She Has No Voice

I can’t get my onboard audio to work. My board is an MSI K8N Neo Series MS-7030 Ver. 1, based on the NVIDIA nForce 3 Chipset. The sound chip is by Realtek. The Realtek AC97 Audio Drivers were installed along with the mainboard drivers.

The Device Manager says that Realtek AC97 is functioning properly. I had a look at the Audio Codecs (which listed various ones, including stuff like Windows Media Player codecs), and they are all working properly.

My task bar as a little volume icon, and I’ve turned the volume all the way up for everything (Master, Wav, CD, etc.). When I play an MP3 in Media Player, I see the sound indicator moving, and the file is playing all right. MSI included an audio optimisation utility in their CD, which I installed, and I did a sound test.

I plugged the speaker plug into each audio port connector, as the music played, because my friend said that maybe the manufacturer made a mistake and put the Line Out in the wrong coloured port. I plugged the speaker plug into the front audio port as well. I also tried my headset.

I haven’t jumpered my front audio pins because I do want to be able use the front audio header. I made sure that the plugs went into the right pins.

I checked the BIOS for the AC97 Audio, which allows the mainboard to detect whether an audio device is being used. According to the manual, if an audio device is being used, then the onboard Audio Codec 97 controller will be enabled. If I wanted to use a sound card, I’m supposed to Disable this on the BIOS. But since I want to use onboard sound, it was Enabled.

I checked the Realtek website for updated drivers, and downloaded those. I removed the older driver, and installed the most updated version.

I browsed the files on the included driver/utility CD, and there were NVIDIA Audio Codecs there. I tried uninstalling the Realtek Audio, and installing the NVIDIA Audio Codecs.

After all that, I still haven’t got sound.

From doing some research, I have the following options to try:

1. Update the BIOS.

2. Uninstall Windows Service Pack 2. Uninstall the Realtek drivers. Then reinstall Realtek drivers and reinstall Windows Service Pack 2.

3. Fresh installation of Windows XP, nForce drivers, Realtek drivers, and then Windows Service Pack 2.

4. Cry.

For Options 2 and 3, my situation was such that I had installed Windows, then the drivers, then SP2. But over the course of troubleshooting my continual restart problem, the Realtek driver had been uninstalled and then reinstalled, without SP2 being removed. According to one message board, the drivers should all be in place before SP2, which makes sense, of course, and that’s what I did. However, I can’t be sure whether the sound was working last week, when I had’t installed SP2, since my main focus was on keeping the computer from crashing and solving the restart problem.

I think I am going try Option 2 first, then Option 1, then Option 3. If none of that works, I’m going to go for Option 4. What else can I do?

  8 comments for “She Has No Voice

  1. Dyannamika
    5 July 2005 at 09:01

    Well, I know you’ll get it sorted. You have some things left to try… Awww…I’m sure you’ll get it working. I have full confidence in you.


  2. 5 July 2005 at 13:46

    Considering the state of most onboard sound components, is just getting a cheap sound card a bad idea?

    The real problem there, of course, is letting your machine think that it can get the upper hand. Once they get that thought, it can be hell whipping obedience back into them.

  3. 5 July 2005 at 15:59

    They’re a lot like grocery bags in that respect.

    I didn’t have time to research this for you today, but if by tomorrow morning you haven’t figured anything out, I’ll be happy to poke around a bit.

  4. 5 July 2005 at 18:17

    Josh: That was my thought as well. If nothing works, I may just have a look for one. Although, in this case, I’d probably look for something mid-range, since — might as well, it’s already going to be something extra.

    I’m going to show this thing who’s boss!

    Corvus: Yes, soon I will be talking to it (outloud). Luckily, I don’t think there are any members of the public lurking around my room to cast puzzled glances in my direction.

    Thanks, Corvus. I hope this works.

  5. 5 July 2005 at 20:06

    I would absolutely second the idea of getting a “real” soundcard. They aren’t that expensive and they will play world’s better than any onboard one. We do video conferencing software and the first thing we do with our turnkey systems in put in a soundcard.

    I’ve always had good luck with the Soundblaster line, although some don’t like them. But it should only set you back $50 and, in time savings alone that will be worth it.

  6. 6 July 2005 at 06:59

    Would there be any reason why a PCI sound card wouldn’t work, since my onboard sound isn’t working? I don’t know how all these things interact, but the two should be independent, right? As long as I disable the Realtek drivers in the BIOS (which is what the manual says I should do if I am not using onboard sound), then everything should be fine when I use the sound card, yeah?

  7. 7 July 2005 at 04:31

    Yup, I would say that there is more of a chance of crappy Realtek drivers being the problem rather than anything inherent in your PCI sound.

  8. 7 July 2005 at 10:12

    Cheers, Hieronymous. I’ve ordered my card, and it should be here tomorrow. I couldn’t wait for standard shipping, and there’s a nice mail-in rebate on it. Win-win!

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