How to get sound working under Windows Server 2003 in Virtual PC

How to get sound working under Windows Server 2003 in Virtual PC

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Windows Server 2003 does not include drivers for the Sound Blaster 16 emulated by Virtual PC (nor is this card officially supported in Windows Server 2003).  It is - however - possible to get sound working by loading the Windows XP drivers under Windows Server 2003.  To do this you will need to:

  • Copy the files wdma_ctl.inf and ctlsb16.sys from a Windows XP product CD to a folder.
  • In the Windows Server 2003 virtual machine, go to Device Manager --> Other Devices --> Sound Blaster 16 --> Update Driver:
    • Install from a list --> Don't search --> Sound, video and game controllers
    • Have Disk --> Browse --> Select folder with the two XP files

Other requested files can be selected from the Windows Server 2003 product CD.


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  • I have also found that you can get it working by using Windows Update.
  • I haven't tried it out yet, but I wonder if this is the same for Virtual Server 2005.
  • Hi David,

    No - this will not work under Virtual Server - as Virtual Server does not emulate a sound card at all.

  • Oh. Thanks. =)
  • Hi Ben,

    I looked at my WinXP SP2 CD and couldn't find the ctlsb16.sys.
    I have EXPANDed the wdma_ctl.inf though.
    Can I know where can I find the ctlsb16.sys file? Is it in WinXP CD but not in the WinXP SP2 CD ?
  • The inf files can be found in
    *:\windows\system32\driver cache\
  • wdma_ctl.inf - from C:\Windows\Inf


    ctlsb16.sys - from CD\I386\

    This steps worked for me.

    Thank you.

  • Thanks from Russia!

    Your advice helped me very much.

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