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Thread: Soundcard (SoundMax) Died and won't come back?

  1. #21
    Cabledude Avatar Fan purecomedy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sava700 View Post
    When you do a Win7 from scratch install prepare first with downloading all the drivers you will need and put them on a USB key such as chipset and so on this way your ready to go...then run a windows update a few times to ensure your up to date. I've used a bunch of Asus boards and never had issues..Win7 supported fully even on older ones.
    Yeah good point. Want more evidence that my "upgrade" from XP passed along info to Win7....When I was in Windows 7 it looked like all those basic chipset drivers were installed.... Except for my audio device of course which refuses to show up to the party.

    USB is another flaky thing on this machine so I'll probably put things on my 2nd hard drive partition as well.

    Not holding out a lot of hope that tonight's Win 7 64 bit install will solve all the problems on this PC. Wonder if I can RMA the motherboard when it's 4 years old if just the audio portion of it is broken. When I'm having USB issues and video issues as well I think the problem goes deeper but I have the feeling that I won't know until I do a bunch of trial and error troubleshooting.

  2. #22
    Ohh Hell yeah.. Sava700's Avatar
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    What you prob have happening is the "Native" drivers in Win7 which are very very many prob over took most of your hardware needs vs XP drivers cause they won't work with Win7 to start with. This includes chipset and whatever else is essential to certain components running. I'm very convinced at this point once you've gotten a RAW Win7 64bit install completed, then look at device manager you may find most pcs of your hardware already covered by the native drivers with the new win7 install. Beyond that, just look at each device manufacture's site for updated drivers or even windows updates will cover some if you do a check. I'd go for the site checks such as Nvidia/ATI and so on before hitting windows updates - graphics updates from WU sometimes can be flaky.

  3. #23
    Cabledude Avatar Fan purecomedy's Avatar
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    Well I installed Win 7 64-bit last night and no change....things are still majorly screwed up. Amazes me how much worse the video issues are in Win 7 than XP.

    Looks like my new line of questioning is:

    1. Is my motherboard defective
    2. Is my video card also defective
    3. Is it really just my power supply
    4. Any combination of the above
    5. Is it worth $150-300 to fix sustain this computer, or should I buy a new one. Personally I don't think I need a new one just yet.

  4. #24
    SG Enthusiast The Dude's Avatar
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    A complete list of your system specs if you please.
    Do you have any spare parts to swap in for testing?
    Did you install all the latest drivers or are you still on the windows default drivers?
    Could you describe the nature of your video problems?
    CRT or LCD, and is your resolution set to the recommended settings for your monitor?
    I don't know the same things you don't know.

  5. #25
    Cabledude Avatar Fan purecomedy's Avatar
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    Antec Case with 450W Antec PSU
    Asus P5B Motherboard
    Core 2 Duo E6600 Processor
    XFX GeForce 7900 GT
    2G X 2 = 4 Gb RAM (IOU on further info there)
    250 Gb Hard drive (Seagate)
    Hauppage Tuner card (150 model?)
    LiteOn DVD Burner
    24" Viewsonic widescreen vm2433 LCD monitor running on "native" resolution which is something like 1920 by 1080 (sorry will have to double check)

    Parts to swap:
    -I've got new Dell with a Geforce 260 video card I can swap in
    -I've got RAM from that machine from prior years 2 * 512 MB

    Did I install latest drivers?:
    -Didn't update Intel Chipset drivers but can try. I view this as unlikely to help
    -The sound drivers won't take at all as hardware for audio seems to be dead.
    -I think the other drivers are useless - USB drivers provided by windows, Ethernet I have disabled since I have wireless adapter, RAID drivers - no RAID.

    Nature of video problems:....I'll have to take a picture with a camera to show it I guess, will have to wait till Thurs night
    -In WinXP 32 bit - For apps appears normal. When running games you get past the menu and start the game and immediately the whole screen gets weird diagonal lines on the screen and you can't see anything. Oddly enough you can ALT-Tab back to windows desktop and then click back into the game and it works after that. This nuisance was tolerable till the onboard sound card died.

    -In Win 7 32 bit - Weird diagonal pattern shows up on boot up screens twice (takes 30 seconds to disppear each time). Open a web browser usually another 30 second lock up there. Try to play a game and pattern appears and ALT TAB trick doesn't work.

    -In Win 7 64 bit - Same as Win 7 32-bit except no diagonal pattern on startup and slightly less frequent when doing things like web browsing.

    Monitor further details:
    My 24" viewsonic, I've tried...
    -refresh 59 Hz and 60 Hz, did NOT try 30 Hz interlaced
    -Same monitor works fine on my newer Dell machine with with a Geforce 260 G?
    -I tried an old 20" or so non-widescreen Dell monitor with similar video issues
    -I've tried windows driver for graphics, latest NVIDIA and one from like Aug 2009
    -I've tried generic monitor driver and the specific one from Viewsonic

  6. #26
    Cabledude Avatar Fan purecomedy's Avatar
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    2 follow up questions.

    1. If my power supply was defective and not providing enough power could that cause my issues? For example, the extra pep needed to start rendering a game or on startup with tax the system and cause the weird video issue? It would case the sound card to not be recognized, not enough power for it?

    Computer does not do typical bad PSU things like random reboots....so I think the power supply is fine. I have noticed 1 weird thing. If I leave the computer on for 3 months without a cold boot, when I try to turn the machine back on the power button doesn't work. I have to reset the power bar or unplug the power bar to get the computer On button to work.

    2. In Win 7 64 bit the computer said 4 Gb but only 2.8 Gb of RAM usable. Is that right, I thought the whole point I went to 64 bit was to use the full RAM. Is this RAM issue at the BIOS level (whether it uses 32 bit RAM addresses?).

  7. #27
    Ohh Hell yeah.. Sava700's Avatar
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    Something doesn't appear correct.. is the Bios to the motherboard updated? Also is everything seated properly? can you post exact specs to your power supply? Also for the graphics card did you get the new drivers right from Nvidia's site as there are new ones released just a few days ago and be sure to do the custom install and check the box to do a "Clean" install. Is the system clean inside as in no major dust build ups? Are all the wires connected to the proper place on everything? Very interesting problems to trouble shoot that's for sure.

    Also when you installed Win7 did you look at device manager and see what all it didn't install Native drivers too?

  8. #28
    SG Enthusiast The Dude's Avatar
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    I think I'd swap out the video card and see if things improve. It sounds like it has issues. The few times I've had a failing power supply the PC wouldn't boot up at all or only start up maybe 1 in 3 times trying it. Even when it loaded windows it would just lock up completely or spontaneously reboot. Sometimes you have to set a BIOS option to use the full 4 gigs or more. I think its called memory remap or something similar.
    I don't know the same things you don't know.

  9. #29
    Between Light & Shadows Unholy's Avatar
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    Check the temps on the card? I'd also say swap the card to see if that's the problem. As for the sound I would just get a cheap sound card if you can fix the other things.
    "I was once banned from a bookstore for moving all the bibles to fiction"

  10. #30
    Cabledude Avatar Fan purecomedy's Avatar
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    Agreed. The video problem has been around for almost a year, the onboard sound card issue is a week old. Edit: I'll post temperatures on the video card if I think of it.

    I have 2 issues is my view? The video card thing is not causing the sound issue is my guess.

    I entered my motherboard and power supply into Google and found a few posts that Antec had some issues with Asus motherboards causing this audio issue. Don't know why this would be fine for 4 years and then die though. Not sure if a few people having this issue necessarily means I'll get the issue...

    That said, if we solve the video issue I'm totally ok with installing a $40 PCI sound card to work around onboard audio. I've seen a few weird things with USB on this machine that kinda makes me want to move away from this motherboard (USB flash drive gets ignored and I have to uninstall all USB devices and reboot).

    Thanks for the RAM "remapping" advice, I'll see if the option is there. I'm heading to the hockey game after work so won't have a chance to play with this stuff till tomorrow.

  11. #31
    SG Enthusiast The Dude's Avatar
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    From what I have seen windows 7 doesn't play nice with older sound blaster live cards. I had to hunt up some modded drivers for my sound blaster live 5.1 PCI card, and even then some features didn't work right. Just a heads up if you pull something similar out of you parts box and try to get it working. Actually its not so much a windows 7 problem per say, its just Creative dragging their ass supplying newer drivers.
    I don't know the same things you don't know.

  12. #32
    Certified SG Addict CableDude's Avatar
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    Check the Capacitors on your MB to see if they have "bubbled"

  13. #33
    Cabledude Avatar Fan purecomedy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Dude View Post
    From what I have seen windows 7 doesn't play nice with older sound blaster live cards. I had to hunt up some modded drivers for my sound blaster live 5.1 PCI card, and even then some features didn't work right. Just a heads up if you pull something similar out of you parts box and try to get it working. Actually its not so much a windows 7 problem per say, its just Creative dragging their ass supplying newer drivers.
    I was contemplating an Auzentech sound card or possibly give the USB Zalman product a try just for something different. I remember from looking at Hydrogen Audio forum years ago that Creative Labs stuff is pretty bad physically (lots of base noise) and if you're saying drivers suck then my god avoid at all costs.... I'm a bit iffy on going USB since there is some USB instability on that machine at times.

  14. #34
    resident plumber Mark's Avatar
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    my old creative audigy 2ZS died a month or so ago and i got this,a very good sounding card in my opinion.

    even has drivers for windows XP64, which was a bonus to me, since i still have not gone to windows seven just yet.


    OMEGA CLARO

  15. #35
    SG Enthusiast The Dude's Avatar
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    Creative was big at one point, I see a lot of sound blaster cards in the old clunkers I work on from time to time. I've used a few over the years and have no complaints about sound quality. Its just that driver support from Creative sucks big time. They take forever to roll out new drivers even when there are reported problems with the current drivers. I just thought I might save you some more head scratching, in case you had one as a spare, and were contemplating using it. The first PC I tried windows 7 on was my old Athlon rig with a PC-Chips motherboard. As I mentioned earlier, the on-board sound had died. I tried to substitute a sound blaster live 5.1 and it didn't work out very well for me. That board eventually developed other problem and was retired. It looked to me like some of the capacitors had bulged.
    I don't know the same things you don't know.

  16. #36
    Ohh Hell yeah.. Sava700's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Dude View Post
    Creative was big at one point, I see a lot of sound blaster cards in the old clunkers I work on from time to time. .
    Creative took a major PR hit when they failed to support their cards into Vista as fast as the other hardware manufactures such as Nvidia and ATI for example. It took alchemy and a few hacked drivers to just get some of them to work and even then it was just a few features and some low end sound reproduction.

  17. #37
    Cabledude Avatar Fan purecomedy's Avatar
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    I probably do have an old sound card somewhere but I'm wondering if it's on the slot used prior to PCI slot....old enough that I can't even remember what the one before PCI was called! Happy to be warned though, I've been kicking this computer hard enough so I'll take any advantage I can get.

    As for the Creative labs sound quality....audiophiles are their own breed and have their own ideas about what good sound is so take that for what it's worth.

  18. #38
    SG Enthusiast The Dude's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by purecomedy View Post
    I probably do have an old sound card somewhere but I'm wondering if it's on the slot used prior to PCI slot....old enough that I can't even remember what the one before PCI was called! Happy to be warned though, I've been kicking this computer hard enough so I'll take any advantage I can get.

    As for the Creative labs sound quality....audiophiles are their own breed and have their own ideas about what good sound is so take that for what it's worth.
    I believe you are referring to the ISA slot. lol, I dumped a whole box full of ISA cards at the recycling depot a few months back. There was probably 4 or 5 sound blaster 16 cards in the box along with some old modems and NICs. I don't see too many PCs with ISA slots in them these days, even the old clunkers I work on for friends have moved on to PCI or better.
    I don't know the same things you don't know.

  19. #39
    Assistant Admin Ken's Avatar
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    A couple of thoughts...

    Are you running off of a battery back up? If not, you should be, seriously...
    Minor fluctuations in the electricity that happen constantly can cause a myriad of problems and computers are extremely sensitive… Most people don’t pay much attention to their house lights that slightly dim then brighten when the compressor on the refrigerator kicks on, as an example... This is a sure sign of improper load balance of your homes electrical system. It doesn’t even have to be at the point that you can notice the lights for it to affect sensitive electronics… Electrical problems can cause many different types of problems with computers, especially when it has been happening for a long time… Too little is as damaging as too much, it just takes longer for the effects to be noticed…
    I typically tend to go with more rather than less when it comes to psu. Although 450 watts for a psu on a newer computer is considered appropriate for most systems…

    Diagonal stripes tend to point to vga… Bad drivers, bad card, bad power, bad slot, etc., …in my experience anyways…

    As far as the onboard sound, try the drivers from ASUS. You may have to disable it in BIOS first, then clean out the old drivers, then install the new drivers, then reboot and re-enable in BIOS... If they don’t work, I would just get a new card and be done with it… JMHO…

    I would definitely use Intel chipset drivers, no doubt about that. You can get them straight from Intel or get your boards manufacturers, just not Windows…

    Here is a link to the ASUS downloads for your board.
    http://usa.asus.com/product.aspx?P_ID=YwIVDOTcvIMHZdTy
    Chipset and the audio are there.
    Using those drivers should eliminate many of the problems, including the usb... Then again, perhaps it is merely circumstantial, however all of the problems may be pointing to a mobo that is beginning to fail…

    As a note, I do recommend keeping the "Plug & Play" set to NO in BIOS...

  20. #40
    Cabledude Avatar Fan purecomedy's Avatar
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    Yeah I hope it's a bad video card rather than a bad video slot on the motherboard...Gonna pick up a new video card from Best Buy on the way home. It's easier to return stuff to Best Buy than the computer shops that I like to buy from.

    Thanks for all the specific advice above. I'll definitely try things like cleaning out old drivers etc. It seems like the sound card dying on this motherboard is very common, either that or this motherboard requires your crazy tricks to bring it back.

    All I can say is I wish when computers screw up that they would just die completely not partly work like this. It's so much easier to have no shadow of doubt that you just need to buy a new part.

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