Ok heres the thing, I've recently built this system, installed Windows Professional 64, all proper drivers.
At first there was no audio coming out of anything, onboard or sound card using my Altec Lansing speakers, or Logitech headphones.
Just at a random point in time I decided to turn speakers on, and suddenly the sound worked beautifully, for a couple hours then it went off again for a few days.
Just recently I've had the sound back and as I was setting something down on the desk with music playing (mp3), I noticed a jump in sound... just like a CD skipping. I hit the desk, and again it seemed to skip for about a half a second. I hit it again and then the sound was off, and has stayed off since last night.
Any ideas? I'm thinking a Mobo issue and going to take it back where I bought it but if anyone has had this problem and fixed it themselves, or perhaps have an idea what could be doing this I'd greatly appreciate some feedback thanks.
Creative has had some problems with its X-FI cards. At its web site, there are some patches listed, one of which is listed as critical. Make sure to download these. There is also an advisory from Creative that there are some particular combinations of motherboard and graphics cards that they are having trouble with and they are trying to fix. Its also possible that you have a dead card.
You write of both onboard sound and the soundcard not working. I take it that you have the onboard sound disabled while trying to use the card, and vice versa. Only one can be used at a time.
Another possible problem is the Win XP64 Pro. Don't know for sure. Its been reported as a buggy OS and Microsoft hasn't given much in the way of support, proper drives, patches, etc. Again, check with Creative to make sure the drivers and patches are downloaded. You might contact them for specifics also, as they have been wrestling with this type of problem and they might have a fix for it, or at least they can investigate further.
There might be an issue with your Mobo, and plenty of problems have been noted with that mobo. I've had some problems myself. At the same time, having read the advisory from Creative, I'm no longer sure that its a mobo problem and not a sound card problem. You can only try a new mobo and see if that helps.
It sounds like a physical problem. I would start at the beginning.
-Check the device manager to see that the device is working properly and that the on-board sound is disabled. (check the bios as well) Make sure you have the most up to date drivers.
-Check that the soundcard is seated in the PCI slot correctly. Reseat it infact.
-If that doesnt work try another PCI slot.
-If that doesnt work start it up and play some music and check for loose cable connections or broken wires.
-I think that the xfi has connector sensing so maybe try another port.
-Also make sure the speakers are not located near anything that may cause problems. Although the headphones should work...
-If that all fails maybe try going back to an older driver?
The fact that it skipped would leave me to believe that its hardware/physical and if the computer sits on the desk that you bumped then the loose card in the PCI slot is my best guess.
Recently I've had it turn off, and went to jiggle with the connections, and I found a direct effect. When I push down <with moderate force> on the plugs (straight down) the sound works, I let up, it turns off.... if I do it in just a slow and gentle enough fashion, the sound stays on. I'm wondering if this card has some issues with the tolerances on the size of the inner jacks. Or perhaps it is the connection of the jack receiver to the board that is being compressed thats making it work.
If applied pressure can fix the sound it leads me to think its either the soundcard itself or the speaker cable itself. Since you had the same issues with the headphones I think it would rule out the speakers/cable.
I highly doubt a tolerance problem in the connectors themselves.
It sounds to me that the card is shorted out somehow. If the shorted out card is still present in the system when you go to try the on-board I assume it might cause problems with the on-board as well. Try removing the card and testing the on-board with headphones.