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July 2000

My Experience with SBLive Beta Drivers

Reviewed by Chris McGill ©July 2000

Creative Labs Soundblaster Live  
Product Information: http://www.americas.creative.com/sound/live/
Driver Download: http://hobbes.nmsu.edu/cgi-bin/h-search?key=sblive
Company website: http://www.americas.creative.com/home.html

When the announcement about OS/2 drivers for the SoundBlaster Live! soundcard was announced, I was very pleased and purchased one almost immediately. I had been wanting to upgrade my soundcard for some time. The soundcard that was working fine within it's limitations was the PAS 16. However, I wanted better quality for music, since I have a pretty decent speaker system consisting of a subwoofer and 4 satellite speakers.

There are several versions of the SBLive! available; I purchased the SBLive! Value for economy reasons. So this article is specific to that particular version. Also there are probably issues concerning an individual's system; mine is a AMD K6-2 450mhz custom built system with 64 megs of RAM running Warp Server for e-Business with no fixpack.

I downloaded the drivers, read the readme, and proceeded to remove the PAS 16 card and install the SBLive! Value. I removed the old drivers from the config.sys, followed the directions in the readme and rebooted. No sound.... I made sure the old drivers were "remmed out" and the new drivers were showing up in the config.sys. Since I am not that experienced with trying new things, being a bit of a coward when it comes to my computers, I asked for advice in IRC-#voice. I was directed to another server/channel and asked for help. A very helpful gentleman helped me by editing a file for me which removed the remnants of my old soundcard drivers. When I reinstalled the SBLive drivers, I had sound when I rebooted. Success!!!

So a very important part of installing the SBLIve drivers is to make absolutely sure all traces of your old soundcard drivers are gone. One of my friends in the #os/2 channel on Webbnet.org in IRC sent me this information he found when going about this some task himself:

The following was copied from comp.os.os2.multimedia.

This is a simple, safe way to uninstall your current sound card without having to do any selective install or delete the mmos2 subdirectory. I write OS/2 audio drivers and do this 8 or 9 times a day sometimes...

1. Boot to an OS/2 full screen prompt.
2. tedit the config.sys and delete or Rem-out the audio driver and it's vdd (if there is one.)
3. tedit the mmos2\mmpm2.ini
4. in the [Drivers] section delete the lines that begin with:

5. every element listed in these lines will have an associated section further down in the ini and you can delete them also if you want, but it is not necessary for this to work. it merely avoids clutter in the ini file.
6. reboot
7. install the audio drivers.

That's it, it will work every time and is much easier than selective uninstall and deleting the mmos2 subdirectory.

Thanks XRange!! (who found the above).

I had a very satisfactory experience with these beta drivers at this point. Unfortunately, I have to report a problem that happened to me after I had a hard drive failure, replaced the hard drive, and installed all software. This time I didn't have to worry about getting rid of old drivers so the initial install went in smoothly and sound worked immediately. However, when I tried to play an audio cd, I got an error message that no cd was in the drive. I know the cdrom drive is in working order as I had installed my operating system with it just fine and it is brand new in any case. At this point, I have no idea what the problem is. I posted a message to the egroups message board about the problem but have had no help so far. By the way, this is a good place to look for information about problems concerning the SBLive drivers. The URL is: http://www.egroups.com/group/sbliveos2.

The sound quality with the SBLive is by far superior to my old soundcard and I am happy with it. I can live without playing music cds for now and I'm sure that problem will be resolved sometime. I am not knowledgeable about all the cool features of the card; I just enjoy the wonderful clarity and quality of the sound for my mp3s. I am a home user, not a computer expert by an stretch of the imagination, and for my purposes this soundcard and the beta drivers are very satisfactory.

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