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Sound card blocks graphics during start up

Last response: in Components
July 6, 2010 4:25:44 AM


I have an HP Pavillion Elite with an nVidia GTX 295 card installed in it, running Windows 7 64-bit. For a long time I only used the onboard sound output, but after enduring many games with sound that pops and crackles during particularly busy play, I decided to get a Creative Sound Blaster x-fi Titanium to take all the load off my processors. It came highly recommended, and I had to remove the included wi-fi card to make room for it.

However, I have a bit of a problem here. I installed the card once, then booted the system up and installed the drivers off the included CD. Upon restart, the computer no longer outputs any sort of video or audio. The HDD access light will flash, all the mechanical sounds of the computer act in their normal patterns for a start up. Even after waiting a while until the HDD access stops, I can type in my Windows profile password and hit enter, and the HDD accesses again just as I would expect it to when setting up my desk top. But still no video.

Experimentation has confirmed that this only happens when the sound card is in the slot, otherwise it starts up normally. I am not sure what the problem is. I have disabled the onboard sound output in the boot menu, so that is not it. I have no idea why the sound card should have a blocking effect on the graphics output. I have tried downloading drivers from Creative's website, but it just complains that I have none of their products installed, but having their products installed blocks me from getting to their website!

I am running out of ideas here. Anyone know why this might be?
July 6, 2010 5:47:06 PM

There could be several reasons for this:

1] The Gtx 295 runs hot. If the soundcard is too close to the gfx card, due to inadequate air, the gfx card could be throttling. Though it beats me why there should be no video, since this problem will usually affect only games.

2] The PCI / PCIe lanes are inadequate for handling both the sound card & gfx card. I suspect the pc will run just fine if you remove the gfx card & keep the sound card.
July 6, 2010 5:54:56 PM

Download and install DriverSweeper
Run in safemode
Check Creative
Click clean you might have to do it a couple of times
Restart normally
re-install latest Creative drivers for your set-up
Related resources
July 6, 2010 6:04:46 PM

If there's HDMI sound included in the vid card,

you need to force the onboard card in the bios.

Happened to one of my clients with an ATI card.

Good luck
July 6, 2010 6:37:59 PM

HDMI is NOT a problem with a 295; it only handles pass through audio from another device. Sounds like a standard Creative driver issue to me.

And people here wonder why I recommend ASUS/HT Omega/Auzentech for Sound Cards...Creative drivers are HORRIBLE, especially out of date ones which are on their CD's...[What OS are you using? If its Vista/7, that would explain a lot...]

My recommendation: Kill all Creative drivers and get the newest avaliable from their website...or go with another company not named Creative...
July 7, 2010 2:46:12 AM

Okay, the problem has been resolved. It turns out that the problem was not with the Creative drivers. I updated them anyway, and the computer was still having problems. No, the problems were with the nVidia drivers, which were not playing nice with the Creative ones. I downloaded and applied some nVidia drivers which were released only a few weeks ago, and now the computer boots with both devices running side by side. Seems to be going just fine.

Thanks for the advice, I believe that this issue is resolved. :)