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tillewolle

HD + AC97 audio & beyond the 137GB/128GiB barrier

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Hey there,

I just built a Win98SE-Machine and used the MSI K8NGM-V Motherboard. Got everything running instead of drivers for sound and network. I installed a PCI-LAN-Card so network isn't needed that much.

Looks like the board uses

Quote

8 channels HD audio codec Realtek ALC880 Manual

Found these drivers for Win98SE but Sounddrivers won't install correctly.

Any ideas? I'm thankful for every advice!

Edited by tillewolle

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Audio


† 8 channels HD audio codec Realtek ALC880
- High Definition link controller integrated in nForce 430/410.

I think you have an nForce 430 (or 410) with HDA sound that is maybe based on the Realtek ALC880 design. You probably need an NForce 430 or generic HDA audio driver.



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There are no HD Audio drivers for 98SE/ME.

There are only drivers for AC'97 (which is an older standard) which you've tried already.

Best bet is to use either cheap USB Audio card (98SE/ME supports those natively), or a PCI card like SoundBlaster Live.

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I just now looked at the Realtek ALC880 Series Datasheet and it is backwards compatible with AC'97.
WDM_A404.exe is the AC'97 driver.
wdm_r124.exe is the HDA driver.

A real ALC880 should support both. If the nForce 430 (or 410) with HDA sound is only based on the Realtek ALC880 design, it might not be backwards compatible with AC'97. If it is paired with a real ALC880, the AC'97 might be disabled in some way.

Is there a square, 48-pin (4x12) Realtek ALC880 chip on the MSI K8NGM-V Motherboard?

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The "compatibility with AC'97" means (I think) that it is compatible with AC'97 front panel headers on old cases, not with the AC'97 specification.

wdm_r124.exe is NOT for 9x!

For WDM_A404.exe to work, the sound card would have to be reported in Device Manager as a PCI Multimedia Audio Device (meaning it is not an HD Audio Bus) with a compatible hardware ID from the *.INF, not a PCI Card (which is the HD Audio Bus) which has a completely different Hardware ID.

OP, it would be nice if you could show us the Device Manager, and the hardware ID of the unknown devices, you can see them by running "hwinfo /ui" in the Run dialog from Start Menu. Then selecting Devices with problems in the top menu.

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Only just seen this.
I got a driver to work on Windows 98SE for a Realtek HD Audio chipset with the invaluable help of @deomsh and others.
It was an ALC883, not ALC880, but you might be lucky!
See this rather large thread.
:)

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@Dave-H While it is currently the only option for native HD Audio driver, it's not a WDM/VXD driver but based on Windows 3.1 driver model, it produces glitchy audio, and it's a pain to install. Besides, doesn't it require specific configuration for each PC/sound chip? Not fun.

It's also no longer developed by walter (the original author).

I never got it to work.

Regardless, @tillewolle, feel free to test it.
 

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Yes, it does need configuring for each chip, which is why it's a shame that @tillewolledoesn't also have an ALC883, if he had he could just use my files!
@deomshsorted all that out for me.
I really only needed it to be able to get the system sounds working, as i have other operating systems on the machine if I want to listen to music or anything else serious.
There is some distortion on the system sounds, but surprisingly music is pretty OK if I do play something on Windows 98.
:)
 

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19 hours ago, Dave-H said:

Yes, it does need configuring for each chip, which is why it's a shame that @tillewolledoesn't also have an ALC883, if he had he could just use my files!

This is not a true statement in general. Two out of three HDA-chipsets I was able to test, worked out-of-the-box (with HDATSR.EXE in AUTOEXEC.BAT). One HDA-chipset needed my quasi-general HDAICOUT.HDA (download on page 8 of the thread mentioned), the file for "Codec Index=$0" (=HDAICOUT.HDA.000). If there is silence only, setting the right "Output Widget" in HDACFG.INI is important - the driver has no a Widget Parser. Sadly there is no list of $-values - could be made if enough serious testers were available. :(

19 hours ago, Dave-H said:

There is some distortion on the system sounds, but surprisingly music is pretty OK if I do play something on Windows

I have fairly good system sounds, maybe because of some heavy tweaking.

About using the driver at all: it's written by Watler for Win3x, Stereo-Playback for max 16 bit & 48 KHz only.

Installation on Win9x is easy, in case of WinME it's much more complicated (no Real mode). Further: use of this driver can give serious stability problems. :puke:

Edited by deomsh
Typo

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Thanks for the clarification @deomsh.
I've done some more testing just to see if the 3.1 driver would be adequate for @tillewolle, and playing music through the driver seems to sound absolutely fine, but the system sounds sound a bit rough, some sort of HF distortion.
This doesn't change with the volume setting.
I did wonder if it was because they are wav files, not mp3, but I have some music wav files, and they sound fine when played too.
:dubbio:
The only other issue is that there are low level clicks and pops from the speakers while a file is loading, but once it's loaded and playing, that's fine.

Edited by Dave-H
Addition

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Wave can play uncompressed sound only. Compressed files are decompressed by the player.

On Win9x System Sounds are 22050 Hz only: Radio Quality. Maybe the driver has problems switching frequency of your ALC883. How sounds a System Sound with a WAV in CD-quality?

Another possibility is playing with the Wave-buffer, I found 5 seconds best (default is 4 seconds).

Further: on my system Playback of media-files is best with Direct Sound output (software emulation only). I think thats not possible in case of System Sounds.

About pop's and click's: all HDA-codecs are producing them, but most drivers are programmed to switch sound off during the load-phase. 

 

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My wav music files are CD quality, they play fine.
I've done a few more tests, and the system sounds when played with media players are exactly the same, that is to say distorted, when played with Windows Media Player or VLC Media Player.
Strangely though, when played with the QuickTime 6 player, they sound fine! I guess that somehow plays them differently.
With regard to the pops and clicks, that's interesting that the "proper" drivers mute the sound while the file is loading. I didn't know that, but it makes perfect sense if the 3.1 driver doesn't.
I've noticed that even with the "proper" drivers on Windows XP and Windows 10, the speakers pop quite loudly a couple of times when the drivers are loading on boot.
Not very elegant. Never had that with the good old AC97!
:lol:

Edited by Dave-H
Typo

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@Dave-H,

Interesting results.

Did you experimented with the wave-buffer? It's in "Sounds and Audio Devices" (somewhere).

Regarding different mediaplayers: on some of them audio output can be chosen. In VLC too, as far I remember. Try difference between normal HDA output and Direct Sound.

I can't test much at the moment, because of my USB-project and no full Win98se installation available. :(

About pop's and click's in WinXP/Win10: are you using Window's "universal" driver, or Realtek's?

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21 hours ago, Dave-H said:

I've noticed that even with the "proper" drivers on Windows XP and Windows 10, the speakers pop quite loudly a couple of times when the drivers are loading on boot.
Not very elegant. Never had that with the good old AC97!

Not 100% on topic, but somewhat relevant: I have a Dell Precision M6800 (a quite modern system), which intermittently emits one or two loud pops from the internal speakers on shutdown. I don't know why this is, but I've speculated that it may not be 100% the driver's fault for causing the pops and clicks, as I've heard it happen without any drivers loaded; Perhaps the same is somewhat true on @Dave-H's system?

Be that as it may, it was thought that functional HD Audio was impossible on 9x (and 3.x) until this driver came along, so the fact that it works at all, imperfect as it may be, is impressive.

Too bad it can't be re-implemented as a 9x-native WDM driver (or can it? I vaguely recall there being talk of it on another thread somewhere not too long ago), as that would probably go a long way toward ironing out some of these minor glitches, and allow for a more streamlined experience.

c

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