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Problem Windows98 SE WDM audio driver

By ernesta ·
Dear masters,
Many visually impaired users of a computer are experiencing difficultyes. These difficultyes are caused by WDM compatible Audio drivers in WINdows98 SE. The sound cards, which uses The WDM compatible drivers have negative effect on a system performance.This effect is, That when User have screen reader running and when He is using SAPI engine for make text output, he can not work effectively with Windows 98 system. The reaction speed between key pressing and voice output pronunciated key pressed, letter or word becomes more and more slover. After 40 minutes or for a several hours, user must restart Windows. The only solution is use The .VXD audio drivers. But it is sometimes difficult for user to find a .VXD driver for his audio cart. A specially, when it is The integrated Sound cart to The mother board. Please, try to help many visually impaired users, who have Windows 98 Se and WDM compatible sound card installed. How to identifi The sound chip for finding a VXD compatible driver. A nonofficial Windows98 Se package probably will not solve a WDM problem. I also tried a memory optimizers, but it did not solve this problems. Windows XP is not causing these problems, even This kernel is using WDM technology as well. Please excuse my poor english and grammar. I will not intrude Your team too often.

Thank You very much for Your answer.
Kindness regards.
Janusz Chmiel

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by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to Problem Windows98 SE WDM ...

Firstly feel free to ask as many questions as you want to ask that is what we are here for to offer help when we can.

As for identifying the Sound IC on a Built in Sound Card this gets a bit harder as different system builders can use different M'Boards on the same Model of system over it's production life. This was quite common with the 98 years as this was something that was changing all the time as new technology became available.

Now if memory serves me correctly there where two main On Board Sound IC used when 98 was at it's height one was the Sound Blaster range which will be easy to find the alternative drivers for and the other was the AC97 Series of On Board Sound. This is harder to find the necessary driver for your needs here. You can try this site with the computer in question and scan the hardware for the available hardware here

Sorry but that's about the only option that I can offer as all the old Hardware Scanners that I once used are no longer available.

I hope that the above link is of some help.


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by TheChas In reply to Problem Windows98 SE WDM ...

Don't be so quick to blame the driver type. When sound skips or is delayed on a PC it is because some other process is using the system resources.

Both AC97 CODEC based on-board sound devices and many newer sound cards that use the WDM driver model replace hardware on the sound card with software. On a system that works well, identify the sound card that is installed and see if you can find some more of them.

A US firm named CompRenew may be able to supply you with sound cards. One of their corporate missions is to recycle usable PC hardware to charitable causes and third world users.

I suspect that the systems that give you the most problems have limited resources. That is, they have less than 128MB of RAM, and / or CPUs slower than 500 MHz. Adding another 128MB of RAM may be all that these systems need. Some old benchmark test results I have show Windows 98 performing fastest with between 196 and 256 MB of RAM.

Your best option would be to replace the sound card in these systems with a good decent hardware based sound card.

Short of new sound cards, you can free up resources and help these systems run better.

Start by looking at the icons in the system tray. Every icon in the tray is a running program that is using up system resources. Disable all but the applications that the users need. For some of these, you may need to run MSCONFIG from the run box. On the startup tab, take a good look at what software is listed. Aside from Anti-Virus and Firewall software, there should be very few programs that you actually need.

Next, run AdAware and / or Spybot Search and Destroy to clean up any mal-ware that may be on the systems and using resources.

If these systems are fully patched, that may be part of the problem too. I have seen very slow performance and frequent pauses on Windows 98 systems with either DirectX 9 or Internet Explorer 6 installed. This is most common with older video cards that do not have DirectX 9 specific drivers.


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