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Solved: Major problems with Sigmatel audio card

By TridentCrash
Dec 8, 2008
Topic Status:
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  1. LookinAround

    LookinAround TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 8,372   +167

    No worries if those yellow icons appear in Device mgr. it means an error but we know we're working on it
    1. I’d like to get a driver report first
      ==> Install DriverView
      ==> Run it. When it opens Edit->Select All, Edit->Copy then paste into a Notepad file .txt file and save it to Desktop so you can later attach it to your post
    2. Then download the Dell device install software and save to your desktop so you have it handy (and SAVED as a file on your computer)
    3. Then Control Panel->Add/Remove Programs
      • Look for an entry saying something like “Windows Installation Package KB835221”. Am not sure of the exact text you’ll see in Add/Remove, tho whatever the actual text is it must indicate KB83522 exactly
      • IF you find the entry, click Remove button to remove it. Note: It can take awhile to run. It may look like it's doing nothing for many minutes but just leave it alone. It will prompt you (twice I think).
        => First about items “that may not run if you remove this”, click OK and continue.
        => Then a prompt about the Audio bus removal. Click OK and continue till it’s finally all done
        => If you open device management now devices should be gone (but no worries even if not)
    4. Now click to run the Dell install software you saved on your desktop. Many pop-up balloons will come and go. Will take a couple minutes but just wait till it finally say hardware install failed or installed and OK or something to those effects.
    5. In any case, the balloon pop-ups finally stop. Check Device Manager to loo at those Devices and their device status
    6. Let me know device status again and please send me that driver report from step 1 above
    Trying to this out and posted for you asap as i gotta go out and won't be around for the afternoon.. but give this a shot, let me know, we can go from there

    /* EDIT */
    Expect that Dell install file to take awhile as well.. likely several minutes without seeing anything chaningg on screen is on
  2. TridentCrash

    TridentCrash TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 68

    I have a Windows Installer3.1 (KB893803) and thats all?

    Attached Files:

  3. LookinAround

    LookinAround TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 8,372   +167

    Then for now (as gotta start gettin ready) download that Dell softwareagain, save to your desktop, then click it to let it start and run anyway. Will look back here in about 10 mins
  4. TridentCrash

    TridentCrash TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 68

    the Dell software as in my sound drivers from dell.com?
  5. LookinAround

    LookinAround TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 8,372   +167

  6. TridentCrash

    TridentCrash TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 68

    yes that is the link i currently had. i have installed and still nothing...
  7. LookinAround

    LookinAround TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 8,372   +167

    if cheking devmgr still shows not working can't give any more detail now. back later. but see if you can't use these two tools to create reports so i can see it also

    MyUninstaller from nirsoft. will show me all your Add/Remove entries. Start and select items then save in a text file so i can see

    Unknown Devices to File->Save and it tells me all the hardware devices on your computer. This is what Windows Installer uses to match up device and driver.
  8. LookinAround

    LookinAround TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 8,372   +167

    i understand used before. will be a case of

    1) i find dell posted wrong driver OR
    2) it won't work EVER until we get all the misc Windows details "ducks lined up correctly" then it'll be happy to work
  9. LookinAround

    LookinAround TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 8,372   +167

    and fyi. if it comes to it. i can tell you what to do to create a trace file of what the Windows Installer is doing, what it's finding and what it's looking for. but do that if we get that point. so i still beleive is still a matter of windows data screwed up and will find it
  10. TridentCrash

    TridentCrash TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 68

    Not quit sure this is quite what you wanted but here you go

    Attached Files:

  11. LookinAround

    LookinAround TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 8,372   +167

    Yes. Those reports are exactly what i need for now. And if you could please confirm
    1. When you downloaded from Dell, you're prompted to Run or Save
    ===> Did you click Run? (Windows downloads then tries doin install automatically)
    ===> Did you click Save? (Windows saves file to your hard drive. You then click it yourself to open the file and start the install)

    2. (you can also refer to attached pic) Rt click My Computer->Properties->Hardware. Click Driver Signing
    ====> Is it set to Warn? (or Ignore or Block?)
    ====> Is it set to Make this action system default?

    Attached Files:

     
  12. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 18,353

  13. LookinAround

    LookinAround TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 8,372   +167

    Thanks for the updated clip! :approve: And an fyi for future reference
    (I'm tempted to have the OP just update to SP3 which theoretically should resolve one of the two device drivers, the one for HI Def Audio controller...
    ==> But that's theory. and that's only one driver
    ==> But can be helpful if first possible understand Audio controller/driver issue even if it is currently occuring in SP2)
  14. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 18,353

    Yes I'm following thread too, for info. So far the info is of high caliber :grinthumb
    Note: sometimes when I get computers with possible device driver problem, I just remove the PCI bridge, and re-install all the drivers (not exactly ideal, but it has worked :) )
  15. LookinAround

    LookinAround TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 8,372   +167

    kimsland:

    well, here's another tidbit.. or at least something i just learned in the process today. Don't know if you knew this or not but...

    I always thought the Dell Download page for Dell computer models list provided any recent past versions along with the current version. (i certainly see multiple versions listed for different things for different models) The Inspiron 1501 download page only provides one Audio driver.

    But apparently while the Inspiron 1501 download page only points to
    v5.10.0.5515_RC22-WHQL, A11 released 12/02/07
    There was a prior release
    v.5.10.0.5143, A07 released 11/02/06
    the only documented differences i found (they didn't indicate any bug list fixes in new version) but only
    - new version is WHQL tested
    - new version supports stereo mixer functionality
  16. TridentCrash

    TridentCrash TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 68

    yes that is correct. I saved the driver install package onto mydesktop THEN installed it (still nothing)
    and yes its set to warn and system default

    under device manager there is a tab titled other devices. there are for of them and they all have a yellow exclmation point (!)
    they are listed in this order
    -Base System Device
    -Ethernet Controller
    -Modem Device on High Definition Audio Bus
    -SM Bus Controller

    Everytime I reboot my comp i get a device intaller pop-up (four of them to be exact)
    Might anyof this have naything to do with my problems?
  17. LookinAround

    LookinAround TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 8,372   +167

    glad i caught you. Was just gonna do a short post and logoff...(and nice investigative work :) )

    1. Those yellow icons you see indicate devices which have problems. So device like the Hi Def Bus you mention isn't the CAUSE of the problem but rather just another indicator that Windows is trying to tell you this device HAS a problem

    2. Some other devices seem to have their own problems (e.g Ethernet controller) for now, don't think related but will look at it too

    3. What i did find from an initial look what you supplied me (thank you. it was all helpful):
    -a. The dell install software relies on a tool call the InstallShield (which you should see starting on your desktop after you first start the dell software
    b. At least from initial look, it appears
    ==> InstallShield simply invokes standard Microsoft stuff to install Hi Def Audio Bus controller stuff (which makes sense as it all relies on all the MS defaults for it)
    ==> InstallShield then calls the custom Sigmatel stuff to install the specific sound card driver

    But you're having problems at just getting the Hi Def Bus stuff installed (InstallShield likely never even tries the sound card specific install as the way HD Audio is designed i don't think it's 't even possible to install sound card until after the Hi Def Audio Bus is first working)

    So your problem may be for instance with the InstallShield tool itself and/or something keeping it from running as it should. Can discuss better tomorrow along with a couple of pics i'll post and can quickly go thru what you're seeing vs. should see when it runs
  18. TridentCrash

    TridentCrash TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 68

    ok thanks so much for all the help so far
    also on another note was it just me or was the site down for awhile earyler?
  19. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 18,353

    No, just you
    Although there has been some slowness of late
  20. TridentCrash

    TridentCrash TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 68

    oh ok just checking
  21. LookinAround

    LookinAround TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 8,372   +167

    Hey..

    We’ll limit amount of time looking at InstallShield and its install process as
    • XP SP3 , as I understand it, already includes all the default stuff from MS for handling/installing the first driver: the Hi Def Audio Bus
    • BUT nothin is 100% certain when it comes to these $%@#!! computers. And even if the default MS stuff is there, SP3 may or may not have the same InstallShield problem I’m guess there is now
    So my thinking / current plan is:
    • Spend some time walking through what InstallShield is doing now vs. what it should be doing. That info might be enough for me to recognize the underlying cause
    • If nothing uncovered from above, I’ll have you manually run the MS updates for Hi Def Audio Bus (as they don’t seem to get run by dell install). Might also reveal something if they can’t get run manually now either.
    • If still no progress, you should update to XP Home SP3 (or is there any particular reason you don’t want SP3 upgrade? Just so I get a “heads-up” if there’s something in SP3 you were wanting to avoid)

    So what I would assume you should be doing/seeing after download/start from disk (and see attached pic. Has some numbered pics for reference)
    • You downloaded and saved Dell driver package file to disk. (just fyi... For installs, always best to save to disk and install the copy on the hard drive)
    • You see message as Dell unpacks files in the package (they’re compressed to save space). Dell unpacks the files (saving unpacked version in C:\DELL\drivers\R171789) When its done it has you click an OK button
    • Dell then starts the InstallShield. (pic #1) Install Shield creates C:\Program Files\SigmaTel\SigmaTel AC97 Audio Drivers, copies the dell files from R171789 and begins running from that new directory. So that’s where we look for any “artefacts” should it ever create additional files (like if we're lucky a Setup.log file)
    • You finally get an InstallShield Wizard displayed (pic #2)
    • I click Next to continue (and see pic #3). Now for my case i soon get an error message (pic #4) cause my hardware isn’t a match for the install . (If I invested time I could “fake” what InstallShield sees to get by this but not worth effort at this point)
    • Now to find out more as what you see happening from there:. If you could briefly indicate the general order of prompts and / or error messages or anything else you think might be useful. And indicate what it does or say at the very end when all that's left is asking you to click Finish button on the Wizard
    As you recall all this, don't worry about getting message text exactly right, etc. vs. is more important to indicate its general sequence as it progresses and types of messages it gives along the way.

    Attached Files:

  22. electromagnetic

    electromagnetic TS Enthusiast Posts: 201

    Install the audio drivers in safe mode F8 on Dell Logo screen.
  23. LookinAround

    LookinAround TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 8,372   +167

    Hey TridentCrash, you're getting pretty good at this.
    1. Your post (part of which shown above) was a good time to use (and in fact did use) the Quote button
    2. And as to the data you reported above as a result of your own investigation: Makes me think we should also try reinstalling the chipset drivers for your motherboard!!

    But i still want briefly review what it is you see InstallShield doing cuz either:
    - It's just not running and/or displaying error and status messages as i;d expect it to
    - And/or if, by chance, you missed something significant to look-out for when it runs, is good to know for our debugging now. And for you to be aware of to help your own debugging efforts in the future.
  24. TridentCrash

    TridentCrash TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 68

    umm... no i really dont have anything to go on to base my ideas about SP3. I have not head anything good or bad about it so i really do not kno what to think about it.
    I am currently at school right now so when i get home i will check to see what exactly the installer is doing but off the top of my head it unzips the files then starts installer shield. then tells me to click next so i do. then i get about 2 bars then a small bar pop-up comes up over the installer. says \\\"please wait while install shield installs...\\\"
    or something to that extent. then it just goes away after about 3-5 min. but i dont get any error messgaes it just says the install process has been completed.
    now if i am thinking correctly it should tell me to reboot right? cause it does not say that only something on the guides of \\\"Your install is completed\\\"

    will repost around 3pm EST when i get home and have time to run through the process
  25. TridentCrash

    TridentCrash TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 68

    yea i went though the intall when i got home and what i decribed in my previous message is exactly what is happning
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