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3-Com NIC and SoundBlaster AWE64

Posted on 1998-11-19
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Last Modified: 2013-12-28
I have installed a 3-Com NIC in myc computer and all works well except for one thing - All my Wavefiles that play gets "choppy". They play for 10th of a second, gets quiet for a second or two and then plays for a 0th of a second again - and so on..

A IRC/DMA/Adress fault I thought at first, but surprisingly the two devices uses completely different sets of IRQ/DMA/Adress range...

As soon as I remove either the 3-com NIC or the AWE64 there is no problem any more.. I have tried removing both of the devices and installing them again in several different ways, but as soon as the NIC is installed the choppy waves is there again... (CD-Music and MIDI works allright).

I have tried both the NIC and the AWE 64 on other computers with win-95 and they work ok..

When emailing both Creative Labs and 3-Com I get a message from 3-Com that is is an IRC problem although I can see that there isn't any..

I never got a reply from Creative.. :-(

Any ideas?
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Question by:Trickster
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15 Comments
 
LVL 8

Expert Comment

by:netmage
ID: 1647788
In know you said there is no conflict. But it does sound like an irq/dma problem.
Are both these cards ISA ? (i would assume so but need to ask)
What are the settings?
A complete list for the awe64 including if the midi port is enabled and both DMA's.
A list for the NIC.

Try remapping dma/irq's. These are hardware tracks on the cards/motherboard and can fail.

Does this problem happen when using a dos game?
Could be the drivers in windows if OK.

One other thing. You didn't supply any info regarding your machine. Also, i've seen many old isa network cards not work in new systems.

Regards
Netmage
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Expert Comment

by:rosefire
ID: 1647789
You might check your system BIOS settings just to be sure you have not set up a COM port or an LPT or reserved an IRQ at the locations your cards are using.  
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Expert Comment

by:theh95
ID: 1647790
I think your system have no conflict.  Sound card may be all right, try to change the IRQ for you Netcard change it to IRQ10 that may take care your problem.

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Expert Comment

by:netmage
ID: 1647791
to th95.

Why lock a question when i have already asked trickster to remap  irq's.
Also, if its an old 3com card, there will probably be not be an option to use more than 3 different IRQ's.
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Author Comment

by:Trickster
ID: 1647792
Sorry, I have tried changing the NIC's and the AWE64's IRC's and DMA's to all different set's... Allways the same problem..
There is also not conflicts in BIOS.

Today I also tried changing drivers for both of the cards (to older ones - tried the newest before) and still doesn't work..

This is very puzzling..
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by:netmage
ID: 1647793
As you haven't answered all my queries, i am unable to help you further at this time.

Netmage
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by:rosefire
ID: 1647794
If you are playing a wave file and your NIC card accesses and ties up your hard disk, it is possible that the wave player gets starved for data. How are you playing your wave files?  (You might find it helps to use a different program to play your wave files. Some players will do read-ahead buffering better than others so this won't occur.)  Is there disk activity when this chopping occurs?  Is it synched up with your disk drive's access light?


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Expert Comment

by:groone
ID: 1647795
This sounds like aproblem I had with some of my dells.  There is in fact a conflict between drivers of the 3Com and the 64Awe and you may want to double check your media driver.  If it is the Yamaha then you will need to delete it because it will not work with the 3Com drivers.

There are updated drivers at the creative labs ftp site for the 64Awe.  Download those and install.  Then do the following
Go to START, SETTINGS, CONTRO PANEL, SYSTEM then double click on the Device Manager tab then click on the yellow question mark.  It should read OTHER Devices.  Remove any 3Com references and ethernet refrences from there.  Click apply and reboot.  

When you log on, the 3com drivers should be installed properly
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Expert Comment

by:MadCat
ID: 1647796
Well the only thing i can think of (and that is very seldom) that your 3Com needs the first slot on your MOTHERboard 3Com stuff goes crazy not being installed in the first slot.
It says so in the manual to if i'm correct i had a similar problem on a NT machine and it worked for me so.... it might work for you too :)

Take care.. MadCat
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Author Comment

by:Trickster
ID: 1647797
Good idea, but sadly the problem didn't go away :-(
A strange thing though - Now even the playing of MIDIfiles are faulty. The sound is ok, but when I close down the mediaplayer the machine gets's _really_ slow and the media player doesn't close down. After ctrl-Alt-Del I find out that the mediaplayer isn't responding. When shutting the application down everything is fine again..

I tried puitting the NIC back to the other PCI slot and this problem is still there..
Now I have both choppy waves and unplayable midi's :-( *sigh*

Btw Groone: I don't have Yamaha driver. It says that the driver is Creative AWE 64.

I am soon in the progress of installing back to win 95 because of this. I don't like removing the NIC every time I am to play a game! Otherwise both the NIC and AWE64 works fine :-)


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Accepted Solution

by:
Asta Cu earned 100 total points
ID: 1647798
Key questions already asked -- BIOS setup, is Plug-N-Play (PNP) operating system supported and "yes" selected at set up?  Do you have IRQs reserved for legacy cards, blah blah.  Windows 98 often shows IRQ 9 as free, but is really tied-up if IRQ 2 is assigned (vice/versa)- 2 (cascaded IRQ which is dual routed),often assigned to programmable interrupt controller (conflicts resulted for me).  The AWE64 prefers 5, 7 (if printer isn't attached and processing) or 10.  Once again, must check who's using what, knowing you can't trust IRQ 2/9 info.  The other thing is are you using any startup commands relative to settings for your card in Autoexec.bat,config.sys (forget which).  I don't have the 3Com, don't know anything about it, but do know about the AWE64.  My ideal AWE64 set up in Windows 98, with BIOS set to PNP Operating System = Yes was/is I5 D1 D5 at 220 (I-IRQ, D=low DMA second D=high DMA and 220-address).  My card is ISA vs. PCI.  It helps to have a current motherboard with an updated BIOS.  My troubleshooting needs popped up when we installed a new DOS-based game, and it's setup forced unnatural acts, including minimal options on sound ie.AWE32 versus AWE64 -- Vesa 2.0 compliance on video card, etc.  Some crazy way, this game setup and my existing environment assigned two conflicting and "NOGO" settings, DOS put sound at IRQ10 -- locked up and out.  Long story short, booted to Win98 in safe mode, removed everthing in device manager relevant to "sound", also removed my network stuff and modem stuff (since I have a voice modem).  Then at Start - Run keyed in MSCONFIG and there disabled all unnecessary start up items (by unchecking them), and disabled load and run statements.  Also disabled my config.sys and autoexec.bat (by unchecking items).  Made sure each component within Windows 98 device manager details - was checked as 'auto' so windows 98 can autodetect.  Then shut down and turned off my computer a couple of minutes.  Restarted computer held down CTRL key and from menu and chose BOOTLOG.TXT option.  Windows 98 then redetected all and no conflicts -- worked for me.  If you find a loss of capability with this selective start-up mode, rerun MSCONFIG and rechecking items, one by one (restart and see if it is safe to keep items loading).  Somewhat of a drag, but worked for me.  
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LVL 27

Expert Comment

by:Asta Cu
ID: 1647799
Key questions already asked -- BIOS setup, is Plug-N-Play (PNP) operating system supported and "yes" selected at set up?  Do you have IRQs reserved for legacy cards, blah blah.  Windows 98 often shows IRQ 9 as free, but is really tied-up if IRQ 2 is assigned (vice/versa)- 2 (cascaded IRQ which is dual routed),often assigned to programmable interrupt controller (conflicts resulted for me).  The AWE64 prefers 5, 7 (if printer isn't attached and processing) or 10.  Once again, must check who's using what, knowing you can't trust IRQ 2/9 info.  The other thing is are you using any startup commands relative to settings for your card in Autoexec.bat,config.sys (forget which).  I don't have the 3Com, don't know anything about it, but do know about the AWE64.  My ideal AWE64 set up in Windows 98, with BIOS set to PNP Operating System = Yes was/is I5 D1 D5 at 220 (I-IRQ, D=low DMA second D=high DMA and 220-address).  My card is ISA vs. PCI.  It helps to have a current motherboard with an updated BIOS.  My troubleshooting needs popped up when we installed a new DOS-based game, and it's setup forced unnatural acts, including minimal options on sound ie.AWE32 versus AWE64 -- Vesa 2.0 compliance on video card, etc.  Some crazy way, this game setup and my existing environment assigned two conflicting and "NOGO" settings, DOS put sound at IRQ10 -- locked up and out.  Long story short, booted to Win98 in safe mode, removed everthing in device manager relevant to "sound", also removed my network stuff and modem stuff (since I have a voice modem).  Then at Start - Run keyed in MSCONFIG and there disabled all unnecessary start up items (by unchecking them), and disabled load and run statements.  Also disabled my config.sys and autoexec.bat (by unchecking items).  Made sure each component within Windows 98 device manager details - was checked as 'auto' so windows 98 can autodetect.  Then shut down and turned off my computer a couple of minutes.  Restarted computer held down CTRL key and from menu and chose BOOTLOG.TXT option.  Windows 98 then redetected all and no conflicts -- worked for me.  If you find a loss of capability with this selective start-up mode, rerun MSCONFIG and rechecking items, one by one (restart and see if it is safe to keep items loading).  Somewhat of a drag, but worked for me.  
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Expert Comment

by:rosefire
ID: 1647800
Ist the interruption of the sound a pause where the sound picks up where it left off after the being interrupted, or does it repeat a portion of the sound alread played over again?


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Author Comment

by:Trickster
ID: 1647801
After too many hours with this problem I finally got it to work. And I don't really know what I did! I fidgeted around a bit with all my settings and installed/uninstalled the cards several times.. Since your reply made me fidget around I give you the points :-)
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by:rosefire
ID: 1647802
Hot damn!  Ten point question & 6 people!   We can each get 10/6 of a point each just for making someone fidget around! ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-)

Kidding aside, I'm glad you got your problem solved.  That is, after all, what the point of experts exchange is.  It is not here so a bunch of experts can make themselves feel good or compete for expert point.  Too often it seems people forget that. None of those posting here included.
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