Disabling Internal Speaker

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Disabling Internal Speaker

Paolo Vincenzo Olivo

Hi, I was wondering if it were possible to disable the internal speaker of the pc through Freedos. The problem is I installed freedos for retrogaming on a 2008 acer laptop, dual booting it alongside ubuntu with grub2. Obviously there are no DOS drivers for my sound card, but I don't mind playing mute. The problem now is that there are some games, especially older ones, which do not actually have a sound setup option, but they give input to the internal speaker by default. As a result my pc ends up performing high pitched, loudy sounds, which is a real unpleasant, weird, embarassing thing when you try launching a game with someone around.
I look forward to receiving some good tips
Thank you very much for your cooperation

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Re: Disabling Internal Speaker

Rugxulo
Hi,

On Sun, May 7, 2017 at 5:01 PM, Paolo Vincenzo Olivo <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> Hi, I was wondering if it were possible to disable the internal speaker of
> the pc through Freedos.

I don't normally think it's possible, no.

It's been a few years, but I vaguely remember some TSRs that tried to
(mostly) check for and disable beeping, but that doesn't always work
either.

Overall, you might have to just disassemble the binary and nop out the
parts that "out" (write) to whatever port(s).

> The problem is I installed freedos for retrogaming
> on a 2008 acer laptop, dual booting it alongside ubuntu with grub2.
> Obviously there are no DOS drivers for my sound card, but I don't mind
> playing mute.

There is no good sound support overall, no. Sound is one of the
weakest links, sadly.

But you could try (shareware) QuickView, Mpxplay, Judas Player, or
Ruslan's drivers (ported to a few tools, e.g. ZDoom, HX, UHexen2).

> The problem now is that there are some games, especially older
> ones, which do not actually have a sound setup option, but they give input
> to the internal speaker by default.

Most PCs in the very old days didn't have anything better. Only later
did Adlib, SB, GUS, etc. become popular.

You can halfway play digital sounds via PC speaker, but it's a kludge.
(Wolfenstein 3D even has an undocumented config option for that.)

> As a result my pc ends up performing
> high pitched, loudy sounds, which is a real unpleasant, weird, embarassing
> thing when you try launching a game with someone around.

Some modern machines (e.g. my old 2007 laptop) "emulated" the PC
speaker *extremely* loudly. Best to just not play such problematic
games, or only play ones that allow you to disable sound (which some
thankfully do).

> I look forward to receiving some good tips
> Thank you very much for your cooperation

Don't get your hopes up too high.

(BTW, you can always instead run most games under DOSEMU or DOSBox or
similar, which presumably have better sound controls in the host OS,
e.g. GNU/Linux.)

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Re: Disabling Internal Speaker

Gregg Eshelman
Does that laptop by chance happen to have a CardBus slot? Some companies were still equipping laptops with CardBus in 2008 instead of switching to ExpressCard, or using both, like Lenovo.

If you have a CardBus slot, then it may be possible to use a PCMCIA soundcard from the 90's for DOS games.

DOS PCMCIA support was complex. First, it required a PCMCIA controller driver. On top of that, there could be class drivers, which worked for any manufacturers' devices - mostly RAM cards and IIRC some modems and network cards. Devices that did special things which couldn't fit into a generic class driver required their own separate one, called a point driver.

So the question is, is there a DOS PCMCIA controller driver that works with early 21st century laptops?

This could quickly become a RAM hog if you needed more than a couple of class drivers and point drivers.

If the only device you were using was a soundcard then you only needed the controller driver and the card's point driver. If you were running Windows 3.x then it needed its own driver for the soundcard.

Windows 95 brought order to the mess by not requiring any DOS drivers for PCMCIA or CardBus and more class drivers with broader device support were available.

USB went through a similar development process where before Windows Me nearly all USB devices required their own separate drivers. Got to be a huge mess installing different drivers for every thumb drive. The Maximus Decim port of WinMe's USB Mass Storage class driver to 98SE was very helpful.

What would be nice is a generic universal PCMCIA controller driver for DOS, like that OAK CDROM driver.

That became the only DOS CDROM driver I used once I first encountered it. Hallelujah! I could finally do installs of two different brands of drives and use only one driver. Even when installing two of the same make and model drive, some of them required loading two copies of their driver. The OAK driver could run any number from one copy.

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