TechSpot

Arghhh! Now I'm the one needing help with sound problem. Using Radeon HD 5450

By LookinAround
May 29, 2010
  1. I installed a new ATI Radeon HD 5450 graphics card (which supports Hi Def sound) and now I'm the one having having audio problems. Any help / hints / insights / or even just guesses appreciated!!

    Specs
    • System: Dell Optiplex 360 Desktop
    • Onboard Sound: Soundmax Integrated Digital Definition Audio
    • OS: Dual boot XP Pro / Windows 7 Professional
    • Monitor: Samsung UN22C4000
      > It’s an HD TV/monitor combination
      > Inputs include two HDMI and one PC audio IN port
    • Addon Graphics/Sound card: ATI Radeon HD 5450
      > It has one HDMI and one DVI port
    • Speakers: The Dell has internal speakers plus there are speakers on TV/monitor, of course

    Initial Symptoms
    I installed the new graphics card. Connection between the PC and TV/Monitor is HDMI cable only. After a few iterations of: {running awhile, making some adjustments and rebooting} I noticed I wasn’t hearing normal Windows system sounds (e.g. alarms and alerts, device insertion/removal, etc. i.e. Program Event system sounds you can test in Control Panel->Sounds->Sound tab)

    Initial troubleshooting points towards the add-on sound card (at least as part of the total problem)
    • When onboard sound is BIOS enabled and I select default sound = Soundmax audio I hear all System sounds
    • But when onboard sound BIOS enabled and select default sound = ATI audio, I have problems with Systems sounds
    • When onboard sound is BIOS disabled still have have problems with System sound with the ATI card
    • The above is all true whether i boot into XP or Win 7
    Now a bit more stuff that only makes the problem a bit more weird?
    1. I installed ATI stuff from their install CD so I went to ATI’s website to update ATI's Catalyst Control Center and drivers
      > XP updates OK but still have same problem
      > Win7 crashes during the update
    2. Problem seems to be specific to .wav files. I can play CD Audio or streaming Netflix without sound problems
    3. I just found the problem (consistently) applies to only SOME wav files not ALL wav files where everything works OK with Soundmax Audio but i find some, but not all, wav files won't play under ATI Audio.

      Examples: Directory C:\Windows\media includes files: tada.wav, notify.wav and Windows XP Startup.wav
      > All 3 play fine if select Soundmax onboard sound as my default playback (and set use default only)
      > But when I select ATI audio as my default (and set use default only) tada.wav and notify.wav don’t generate sound. Yet Windows XP Startup.wav still does!
    Does any of this make any sense???
     
  2. mailpup

    mailpup TS Special Forces Posts: 6,979   +362

    That last part doesn't seem to make sense that's for sure. Does the Device Manager show any sound driver problems after installing ATI's CCC? If so, I've solved a similar missing sound driver by letting Windows search the internet for an appropriate driver and to my surprise, it worked. I don't usually go that route but it found what I needed.
     
  3. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Topic Starter Posts: 6,491   +183

    Thanks for the input mailpup.

    1) I double checked all the drivers and they're all there with status = OK
    2) I also tried Device Manager->Update Drivers which found nothing newer

    Re: The Problems playing the System Sound wave files
    However, i did find something new though not yet sure what it might mean. My Dell Optiplex also has headphone/speaker jacks in the front and in the back

    Under Windows 7
    When I plugged my headpones into either front/back jack I heard all sounds using ATI audio playback!!! as well as with my onboard Soundmax audio
    ==> So why would the wav files work on headphone jack but not on HDMI???? :confused: :confused:

    Under XP
    But under XP, when i plug into either jack i still didn't hear wav sounds with ATI audio (and now i can't remember if i didn't just hear wav or any sounds. i'll have to double check)

    So now am really puzzled... and not sure why the problem. Any other suggestions?

    If need be i guess i can buy and try yet a different card for testing.

    Also, since TV sound seems to work otherwise, i'm guessing it shouldn't be my TV/monitor, but thought to try getting another HDMI cable? maybe find another portable HDMI device to test as the output device?


    /* edit */
    Also, does this make sense? i tested again and under XP with ATI Audio: it appears the headphone jacks aren't even recognized!!?? When i plug in headphones and play CD Audio, sound still comes out of HDMI TV. Though when i switch back to Soundmax Audio i get sound from the headphone jacks
     
  4. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Topic Starter Posts: 6,491   +183

    OK. The headphone mystery solved but it raises one more question if someone might know?

    In Windows 7, I am now running with only the ATI audio driver installed (no drivers for Soundmax onboard installed). Look at the driver names on the 3 playback devices below. Note
    => ATI drivers are only controlling the HDMI output
    => The generic Windows drivers are controlling the front/rear headphone/speaker jacks!

    So (see snapshot below) when i connect the headphones to front or rear plug all sounds work because the front and rear jacks use the Windows generic drivers! and NOT the ATI driver.

    Is that typical? Would one expect the ATI card to not support headphone/speakers???

    [​IMG]
     

    Attached Files:

  5. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 11,688   +1,879

    This is partly a sympathy post as I'm not sure what your problem is.

    The current system I'm using (Gigabyte/ Intel G41) has multiple audio drivers that must be installed.

    The Intel GMA controls the HDMI sound output only, the Windows Audio driver makes system sounds when it feels like it, and I also had to install the Realtek High Definition Audio Driver to have any sound in Media Center.

    Now, when I can get ithe HDMI out to the TV to work, the speakers on the desktop have to be unplugged, or no sound in the HDMI.

    Does your board have onboard audio? Because the M$ sound drivers don't do diddly squat by themselves. (IMO + this particular experience)

    Since I'm not using Radeon graphics, I only made this post to sort of compare notes, as it were.

    I suspect that the Radeon drivers do only support the HDMI audio and nothing else.
     
  6. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Topic Starter Posts: 6,491   +183

    Hey cap

    Thanks for both the post and the sympathy!!! I also appreciate both the input and comparing notes as i try navigate the enigma of sound on a Windows computer! Comparing how the systems seem to work (or not work) can be helpful

    Which version of Windows are you running?? I've testing with both XP Pro and Windows 7 Professional on my dual boot machine.

    I have onboard audio (Soundmax in my case)
     
  7. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 11,688   +1,879

    These current adventures are under Win 7 Home Premium 32 bit.

    I think you need to install the Sound Max drivers. It's gotta be worth a shot.

    The reason this is under Win 7, is it's the only OS I have with Media Center.

    I should add that I've seen that screen shot of yours many times myself.
     
  8. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Topic Starter Posts: 6,491   +183

    Your observation above is exactly my problem. I have problems with System Sounds. Though in my case i found the Soundmax drivers work handle all sounds OK it's the ATI drivers that aren't handling system sounds right

    I've been switching back/forth and testing between MS generic drivers, Soundmax drivers and ATI drivers under both XP and Win 7 and admittedly sometimes still get confused at what works and what doesn't between the 3 unless i write it down!

    As to your case: I suspect you should only be using two drivers: one for onboard audio card and one for offboard. I'm guessing Realtek gave Windows media the codecs it needed for sound

    In DevMgr click View->Devices by connection and you should see something like this (drill down to expand ACPI->PCI Bus to expand your PCI Chip and the UAA controller on the motherboard
    ==> This should show you the two audio cards and the name of the driver/device
    ==> You can rt click each, Properties->Driver tab to see specifics about each driver being used (like provider and version number)
    (Note my example is XP. Your DevMgr will be similar but the audio controllers may have names other then MS UAA Bus Driver)
    /* edit */ OH. and i should add, could you tell me the two device names you see for your 2 audio cards? Thx!

    [​IMG]
     

    Attached Files:

  9. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 11,688   +1,879

    I haven't installed screen cap software yet, so here's the Cliff's Notes.

    First, Device Manager won't allow me to expand the PCI buss tab...!

    Second, I show 3 audio, game controller devices;

    1. The Tuner (Hauppage)

    2. "High Definition Audio Device" (With no blame or responsibility for its existence mentioned).

    3. Realtek High Definition Audio.

    I should note that Windows installed the Video driver. ATM, it's signed by Intel and is listed @ 1.2 GB in "programs and features".

    Prior to that, it had 2 drivers by Gigabyte, listed @ 54 & 72 MB....? After the system crashed in Media Center, "Video Files not Working", I uninstalled the VGA, and Windows came up with the Intel driver. It works, um sort of, but with constant messages about the screen resolution I'm using not being recommended.

    Apparently, it wants to be humored by setting the res @ 1368 X 768 for both the monitor and TV.

    I should probably by a 1920 X 1080 monitor to match the TV, then run them both at the same incorrect resolution, at least the aspect ratio will be correct....!

    Dear Mr. Gates, up yours, Windows 7 was NOT my idea.....:rolleyes:
     
  10. nismo91

    nismo91 TS Evangelist Posts: 899   +15

    well i maybe not much of help, but have you tried changing the hdmi 'sample rates' value?
     

    Attached Files:

  11. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Topic Starter Posts: 6,491   +183

    @nismo91
    Hey nismo91. Thanks for the graphic. Looks like your card has many more sound config choices then i see for my ATI but will play with the settings i see. thx

    @captain
    I suspect you haven't said the "magic words". When you open DevMgr you need to click View->Devices by connection. This displays devices by their parent/child device relationships. So click PCI bus in this view should expand to all the child devices that connect to the PCI bus

    Next, i discovered something VERRRRRRYYYYY interesting. I wonder if the same is true on your machine

    Like you, i also noticed having problems with System Sounds.
    In my case, i only have two audio devices (one on-board and one off-board) it looks as though you maybe have 3 (I didn't realize before you also have a TV tuner card. I'm guessing it must have its own audio chip too.) I think you may be able to better visualize each audio device when you view devices by connections.

    fyi My findings which follow were tested under Win 7 Pro 32-bit with ATI installed but not Soundmax. Meaning:
    > Offboard audio is using ATI driver
    > Onboard audio is using Windows generic audio driver​

    Anyway, so I found earlier my sound problems were with most .wav files. (And most System sounds are .wav files.) But after some more testing, i thinking it's not so much an issue of .wav files but rather how long (time-wise) the sound file actually plays for.

    So I (maybe you too?) aren't hearing "short, quick" sounds (like simple beeps and tones) because they play in under a second!

    See if you get same results on your machine (with your current driver configuration whatever that may be) since you also report system sound issues
    > Open to C:\Windows\media
    > Scroll down to file Windows ding.wav (my guess it's associated to play with MediaPlayer?)
    > Click it. Media Player should open and do you "see" but not "hear" it play?
    > What i found in my case, if i hit play again quickly right after the 1st attempt failed i hear the sound the 2nd time!! BUT if i wait several seconds till i hit play the second time i still hear nothing!

    I plan to test again with Soundmax installed as well to see if this same problem exists. But in any case, if this issue of "length of time to play a sound" is also true for you, seems a significant fact to know (tho still not sure what it means to actually correct the dang problem Arggggh@)
     
  12. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Topic Starter Posts: 6,491   +183

    @cap
    We now return programming back to this original thread...... <Sentence to be read while playing the theme of "The Outer Limits" in your head! >

    I've unraveled a few more mysteries of that thing we call "Windows audio." Came back to take another look at your post about your audio issues. If you'd like, I'd be happy (and curious) to look further at your problem and take a crack at it. So there's also some instructions of a few things to do (should you feel like it... no prob either way..)

    "High Definition Audio Device" tells me one of your audio devices is very likely using a Windows generic driver. This often means you should be downloading and running a vendor specific driver that you're missing for the audio device
    Sounds like you used Windows Update to search for drivers - it's a good first step but is limited to the MS Windows database which has its own limitations as to just what's in there to find​

    Some fyi..
    • For my own system, I found the Windows generic driver didn't support HDMI. The HDMI port on the Radeon card only worked when it used the Radeon drivers
    • You should also check Ctl Panel->Sound->Playback to see what devices are present and which one is selected for default playback
    • I found after replacing the generic with a vendor driver, playback choices and their behavior worked much better. (No surprise as the generic driver is a "fall back" and not guaranteed to work with the vendor's hardware features. That's why vendors provide their own drivers - for full working functionality)
    • I have a 1080x720p HDMI monitor myself. And, at least for my case, it runs best and just fine at 1368x768 resolution once i have the vendor drivers installed

    First: What Gigabyte board model are you using?

    Also, providing a Problem Device and DirectX Report might tell me what i need to know identify the vendor devices and find you the right drivers (the good ol' human way)

    Problem Device Report
    • Make sure all your devices are connected and powered on
    • Click Start->Run, enter: msinfo32. Click the + sign next to Components to expand it
    • Click Problem Devices. Anything appear?
    • If yes, click on it, Ctrl-A to select all, Ctrl-C to copy it, Ctrl-V to paste into next post

    DirectX report

    • click Start->Run, enter dxdiag
    • Notice progress in lower left window corner
    • When done, click Save Information button and save to your Desktop
    • In TechSpot, use the paper clip icon to attach the report. (If you don't see icon you may need to first click Go Advanced)
     
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