If you're here because you previously had
available EMS memory but after some Windows Updates in October 2012, the EMS just
disappeared then go to control panel, add/remove programs, click to show updates
and remove "Security Update for Windows XP (KB2724197)" then restart your computer.
Don't forget you can visit the Windows Update page, do a "Custom" update, then remove
the tick to install the update, expand it, then tick the option not to show the update
again. This will prevent it reinstalling next time.
Does Impulse Tracker work in
Windows XP? That is a question which has been asked countless
times since the release of Windows XP. The answer is yes. The real
question is how well? Some people mention jumpy mono 8bit sound.
Other people use a utility called
supposedly gives 44khz 16bit sound. However, many people report problems
with long delays between entering a note and hearing the sound. Others
complain of static noise.
Fq-music.net have made configuration
files for "vdmsound"
and easy to understand instructions readily available!
Windows XP Audio Support in DOS
By default, Windows XP emulates a
SoundBlaster version 2 soundcard for DOS applications. This has a 22khz
mono 8bit output quality. That is to say, pretty awful. Not only does it
emulate such an old soundcard, but it really doesn't do it very well. The
sound of meatloaf gargling with hydrochloric acid would probably be more
musical than these default drivers. But what if you could have a
resident SoundBlaster 16 driver what uses directx and directsound to
produce a high quality audio output from a DOS window? That is exactly
What Do You Need?
We've tested these configurations on a
number of PC's and have come up with the following minimum specifications:
The REALLY IMPORTANT BIT to prevent
a REALLY STUPID BUG
Before opening Impulse Tracker, ensure
that numlock is ON.
Double click the Impulse Tracker icon
on your desktop.
When Impulse Tracker has loaded and
you've clicked CONTINUE, turn numlock OFF.
Why? Because this significantly
reduces the delay between pressing keys on the keyboard and hearing the
I've Followed the Instructions but
IT Reports I Have No EMS Memory
This is the most common problem that
has been reported to us. Some non-generic computers (such as Dell, IBM,
Sony, etc) seem to stop Windows XP enabling EMS memory for legacy
applications. In some cases you can disable Legacy USB support in the BIOS
to resolve this problem (Legacy USB is only required for using USB devices
in non-Plug'n'Play Operating Systems - this will not affect Windows XP).
On other computers disabling onboard network cards (or sometimes just the
Boot ROM) has also cured the problem.
Unfortunately some of the older
onboard audio and video chipsets (particularly on chipsets supporting AMD
processors for some reason) also seem to prevent XP using EMS - disabling
these can cure the problem, but obviously you'll need to use add-in cards
Worse still, we have also come across
computers where the RAID controllers or even SATA controllers seem to
interfere with Windows XP's ability to enable EMS memory. Again these can
be disabled in the BIOS, but only if you don't use SATA Drives or the RAID
here and save to your desktop. Run "MemTest"
icon on your desktop to check if you have EMS memory available in your
current configuration. You must have saved the "CONFIG.IT" and "AUTOEXEC.IT"
files to your System32 folder prior to running "MemTest".
Everything Seemed to Work But I
Can't Hear Any Sound
We're still trying to figure out the
cause of this rare problem, but having been unable to replicate it we can
only make educated guesses at the moment. We understand from someone who
had this problem that moving the soundcard to a different PCI slot seemed
to work. You could also try increasing the latency in VDMS.INI in the
I've Tried All the Above and
Impulse Tracker Still Does Not Work
Due to the nature of PC architecture,
no computer is the same. Nobody can guarantee these configurations will
work for you. However, we will happily try to help with any queries you
have - email email@example.com for
At present, we do not have suitable
configurations for FastTracker.
Can I Use VDMSound for Playing Old
Good Luck! But seriously, a lot of
games do work with VDMSound. If the game becomes unresponsive during audio output, or the
sound judders, try the trick with the numlock above. Unfortunately we only
offer advice for the Impulse Tracker application as this is where the
majority of our testing has been done. We recommend you consult the
various forums around the net for playing old DOS games with Windows XP.
I get an NTVDM
illegal operation error. Whats wrong?
This is caused either
by having one of the latest NVIDIA graphics cards or an upgrade to XP SP3.
Either way, a workaround to this problem is to right click the IT icon,
select Properties, click on the Screen tab, and change usage to Window. When
the soundcard detection pops up, press ALT+ENTER to switch to full screen
mode. The error will still popup, but only when you close the program.