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#103918 - 01/31/11 01:24 AM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] (old thread from Jan 2011) GM.DLS on Windows XP 64 bit edition...
merk Offline

Registered: 01/31/11
Posts: 11
(XP Pro , M-Audio Delta 2496 card)

Previously everything ran fine and stable with BIAB 2009 and sound canvas installed.

Upgraded to 2011 using Everythingpak's "install everything onto my main HDD" option.

Now BIAB startup immediately produces an eror message: "Can't find sound font file GM.DLS". If I click OK through this error, and load any song, more errors then freeze. Basically BIAB simply does not work. Bad news since my normal activity relies on this app every day.

Indeed, there is no GM.DLS in my C:\Windows\System32\Drivers, where I understand it is supposed to be, or anywhere else for that matter. A Windows Registry key "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE/SOFTWARE/Microsoft/DirectMusic" which is supposed to point to GM.DLS is also empty.

I have no idea whether the file was in there before this upgrade, but the bottom line is, everything worked fine before, and after what should have been a standard 2-3 click upgrade process, everything is now broken .

Tried running the separate install exe for the Roland synths, (tried both the dxi and the vst) but this did not solve the problem.

Googling has turned up nothing really useful and an email to PGMusic support has not been responded to.

I could probably find the standard M$ GM.DLS from my old XP install disk and copy this into the driver folder, but I believe it is supposed to be replaced with the superior sound fonts which come with the Roland synths. No sign of anything named GM.DLS on the BIAB install HDD either.

Not sure what to do. Can anyone here offer guidance?


Edited by PeterGannon (12/22/12 02:05 PM)

#103919 - 01/31/11 04:41 AM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: Upgrade 2011 - Now nothing works! GM.DLS ?!?! [Re: merk]
Noel96 Offline

Registered: 10/31/08
Posts: 10537
Loc: Australia
Hi Merk,

Welcome to the forums. Sorry to hear about your problem.

Some questions spring to mind ...

1) When you installed BIAB 2011, did you simply install it your present directory; that is, overwrite the existing directory?

2) Have you tried going to the \bb directory and running BBW.EXE directly from that directory rather than using a shortcut? (I also suggest that you right-click on BBW.EXE and look at the properties to see what date the file was created. This might provide useful information.)

When I've updated BIAB, I've always simply installed the new version over existing files in the \bb directory and I've gone from update to update for a few years now without any hitches whatsoever.

The only GM.DLS on my system is a file dated 2006 (I currently use 2011) in "C:\Windows\System32\Drivers". I find myself wondering if this file is actually the problem because if 2011 used the file, I would expect a more recent date.


#103920 - 01/31/11 06:10 AM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: Upgrade 2011 - Now nothing works! GM.DLS ?!?! [Re: Noel96]
merk Offline

Registered: 01/31/11
Posts: 11

Good ideas. Turns out I have ended up with two installs, and they are apparently coexisting badly.

The 2011 install created C:\BB\BBW.exe, and the old 2007 version is in C:\Program Files\BB\BBW.exe .

Naturally, the two respective \BB folders are otherwise full of all sorts of stuff, as is normal with BIAB installs, especially since I usually purchase all the extra goodies.

When I did the recent 2011 install from HDD, as I recall, I merely pressed Next>Next>Next... all the way through the install wizard. Thus I assumed it would sort out of all the old-versus-new file locations issues.

I have been starting the 2011 version from its newly added desktop shortcut. Your idea to run directly from the exe produces the same error, and the new shortcut points to the correct (new) exe. I have not tried running the old version now that I have discovered its exe is still in there - afraid that might confuse things even more.

A search produces no copy of the GM.DSL file anywhere on the C: partition, or anywhere else for that matter. I suspect the muddled dual installs have led to muddled registry settings which are needed to help everything work together. But somewhere, I presume I still need to have a copy of GM.DSL, at a minimum the original old M$ version, or preferably a replacement built from the bundled Roland synths.

Probably, the best approach is to thoroughly uninstall both, and re-install only the new one. It is not clear whether this will sort out the missing driver problem, but if it doesn't, I suspect is would be easier to resolve after untangling the two installs.

However, I see three problems with this: 1) How to go about doing the uninstalls. Do I need to do some registry cleanups as well? 2) I paid an upgrade price for the 2011 - will my copy still install and run OK if I first purge all traces of the 2007 version? 3) I need to dig into the old file structure and find all my old songs and whatnot, and any other goodies I want to keep. Aside from being a PIA, I wonder where best to put those old files so as not to confuse the new install.

Finally, assuming this is the way to proceed, wonder whether the same GM.DSL issue will still be there?

Any thoughts on this, Noel or anyone?


#103921 - 01/31/11 06:25 AM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: Upgrade 2011 - Now nothing works! GM.DLS ?!?! [Re: merk]
Noel96 Offline

Registered: 10/31/08
Posts: 10537
Loc: Australia

If I was in this situation, before doing an uninstall of version 2009, what I'd do is ...
  • Delete "c:\bb" created by version 2011. It's not working properly anyway so there's nothing to lose.
  • Rename "c:\program files\bb" to "c:\bb" (or preferably copy of "c:\program files\bb" if you have the hard drive space) so that all your 2009 and earlier files are still on the computer. Personally, I would aim to keep a copy of "c:\program files\bb" so that I could go back to it if need be.
  • Install version 2011 to "c:\bb" directly over the top of the 2009 version that now resides in "c:\bb"
  • See what happens when BIAB is installed.

What I also suggest is that you don't race into doing the above. Give it a day or so because I am sure that some BIAB channel experts with much more knowledge than I have will also give an opinion. My feeling is that the gm.dsl file is not the problem.

Good luck,

#103922 - 01/31/11 06:54 AM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: Upgrade 2011 - Now nothing works! GM.DLS ?!?! [Re: Noel96]
merk Offline

Registered: 01/31/11
Posts: 11
all good advice. will do this, including waiting a day or two in hopes this thread attracts more varied opinions and advice.

meanwhile, to add more clues, if I do go ahead and click through the startup no GM.DSL error and load a song, after clicking "Play" the next error I get is "Beat Map Stretcher unable to load wav file". This is presumably because the wavs which were supposed to be supplied by the GM.DLS map are not available. After this, BIAB freezes and can only be quit with task manager.

hopefully someone can offer advice on my concerns 1) and 2) in my last post.

thanks again

#103923 - 01/31/11 07:05 AM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: Upgrade 2011 - Now nothing works! GM.DLS ?!?! [Re: Noel96]
John Conley Offline

Registered: 09/28/03
Posts: 8333
Loc: London, Ontario, Canada
As to PG music not responding to emails I doubt on Sunday early in the morning anyone is home.

You don't mention what O/S you are running.

Could be user account problems, do you have Vista maybe?

Error messages are often bogus. Microsoft never really has had that down pat, so you send a command and it tells you some BS about this or that and it's just wrong.

I would have run the old version to see what happened. They can co-exist.

To my mind there is nothing in the new version you cannot run off the external drive, nor is there any reason you cannot run the old version out of the old directory. bbw.exe or oldbbw.exe, any of those should actually run.

There have been so many people on so many systems that there are only 2 logical reasons for this.

1. Something you misinterpreted on installation. OR
2. The hard drive has something wrong with the actual bbw.exe file.

Other considerations.

It's best to shut off stuff like Virus protection programs before installing anything.
If running Vista or Win7 turn off User Account Control.

I would use the search function in the operating system to find all instances of bbw, looking for exe files.
John Conley
Musica est vita

#103924 - 01/31/11 07:10 AM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: Upgrade 2011 - Now nothing works! GM.DLS ?!?! [Re: merk]
Noel96 Offline

Registered: 10/31/08
Posts: 10537
Loc: Australia
Hi again, merk,

I wasn't thinking clearly when I wrote the above reply. By far the easier option is to keep "c:\program files\bb" as your working directory as all pointers to Realtracks and Realdrums are present.

All you really need to do is to delete ver. 2011 and reinstall it. When you do, make sure that you insert the path "c:\program files\bb" wherever you see "c:\bb" in the install options. I guess Realband will be "c:\program files\realband".

While my previous solutions would work, this solution is simpler.


#103925 - 01/31/11 07:54 AM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: Upgrade 2011 - Now nothing works! GM.DLS ?!?! [Re: John Conley]
merk Offline

Registered: 01/31/11
Posts: 11
@John: Just to clarify, my initial post notes that I run XP. I run only a single user, admin, and no anti-virus on that box. I run it on my home LAN behind a strict linux firewall/router and I download nothing to it and install nothing except from "trusted sources" or if downloaded and scanned on a separate machine. It is a very clean music-only setup with barely five or six apps on it, and has run two older versions of BIAB for years without problems. (I use a Mac or two other XP boxes for all other uses including email and internet browsing.)

It is true, the "Everythingpak" HDD install options were several, but I chose the one to install "everything" to my own, main HDD because I prefer not to have additional devices attached if I don't need it. The install thereafter was "Next, Next, Next..." as far as I can recall, although you are right, I may have selected something along the line which helped create this problem. Also, I have done thorough searches for the file that the error refers to. Finally, as I mentioned, the new version simply does not play songs, it crashes. I am a great fan of BIAB, have used it for years in simple ways on a regular basis. But simple, crystal clear user interfaces and tight, fool-proof documentation I don't consider as among the program's greatest strengths. Finally, the email to BIAB support was a week to ten days ago. I am really not trying to complain, just looking for help to get running again ASAP. Thanks for any suggestions.

@Noel: I understood your meaning anyway. Thanks

#103926 - 01/31/11 08:20 AM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: Upgrade 2011 - Now nothing works! GM.DLS ?!?! [Re: merk]
silvertones Offline

Registered: 05/13/03
Posts: 7113
BIAB & RB do not write anything to the registry. Just delete everything the bb folder and the RealBand folderand start fresh.
ESI Gigaport HD+
Lenovo Turion II /4 Gig Ram/ Win7x64
15.6" Monitor
"The only Band is a Real Band"

#103927 - 01/31/11 08:49 AM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: Upgrade 2011 - Now nothing works! GM.DLS ?!?! [Re: silvertones]
merk Offline

Registered: 01/31/11
Posts: 11
@silvertones - good to know. thanks!

#103928 - 01/31/11 12:57 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: Upgrade 2011 - Now nothing works! GM.DLS ?!?! [Re: merk]
BarryKJ Offline

Registered: 12/19/05
Posts: 493
For what its worth, I don't have the GM.DLS file on my computer anywhere either and 2011 UltraPlus Pak runs great (Vista HP). Perhaps try running from the usb drive and see what happens. If that doesn't work I'd be looking into getting the HDD from PG Music replaced.

Does the everything install include the VSC? If not you might want to install that again.

Good luck.

#103929 - 01/31/11 01:02 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: Upgrade 2011 - Now nothing works! GM.DLS ?!?! [Re: merk]
Andrew - PG Music Online   content
PG Music Staff

Registered: 05/16/02
Posts: 3369
Loc: Victoria, BC
Hello Merk,

GM.DLS is the default General MIDI sound file included with Windows. It is associated with the GS Wavetable, and is used by the Coyote Wavetable DXi synth. A quick fix for you is to go to Opt. | MIDI Driver Setup in Band-in-a-Box, click on [DXi Synth Settings], and select the Roland VSC-DXi.

This doesn't solve the problem of your missing GM.DLS, but you should be able to find out how to replace that file - perhaps on Microsoft's knowledge base. You could probably copy it from another Windows XP computer. It should be in C:\Windows\system32\drivers.

It is ok if you have both version 2011 and 2009 installed on your computer, in different folders. That won't affect the operation of Band-in-a-Box. Some people keep a backup of their older versions that way. Noel's suggestion is good, make a copy of your BB2009 folder to C:\bb, then install version 2011 from your hard drive to this folder.
PG Music Inc.

#103930 - 01/31/11 11:20 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: Upgrade 2011 - Now nothing works! GM.DLS ?!?! [Re: Andrew - PG Music]
merk Offline

Registered: 01/31/11
Posts: 11
OK, Thanks everyone for the various suggestions and advice.

I will try these and report results back here.

#103931 - 02/01/11 03:35 AM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: Upgrade 2011 - Now nothing works! GM.DLS ?!?! [Re: merk]
merk Offline

Registered: 01/31/11
Posts: 11
OK. Progress (maybe) but problem not resolved yet. Here is what I have done thus far:

1) Deleted entire folder C:\BB This was the install folder of new 2011 version, as that's were the 2011 exe was so this delete is to to prepare for a reinstall.

2) Copied entire 2009 version folder C:\Program Files\BB to D:\BB, as a backup, mainly to b/u its associated files. In fact, I don't care to retain runnable copies of both versions, so in due course I will delete all but my own compositions and other goodies in here. However, I will only do this after the new 2001 install issues are sorted.

3) Copied entire 2009 version folder C:\Program Files\BB to C:\BB putting the 2009 version and all its allied goodies to where 2011 seems to want to install.

4) Deleted folders C:\Program Files\Coyote and C:\Program Files\Roland. I wanted the 2011 to put its versions of these synths where it wants them to be, without potential conflicts.

5) Ran Control Panel>Add/Remove Programs and removed a Roland DX synths app (which were probably now merely registry entries pointing to stuff in the folders I deleted in step 4).

6) Also in the Add/Remove Programs list was an entry for BIAB 2011. Probably should have looked in here first. To be safe, I renamed my new instance of C:\BB (which is now 2009, but was 2011) to C:\BB temp, and double checked that the BIAB HDD was not connected, then hit remove for the 2011 BIAB app. After it did its thing, I renamed the directory back to C:\BB.

7) Also in the Add/Remove Programs list was an entry for something called Band in a Box Server. This BIAB server entry indicated a file size of 40Gb, so it clearly pointed to the HDD holding the new 2011 version, even though this was not now connected. I decided it best to to leave that alone.

8) I ran some searches in C:\ on "Band" and "Roland" and "BB". Aside from the some unimportant stuff and the 2009 stuff in C:\BB which I intended to retain, I found a few things in C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Star Menu\Programs and deleted these.

9) OK, just to be safe, I then did a restart of the system, this time with the 2011 HDD plugged back in, and started the "Band In A Box Setup" exe on the 2011 HDD. I chose "everything", the third option.

Seeing this again, I recall that the last time, I chose the fourth option, "Custom" but once in there, I selected everything again. When the wizard got to the file locations, I let it option to C:\BB, the default. The difference this time is that that is where my old stuff now lies. The installer's file copy is then off and running.

10) The install process ran on for 40 minutes or so, the when the progress bar reached the end and the final update announcement came up ("Installing Coyote Wave Table") and a second window opened, with its own progress bar. When the Coyote install reached the end and its final update announcement came up ("Registering Files"), all of a sudden up popped an error message, my old friend: "Can't find sound font file GM.DLS" !?!

11) I clicked OK through this error box, and the coyote install window closed itself, and the original BIAB install window announced its completion and offered a "Launch Band in a Box" tick box, which I ticked, then hit "Finish".

12) The 2001 version does then launch, and does not display the GM.DLS error immediately on launch as before.

13) Next, before trying to play anything, I look at the MIDI/Audio Drivers Setup under Opt. menu. Choices under output drivers are three: Microsoft MIDI Mapper, Microsoft GM Wavetable SW Synth and Delta AP MIDI (my midi/audio card). No sign here of Roland or Coyote. When I try the Driver Wizard, the only alternative shown for internal sounds is again the Microsoft GM Wavetable SW Synth.

It appears no new synths have successfully installed, although no error massage warned my of this during the "Install Everything" from HDD run.

14) Just to test, I select the MS GM Wavetable, and the try loading a demo song from the new 2011 style demos. This loads, but when I push play, I get "Beat Map Stretcher was unable to load in the Wav file" error, which presumably is linked to the lack of wav files. This is probably because the MS GM SW Synth needs GM.DLS to run.

Conclusions thus far:

Apparently, in a standard Windows install, the OS supplies GM.DLS, and that's what MS GM Wavetable SW Synth uses.

One BIAB user a few posts back checked and said his system did not have this file either but runs OK. My best guess is that when alternative soft synths are installed, GM.DLS is replaced with something else, pointers to it (pointers either in BIAB or somewhere in Windows itself - registry?) are modified.

However, in my case when the BIAB 2011 synth installers try to put their own substitute wavetable files in place, they did not find the "original equipment" GM.DLS because mine had already been replaced by my 2009 BIAB install.

However, neither can they find any alternative wavetables for one of two reasons: the first time around my old install was not in the same directory and the new installers couldn't find pointers to the alternative wavetable files; and the second time around I had deleted something. If this is what's going on, I have probably inadvertently muddled things worse by deleting old Coyote and Roland folders in my attempt to clear the decks for a clean reinstall.

whew... what a wearying mess.

OK, here's what I think I ought to do now:

I. Get a copy of GM.DLS and put it in its proper location. (It's probably in a CAB file somewhere on the original Windows XP install disk.)

II. Try again to install Roland or Coyote from the 2011 HDD.

The one thing which worries me with this plan is what pointers to GM.DLS need to be set and where. In an earlier post I mentioned that I had seen something about a registry entry pointing to GM.DLS. I'll try to find out more on that.

Before going ahead and doing this, I thought it better post my results thus far, and then see what advice I get from the helpful expert panel following this thread. In particular, if my plan is the correct way forward, which of Roland or Coyote should I use (or both) and specifically how best to go about installing?

Thanks again to all. Sorry for lengthy post - hopefully this thread will help some one else, should anyone be unlucky enough to stumble into the same problem. (Assuming we can get it sorted ! )

#103932 - 02/01/11 05:31 AM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: Upgrade 2011 - Now nothing works! GM.DLS ?!?! [Re: merk]
Noel96 Offline

Registered: 10/31/08
Posts: 10537
Loc: Australia
Hi Merk,

Here's something else to try (following on from Andrew's post above).

Start up BIAB, open Opt | Midi/Audio Driver Setup and try setting the drivers as shown by the yellow highlighting in the image below. This works on my computer.


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