windows 98 dos games no sound

With most of the modern, sophisticated video games available right before me, I felt nostalgic about installing a DOS game on my age-old laptop. 

However, I was very disappointed when I started playing my favorite DOS games like shadow warrior, worms, digger and panzer general because there was no sound!

And I had to scour the internet the whole afternoon before I found a solution for this issue. 

If you are facing the same issue, this post will save you hours! I will walk you through everything you need to know about Windows 98 DOS games no sound in this article and explain some possible solutions. 

Without further ado, let’s get started. 

Reasons Why Windows 98 Dos Games Output No Sound 

There could be a few reasons for DOS games to not generate sounds in windows 98, which are listed below:

  • No specific compatible sound card (sound blaster) is installed on the PC.
  • DOS games sound setup is not configured properly. 
  • The audio output device may not be set to default.
  • MS-DOS drivers may not be installed.

How To Resolve Windows 98 DOS Games No Sound? 

Let’s now take a look at each cause and I’ll walk you through how to resolve these. 

Resolve Windows 98 DOS games sound

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No Compatible Sound Card

If you don’t have a specific compatible sound card (sound blaster) installed in the PC, go into the setup for the game(s) and choose either your sound card or PC speaker. 

I recommend getting a DosBox sound card for better results. The problem should definitely be solved if the issue is regarding the sound card. 

Ms-DOS Drivers Not Installed For Sound Card

You must install the MS-DOS drivers for your sound card to function in MS-DOS games. 

A line in the autoexec.bat file should read something like this if you are using an MS-DOS shortcut: Set the printer to A220 I5 D1

The sound card settings for the card in MS-DOS mode are set by this line. Please note that the numbers may vary depending on your sound card and how your computer configures it. 

The config.sys file may require a line to load the MS-DOS driver for the sound card. 

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For more information on setting up your sound card for MS-DOS, consult your computer shop with your sound card or contact the company that made it.

DOS Games Sound Setup Is Not Configured Correctly 

Dos games generally have a sound setup program that you can run to configure the sound. Often it is merely namedsetup.exe and all it really does is the set sound configuration. 

You probably need to run that and choose the proper settings. Usually, the defaults are reasonable, but sometimes not. On DosBox, these are typically set to 1 Soundblaster 16, A 220, IRQ 7, DMA 1 and HDMA 5. Sometimes not all of those are required.

To do this, exit the game with DosBox still running and look for a setup program from within DosBox to configure the sound. 

Dos Games Sound Setup Is Not Configured Correctly

Accept the default choices as they usually work. If not, you can fiddle with the options.

Method 02

This is another solution I found for Windows 98 DOS games no sound. This might not work for some DOS games as it is a tailor-made solution for some particular games. 

In the device manager, look for Multimedia (Sound, Video, Game Controllers). You should find a device for your sound card that emulates the sound driver in the DOS environment.

Second, look in the C:\AUTOEXEC.BAT file. You should see a line like this: SET BLASTER=A220 I5 D1… or similar. The Blaster line should match the settings in the device you found in the device manager. 

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If both are present, you should be able to configure your games with those set to use sound. 

Even if you are not running the APPS directly from DOS, they still need real-mode DOS drivers/support to play sound. Older Games like Wolf3D cannot use the Windows 98 vxd drivers.

The Audio Output Device May Not Be Set To Default 

This is a generic issue that might not be specific to Windows 98 DOS games. Yet, it is essential to set up the audio output device correctly. 

Your audio output device might not be set to default if you cannot hear in-game audio (even if you can listen to hear for other apps). 

A green checkmark will appear on your default device. If your device doesn’t have a green check, right-click the device’s name and select “Set as default.”


Here are answers to a couple of questions that gets asked a lot on forums:

My laptop has a sound card which has no native DOS support. How should I get sounds on playing games? 

Suppose you’re using Windows 98 and have a sound card without hardware SoundBlaster emulation. In that case, you’re either utilizing the shoddy WDM-based emulator installed with Windows or the VxD-based emulator with the sound card driver. 

Since the built-in Windows emulator is primarily worthless, if you have WDM drivers installed, consider uninstalling them and installing VxD drivers in their place. 

However, it’s possible that VxD drivers don’t offer any emulation.

I’d recommend not explicitly setting the BLASTER environment variable in your AUTOEXEC.BAT. The driver should automatically assign this variable to the correct values when you open an MS-DOS window under Windows.

My windows 98SE has a sound blaster emulator that works under windows. But when DOS games are run, there’s no sound. How to fix it?  

There could be many reasons for this issue. Below are some solutions for that, and try several ways without sticking to one, please. 

It would help if you had separate drivers for DOS. Back in that era, sound cards came with two sets of drivers and software, one for DOS and one for Windows. 

My windows 98SE has a sound blaster emulator

Win 98, you have to restart in MS DOS mode, and it will do that, giving you a complete MS DOS environment and no windows running. 

Otherwise, it just opens a copy of the command either in windowed or full screen, but Win98 is still running in the background. 

Bottom Line 

In Windows 98 DOS games, no sound is a common issue, yet for some devices and games, it isn’t very easy to get solutions. 

I came across a ton of other trial and error solutions during the research but didn’t find them worth writing about. But if none of the methods outlined in the article works for you, let me know in the comments below and I’ll walk through some more methods.