Will i need to remove and replace my soundcard for windows to recognise it?
November 17, 2006 4:39 PM   Subscribe

Will i need to remove and replace my soundcard for windows to recognise it? Sound card driver is installed but the hardware itself isnt recognised.

Im not very tech savvy and im scared of opening my pc. I usually use ubuntu linux but now i reformatted and installed windows XP. The problem is my sound card, i have the driver installed, but the hardware itself isnt being recognised. Any suggestions?
posted by freddymetz to Computers & Internet (8 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Can you see the sound card as a resource in your boot progress screen? (If your PC has a simple logo splash screen during boot, you may need to press F2 or something to get it to display its normal boot progress screens, instead). Most BIOS systems probe the PCI bus(es) and Northbridge and Southbridge devices during boot, and report the availability of devices they find, on first power up. They then store that information in an area of CMOS memory called ESCD, to avoid having to rescan memory each time the computer boots. If you are changing OS from Linux to Windows, you may need to go through BIOS setup again, to clear ESCD, re-probe your buses for the actual hardware present, and feed the results to Windows. This should be a one-time thing, unless the CMOS battery on your motherboard is shot, and the machine won't hold BIOS options between boots.
posted by paulsc at 5:10 PM on November 17, 2006

what sound card? ... what drivers?
posted by pyramid termite at 5:37 PM on November 17, 2006

Right click my computer, goto properties, goto Hardware, Goto device manager, are there any devices that show up as "Unknown Device" or similar? Are any of the area's expanded with red x's next to them?
posted by SirStan at 5:57 PM on November 17, 2006

Response by poster: The sound card is an avance 97 which came with the medion pc.
There arent any "unknown devices" listed
under sound/video/game controllers i have the following listed (which have something to do with audio):
legacy audio drivers, audio codecs, media control devices, mpu-401 compatible midi device

paulsc: It lists them at startup but it goes too fast for me to finish reading them (like half a second). Ill try to capture it with a digicam, unless theres another way?

by the way, i installed xp first after reformatting, the ubuntu linux and then sp2 for xp if thats relevant.
posted by freddymetz at 6:43 AM on November 18, 2006

You can hit "pause" during boot to stop at the resource screen, or just boot into bios and look at your settings. If it's not showing up in device manager I would uninstall and reinstall it physically in your PC. Try changing to another PCI slot. Or uninstall the card, boot up with the card out, power down, then reinstall and boot again.
posted by white_devil at 6:50 AM on November 18, 2006

Response by poster: okay i took a picture, this is what it says
posted by freddymetz at 9:08 AM on November 18, 2006

Best answer: freddymetz, I don't see anything in your picture that I recognize as a sound card, except, perhaps, "Multimedia device" on IRQ 12. What I do see is that IRQ 12 is shared among a USB device and a network controller as well.

Modern PC's can share IRQ's through PCI IRQ steering. But not all sound cards share IRQ's well with other devices, and in your case, the devices that are sharing IRQ 12 with your "Multimedia device" are both pretty busy (your network card and a USB device).

I think your "sound card" may be "on board" chipset sound from your motherboard, from a Realtek chip. If so, there is no "card" you can physically remove from your machine, but if you want to "re-install' the "card' and drivers, here's what I would do.

1) Go back into your Windows devices list, and remove the existing sound card.
2) Reboot the machine, and go into BIOS, and verify all screens for sound set up. Try turning off an on-board sound settings, and saving the BIOS settings you've changed, to overwrite the exisiting ESCD block. Then, when the machine reboots, go into BIOS setup again, and turn the sound options back on, to force the machine to reprobe its buses again, and rewrite ESCD again with its latest IRQ map.
3) Let it reboot into Windows, and detect the "new" hardware. Let it install drivers from Windows, or from your motherboard drivers CD (Windows drivers may not work correctly if your motherboard has later BIOS, which needs a patched driver you get with the CD that came with the machine, or a copy your download from the manufacturers Web site). If Windows doesn't detect new hardware, it's because it can't see the resource through shared IRQ steering, and you'll either need to manually direct the driver, or use a "hinted" driver you get from the motherboard manufacturer.
posted by paulsc at 11:35 AM on November 18, 2006 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: paulsc, you have no idea how much i love you right now! It is an on board chipset and it was set to disabled in the peripherals menu.
posted by freddymetz at 9:42 AM on November 19, 2006

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