Soundcard switches itself off when idle

OK, this has been going on as long as I've had Seven, but it's getting irritating.
When my PC hasn't been playing any sound for about 30 secs, the on board audio switches itself off. If I then play some sound, it switches back on and works fine. The trouble is, switching on and off both yield a nasty crackling, popping noise from the speakers, similar to what you get if you pull out an audio jack without turning off the amp.

Can anyone tell me how to disable this feature so that the audio hardware just stays on permanently? Or at least how to alter the delay?

I'm using an Asus M2N32-SLI Delux motherboard, which has a "SoundMAX ADI AD1988B 8-channel CODEC" according to the manual.


Excellent Member
Microsoft Community Contributor
Have you checked for a setting in the Device Manager for the card? Anything under sound in the Control Panel, or a Bios setting that might control the Power Saving Features? There may even be something in the Power Settings, but I have never seen an entry for a sound card.

Couldn't find anything under Control Panel or BIOS, but I did find something that might be related in the device manager:
but I'm not too sure how to interpret or modify those settings.

There did used to be a control panel applet for SoundMax in XP, but it's not bundled with the drivers for Vista or 7, and I couldn't get the XP one it run.


Excellent Member
Microsoft Community Contributor
Since I do not have your Audio Device, my settings will be a little different from yours. You seem to have more entries in the dialog box you attached. Because of that, you might check the advanced power settings to see if the audio is listed if you haven't already.

There seems to be a General Settings page in the Audio Control utility which you do not yet have. I checked the Asus site and found a Vista driver for it, so you might try that if the noise is a problem. It should work fine, but if not you can uninstall it.

If you get it to install, check the Owners Manual on page 5-27 for General Options. On my copy, the type is unreadable so I cannot tell if it addresses any power savings issues. You might also look into the Ai Gear Utility since it seems to have some power saving settings.

I can't seem to find a Vista version of the utilities you mentioned, could you please provide a link? I see SoundMax drivers for vista/seven, but they are "drivers only", no control panel utility.


Excellent Member
Microsoft Community Contributor
Those panels are usually part of a driver for the device. The download is here, which is probably the one you saw.

Again, if you have the owner's manual and can read the General settings page, you might check to see if it has the power saving settings.

Did you find anything in the Ai utility?

I will keep looking, but I cannot think of any other way of correcting your situation if this doesn't work.

Hi Guys
Just wanted to BUMP this - please assist:

PC Specs
AMD 965 x4 Black Edition @ 3.4Ghz
Asus M4A 77TD Mobo
4gb DDR3 @ 1333Mhz
Gigabyte 585w Odin PSU

Thanks in advance!

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