Hi Kenny,

>    I was wondering how you get the drivers for the other cards in a comp
> that used to run something else, but now runs FreeDOS. For example: how do
> you find the sound card manufacturer to get a driver? Or for any other
> drivers? Is there an easy program like NICSCAN (
> http://www.georgpotthast.de/sioux/packet.htm ) that detects...

There is an important difference between network and sound:

For network, you often use PCI cards (nicscan, pcisleep, nwdsk
and other methods to find your card) and then load a so-called
packet driver. DOS software that uses the network normally is
MEANT to communicate with a packet driver. Only some old games
want to talk directly to an old network card, e.g. ISA NE2000.

For sound, there seems to be no widely used driver type AT ALL
so at least almost all games have BUILT IN drivers and those
drivers are often only for OLD soundcards such as SoundBlaster
ISA cards. The PCI versions of Creative SoundBlaster come with
a sort of "virtual machine" emulating driver where DOS runs in
a bubble and all attempts to communicate with a SB16 soundcard
are caught. Then the driver bubble computes what sound your DOS
game wanted to make and sends that sound to - the actually NOT
similar to SB16 - real hardware, often AC97 or even HDA based.

Even that only works for older SoundBlaster PCI cards and you
sometimes have to use Windows to install those DOS "drivers",
ironically... There are also some PCI soundcards which use a
form of ISA awareness on older mainboards to behave similar
enough to a classic ISA SB16 or SBPro. Those directly work in
DOS with a number of games. Sometimes they need some sort of
mini driver loader to switch the card to the right settings,
at boot or right before you start the game. At least the OPL3
or Adlib FM music chip that such cards often have in hardware
may also work on newer, less ISA-aware mainboards, although it
often happens that things depending on IRQ or DMA interaction
with the soundcard still break with such PCI cards for ISA-ish
sound even on relatively old mainboards...

So what can you do with really NEW mainboards? You can simply
use NEW software (mpxplay or ported mplayer media players do
support common AC97 compatible chips, not sure about HDA yet)
or use OLD hardware (e.g. a true ISA SoundBlaster on ancient
mainboards from Pentium III and Socket 7+ ages) or of course
run the whole DOS in a virtual environment. The most "light"
option for that is DOSEMU in Linux which often can do faster
computations on your real CPU, emulating only graphics card,
sound card and similar. The most "Windows gaming" option is
DOSBOX which emulates everything, even DOS itself, meant to
give Windows users an easy way to run old games everywhere.
Finally there are the "universal" options, all sorts of full
virtual PC fall in that category: Bochs, Qemu, VMWare, and
the software actually called Virtual PC are typical examples.

Finally you could be the lucky user of one of the rare games
which do have loadable sound drivers in a well-documented(?)
way. Then you could start from source code of mpxplay and co
to make a driver module for your new hardware to work with
your old but flexible game and the module could be re-used,
if you find other games using the same driver architecture.

I think to solve YOUR specific problem, you should tell us a
bit more about which HARDWARE you want to use and which game
or other sound related SOFTWARE you want to run and whether
it has to be exactly that program or just a similar one :-)

Eric




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