No audio, neither with on-board nor PCI card

By Valor
Sep 14, 2008
  1. Hi all,
    I've been struggling with this problem for almost two weeks now. I'm not able to get any audio from my system. It all started when I formatted C in order to install Windows XP Home. Previously I had XP Pro 64bit but I wasn't happy with that since it gave me some compatibiliy problems with other programs such as Norton Internet Security. But - the sound worked. However, that's not the case with XP Home anymore.

    This is my system:
    Motherboard: ASRock K7S41GX
    Chipset: SIS 741GX
    on board Audio: SIS 7012
    Processor: AMD sempron, 1500 MHz 2200+

    For the on-board audio I used the latest audio driver from the SIS website but to no avail. I tried alternative drivers such as Realtek AC 97 or VIA but no luck. The errors I get are pretty much the same that I get with the PCI audio card I just bought since I figured that would fix my problem. I guess I was wrong! The card I have is a Speed Link SL-8661-SRD and neither the drivers from the CD nor the latest version from their website works with my computer. Here's a list of errors and peculiarities I have come across with both installations, I hope you guys can shed some light on these.

    When installing the PCI with option "install driver and applications" the set-up initializes and then a green screen comes on. Then nothing happens! When I opt instead for "install drivers only" it keeps saying "driver is being installed" and it loads and loads until the bar is full. Then nothing happens. I can press exit and when I do it says "successfully installed, please restart". But, after restart a message comes on from C-Media saying "can not find audio chip". It will usually say "new hardware found" too. Neither Windows can find the driver automatically then nor does it work when I manually point Windows to the C-media driver from from the folder. Usually what happens then is two or three scenarios:
    1) The computer stalls again when the bar is fully loaded.
    2) The computer says successful installation but when I restart there's still no audio.
    3) I get a BSOD stating "Stop 0x0000007E, 0xC0000005, 0xF7BD8B83, 0xf82D492C, 0xF82D4628
    cmaudio.sys - Address F7BD8B83 base at F7B81000"

    When I check the device manager after the installation (with option "show hidden devices" on), it usually lists the CMI8738 audio driver or the SIS 7012 for on-board (whichever I've done) but in the properties tab it will says something like "driver activated but not functioning". Also, there's usually up to 7 new unknown devices listed under "other devices", and sometimes one under "audio devices". All of them with a yellow question mark beside them. After the restart they're usually greyed out but they shouldn't be there at all, should they.

    On top of that there's always another gameport showing up which really bugs me. What does that have to with setting up the audio? One says "CMaudio" and the other PCI-Bus. How do I find the right drivers for these? As usual, neither Windows nor the folder seem to provide something functional.

    In the beginning of my installation attempts there was also a greyed out entry found named "SM Bus Controller". I could not find a driver for that anywhere, even on the net. Assuming that this had nothing to do with my audio I uninstalled this entry and since then it has never shown up again. Could this bus controller thing be a problem? What is it for anyway?

    Well, I guess I should mention that whenever I tried to go with the PCI card I made sure to disable on-board sound through the bios and uninstall those drivers. And whenever I tried to do the on-board I made sure to uninstall and remove the PCI card. Something that both have in common - and maybe that's the problem - is that the drivers are from C-Media. Are there any incompatibility issues known regarding C-Media or ASRock? Or in conjunction with XP Home? When I installed Home, I also installed all Service Packs up to 3. Automatic Windows update has been on. Maybe uninstalling the updates might do the trick? Anyone know? Oh, and btw, I do check Windows audio properties to see if I can choose something from the drop down menu but I cant. It's greyed out!

    I figure that one problem might be the drivers for the actual SIS mobo chipset. But none seem to exist! Neither the ASRock nor the SIS site or google points to an actual SIS741 Chipset driver. I was only able to find IDE drivers, graphics, USB (which all work for me) and the audio of course (which doesn't work, grr!). I also downloaded the newest BIOS (2.10), but unfortunately I cannot flash my mobo with that because my floppy drive is broken. When I try to do it with a bootable DVD-R I can set the flash command and at first it seems to do something but then there's nothing. It just stalls and after restart the BIOS set up still says version 2.0. I went ahead and did a CMOS resetting though, however that still doesn't fix the audio complications. I've also done a registry clean and fix (with Wise RC) and there were a few CMaudio entries it took care of but still no successful installation after that.

    I'm really at wit's end now hence I'm posting here. Maybe I should just buy a new motherboard, one that doesn't have anything from SIS on it. Because browsing the net it seems audio issues with that are notorious. It really sux because when it was still running XP Pro I was quite happy with the mobo and its performance, including the sound. I hope you guys can help. Thanks and all the best,
  2. Tha General

    Tha General TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,106

    I have onboard sound issues, i use sound cards, use a soundblaster card or a Diamond sound card. Sound blaster and diamond has good drivers. I would go with the sound blaster card first tho. :)
  3. EXCellR8

    EXCellR8 The Conservative Posts: 1,835

    Yea I can almost guarantee that if you swap that card for a Sound Blaster you wont have any more problems once you install the drivers and software. It's been awhile since I've installed a Creative card but I'm pretty sure all you do is pop in the CD afterward and the drivers install with the config programs. Creative's software is usually pretty good and it all syncs up with the XP control panel and whatnot. I don't think you need to disable the onboard sound either...
  4. CCT

    CCT TS Evangelist Posts: 2,653   +6

  5. Tha General

    Tha General TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,106

    Actually to play it safe i would disable your onboard sound, i did, because i was having issues. But yes you are right, Creative sound blaster cards are nice to use, and use the drivers from the disc. But my advice for the OP, don't install the extra crap that comes with it, just install the driver.
  6. Valor

    Valor TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 65

    Yes, that's the one I tried.

    It's funny that ExCell is mentioning a Creative card because that's the first one I had in my hands at the store. But due to budget limitations I opted for the cheaper Speed-Link....maybe I'll go back to the store and swap these. But surely there's no guarantee that this will work with my comp. I still would appreciate some advice on actually fixing my current settings...

    One thing I forgot to mention is that in the device manager there's also three greyed out items listed, all having to do with "microsofy proxy" (streaming clock, streaming quality manager and streaming service). When I click on their properties it say something like "not currently connected to the computer (code 45)". What's up with that? Wonder if I need to take care of this in order to make my sound work...
  7. CCT

    CCT TS Evangelist Posts: 2,653   +6

    The Asrock site shows a C-Media AC97 driver for that mobo. Did you try it?
  8. Valor

    Valor TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 65

    Yes, wasn't that already apparent through my original post?
  9. Valor

    Valor TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 65

    Just to give an update, I was never able to successfully use any driver for this audio system. Luckily my dad still had a computer left for me and I switched to that one. Kind of a blessing in disguise because it has a lot better specs!
  10. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,491   +183

    Well, that solution worked out well!

    Now if only we could get Microsoft to write a Knowledge Base article on the how to go about doing that.. :D
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