Audio Realtek AC'97- No audio device recognised

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Aussie gal

TS Rookie
Hey there,
Can someone help me? I've been trying to work this out 4 weeks.

I can hear audio playing through winamp/media player and basically any program thats on my computer (XP). But I cant hear anything that plays through flash online eg. myspace audio and youtube etc etc.
But I can listen to online radio through Real audio etc.
This is a real prob for me cos I work in the music industry and have to keep up with the latest music from bands.
Everything was working fine until about 10 days ago when it stopped without explanation (that I can fathom).
It's very strange cos when I go into control panel, it says there is no audio device. But how can this be? I can still hear music from my harddrive.

What I've done: Uninstalled/ reinstalled Flash, also the Realtek drivers...

Where is starts to get wierd:
I thought i fixed my problem the other night. All of a sudden it recognised Realtek as the audio device and I could listen to everything online- so happy! But i had no explanation of why it started working again.

Then the next day:
No device recognised! Ahhh!
After several restarts I found that some times control panel says there was an audio device (realtek 97) and more often it says there is nothing.
I have a suspicion it could be cos there's other hardware Unimodem half duplex installed on the computer.. but am not sure what to do about this. I tried disabling it, but then nothing at all would play- not even through winamp etc.

Please if you have any idea how to deal with this, I would be so appreciative.


TS Guru
On-board audio, Realtek codec drivers and such can be very dodgey and problematic. Even when all things are working perfectly, these still utilize a big portion of CPU resources just for basic operation. In all, integrated audio is a good cheap alternative for Grandma's "You got mail!" when she signs into AOL, but for most everyone else, it's not the best solution.

While not the answer you want to hear, you're likely going to save yourself hours of grief, diagnostics and driver download/installs by simply buying a cheap, well supported, true sound card.

If you're in the US, my best cheapest solution is to just go to Walmart and buy one of their Audigy SE's. These are around $30 bucks US, they usually have a ton of them. You just disable your current on-board audio in the BIOS, power off, slap the card into an open PCI slot in the case, close the case, power-up, install the drivers off the included CD and you're in business.

Above all, you get up to 64 voices in hardware, spares your CPU so the rest of your system runs fast, EAX support for surround 5.1/7.1 speakers, CMS3D for expansion of 2 speakers/headphones, tons of nice EQ features and handy EQ presets, sound environment settings, clean 96khz, 24-bit hardware audio quality, etc.etc. Not to mention you can hit Creative's website and they have an auto-updater (for IE5.0 and above) that works like Windows Update.. takes all the pain out of keeping your drivers and software up to date.


TS Rookie
Hullo, Aussie Gal!

I got your message a few minutes ago, and I am sorry to hear you're having a similar issue. If there's one thing we should learn from this, it's the 'quality' of Realtek.

But on to the issue at hand. I must say that, though you most likely don't want to have to buy a new card, Sharkfood's solution would be your best bet. As for my own problem, it was a little different from yours. What I ended up doing was completely uninstalling every bit of Realtek software from my computer, rebooting, and letting it detect the hardware on it's own. Then I had to reinstall the latest driver, and it's been working so far. Also, I'm pretty sure there was another little program that I uninstalled as well, but I can't remember what it was for the life of me. Sorry, deary. It might've been an issue with my Generic Host Process (svchost.exe), but I can't clearly recall.

Hope this post helps you somewhat, and may your CPU issues fade swiftly!

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