program that uses QuickTime does not work properly.
can I do to fix this?
A. Make sure there is only one version of QuickTime on your
If you continue to have problems, add the line "optimize=driver" to
the [Video] section of the Qtw.ini file in the Windows folder and
then restart your computer.
Get Rid Of Registry Garbage

After a major clean up, you notice that the size of registry remains the same. It's just like how DOS
deletes files on the hard disk. The files are not really deleted, they are just floating.
In the registry a removed key becomes an invisible existence to the reg editors. You can export keys
that are recognizable by the editors to a temp file, then use the same temp file to reconstruct a new
registry. And this is how we remove those invisible footprints.
Clean the bedevil out of your registry. But 1st; BACKUP YOUR REGISTRY.
NOTE: This works on most systems. In my personal experience, and others that I know of it works
75% of the time. If your computer locks up during the process, or does not show 100% done from
"Real Mode Dos", yet stops: Simply reboot and Import MyReg.reg.
Example: C:\Windows>Regedit Myreg.reg
WRPV3.ZIP is the Best and easiest Backup/Restore I've Seen. Go To:
http://www.webdev.net/orca/system.html Search WRP
Step1: Copy all .dat files To a Temp directory for Safety.
Step2: Be sure to have a reg backup already.
Step3: Open reg editor and export "all entries" to a reg file(MyReg.reg).
Step4: Shutdown And Boot to DOS. Go to Windows directory.
Step5: Delete .dat files, e.g. del *.dat /y
Step6: If DOS doesn't Recognize the Hidden Files, Type ATTRIB -H -S -R -S SYSTEM.DAT and
ATTRIB -H -S -R -S USER.DAT. Then repeat Step 5. Step7: At C:\Windows> type "regedit /c
MyReg.reg", No Quotes. Done!
NOTE. If this locks your computer up, Simply Import from C:\Windows>Regedit Myreg.reg
That will put everything back the way it was. Everybodys 95 is different, that's why the warning.
Works great for me, not so great for others, so, even if you get the 100%, check you system out,
keyboard, applications, modem; everything! FELL SAFE! You have three backups:
1. MrReg.reg
2. WRP Backup
3. You System.dat and User.dat that you saved in step 1.
After the process, please exam your system thoroughly. You can never tell from a seemingly healthy
system a near-death registry. Also keep the backup for a while before updating it.  

Raives: For some unexplained reason all versions of Windows 95 have a problem with the AWE32 card and its various drivers, go ahead and remove the AWE32 file entirely. I suspected this earlier, however I did want to give you and endless list of try this, try that. Instead, I wanted to establish a pattern so that your computer system was stable, then go from there. The registry issue concerns me, therefore there are some things to do first.

1. Remove the AWE32 files entirely.

2. Go to Control Panel, Add/Remove Programs, Windows Setup and uncheck "Mutlimedia", close the windows, then....

3. Click Start, Programs, Msdos Prompt and type:



4. Click Start, Run and type in Sysedit and click OK. This will bring up your system files. Go into your Autoexec.bat file and remove all entries regarding the sound card that are present, then save the file. Do the same thing with the Config.sys file.

5. Go to device manager and remove all device entries regarding the AWE64.

6. Shutdown the system and remove the AWE64 card from the system. Don't worry, we'll put everything back, but I'd rather try and find the cause of the registry problem.

7. Restart the system and then run a scandisk on your hard drive in thorough mode.

8. After scandisk has finished, and presuming that it comes up clean, or fixes and errors, then reboot the system and see if your can repeat the registry problem. If everything looks okay after a few restarts and you use the system for awhile, we'll put everything back in.

NOTE: If you still incur registry errors, don't go any further, just post here what your experiencing.

9. Presuming that everything is okay so far, shut your computer down, ground yourself to the case to avoid static and reinstall the AWE64 card and make sure that it is properly seated.

10. Restart your system and let it boot through, then go to Control Panel, Add/Remove Programs, Windows Setup and click Multimedia and reinstall it. You will need either your cd rom or floppy disks. Reboot the system.

11. Next, load your AWE64 software using the process noted earlier, about closing programs beforehand. Restart the system.

12. Go to device manager and remove the AWE64 entries, shut all windows down and restart the system. You should have your sounds back.

I'll wait for your post!



Just before going into all that trouble: what's your opinion on reinstalling Win95? I think that the main problem (I've had registry errors sometimes earlier too without fatal consequences) is that I had forced Win95 to use user-specified IRQs etc. for the AWE 32 when I still used that card. In other words, I'd now like Win95 to "start from the clean table" and (re)assign all settings for all devices automatically. Could this be done?

I've managed to install additional components of AWE 64 (such as 'Creative AWE 64 16-bit audio'), and there are consequently even more yellow exclamation marks in Device Manager...

(Re smeebud's comment: all those things are a bit theoretical in my case, and there's also no oemsetup.inf file anywhere on the installation disk. Letting Win95 detect new hardware automatically causes it to regard my card as an AWE 32 or 16 (which is to be expected), and after installing the card it has to enter Windows in Safe Mode because of hardware conflicts.)


I called Creative telephone support and they came up with a quick solution: I had to 1) empty the sysbckup folder in the Windows directory, 2) empty Device Manager of all references to SB AWE 64 Gold, 3) reboot and 4) direct Win95 to the drivers folder on the AWE installation CD when it identified the new hardware on reboot and began asking for drivers. I replaced my newer versions of some of the drivers with the ones on the CD. Now everything works like a dream.

I have e-mailed the maintenance of the site, asking them what I should do with *all* these points I'm offering, now that I've solved the problem 'by myself' :-) In any case, I appreciate your efforts.



Vesa, I have no problem with that, ALTHOUGH the only thing you did on your own was call crative labs, as #1 would have been taken care of by reinstalling multimedia, #2 you were asked to do already and #3 is part of the process you were given and #4 would have occurred once you reloaded the AWE64 software. But whatever!


Yes, you must be right, and you deserve the points (and I still have plenty left). However, the instructions from Creative were a bit more straightforward (as I didn't have to edit autoexec.bat & config.sys, and reinstall multimedia). Thank you for your help!



Vesa: Your quite welcome. Please understand, the reason for the multimedia issue as well as the changes to config.sys and autoexec.bat, we to create a fully functional installation with all the correct components in their correct places. We work with Creative's Techs on new equipment, and their focus is towards their equipment, not necessarily towards the system as a whole. My concerns were that all components or features be available and sync'd to your system. Thanks you for your consideration.
Access more of Experts Exchange with a free account
Thanks for using Experts Exchange.

Create a free account to continue.

Limited access with a free account allows you to:

  • View three pieces of content (articles, solutions, posts, and videos)
  • Ask the experts questions (counted toward content limit)
  • Customize your dashboard and profile

*This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.


Please enter a first name

Please enter a last name

8+ characters (letters, numbers, and a symbol)

By clicking, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.