Wrestling with Vista64 Sound

By Elrond116
Nov 10, 2007
  1. I recently built a new computer, and rashly chose Vista for my OS...and now I can't get the sound to work. To clarify, it has *never* worked since I assembled it last week, no matter what I do to it. Here's what I'm using:

    Sound cards:
    Asus M2N SLI Deluxe nForce 570 AM2 chipset (onboard SoundMAX)
    Sound Blaster Xtreme Audio ("Works with Windows Vista" on the cover)

    OS: Vista, 64 bit Ultimate. It's the Builder's Edition, if that makes a difference...

    I'm completely, 100%, positively sure that I have the latest drivers from Asus, and from Creative, per their websites, although I've also tried both with just the drivers that came on the disks. I'm also positive I have all relevant updates for Vista, per the "Windows Update" program.

    I bought the Sound Blaster to replace the SoundMAX because I had read that it might be incompatible with 64 bit OS's. Since then, I've tried all possible combinations of sound (including installing the Sound Blaster after uninstalling the SoundMAX and disabling it in BIOS). I have made sure to *completely* delete all previous drivers before trying new ones for the same card, and also to uninstall the active card before installing the other card.

    Symptoms (with either card installed):
    - Taskbar Audio Icon red (X); hover message: "(i) No Audio Output Device is installed."
    - Device Manager has (!) next to sound. In Properties, SoundMAX says something like "can't find device," and Sound Blaster says (verbatim), "Windows cannot load the device driver for this hardware. The driver may be corrupted or missing. (Code 39)"
    - Speakers work on other computers and are configured properly. The problem is completely software-based.

    I'm at my wit's end here, guys...I've heard that other people have been able to use Sound Blaster cards in Vista without too much trouble, so I can't understand why my system won't let me do it. I consider myself fairly computer-literate, too, which just makes it that much more embarrassing...any input much appreciated.
  2. nickc

    nickc TechSpot Paladin Posts: 923   +11

    Works with Windows Vista, does not mean it works with Vista 64 bit OS. the drivers are completely different, and I think u will find that a lot of programs that work with one will not work work with the other unless u get the correct program for that OS. and at this point there are very few drivers for the 64 BIT OS, there will probably be some that will argue with me on this although my new MB states it has drivers for VISTA 64 but I have not tried them and I do not like onboard network or onboard sound.

    Good Luck with what ever u find, but with that OS u may have a long wait.
  3. vegasgmc

    vegasgmc TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,377

    I beta tested Vista 32 and 64 and never had any problems with my Audigy 2 ZS. I have heard there are alot of faulty Xtreme cards though. Try replacing it. There may also be an IRQ conflict. Try moving the sound card to another slot.
  4. Elrond116

    Elrond116 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    @nickc: The driver I grabbed from Creative Labs is for Vista64, and I've found threads in other forums where people get it to work, so I'm pretty sure it *should* be ok...

    @vegasgmc: I hadn't thought to check this originally...but according to my Device Manager, it has its own channel (PCI-5 for me). I did notice that in the device's Properties->Resources tab, I'm getting the message, "This device isn't using any resources because it has a problem." If I can't figure it out in the next couple days, I'll try replacing it with a new one - thanks for the tip.

    I'm very suspicious of my OS, though...after all, it seems odd that neither my onboard sound NOR my card would work at all; I've never seen anything in my Sound->Playback Devices tab except "No audio devices are installed." I've just verified my "Windows Audio" Service is running...is there anything else I should double-check on Vista?
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