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SoundBlaster Only Works if I Restart or Wake Up from Standby

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August 15, 2006 8:39:28 PM

Hello. I have encountered a weird problem with my Sound Blaster 16 PCI where it never works right if I turn on my PC. I have to first turn on my PC, then select restart or standby!

This computer is brand new. I built it about a month ago and have been experiencing this problem since day one. I'm using Windows XP with an ASUS A8V motherboard. Here's what I've done so far...

Although I was sure it wasn't a virus or spyware issue, I scanned everything and found nothing.

I know the sound card is not defective, because this is the second Sound Blaster I've used. (The first one was a different model, but experienced the same problem.) I've also tried two different PCI slots.

I've tried three different sets of drivers - the ones from the original install disc, updated ones available by download, and the generic ones provided with Windows XP.

I've uninstalled the sound drivers for my motherboard and disabled the Realtek AC97 onboard device in the BIOS in case this was causing a conflict.

Although I already have Direct X 9.0c thanks to my video card's install disc, I reinstalled it again off the Microsoft website.

So, here's my situation at this point: If I shutdown my PC and start it back up, the card will appear to be fine in my hardware settings. Audio will sound fine if I play a DVD. But if I play any game, the sound is terribly distorted with cracking and popping noises.

UNLESS I restart my PC. That's right - as long as I select restart instead of shutdown and allow the PC to go through the reboot process my sound card will work perfectly.

I can also fix it one other way besides restarting. I can switch my PC to standby mode. Once I'm in standby for a few seconds, I wake up my system. And then - much to my surprise - my sound card works perfectly.

This really has me confused, but I hope it's at least a clue for someone smarter than me to figure out what is happening. Until last month I used this card without incident on an older machine also using XP. If anyone can explain what is happening before I pull my hair out, you have my eternal thanks.
August 16, 2006 8:21:41 AM

Sounds like it may be a grounding issue. Also, are you getting this crackling with speakers and headphones, or just one or the other?
August 16, 2006 8:39:38 AM

Try installing it in a different pci slot.
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August 16, 2006 8:41:26 AM

In the OP he stated that he's tried that...
August 16, 2006 8:42:24 AM

hmmm...I read his reply carefully, even looking for it. I must have missed it :D  Always fixes mine though.
August 16, 2006 8:47:38 AM

Quote:


I know the sound card is not defective, because this is the second Sound Blaster I've used. (The first one was a different model, but experienced the same problem.) I've also tried two different PCI slots.


Yeah, if he'd not said he tried that it'd be one of the things I'd look @ too. I'm wondering if its his speakers?
August 16, 2006 9:01:05 AM

The problem occured when you switched to the new ASUS MB. The problem continues with or without the onboard disabled. I would leave it enabled in the BIOS BTW. Playing a DVD works fine, but when you paly a game the sound is awful. After playing a game the sound card no longer works.

The program you play your DVD through, like Power DVD example, plays normally with your card. A game doesn't use the example I gave though. Then the card crashes. This all happened when you moved to the new MB. Played fine before. So, it has to do with your MB :idea:

I just don't know enough about the communication between you PCI slots, IRQ's and this sort of thing. May be a conflict betwen you sound card and some other source your MB is running? Do the games play normally with onboard sound? Hope someone knows how to solve this.
August 16, 2006 9:09:02 AM

When you reboot or come back out of standby your BIOS or the plug and play of your operating system is reinstalling the sound card. Probably find the sound card as a device and it works. There may be a setting in your BIOS such as, choose BIOS to run plug and pplay or use the OS to run plug and play. I would switch that seting. This ASUS board is set to let the BIOS run plug and play. MY SB works fine.
August 16, 2006 2:17:06 PM

Thanks everyone.

Like badge mentioned, the problem occurred when I switched to the Asus A8V motherboard so I should have focused my attention on that detail first. I did toggle between BIOS PnP and OS PnP, which makes no difference. (Despite me crossing my fingers!) But it did start to become rather obvious to me that the problem HAS to be related to the BIOS. I checked the Asus site, and unfortunately my BIOS is the latest version. :( 

Then I stumbled on this thread in their forums:

http://vip.asus.com/forum/view.aspx?id=2005121610242537...

Eureka! It's not just me. Apparently all sorts of different sound cards are causing the same problems with the A8V motherboard. (All the ones referenced appear to be by Creative.)

As someone suggested there, another workaround is to hit Delete when you boot up, enter the BIOS and hit F10 as if you just changed something, then "trick" the computer into restarting. Because this qualifies as a restart, this will also temporarily fix the sound problem when you boot up. :roll:

I'm disappointed that this problem has apparently been around for a long time and Asus has done nothing to fix this. This PC I built was going to be a budget-conscious machine until Windows Vista/DX 10 rolls around. Now I'm thinking about switching to an Abit MB when the time comes.

I also wonder if switching to a non-Creative brand of sound card will fix this? (I'm considering the Turtle Beach 5.1 Riviera.)

This was the first PC I built where I hand-picked all the parts myself, and I end up selecting a MB with an obscure BIOS problem! :x
August 16, 2006 5:22:14 PM

Quote:
Thanks everyone.

Like badge mentioned, the problem occurred when I switched to the Asus A8V motherboard so I should have focused my attention on that detail first. I did toggle between BIOS PnP and OS PnP, which makes no difference. (Despite me crossing my fingers!) But it did start to become rather obvious to me that the problem HAS to be related to the BIOS. I checked the Asus site, and unfortunately my BIOS is the latest version. :( 

Then I stumbled on this thread in their forums:

http://vip.asus.com/forum/view.aspx?id=2005121610242537...

Eureka! It's not just me. Apparently all sorts of different sound cards are causing the same problems with the A8V motherboard. (All the ones referenced appear to be by Creative.)

As someone suggested there, another workaround is to hit Delete when you boot up, enter the BIOS and hit F10 as if you just changed something, then "trick" the computer into restarting. Because this qualifies as a restart, this will also temporarily fix the sound problem when you boot up. :roll:

I'm disappointed that this problem has apparently been around for a long time and Asus has done nothing to fix this. This PC I built was going to be a budget-conscious machine until Windows Vista/DX 10 rolls around. Now I'm thinking about switching to an Abit MB when the time comes.

I also wonder if switching to a non-Creative brand of sound card will fix this? (I'm considering the Turtle Beach 5.1 Riviera.)

This was the first PC I built where I hand-picked all the parts myself, and I end up selecting a MB with an obscure BIOS problem! :x


You did all the right things. I was going to suggest ASUS forums. You might go as far as to call ASUS. I doubt you could talk to the right person there.

If you bought the board from Newegg recently, call them. Tell them the problem, mention ASUS forums dezcribing many similar problems and ask that you return the board for a refund. I did this last week. In my other message I was going to suggest to just get a different board. If anything, you can keep the ASUS as a spare part :(  Maybe someone on here will still come up with the answer.
August 16, 2006 5:33:03 PM

Yeah, I could call Newegg about it. It's just that little, tiny detail of having to take everything out and put it back in again that has me debating right now whether I should just suck it up and deal with it. Of course, everytime I have to do some goofy process to restart my PC and play a game, I'll be reminded that I have a defective machine. And then gradually, over time, I'll slowly slip into madness... :D 
August 16, 2006 5:38:42 PM

Quote:
Yeah, I could call Newegg about it. It's just that little, tiny detail of having to take everything out and put it back in again that has me debating right now whether I should just suck it up and deal with it. Of course, everytime I have to do some goofy process to restart my PC and play a game, I'll be reminded that I have a defective machine. And then gradually, over time, I'll slowly slip into madness... :D 


Did I mention I called newegg last week and told them a MB didn't work properly. Newegg let me return it for a full refund, no restocking fee. You should call them. Getting a full refund would inspire you to tear it down and get a board that works.
August 16, 2006 5:46:34 PM

Awww man. Now you've got me looking on Newegg for a replacement board. If I mess up my wife's dining room table again she's going to kill me! :wink:
August 16, 2006 5:54:42 PM

Quote:
Awww man. Now you've got me looking on Newegg for a replacement board. If I mess up my wife's dining room table again she's going to kill me! :wink:


That's funny. I use the kitchen table too. Nice overhead lighting. I am ASUS fan. I currently run four of their boards. They run better than my:

three msi
one dfi
one epox
one abit (nice)
spare Intel
and one ecs

Another MSI board is at MSI beig repaired/replaced. That one has SB Live! onboard chip. Not good. My SB Audigy 2 is much better. What CPU are you using?
August 16, 2006 7:11:12 PM

An AMD 64 3800+. Nothing spectacular, but it only cost around $100.

Again, just wanted something that can get me by for a year because I was tired of waiting and waiting and waiting for Vista and DX10. I decided to build it as a dual boot so I can also play older games on a Windows 98 partition (stuff like Mechwarrior 2 which doesn't play too well on XP). But the video card is a Geforce 7800 GS, so I can still play modern games like Doom 3, Quake 4 & Half-Life 2.

Although I'm sure an updated BIOS could fix my problem, I still can't help but think that somewhere deep within Windows XP is a file that if I just knew where it was I could edit it and all will be well. (Funny thing is I don't have this problem at all if I boot up into 98.)
August 16, 2006 7:22:35 PM

Quote:
An AMD 64 3800+. Nothing spectacular, but it only cost around $100.

Again, just wanted something that can get me by for a year because I was tired of waiting and waiting and waiting for Vista and DX10. I decided to build it as a dual boot so I can also play older games on a Windows 98 partition (stuff like Mechwarrior 2 which doesn't play too well on XP). But the video card is a Geforce 7800 GS, so I can still play modern games like Doom 3, Quake 4 & Half-Life 2.

Although I'm sure an updated BIOS could fix my problem, I still can't help but think that somewhere deep within Windows XP is a file that if I just knew where it was I could edit it and all will be well. (Funny thing is I don't have this problem at all if I boot up into 98.)


ASUS updated BIOS on many of their boards recently. From what I saw, mosty Core2duo stuf. The updated BIOS for my board is mainly to support Opteron processors. If you have ASUS Update tool installed, I believe you can update the bios from your desktop. Download the correct latest bios to you desktop from the ASUS website. Open ASUS update tool. From the dropdown select like 'update bios from a specific location'. Locate the BIOS file on you desktop. Update the bios from there.

I have only this board and an MSI that are socket 939. Some of the MSI boards come with SB Live! chip onboard. Hey if you screw up your BIOS flash you can call Newegg for sure! :D 
August 16, 2006 7:29:43 PM

You might check on your system information what IRQ you SB is using and/or sharing with. Click on start>all programs>accessories>system tools>system information. In system information open Hardware Resources and then IRQ. My SB Audigy is sharing IRQ 18 with one of my 7800GT's. You BIOS would allow you to change the IRQ settings. I haven't done that, but it might be the answer. Maybe someboday knows how to accompolish this.
August 16, 2006 11:44:25 PM

Jesus christ you're running an SB16 PCI just buy a new soundcard.

Life is too short.
August 17, 2006 12:13:09 AM

LOL, I thought the same thing. SB16....he may be able to get some $$ for that somewhere.
August 17, 2006 12:15:38 AM

Quote:
Jesus christ you're running an SB16 PCI just buy a new soundcard.

Life is too short.


Huh? I have a Creative Labs Soundblaster Audigy 2? It's a 24 bit digital card. I own two of them. One is an LS. Had them for years. What?
August 17, 2006 12:18:24 AM

Quote:
LOL, I thought the same thing. SB16....he may be able to get some $$ for that somewhere.


OP mentioned he likes to play older games. And He still installs windows 98. I noticed the 16 bit too, and started to mention maybe the age of the card could be causing the problem. I asked OP if the onboard sound works ok? Could be the card has seen it's better days.
August 17, 2006 1:04:01 AM

It's not the age of the card. Other people with the same MB are reporting problems with Creative Labs X-Fi Xtreme Music, SB Audigy Platinum, Audigy 2ZS & Live! 1024 Player.

No sense buying a more expensive Sound Blaster just to have the same problem. But I would be interested in knowing if people are able to get other sound cards working with this MB.

And yes, I'm using this card specifically because older 98 games will need to use the legacy drivers.
August 17, 2006 1:07:24 AM

In regards to the onboard sound - I can't say for sure. It worked fine when I first booted up, but I didn't really try any games until after I added the sound card. (Which, of course, disables the onboard sound.) I'm willing to bet it works fine though.
August 17, 2006 1:10:26 AM

Well I hope you decide to get a different board. It's things like this that drive me mad. If that was mine, I'd have taken it apart about 18 times by now. I know, your wife really will clobber you if you don't get out of the dining room with that thing! :D  My wife's mad at me today. :tongue: I think I' do some work in the dining room!
August 17, 2006 1:40:00 AM

She was annoyed at me today because I was at work researching on the internet about this freakin' thing. So I kept calling her at home and asking her to boot up the computer to see if I had something set one way or another. I tried to explain to her this was good for her so she could become more familiar with the BIOS.

She responded with "I don't even know what a 'BIOS' is! What's it stand for - Boot Insanity Of Spouse???"

I think she might be right about that.
August 17, 2006 1:44:14 AM

Quote:
She was annoyed at me today because I was at work researching on the internet about this freakin' thing. So I kept calling her at home and asking her to boot up the computer to see if I had something set one way or another. I tried to explain to her this was good for her so she could become more familiar with the BIOS.

She responded with "I don't even know what a 'BIOS' is! What's it stand for - Boot Insanity Of Spouse???"

I think she might be right about that.


My wife won't answer the phone when I call.
August 17, 2006 1:51:33 AM

Leave a long, rambling message on the answering machine. Mine eventually cracks and answers. :D 
!