AWE64-OS/2 Warp How-To FAQ
Previously Maintained by John LeMay
Notice: The information on this archived page is quite dated and not regularly maintained. Information is preserved for those running older OS/2 systems and for historical reference.
Introduction and Origins
This page is an attempt to overcome the fact that Creative has halted development of OS/2 drivers for the Sound Blaster series of sound cards. OS/2 has built-in support for the Sound Blaster 16 and AWE32 series but some people have had difficulty with the PnP (plug and play) series of AWE32 and the AWE64 card is not specifically supported. The instructions come from a number of sources, of which I know only what you find here. I have a standard AWE32 soundcard (i.e. not PnP) and therefore don't have the ability to test configurations on a AWE64 PnP card. This page should be able to help you get your AWE64 running under OS/2 Warp.
There have been a number of requests for help getting newer PCI sound cards working such as the Sound Blaster Live! The OS/2 drivers have been ported from the Linux drivers provided by Creative and are available from Netlabs. It is beyond the scope of this page to help anyone with this issue.
eComStation will support such devices. If you are still running OS/2 Warp, you might wish to check these resources for answers:
- The SB Live! for OS/2 forum running on eGroups appears to be gone.
- The comp.os.os2.multimedia newsgroup has had some good information about getting various PCI cards to work.
- There are some entries on the AWE64 Newsgroup about PCI cards that work. Stefano has managed to get the SB-64V PCI card working using the ENSONIQ.EXE driver from IBM, unfortunately without MIDI support.
- I tried the Creative Ensoniq Audio PCI card but the system reported a Trap D upon booting from which I was unable to recover.
- I also tried the Yamaha XG192 with both the PCIYMF.EXE driver for the 724 and the OPL3-SA driver. The OPL3-SA loaded with an error 365 and no sound. The YMF724 loaded with no errors, but no sound either although the card works fine in Win95.
- There are some entries about successful PCI sound cards in the OS/2 SuperSite Hardware Forum [This site is no longer available].
As a standard precaution, I'd advise you to do a complete backup of your system before attempting to change your settings. If you encounter problems you have something to return to. Remember, like all installations your mileage may vary. Be sure to check the Other AWE64 Tips and AWE64 Newsgroup sections at the end of this page. You may also wish to check out some of the other sites linked from my Soundcard Fixes Pages.
If you are still having problems, try the AWE64 Newsgroup where myself and others will try to help you get your system working properly. This will enable your successes and challenges to become learning experiences for others rather than confined to private e-mails.
The following was the introduction by John LeMay, the originator of this page who did the lion's share of the work:
I'm sure I am not the only person who has struggled with trying to install one of Creative Labs' Sound Blaster AWE64 cards under OS/2 Warp. For me, this took about two dozen reboots with as many uninstalls and reinstalls of the OS/2 multimedia subsystem. In order to assist others attempting the same installation, I've put together a few tips which have been compiled from email's sent back and forth between myself and Daniel Caetano, the author of the installation routine used to install the AWE64 drivers discussed in the next paragraph. By following the instructions in Daniel's install routine, and applying the tips I have at the bottom of this page, you should have your system up and running with the AWE64 card in only three or four reboots, depending on what card you have installed now and whether you need to apply both of the fixes I list below.
Installing AWE64 Support under OS/2
The first step to correctly installing the AWE64 card is to download these drivers (1.7 MB). These are actually the latest beta drivers which were available from Creative Labs before they discontinued OS/2 support. If you follow these directions, the drivers work pretty well and the sound quality is acceptable.
Once you have downloaded the drivers, you need to make sure you have already installed the correct OS/2 driver for your card via the OS/2 installation routine. If you have a regular AWE64 card, use the AWE32 driver. If you have the AWE64 PnP card, you should select the AWE32 PnP card. Once you have the correct card installed, reboot your machine.
Note that upon reboot these drivers will not correctly load. This is fine. Continue with the installation by unzipping the driver pack which you downloaded to a temporary directory and run the installation with the command install x: where x = Drive Where MMPM / MMOS2 is installed. For example, if MMPM is installed on d:, run install d:. Follow the directions that are provided by the installation routine. When you are prompted to enter data about the card, you can ignore this if your card is a PnP type. Once complete, and you have made the changes to your config.sys file, reboot. If your card still fails to load, here are a couple of things you can try:
- Add a "/G" parameter (see the note in the Other AWE64 Tips section) to the end of the config.sys line that loads the driver for the card.
- If this still doesn't work, change your config.sys line to look like:
DEVICE=X:\SBOS2\SBAWED2.SYS /C:1 /D:1 /H:5 /I:5 /A:220 /B:8 /M:330 /N:SBAUD1$ /G
where X = the drive that MMPM is installed to and where the SBOS2 directory was created.
- for the AWE32 PnP version, you'll want to add
Some additional notes from Helen Terbizan:
- Make sure you place this line after the com line so that your second com port is not disabled.
- The AWE32 PnP version requires you to add the /P parameter since the PnP implementation was faulty and you had to force it. This is not necessary with the AWE64.
Installing AWE64 Support under WIN-OS/2
Once you have the OS/2 drivers up and running, you can install the WinOS/2 drivers by following these instructions provided by Helen Terbizan from Sentience.
- Start WinOS/2
- Open WinOS/2 Main Group
- Open Control Panel
- Open Drivers
- Click Add
- Click "Unlisted or Updated Driver"
- Click OK
- Browse, locate the X:\os2\drivers directory and select the sbawed2 directory (should have been installed when you installed OS/2 Warp)
- Click OK (should install four drivers - select what you need)
Next, download the WinOS/2 driver pack (107 KB) following the instructions contained within exactly. This is very important!
Next, check your system.ini file settings for the card. They should look similar to this: (note I have not included the entire file, just the lines that are specific to the AWE64 setup and their section headers to help you locate the lines)
drivers=msmixmgr.dll mmsystem.dll winmm16.dll
Finally, go back into the Control Panel, select the midi mapper, and select SBAWE32 All.
Other AWE64 Support Tips
AWE64 sound card and the undocumented /G parameter
The /G parameter is mentioned in the problem solving section . But because it's an undocumented parameter, there's no further explanation of it's function.
I have a PnP Adaptec 1510B SCSI card and a AWE64 PnP. Before I used the /G parameter, the driver failed to load because the SCSI card was initialized first (and it altered the pnp settings in some mysterious way). I have used the card as a sb16 for a while now because of this reason. And it worked fine, except the MIDI part. With the /G parameter, the AWE driver loads correctly. So I guess it has something to do with not being the first one to initialize the pnp cards and still accepting the settings.
Conflicts between COM drivers and the AWE64 sound drivers
If the sound drivers come before the COM.SYS and VCOM.SYS then the sound drivers refuse to load, and I have no sound.
If, however, the sound drivers come before the COM.SYS and VCOM.SYS drivers (or between the two), then sound works, but COM.SYS and VCOM.SYS don't load (and I can't use my modem)!
Does anyone have any suggestions about how I could fix this? I've tried moving the sound drivers all around CONFIG.SYS, and nothing helps.
Incidentally, I can use the SB16-PnP drivers that come with Warp 4. But I liked having the AWE drivers, and I want them back.
My computer is a Pentium II 400, ASUS P2B mb, 128 megs RAM, LS-120 drive, BusLogic SCSI, and Micropolis 9.1 UW HDD. The old computer (where the drivers worked) was a 486 with no PnP support. I'm running Warp 4, no fixpacks.
I had the same problem on a Warp 3 / FP37 System after changing from a serial to a PS/2 mouse. The SBAWED2.SYS does not load anymore so I changed the order of COM.SYS and SBAWED2.SYS, but now COM.SYS does not load.
It seems the SBAWED2.SYS occupies some resources that prevents COM.SYS from loading. I do not know which, but it has something to do with the 1st com port (io= 0x3f8, 0x3FF, IRQ=4). However, rmview does not give any information about it. The strange thing on this issue is that if I am using a serial mouse connected to COM1, everything is working perfectly.
However, finally I got a solution. I assume your PC has two serial ports and you have a PS/2 mouse. If you need both serial ports you should change at least the settings for the first one. On my system I changed the serial 1 to ioport=0x3e8 and IRQ=4. After this you need to tell OS/2 the proper settings of the serial ports in the CONFIG.SYS.
My CONFIG.SYS looks like this:
DEVICE=E:\OS2\BOOT\COM.SYS (2,2f8,3) (3,3e8,4)
See the "OS/2 Reference Online Help" for the Parameter of COM.SYS. If you do as I did the you have two serial ports in OS/2. They call COM2 and COM3 but this can be changed with parameter you give COM.SYS. If you run other operating systems on your PC you have to check which COM ports are available to it.
Adding and Removing PnP Cards Requires a Complete Snoop
A number of people have indicated difficulty with PnP (Plug and Play) soundcards. You must enable full hardware detection when either installing or uninstalling PnP (Plug and Play) devices under Warp 4. During the boot process look for the white box in the top left-hand corner of your screen. When you see this press ALT-F1 and select F5 - Enable full hardware detection from the menu that appears. This way OS/2 will find new hardware and release the settings from anything you've removed.
If anyone has any other tips on getting WinOS/2 to work with the AWE64, please let me know by e-mail to . The AWE64 Newsgroup is also an excellent area to post AWE64 questions and solutions that can be read and improved upon by everyone that views them.
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Updated: August 16, 2016