Sound Card Isn't Being Detected by Windows (Doesn't Show Up in Device Manager)


So I'm going to try to be as specific as possible:

I have two PCs in my house. Let's call them PC-A and PC-B.

PC-A is equipped with a Creative Xfi Fatality sound card
PC-B is equipped with a Creative Xfi Titanium HD

Prior to the operation I'm about to explain below, everything was working fine.

For various reasons I wanted to swap the cards. For both computers, I went into the device manager, uninstalled the respective sound cards, rebooted the PCs, then shut them off for good.

I removed the sound cards from both rigs and switched them (Fatality goes into PC-B, Titanium HD goes into PC-A).

With PC-A, everything worked fine. Booted it up, installed the latest drivers from Creative's website, and everything is running smoothly.

With PC-B, all sorts of problems. The PC booted, but then immediately BSOD. Restart, won't boot at all. Restart again, still won't boot at all. I take the card out, boot it up -- works fine. I go into the device manager, turn on view hidden devices. Uninstall/delete everything I see related to "Creative" on the theory that some leftover drivers from the last card were screwing things up.

Put the card back in. Boot it up, works fine. But now Windows can't see the card. It isn't in the device manager, and when I try to install the drivers from Creative's website, it gives me a message that says the drivers can't be installed because the device isn't detected.

The sound card is seated properly in the PCIe slot. The Creative logo is lighting up showing that the sound card is getting power.

Any ideas? I've found many other threads on this and other websites exploring this problem in the past, but no one has found a definitive solution. It seems most people switch to using another PCIe slot or rebuild their entire PC.
7 answers Last reply
More about sound card detected windows show device manager
  1. I have and hate the asus intel board I have. It is using the creative xfi fatality sound card. With the asus chipset drivers installed after installing windows things go wonky. I will loose sound or certain channels will work.
    I struggled with creative drivers, did the remove and re-install of hardware.

    I found out the chipset driver was actually an intel one, I downloaded it from intels site and things work better. Only better by me doing a fresh install of windows and then the intel chipset drivers.
  2. I'm using an MSI AMD mobo FWIW.

    I suppose I could just try a Windows reinstall and see what happens.
  3. Why don't you go through all the hardware specifically, and see about latest versions on everything and do a really nice totally fresh install with everything up to date.
  4. If that's what it comes down to, then I'm just gonna order a new mobo and do a swap.

    If anyone has any other ideas that don't involve rebuilding or re-installing Windows, please let me know. Otherwise, I'll just put in an order for the new board later this week.
  5. Its not that uncommon even with new boards and hardware not being detected when plugged in.

    Sometimes it can relate to the mode, or how each board lane switches.
    Depending on how many Pci-e cards are in the system.

    For each board it states the position where each card must be placed depending on what the south bridge control chip and model the board uses.

    Even with Pci-e slots what we call IRQ numbers are still used to identify the device on its own lane or exclusive channel number to and from the cpu, hardware and the driver for the device. Example X-fi in a slot may be saying I want Irq 7

    But other devices are also prior to it using Irq 7.

    The solution in some cases is to move the card to another slot.
    But if that does not work there are a few more tricks depending on the board you have.

    1. Go into the bios of the motherboard and turn off any interfaces not used.

    The most common are com ports and printer ports, 1334 fire wire ect.
    The next can be for the board to auto manage IRQ settings or set it to manual.
    If you cannot see a device plugged into a slot it is because the device cannot identify its self as a device through the cpu and windows because it cannot obtain the requested Irq number it wants. Due to another or to many devices also using it.
  6. All you need to do is go into bios and disable onboard sound.
  7. Had a Soundblaster Z in use without a problem for 6 for 7 months, then suddenly began getting intermittent "device not detected/disabled" messages with no mention of a Soundblaster in Device Manger. Usually a reboot or 3 would eventually cause it to show up again. Yesterday, however, the card in Device Manager and was gone and stayed gone after 5 reboots. Much research, 2 attempts to uninstall/reinstall, manipulation of my BIOS/UEFI were all of no help. The card seemed solidly seated in the PCI slot, but the problem persisted when my case was closed up again. Back inside the case once again, I noticed some rocking of the card in the PCI slot when the mounting bracket was screwed into position. I am now convinced that my problem was simply due to poor card/PCI contact caused by a mismatch in the manufactured dimensions of the card's mounting bracket and the computer case into which the bracket is screw-secured. (The return of warmer ambient temperatures to my basement office may have contributed to the problem?) Found references to some people just letting the card dangle unsecured--that might be a short-term solution but seems to begging for trouble sooner or later. I resorted to pliers and brute force to widen the U-slot on the mounting bracket which slips around the securing screw, and I was able to finally insert and secure the card without undue movement of contacts in the PCI slot. Perhaps 15-20 reboots since then and no problem. Seems like there have been a lot of esoteric software/chipset/BIOS solutions suggested when it in a least a significant percentage of cases may be related to a plain old nuts-and-bolts issue!
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