Soundcard? Problem

The system hangs occasionally with sound card in. I've tried with Aopen AW35 Pro and SB AWE 64 value soundcards. It for instance hangs now and then on the Win 95 start up sound. There is no conflicts showing in the system-devicehandler.

Mainboard Aopen AX6L R1.10 bios Award 4.51 PGM
Win 95 B
HD master on Primery
CD master on Secondary
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Would be helpful to know what type of soundcard you are using.

Also, is the motherboard one of the newer ones that has onboard sound (perhaps Yamaha OPL chipset?)

I've found that the device handler often lies.

Do you have any other cards, like a NIC or modem? If so, take out everything but the sound card and try that.
manneAuthor Commented:
I have an external modem. The computer doesn't have any network card.
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I may be problems with your sound filies so try to play some and see if your computer will hang
manneAuthor Commented:
It isn't problem with the sound files, the computer hangs on various sound events.
It is software problem if there is no conflicts. Your sound card uses software to emulate 32 voices another voices are created by your card. Try to uinstall drivers, reboot your computer and go to bios reset pnp so all card are detected again then install all drivers.
manneAuthor Commented:
I tried this proposal from JBurghardt, unfortunately it didn't work. I also tried various bios settings like
-recovery time
-passive release
-delayed transaction
I don't understand why it works for a while and then hangs, always on apparently on diffrent events. I have also tried to put the sound card at different slots I wonder if something like some part of the mainboard is broken, can I check this in some way. I also use a PCI graphic card for the moment instead of a AGP card.

Are you using the latest drivers for the AWE64 sound card?
I would like you also to check on the DMA chanel that this card is using. Could you check your device manager on what peripheral is using which IRQ, like the Sound card, and the modem and any other card you might have in there and post it here.

Will wait for your post before I make my move to answer.
Hi Manne!

Your AOpen motherboard uses the new Intel LX chipset technology. The first few questions that need to be asked are:

1. Did you have this system built for you, or did you build it yourself?

2. Has the Award Bios been setup correctly?

3. Have the drivers for the LX chipset and the PCI to PCI bridge been installed?

4. Which version of Windows 95 are you using, 950, 950a or 950b (OSR2 or the OEM version)

First things first!

1. If you built this system yourself, then your probably familiar with the setup that you went through and will understand some of the areas to check. If you had someone build this for you, let me know and I'll walk you through the things in the setup to check.

2. From within Windows 95, go to device manager and scroll down to Sound, Video and Games Controllers and click on the "+" to expand it. Highlight each of the entries and remove them. While your there, expand the other devices shown and make sure there are no yellow circles with exclamation marks or red circles with an "X" in them showing either conflicts, failed devices or disabled devices. If there are any, note what they are and post them here.

3. Shut down windows and turn off your computer and reinstall the AWE 64 card if it's not in the system currently.

4. Restart your system and boot into the Bios/Cmos setup. First, reset the Bios to its default setup, then go back to where the Plug and Play statement is shown and change it to PnP aware if it's not already there. Now let the system boot through to Windows 95. It will find the sound card and attempt to load drivers for it. You can either use the CD Rom disk you received with the card or use the default drivers for now.

5. Insert the AWE 64 cd rom disk and install the software and then reboot the system. After the reboot, go back to device manager and check for any device conflicts or devices that are duplicated (sound card and other multimedia devices) If there are duplicates, remove them, but don't remove those shown under Sound, Video and Games Controllers.

6. As for other issues that may be effecting your cards, have you installed the LX chipset drivers? as well as the special bus mastering drivers for that motherboard. AOpen should have furnished a disk to you for their installation. If you do not install the LX chipset drivers, windows will interpret all cards as Eise bus and shadowing conflicts will occur, not withstanding the fact that the PCI bridge will not function.

If you haven't installed these drivers, or are unsure how to do so, let us know!

manneAuthor Commented:

1. I built the system myself
3. I havn't installed the LX chipset drivers or the pci to pci bridge.

Chipset drivers sounds interesting what is it? I have looked at aopens site ( but I havn't
found anything like that. (Pci bridge, aopen has a utility (aochip) that removes ? from the device manager (see and they
also tells that it doesn't matter if they are there.)

4. I'm using OSR2

There are no device conflicts showing in the device handler, I have reinstalled the sound card with drivers but it doesn't seem to work.
Manne: Part of the problem (my earlier perception) was that you had not enabled the PCI bridge or the full use of the 440LX chipset. OSR2 only installs the very early drivers as its release date (OSR2 10/96) and its build information preceeds the introduction of the TX family of chipsets which, among other things, introduces DMA/UDMA and a multitude of other capabilities. the 440?X chipset family has it's own drivers that are normally furnished on a diskette or cd rom disk with the motherboard.

The 440LX has a brand new system handler (not just a single feature) and includes a new bus mastering driver as well as DMA handling for AGP video cards.

On of the other less than acceptable features of this board for the as yet uninitiated is it's ability to shadow resources without Windows 95 (any version) knowing about it.

The AOpen site does discuss these features, however you would need a little background on the 430?X and 440?X chipsets to get an idea where to find the information as to what these chipsets are all about.

At the AOpen site, you will find it at:

Normally, when installing a motherboard with any of the chipsets of the TX family and later (through LX and in May 98 NX), you would first install Windows 95, then the TX/LX chipset drivers, then bus mastering, then USB support, then AGP. From there you start building on Windows 95 normally. You don't need to keep USB support active, however there are drivers included with the USB OSR2 update that you need, but that cannot be merely extracted from update.

If you need help installing these features, and/or if AOpen has not furnished these drivers (if they haven't I would call the supplier) and/or if you do not have Microsoft's update to OSR2, let me know and I'll point you to where you can get them and how to install them correctly. Warning, these drivers do not install like regular drivers! They must be installed in a particular fashion, which is why they are usually installed during system buildup. That does not mean that it cannot be done, only that a prescribed method be employed to do so.

There's no doubt in my mind that shadowing is occurring which prevents the sound card from working. We build workstations and servers with these chipsets and were witness to the same problem early on. Your motherboard should also have come with Intel's LAN manager and DMI monitoring, which monitors such things as motherboard and CPU voltages, CPU core voltage, CPU heat etc.

In your next post, please indicate what you do have and what you need by way of drivers and we can progress from there.

manneAuthor Commented:
Hi Dennis
I got a Cd with the MB, it contained bus master IDE and DMA/33 drivers, but nothing more usefull (The file called version.txt has is dated 97-07-21.) Will the soundcard work if I get osr2.1, I don't have any LX chipset drivers or USB or AGP drivers. (Maybe the easiest thing is to wait for win98 or nt5.)
Manne: What you have already will get us started along with one download I want you to make. Go to this address and download the latest TX drivers and save them into a clean directory on your hard drive.

When you have them downloaded let me know and I'll most the procedure for setting up your motherboard. Then we can sort out the motherboard, make IRQ and DMA assignments and make your sound card work.
manneAuthor Commented:
I have now downloaded the tx driver. One question, the pages are about bus mastering. Then you say LX/TX drivers do you mean the bus mastering drives? It sounds strange that bus mastering drives should solve my soundcard problem!
Manne: here is possible solution (I hope).
1) Root of problem: seems like IDE busmaster drivers (that installed
 with Win95b) have conflict with Creative SoundBlaster card.
 Sources are scattered, but I heard smth. like this on Intel
 discussion board.
2) Solution:
 a) Enter SafeMode: press F8 upon startup, after message 'Starting
  Win95' to get menu. Select 'Safe Mode'.
 b) Enter DeviceManager. Remove ALL traces of sound card (sound
  card itself and Multimedia sections).
 c) Shutdown computer. DON'T BOOT.
 d) Open case and pull out SB card.
 e) Boot computer. Check DeviceManager for "leftovers" of your SB
 f) Install busmaster drivers. Make sure that you don't have
  conflicts in DeviceManager
 e) Shutdown. Put SB back. Let Win95 find it and install drivers
  and software.

Hope this helps.

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Busuka, for once in your life try reading the posts at a question and for the second, when you see a tech working with a customer and the issue has already been raised (eg: Bus Mastering and Chipset issues) try coming up with something new if your going to jump in with an answer.
Manne: Actually TX/LX drivers and Bus Mastering go somewhat hand in hand. The TX family of chipsets was a refinement developed by Intel over previous chipsets in that part of it's function is to handle the PCI to PCI bridge, DMA and Bus Mastering. Sorry about tying up space with a comment to Busuka, but from the comment, he obviously hasn't had the courtesy to read the posts and beyond that hasn't a clue either about what's going on or what he's talking about. This only serves to confuse and possibly result in a system suffering greater problems.

One of the by-products of the TX/LX family of chipsets is IRQ and DMA shadowing. Since Windows 95 was developed in early 1995 (retail version) there were no provisions made for these new chipsets. Later, when the OSR2 version was released in late 1996, some provisions were made for the early "X" chipsets, but nothing for the TX family as it was released at the same time as OSR2. The precipitated the Supplement to OSR2 being released late last year. In any event, without the proper drivers loaded, Windows 95 doesn't see the "X" portions of the chipset and loads the early PCI bus as a default. This enables shadowing to occur, eg: conflicts exist on the PCI and ISA bus but are not detected by device manager. In addition the same thing occurs in the DMA channels. By loading the TX/LX drivers and activating the bus, windows sees the bus correctly and shuffles the devices to take advantage of the new devices, splitting of IRQ 13, 14 & 15 is enabled and IRQ's 16 through 37 are enabled. Relax, IRQ 16 - 40 are system only!

To load these drivers correctly, do this:

1. Load the driver software that you received with board thats on the CD Rom disk. It should have an install program. If there are only INF files, they will have to be loaded differently. Once these have been installed, go to the next step. (If the cd rom disk only has INF files, let me know and I'll walk you through their installation)

2. Next, load the updates that you downloaded. When you downloaded these, it should have been in a zip format and you unzipped them into a clean directory as well as copied them to a floppy. To load these you only need to look for the execute file using Windows Explorer and follow the instructions.

3. Next, go to device manager and scroll down to the Hard Disk Controller listing and click on the "+" to expand it. Highlight the first entry and click remove. Go back into that same area and verify nothing remains. (On some systems this may lock the computer, just reset the system). Shut down windows normally and restart.

4. As Windows 95 boots it will find the new chipset and install the PCI bridge as well as the new IDE Bus. Windows will install the Bus itself first, then the Primary and then the Secondary bus. It may take as many as three restarts for windows to load everything correctly. Don't hesitate to shutdown and restart the system to make sure that no further devices load.

5. Once the devices have been loaded, go back to device manager and check the Hard Disk Controller area. You should see the following:

Intel PIIX/PIIX3 Bus Master IDE Controller
Primary IDE Controller
Secondary IDE Controller

Scroll down a little further to the system devices and you should see such things as PCI Bridge, PCI Host etc. Once your sure everything looks okay, then go on. Be particularly careful to note any devices that are unclassified.

6. Go back into Device Manager and scroll down to Sound, Video and Game controllers. Click the "+" sign to expand it, then highlight everything in there and click remove. Empty it completely.

7. Next, shut down your system completely. Open the case and check the pins on the back of the cd rom drive. If it is pinned as a single master, re-pin the drive as a slave, even though it is the only drive on the secondary bus. Restart the system and boot into the Bios/Cmos setup.

8. Verify that the Bios has been set up as being Plug and Play aware, and then save the settings and let it boot through to Windows 95. Windows should now find the sound card correctly, but Windows may load default drivers rather than those for the AWE 64. In any event, reload the AWE64 software, and you should be good as new.

As always, if there's a question, just ask!
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