Fixing SoundMAX Onboard Sound (Maybe Others)

Discussion in 'Windows 7 Hardware' started by FBuchan, May 3, 2009.

  1. FBuchan

    FBuchan New Member

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    I registered to post this fix -- this forum has been the most active about the issue of "no sound" on Windows 7, and while it didn't solve my issue it educated me to the widespread nature of the problem and kept me focused. This solution may also work for other than the ASUS PB5 series motherboards, and even for more than SoundMAX, but I can't test that myself. What I can say is that the solution, after hours of frustration, turned out to be so painfully simple I wanted to be sure I shared it.

    My situation was that installing the Windows 7 RC yesterday resulted in the sound driver for my onboard audio claiming to all be standard MS issue HD Audio drivers, and basically dysfunctioning without any errors. Everything claimed to work, but there was simply no sound. I tinkered into the night, did a lot of reading, and got nowhere.

    This morning I decided the lack of errors meant something, and went to the BIOS. This ASUS board has an entry in its "Advanced" page called "Front Panel Support Type" that I have been vaguely aware of the entire time, but never had to change for any other O/S I dual-booted for testing. Even original Windows 7 betas worked fine. It was set to [AC97] and the primary stable O/S (XP SP3) was still, and always did, work fine. The other option was [HD Audio]. I decided to give it a whirl and set it to that.

    Booting to the partition with XP SP3 after that resulted in the device manager warning the device "SoundMAX Integrated Digital Audio Controller" was inoperable. I removed it and reinstalled using the 5.10.1.6240 build of the XP drivers. It worked like a charm.

    I booted to Windows 7 RC and went to its device manager, which as usual showed no troubles. I removed the "High Definition Audio Device" entry that was disguising the SoundMAX. I scanned for changes, it correctly identified the onboard device, and it barked at me for a driver. Whether you use the XP version (5.10.1.6240) or the Vista version (6.10.1.6.w) it works. The XP driver, for me, works better and sounds slightly better. (I suspect their Vista version jumped through some hoop to make [AC97] work.)

    I checked this by installing again from scratch, and as long as that setting in the BIOS was [HD Audio] Windows 7 correctly chose the device, though in my case it barked for the driver. Again, pointing it to the XP driver, sound was fine.

    Again, I have no idea if this would work for other onboard sound devices (and obviously the issue is different for cards), but it is worth a try for anyone who has the issue. Just check your BIOS and see if you can shift from [AC97] to [HD Audio] mode. For whatever reason, Windows 7 seems to prefer the latter.

    Good luck to all.
     
  2. cmn

    cmn New Member

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    Hi FBuchan,
    This an excellent response to a common problem. I also want to comment you for supporting your recommendation showing the exact Motherboard in the System that had the Sound problem [ your drop down System SPECS sheet near login name) This Forum very much encourages posters to give such information in a capsule while asking for help as shown with tips in the FAQ :
    Windows 7 Forums - FAQ: Windows 7 Forums FAQ

    Unfortunately very few make use of them when they post help questions often after a long and frustrating self troubleshoot.
    Those who build their own systems like yourself, are quite attune to the need for hardware specifications as they have to go through a proper sequence of hardware installation from ground up and at times troubleshoot by stripping the board down or entering the BIOS setup etc. As you mentioned, the Boards with Audio connection for the Font Panel and the usual Back panel at times use different codec drivers and provide jumpers to facilitate the switch of one or the other in older system boards and both Front panel and Back panel HD audio and SPIDF in a lot of currently available boards. As the hardware manufacturers come out with newer advances the Operating systems would also catch up as in the case of Win Vista and now Win 7 and in some Linux systems too. So anyone having had an older OS like WinXP might have to start the troubleshoot all the way from BIOS to the Device Manager for the answer. Anyone trying to accomplish that through a Forum with very few data given to troubleshoot will add the frsutration level of the OP by additional questions and the help seeker very often loses interest and stops the troubleshoot abruptly and go to another forum in an endless chase for an answer.
    If you go through many of the long troubleshoots in many forums and especially those ending blindly as unresolved have a large element of lack of adequate hardware data, information about other existing Operating systems, and events leading up to the problem presented and frequently lack of clear communication between the two sides.

    Others might not post anything but read the responses in Forums and decide to take matters into their own hands and fix the problem like you have done but often do not add to the knowledgebase by posting their succesful fix to the masses. You have done a great service and I have learned from you. Thank you for your meesage and I hope this will find a permanant place in the Forum as a Sticky for Sound problem.
     
  3. willyangerosa

    willyangerosa New Member

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    [langtitle=es]Re: Fixing SoundMAX Onboard Sound (Maybe Others)[/langtitle]

    [lang=es]hello, explain the steps to install SoundMAX_Audio_V51016520. windows seven, since it is the best equalizer there, I have m2n sli-deluxe, I use translator[/lang]
     
  4. nmsuk

    nmsuk Windows Forum Admin
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  5. willyangerosa

    willyangerosa New Member

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    Re: [langtitle=es]Re: Fixing SoundMAX Onboard Sound (Maybe Others)[/langtitle]

    [lang=es]Hi, I have installed this version SoundMAXAD1988B_Audio_V610X6585_Win7 .. but I want to know if I can install SoundMAX_Audio_V51016520 ..[/lang]
     
  6. willyangerosa

    willyangerosa New Member

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    [langtitle=es]Re: Fixing SoundMAX Onboard Sound (Maybe Others)[/langtitle]

    [lang=es]Hi, I have installed this version SoundMAXAD1988B_Audio_V610X6585_Win7 .. but I want to know if I can install SoundMAX_Audio_V51016520 ..[/lang]
     

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