No sound cards work!

  Gaz W 16:40 05 Dec 03
Locked

I have a computer I am repairing and I have come across an unusual problem with sound. It seems that whatever sound card I install, sound is so quiet it is barely audible.

The PC was an Advent 8580 but has had a new motherboard, processor etc. The motherboard is an MSI MS-6309, which has onboard sound, which also doesn't work (can't hear that at all).

The Windows XP Pro installation is brand new; I have formatted and reinstalled. The sound card (SoundBlaster Live! 5.1 Digital) and the speakers used to test it are working. I have also tried another sound card (SoundBlaster Live! 5.1) which works in any other PC but not this one.

I have tried the sound cards in different PCI slots, but still the same problem. Also it is not to do with system volume/volume control - everything is on maximum and this means you can hear the sound only if you put the speakers up to your ears.

What could be causing the sound to be so inaudibly quiet

  Gaz W 16:41 05 Dec 03

Bit stupid to forget the question mark. Even more stupid to say inaudibly quiet because it can be heard, but only with the speakers right up to your ears and the sound on maximum volume, etc.

  Trackrat 16:53 05 Dec 03

Just a thought have you been into device manager and checked under sounds that their are no problems with the audio codecs

  Gongoozler 16:55 05 Dec 03

Hi Gaz W. I assume that you have disabled the onboard sound when you fit the PCI cards. I can't think of any really good ideas. There are few things that would affect all the cards. Very quiet sound in the analogue world would suggest that there is no direct connection, and what you can hear is getting through by crosstalk. Digitally connected sound, however, works in a different way, and it is unlikely that all the bits have been disconnected. Have you tried testing the sound using dxdiag (Start - Run - dxdiag, or whatever the XP equivalent is).

  Djohn 17:06 05 Dec 03

Gaz W, have you checked in BIOS to see that sound is enabled?

  Djohn 17:10 05 Dec 03

Also, after installing the Soundblaster card, run the drivers for the card, rather than relying on XP's own drivers. Believe it or not I can double the volume from my system by installing the sound drivers from the Blaster CD. j.

  hugh-265156 19:59 05 Dec 03

are you using analogue or digital connectors?

if using analogue jacks,check in control panel/audioHQ/speaker and untick "enable digital output"

if using a digital connector tick it.

click settings and tick "ac3decode" if you do not have an external DD decoder or if you are using a descrete 6ch analogue connection.the card will decode the audio before sending it on to the amp or powered speakers.

also check you have connected the leads to the correct sockets,on my SBLive 5.1 they are:

RED = digital 5.1 out or centre/sub out in analogue mode.

GREEN = line out or front left right in analogue mode

BLACK = line out rear left right.

  Gaz W 20:14 05 Dec 03

OK, here's what I've done:

The onboard sound in the BIOS is Disabled, as is AC97 audio (which I think refers to the onboard sound). When the onboard sound is enabled, I can switch Sound Blaster to Enabled or Disabled, but if I disable the onboard sound with Sound Blaster still Enabled, it says Enabled but I can't Disable it. I'm assuming Sound Blaster in the BIOS refers to the onboard sound being Sound Blaster compatible.

I have used the Creative drivers AND Windows XP drivers trying to get it to work, but none of them do. There is definitely sound, so the card appears to be functioning (and it works in another PC), but it is VERY quiet when in this PC.

  Gaz W 20:17 05 Dec 03

I haven't connected the CD drive. The problem isn't with CD playback - I haven't tested that yet. The problem is even with Windows sounds (wave files) or anything sound related. If I play the file C:\Windows\Media\Windows XP Startup.wav it can only just be heard (as I mentioned above).

btw the post above was typed ages ago but I forgot to click "Post Response" before I left the computer. D'oh!

  Gaz W 20:19 05 Dec 03

The speakers are plugged into the green socket, which is for the speaker output, but I've tried them in others. I've also made sure it isn't set for digital output only and that it's not set for surround speakers or anything, but it's set for desktop stereo speakers, which is what they are.

  Gaz W 20:49 05 Dec 03

refresh

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