Problems re-installing my soundblaster live value

By Bdogg ยท 9 replies
Feb 17, 2005
  1. I am trying to re-install my SB Live Value back into my Asus/Athlon PC.

    This same SB Live Value was installed and working in this exact same computer - an Asus A7V266-E with an AMD Athlon 1800+ running
    Windows 98 SE.

    The BIOS is Award Medallion BIOS version 6 (ASUS A7V266-E ACPI
    BIOS Rev. 1004B)

    However, the registry was irreparably damaged by a virus and so a new install of Win 98 SE was set up in a new directory - windows.002

    Based on extensive research on the web (including reading the posts here), I have developed and followed the following procedure. However, after MORE THAN 4 FULL DAYS of work, the soundblaster is still not functioning.

    I would REALLY appreciate some help.

    Soundblaster setup notes:

    1. disable onboard audio in BIOS (done)
    (I have diabled this in BIOS; however, this was NOT disabled in
    BIOS on this machine's original WORKING configuration before
    the registry crash - and SB Live was working fine)

    2. uninstall all creative drivers and files

    a) manually search for and remove all of these:


    b) search for and remove all files named *.INF that contain
    the text "Creative"
    (check these files first before deleting - only remove those
    listed as creative labs files)

    c) search for and remove all related registry entries

    3. shut down computer

    4. physically remove sound card
    (card was installed in the slot identified on the ASUS MB as 'PCI #4'

    5. restart computer

    6. double check all files and registry entries are removed

    7. if necessary, remove any creative labs devices from device manager

    8. shut down computer again

    9. install SB Live in a slot
    (since it was previously working in SLOT 'PCI #4' I re-installed it
    back in the same slot)
    (the BIOS is set to AUTO assign an IRQ to PCI slots 1 thru 5 -
    which is the same setting BIOS was using when this same card
    was functioning in this same PCI slot before the registry crash)

    10. boot computer

    11. allow auto detect to run - it will detect a "PCI Multimedia device" but
    will NOT detect SB Live (!!!)

    12. Try the "Have Disk" option but this will also fail.

    13. Cancel out of all the MS auto detect "crap"

    14. Run "Add/Remove hardware" in control panel

    15. Select a Creative Labs device and point the "Have Disk" to E:\audio\english\win95drv\

    16. Drivers will be detected and installed

    17. Reboot computer

    18. Check System Devices in control panel - Soundblaster Live Value is installed, but has a "code 24" indicating installation is not complete or drivers need to be upgraded.

    19. NOTE: SB Live is auto assigned IRQ 10 (which is contrary to all prevailing wisdom on web which says it should be on IRQ5) and the IRQ setting cannot be changed from the device properties screen.

    20 Install the sblw9xup.exe from Creative

    21. reboot

    22. same result as in 18 above.


    I will try uninstalling and re-installing in a different PCI slot next, but does that really make any sense? I mean, if the card was previously working in PCI slot #4, why should it need to go in another slot???

    Anyway, if anyone has any helpful tips, I would REALLY appreciate some help. I am a musician and I was using my SB Live with Cakewalk almost daily until the box crashed. evrything else on this machine is back up and running like a top except for the SB Live. BTW I sent the above note to creatove labs too, but am not holding my breath ;-)

    Thanks in advance for your help!

    the BDogg :wave:
  2. The Best Alias

    The Best Alias TS Rookie Posts: 113

    Go to sound blaster dot com and download the latest win98 drivers and software. Fling that CD that came with it into the trash.
  3. CirTap

    CirTap TS Rookie Posts: 18

    head over to and get their free tool to find any hardware conflicts. It's more informative than MSINFO32 and helped me to solve my prob with an Audigy2.
    And maybe think about getting a *real* soundcard - after years I found SB cards suck: they use far too many ressources for "just a sound card" which always cause conflicts with other hardware.
    if you want good audio sound, getcha a audio-only card, no synth no additional gameport wasting valuable resources. A good audio card (e.g. M-Audio, Terratec) will do perfect with "emulating" synthies, and they sound better than anything SB builts. I'll get rid of my audigy2 as soon as possible 'cos this card sucks too.

    have fun and good luck!
  4. Bdogg

    Bdogg TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Hi! Thanks!

    So I have been to the soundblaster site (many times in fact) but the only current driver set i can find is in the form of the sblw95up.exe file - which is an executable that automatically updates your drivers (supposedly). (i hate these auto bundled things - especially when they don't work!)

    So is there some secret to finding a zipped set of drivers that i could download and use during the basic install of the card? point me to it, man, and i am all over it!


    Hey, CirTap!

    That's a good tip. I just ran my ASUS Probe utility that came with my PC and lo and behold my USB controller is using IRQ 10!

    For some reason on my last attempt to re-install the SB Live, the PCI slot #4 (and therefore the SB Live) was auto assigned IRQ 10!!! Yikes!

    I sent my note in to soundblaster support and actually got a response (nearly died of shock!!!) One of the technician's tips was to update my BIOS. So I just finished doing that this morning. Time consuming, but problem free.

    So now I have some clues anyway.

    For one thing, I want to try to figure out how to manually assign IRQ5 to one of my PCI slots because everyone on the web says the SB Live works best on IRQ 5.

    Maybe my BIOS update will help.

    Another thing I discovered when clearing out the files (step #2 in my documented process for re-installation) is that 5 of the driver files that are supposed to be there were actually not installed during the installation on thursday!!! So that "Code 24" message was telling the truth after all - there really were files missing!

    I wonder if it fails at installing the drivers due to the IRQ conflict???

    Can't afford to switch sound devices right now, so I gotta make this work, but I agree with your impression - creative labs/soundblaster is probably not the way to go - especially if i start using the PC more seriously for my recording and stuff.

    anyway thanks for the tips!

  5. The Best Alias

    The Best Alias TS Rookie Posts: 113

    A SB live sharing an IRQ under win98 shouldn't be a problem BUT.... w98 has serious USB issues. If you are using a USB mouse, printer, or some such I/O device that's used regularily, you might have hiccups in your audio, but that shouldn't prevent it from working.

    hmmmmm...... I do remember playing hell with a SB under Win98, but I don't 100% remember what I did to make it work. Seems like there was an unorthodox driver installation procedure.

    IMHO, if you are going to get serious working audio on your PC, you need to get away from win98. XP is much more stable as are the AISO drivers for more robust audio applications. I recently gave a local recording studio an OS upgrade with much belly aching from the owner. Less than a week later, he called me with an apology because his studio hasn't crashed since.
  6. SOcRatEs

    SOcRatEs TechSpot Paladin Posts: 966

  7. Bdogg

    Bdogg TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks! Will check it out.
  8. Bdogg

    Bdogg TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Hey CirTap - i went to that URL - everest - nothing there. ???
  9. olefarte

    olefarte TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 1,345   +13

  10. CirTap

    CirTap TS Rookie Posts: 18

    oops. sorry :) dunno where I got that from. thanx olefarte for providing the right URL.

    About Win98 + SB.. reading Best Alias' reply i remember having huge trouble when I plugged in my first ISDN/DSL card and the SB was sucking up all "Plug'n'Pray" ressources.

    If possible, disable any of the onboard stuff in the BIOS your SB provides as well: MIDI and joystick and of course sound (like AC'97) or you waste ressources for nothing.
    "Thanks" to Win98 you can still override IRQs in the device manager. While there disable all the ports/devices from this SB card you don't need/care about as well.
    Check your "autoexec.bat" and (maybe) config sys for the settings the SB installer possibly added(!), it should tell you the *real* IRQs and adresses if I recall correctly.
    Note down the IRQs of any other PCI card you have installed.
    Go back to your BIOS. Disable Plug-n-Play OS and manually assign the IRQs according to your PCI card layout/position, try to keep the IRQs you found in Device manager if possible to avoid re-installng the drivers if Win98 starts up.
    That's how you may force/allow SB to use IRQ5 - if that's desired. (btw. isn't IRQ5 reserved for something??)
    I had to do this manual assignments to make my ISDN/DSL card, SB, and the printer work together - PnP didn't work at all for my old board on Win98 -- back in 19xx:)
    Took me a zillon reboots, BIOS and device manager checkups, inkl. removing and switching PCI cards for the whole day ...

    Oh, and if you have an USB expansion board; remove this temporatily until you have SB installed with a fixed IRQ, then put it back. It should then grab another port/address. Make sure you also have the latest possible Win98[SE] USB driver from Microsoft - just in case.

    Good luck!

    Have fun
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