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X-fi comes and goes......

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October 13, 2006 3:12:16 PM

Hi everyone,
I am experiencing a strange phenomenon with my sound card. I just built a new rig, all new parts except the PS and DVD drive. Included in the build is an X-fi Extrememusic. Right from the start I have had problems with it. Sometimes when I boot up Windows, the sound card seems to be missing. No audio device connected, etc. Other times when I boot it's there. Even when it IS there after a half-hour or so it goes away (partly). I get an error message about Windows Generic Host process, and I can no longer use WMP or Musicmatch (they say there is no audio device), but I can still hear Windows sounds and if I happen to be using a music player, it will continue working until I close it. I have tried the drivers on the CD, and also the latest online drivers from Creative Labs. I'm using Windows XP SP2, legal and activated. It has gotten to the point that I will boot up, open a music player, and pause it or mute the volume. If anyone has ideas please help!

Shig

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October 13, 2006 3:45:45 PM

have you checked to make sure that the card is seated in its slot correctly? you said that it has had problems since you got it so i would start there. and how long have you had the card? you may want to try and RMA it.
October 13, 2006 3:53:51 PM

If your mb has onboard audio, make sure you disable it in the bios, it may cause some problems if its stilla ctivated and youre trying to use a different sound card. If that doesn't work try moving your card to a new pci slot if you have one free.
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October 13, 2006 4:12:11 PM

List all of your system specs. It will help to see if there are common issues that have come up on other systems.

I know when I researched buying my Audigy 4 I was going to X-Fi but then read that they had major compatibility issues with nForce 4 mobos.
October 13, 2006 4:32:35 PM

Thanks to all of you for your quick responses. This is the best tech forum I have ever found! OK system specs:
E6400 mildly OC'd to 2.4Ghz
Gigabyte 965P-DS3
1 GB Geil (2*512) DDR2667 4-4-4-12 mildly underclocked to 600Mhz
Geforce 7900GS
UltraPower 600W modular PS with 20-pin connector
X-fi Extrememusic
Samsung SP 2504 SATAII HDD
Maddog 16X DVD-burner
Xaser III Case
Razer Copperhead
Saitek Eclipse Keyboard
Sennheiser HD497 headphones
This is a fresh installation of Windows, and I was experiencing these issues before I even took the system online, so I don't think it's a virus.

Now, as to the three recommendations: I have already disabled the onboard sound. I will try a different PCI slot. It's brand new I hope I don't have to RMA it; it makes Oblivion sound a zillion times better!
October 13, 2006 5:02:07 PM

As Vash HT had pointed out, make sure to disable any MB sound at startup, but also go to the Soundblaster website to get the latest drivers for your card.

If you are up to date, according to the website, consider reinstalling the X-fi drivers. Sometimes another program, that was installed later, will conflict with the original drivers causing difficulties.
October 13, 2006 5:19:02 PM

What BIOS version of the DS3 are you running? I have read that this motherboard has had issues with detecting and using X-Fi cards depending on BIOS version, especially F6. They supposedly re-released the F7 BIOS today 10/13/2006 to include a X-Fi friendly update. Otherwise try the F5 BIOS.
October 13, 2006 5:38:14 PM

Go to bios and disable the onboard audio. It might be conflicting with you sound card. Also update your soundcard.
October 13, 2006 5:59:57 PM

Thank you Chuck but I'm sure you can read that I have already done those two things. I will get back to ya'll once I update the BIOS and/or move the PCI card to a different physical slot. Also, the MOBO has a BIOS setting for changing the PCI clock, should I give that a try?
October 13, 2006 6:09:27 PM

Quote:
Thank you Chuck but I'm sure you can read that I have already done those two things. I will get back to ya'll once I update the BIOS and/or move the PCI card to a different physical slot. Also, the MOBO has a BIOS setting for changing the PCI clock, should I give that a try?
Since you overclocked, are you certain you didn´t mess with the PCI-bus speed?
October 13, 2006 6:31:31 PM

Quote:
Thank you Chuck but I'm sure you can read that I have already done those two things. I will get back to ya'll once I update the BIOS and/or move the PCI card to a different physical slot. Also, the MOBO has a BIOS setting for changing the PCI clock, should I give that a try?
Since you overclocked, are you certain you didn´t mess with the PCI-bus speed?

Amen to this post... there was an option on my Asus motherboard that allowed me to overclock my processor WITHOUT adjusting my PCI bus. Barring that, my 20% overclock would have guaranteed problems with PCI cards... at least this is what my memory is telling me (it's been a year)
October 13, 2006 6:58:49 PM

I'm almost sure the PCI clock is set at 33, but I will check. I did update the BIOS and so far, so good (but it's only been 10 minutes since it came back up.
October 13, 2006 7:56:20 PM

Hi there,
I have a X-fi platinum and experienced the same problem and went through the same list of problems and solutions as you. What really fixed the problem for me ? Changing the sound card from pci slot (5) to pci slot (4). I had read that the problem was because IRQ address (same as video card). Anyway, I would try to change the card from slot to another slot.

I hope this can help you even in a remote way.

Cheers,
InFeRno
October 13, 2006 8:13:38 PM

Yeah, make sure the pci bus speed is 133Mhz and it's latency is 32.
October 13, 2006 9:27:44 PM

Quote:
Yeah, make sure the pci bus speed is 133Mhz and it's latency is 32.


133? I thought it should be 33.
October 14, 2006 12:26:52 AM

Taken from another website "Howstuffworks"

"PCI originally operated at 33 MHz using a 32-bit-wide path. Revisions to the standard include increasing the speed from 33 MHz to 66 MHz and doubling the bit count to 64. Currently, PCI-X provides for 64-bit transfers at a speed of 133 MHz for an amazing 1-GBps (gigabyte per second) transfer rate! "


and... then for PCI-X 2.0 from our friends at Wikipedia

"In 2003 PCI SIG ratified PCI-X 2.0 which adds 266 MHz and 533 MHz variants. These variants give roughly 2.15 GB/s and 4.3 GB/s throughput, respectively. PCI-X 2.0 makes additional protocol revisions that are designed to help system reliability and add error correction ECC to the bus to avoid resends. To deal with one of the most common complaints of the PCI-X form factor, the 184 pin connector, 16-bit ports were developed to allow PCI-X to be used in devices with tight space constraints. Similar to PCI-Express, P2P functions were added to allow for devices on the bus to talk to each other without burdening the CPU or bus controller.

Despite the various theoretical advantages of PCI-X 2.0 and its backward compatibility with PCI-X and PCI devices, it has not been implemented on a large scale (as of 2006). This lack of implementation is primarily because hardware vendors have chosen to integrate PCI-Express instead."

I hope this helps
October 16, 2006 11:55:37 PM

I think you should reset your BIOS to the default config and see if the prob disappears. If not then you can eliminate the overclocking and other BIOS options as the culprit before trying different clock frequencies and other things. If it doesn't work with default BIOS settings and all of your drivers/BIOS/Firmware is updated I would call tech support and let them know the situation. Chances are this has happened to others and Creative will know what to do from there. If they suggest RMA then that is what you have to live with.

I've heard that many X-Fi boards have been shipped back to Creative for a firmware update. Perhaps you may have to do this.
October 17, 2006 11:06:56 AM

You may be right; so far none of the fixes suggested here have worked. Updating the BIOS seemed to help at first, and even now sometimes after the computer has run overnight the XFI is still there when I come down in the morning. Other times though, I lose the XFI even while playing a game or music player. I'm thinking about just living with it.
October 17, 2006 1:27:57 PM

Hey there, honestly, try something, uninstall it, and remove it from system and put it into another pci slot, worked for me, never troubles again. It used to behave exactly like yours is but after I switched it from pci 5 to pci slot 4, reinstalled the drivers and VOILA! works like a charm eversince.

My 2 cents

Cheers,
JiM
October 18, 2006 2:35:52 AM

I would have to go with infernal's advice here before just living with it.
November 4, 2006 5:38:02 PM

After trying all the suggested repairs with no success I had actually decided to live with it. That is, until I discovered that I could stop and start Windows services. I found that once the error occurred the Windows Audio service was stopped. Once I restarted it my card returned with all features working fine. Also, once I restart the Windows Audio service I don't get the error. On the downside, once the error occurs and I restart the Windows audio service I lose the volume control on my keyboard. I'm thinking that maybe the volume control on the keyboard is the problem....I have a Saitek Eclipse keyboard, with no specific drivers installed.

Thanks to everyone for their suggestions, they were all very good ideas.
!