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X-Fi Audio problems -- Low volume?

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October 22, 2006 3:13:18 PM

When I started up my computer for the second time today (I did a boot time defrag the last time) there was no audio. Thinking the obvious, I ran over to my sound control to check if volume was up. Lo and behold, it was at max. Under the X-Fi sound panel, I had the volume on max.

I was getting paranoid at this point and decided to open up winamp and play some songs. I started turning up the volume on my speakers and I could only start hearing it when the volume was nearly maxed out and I was getting tons of static. It wasn't even loud, it was such a whisper I had trouble hearing it with my speakers held to my ear. Thinking this was the speakers, I grabbed my pair of headphones and plugged them in the back (I don't have a useable Front panel at the moment) I had the same exact result, I could only hear the music when I switched it to high power mode. Even then it was quieter then when on my desktop speakers.

I'm going to go try out my onboard audio to see if that works. I haven't tried fooling around with the drivers out of fear I might do something bad. I've done NOTHING since this started happening, I didn't install any drivers, software, anything.

For the record, I installed the drivers that came on disc with my X-Fi. Is there updated drivers available that should fix this?


Edit: Yep, just as I feared. It's the X-Fi... I plugged it into my Onboard audio just now and the volume was perfectly normal. Anyone know the cause of this?



List of Fixes - If it aint here, post it.

- Checked the volume in Creative's console, the Windows volume control in my tray bar, and in the Control Panel under "Audio and Sound devices"
- Made sure default device was the X-Fi
- Made sure the speakers was plugged in the right spot
- Made sure the speakers weren't faulty (I tested with a pair of head phones and on my iPod)
- Made sure I had the latest drivers
- Did the diagnostic, didn't help
- Did a system restore that made things worse
- Switched the PCI slot the sound card was in
- Tried onboard audio and found the audio there worked fine (I don't want onboard audio and a $100 paper weight though)
- Made sure onboard audio was uninstalled and disabled
- Posted on the creative labs forums and got no replies
- Safe Mode doesn't even recognize the Sound card
October 22, 2006 3:52:38 PM

There are updated drivers but doubt that they'll specifically fix a problem like that. What troubleshooting have you done far? Try uninstalling the drivers, taking the card out and putting it into another PCI slot then reinstall the drivers.
October 22, 2006 4:30:21 PM

Not much so far, like I mentioned before I found out all the obvious cases (Checking to make sure the volume was at appropriate levels) and pretty much narrowed it down to the X-Fi. I'll go reinstall the drivers now. But I honestly haven't a clue what could have changed that would've caused this. The most I've done is that simple boot time defrag. (Especially since I explicitly did nothing to my system in terms of software or driver changes today)
Related resources
October 22, 2006 5:26:09 PM

I got pretty side tracked reading some articles. I'm about to install the drivers and reboot. I'll post the results when I get back.
October 22, 2006 5:40:19 PM

Well.. I installed the latest drivers (Dated September 19th I think?) and I'm still receiving the same results as I did before. If I turn up the volume, it sounds like it's overdriven but still whisper quiet. I'm not getting those crackles and pops that a minority of people apparently receive. I'd really hate to have to switch back to onboard audio and have a $100 paperweight to boot.
October 22, 2006 6:16:48 PM

Try the card in another PCI slot. Malfunctioning slots can often be the cause of the problem as the card itself.
October 22, 2006 6:39:46 PM

Quote:
Try the card in another PCI slot. Malfunctioning slots can often be the cause of the problem as the card itself.


No dice... I popped it in another PCI slot and I'm still receieving the same exact result: Sound that seems like the volume was turned ALL the way dow.
October 22, 2006 7:04:03 PM

Quote:
Try the card in another PCI slot. Malfunctioning slots can often be the cause of the problem as the card itself.


No dice... I popped it in another PCI slot and I'm still receieving the same exact result: Sound that seems like the volume was turned ALL the way dow.

It might actually be turned down. Have you tried to use windows volume control? I know this is probably a dumb thing to say but it might be a windows default after you defraged. Make sure the SB X-Fi Audio [b400] is the mixer device selected. Use the troubleshooter that comes with the X-Fi (Creative Diagnostics). It really sounds like the volume is set at a low level somewhere in your system, I recommend going as deep as possible looking for volume. One last thing, does it work in safe mode? have you tried a system restore? is the onboard audio disabled and uninstalled?
October 22, 2006 7:27:17 PM

Quote:
Try the card in another PCI slot. Malfunctioning slots can often be the cause of the problem as the card itself.


No dice... I popped it in another PCI slot and I'm still receieving the same exact result: Sound that seems like the volume was turned ALL the way dow.

It might actually be turned down. Have you tried to use windows volume control? I know this is probably a dumb thing to say but it might be a windows default after you defraged. Make sure the SB X-Fi Audio [b400] is the mixer device selected. Use the troubleshooter that comes with the X-Fi (Creative Diagnostics). It really sounds like the volume is set at a low level somewhere in your system, I recommend going as deep as possible looking for volume. One last thing, does it work in safe mode? have you tried a system restore? is the onboard audio disabled and uninstalled?

Yes, I tried the windows volume control as I stated in my OP. The tray volume control shows it maxed out, my default audio device is the X-Fi, and my volume is maxed out when I goto into the sound and audio devices control in the Control Panel.

I only have the drivers installed at the moment, I didn't want to bother with all the bloatware. I'll attempt to see if this works in safe mode now...I had the onboard audio enabled because I was using it for something because it was the only one that had digital audio output (I'm not using it anymore though) I'll disable/uninstall that before I test the safe mode.


Edit: Forgot to put this in http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v621/Sagekilla/Volume...
October 22, 2006 7:39:15 PM

I've uninstalled the AC'97 onboard audio, disabled it in BIOS and tried Safe Mode. I don't even have my X-Fi recognized in that mode. Furthermore, my audio still sounds exceedingly low. I'm going to search around for the diagnostic tool on my driver CD that came with the card..
October 22, 2006 8:31:41 PM

i know that it seems stupid but in the windows volume control did you check the wave volume cause if it is down you cant hear any sound i am just saying it cause it did happen to me once.
October 22, 2006 8:34:40 PM

Quote:
i know that it seems stupid but in the windows volume control did you check the wave volume cause if it is down you cant hear any sound i am just saying it cause it did happen to me once.


If you check my OP, and several replies that I made. I checked the volume control numerous times. If you look at the link as well, you'll see that my volume is maxed out on everything and I'm using my X-Fi as the output device.
October 22, 2006 10:02:36 PM

I'm going to try a system restore now.. I really don't want to out of fear it might delete some of my files. I had it do that to me last time when I reverted to a day before and I happened to have many files migrate into my system in between the two days..


If this doesn't work, my only hope is a small hammer that I hold with my eyes screaming red with malicious intent.
October 22, 2006 10:25:01 PM

Just as I feared, the system restore accomplished nothing. Worse even, the latest restore available was late yesterday when I installed the latest Java run time components. Reverting caused a few quirky problems too, I removed some software in between when the problem occured and now and I have windows trying to tell me programs exist still that I can't uninstall.


I'm ganna see if I can RMA this soundcard, til then I'm going back to onboard audio.
October 22, 2006 10:41:44 PM

there are 2 different volumes on the windows cmixer panel, 1 labeled master then the one that says wave, you probably have wave turned down low which will give you that problem. Also make sure you have all the sliders activated in advance to see if you do have wave turned down low

R Collins
October 22, 2006 11:46:58 PM

Quote:
there are 2 different volumes on the windows cmixer panel, 1 labeled master then the one that says wave, you probably have wave turned down low which will give you that problem. Also make sure you have all the sliders activated in advance to see if you do have wave turned down low

R Collins


As I have done, and said, many times before. I checked the volume controls MANY times.

I checked all the volume settings once again to make sure the volume wasn't low.




As you can see, the volume is maxed out on all the outputs. The same is true if I go into the Control Panel and open up Audio and Sound Devices to check if Windows has the volume low. Same with the volume control device in the tray bar, it's maxed.

I don't think is a volume problem. I have made sure ALL the volume bars are maxed out and when I turned up my speakers to 70% or more (Which is normally BLASTING loud) I can hear it with horrible distortion and as if it's being over driven. If I connect my speakers to another audio device to make sure it's not the speakers, It's blasting loud and not 'normal' volume as it is on my computer.

I'm thinking of having the sound card RMA'd as it might be damaged...
October 23, 2006 12:12:42 AM

I've put up a list of all the fixes i've tried... I'm at wits end here and I'm going to just RMA the card to see if I have better luck with a different one.
October 23, 2006 1:12:11 AM

Quote:
I've put up a list of all the fixes i've tried... I'm at wits end here and I'm going to just RMA the card to see if I have better luck with a different one.


I'm sorry to see you haven't found a solution yet. Do you have gnome insurance? I hear those f@#kers really hate X-Fi cards!

One last thing...Did you check the speaker volume in the "sounds and audio devices properties". Check the "speaker volume" and the "advanced" button. Try setting things back to default and obviously, raise the volume. Another thing, a corrupt codec may be a problem. Try re-installing the codecs on the cd as well as installing the K-lite mega codec pack. Chances are its a codec issue if you still run into this problem with a new card.
October 23, 2006 1:14:52 AM

Turn off your headphones. That setting overrides the speakers. Just a Thought

R Collins

ps headphone detection might be on and if you have them plugged in
October 23, 2006 1:14:55 AM

Quote:
I've put up a list of all the fixes i've tried... I'm at wits end here and I'm going to just RMA the card to see if I have better luck with a different one.


I'm sorry to see you haven't found a solution yet. Do you have gnome insurance? I hear those f@#kers really hate X-Fi cards!

No, but I happen to know a friendly gnome on WoW that could help me on that.


I'm ganna do an RMA now.. Maybe the sound card is just kaput?
October 23, 2006 1:51:48 AM

SIMPLE FIX TO AN ANNOYING PROBLEM


Ok I got this sound card a couple of days ago and had the exact same problem. I checked all kinds of stuff just like you. The solution is this: Go to Creative Audio Console, click on MODE, and change the mode from any one setting to another. I dont know why the hell this works but it seems like it resets the device or driver (or both) and audio comes right back. I swear this is the most annoying problem Ive had in a long time with some hardware.

I also have an issue of my computer going VERY slowly (Dual Core 2500mhz X2 with 2GB mem @250mhz fsb) and Im presently working on solving that problem as Im typing this reply. I figured uninstalling everything except the drivers and creative audio console should get enough of this Creative SHEIST off my computer to make it function.

Let me tell you folks this, no sound card this well engineered should have SOFTWARE issues this terrible. Their actually hardware engineers are amazing, but their software AND marketing guyz are FUCKTARDS (pardon my French) for making the drivers and software that they spew out of Creative. I spent $150 on this new Fatality crap and knew I was in trouble with I saw an AOL "try it for free" trial DVD disk in the box....AOL???!?!?!?!?! WTF?!?!?!?!?!

I put my Diamond MX300 AU8830 soundcard back in my system because I was so frustrated with the X-fi but it couldnt hang with those sub par XP drivers. I miss Aureal so much :cry: 

PS: Im keeping the X-Fi because it makes Battlefield 2142 sound so AMAZINGLY good I almost crapped my pantaloons...I wont go into a rant about that EA ingame advertising spyware because yall arleady know about it....fun game though. I kinda feel like Ive sold my soul a little though...[/b]
October 23, 2006 7:41:41 PM

Quote:
I've put up a list of all the fixes i've tried... I'm at wits end here and I'm going to just RMA the card to see if I have better luck with a different one.


I may have overlooked this, but did you try, in this order:

1. disabling the onboard sound in the bios
2. removing the drivers for the onboard sound, if they're installed
3. uninstalling the X-Fi's software and drivers
4. then, moving the X-Fi to a different PCI slot
5. re-installing the drivers from the CD
6. upgrading the drivers with the lastest available on Creative's site

If you haven't done all these steps, in this order, I'd consider trying it. If you have and I overlooked that post, forgive me for wasting your time.

Do you have one of the X-Fi's that has a heatsink of the APU?
I'd also considering hitting BestBuys, CompUSA or the like and buying a new unit to see if you have the same problem and returning the new card once you've confirmed before going through the RMA process. Even if there's a small fee for returning an open-box item the knowledge may be worth it, IMO.
October 23, 2006 7:58:59 PM

Quote:
I've put up a list of all the fixes i've tried... I'm at wits end here and I'm going to just RMA the card to see if I have better luck with a different one.


I may have overlooked this, but did you try, in this order:

1. disabling the onboard sound in the bios
2. removing the drivers for the onboard sound, if they're installed
3. uninstalling the X-Fi's software and drivers
4. then, moving the X-Fi to a different PCI slot
5. re-installing the drivers from the CD
6. upgrading the drivers with the lastest available on Creative's site

If you haven't done all these steps, in this order, I'd consider trying it. If you have and I overlooked that post, forgive me for wasting your time.

Do you have one of the X-Fi's that has a heatsink of the APU?
I'd also considering hitting BestBuys, CompUSA or the like and buying a new unit to see if you have the same problem and returning the new card once you've confirmed before going through the RMA process. Even if there's a small fee for returning an open-box item the knowledge may be worth it, IMO.


1) The bios and onboard drivers are already gone.
2) I've tested the sound card in seperate slots
3) I already have uninstalled and reinstalled the latest drivers three times.
4) Not in that order

I seriously think this is a hardware problem, I tried doing that 'mode switch' and it did nothing for me.


Edit: Just read the last part, I'm in no position to spend any more money. I have no money to spend on another sound card from anywhere else (I don't have a job, I'm 16)
October 23, 2006 8:50:09 PM

'kay, I should've read more thoroughly. At least you have onboard sound to fall back on while awaiting the RMA. Hopefully you got the card from NewEgg and can look forward to their service.
October 23, 2006 8:54:31 PM

if the card is infact damaged physically... having it RMAd is substantially less expensive, than just purchasing a new card (just the cost of shipping im fairly sure, maybe $3-5 or so, if that)... and you should be able to do so, if you register the product number on creatives site

and you have your onboard sound to use temporarily till they ship it back anyhow
October 23, 2006 11:09:34 PM

Quote:
if the card is infact damaged physically... having it RMAd is substantially less expensive, than just purchasing a new card (just the cost of shipping im fairly sure, maybe $3-5 or so, if that)... and you should be able to do so, if you register the product number on creatives site

and you have your onboard sound to use temporarily till they ship it back anyhow



Hmm...Where do I find my Serial number? :p 


Edit: I -THINK- I found it.. I have this 14 digit code on the cover of one of my install discs.
October 23, 2006 11:25:59 PM

I believe the serial number may be on a white sticker on the back of the soundcard itself...
!