Hello all. Hope you are having an enjoyable holiday season.
I was a very good boy this year, and I got to gift myself a new computer (detailed specs below). My old Dell lasted 8 years and 4 months, but it was finally time to move on. I purchased all the parts at newegg except for the case, which I bought from amazon to save on shipping.
MB: ASUS Rampage III Formula - LGA 1366 - integrated Realtek ALC889(?) HD Audio w/ Sound Blaster X-Fi 2 chip
CPU: Intel i7-950 3.06 GHz
OS: Win7 Pro 64-bit
Mem: G.Skill 6GB (3x 2GB) DDR3 1600 (F3-12800CL9T-6GBNQ)
PS: Antec TruePower 750 Watt (TP-750)
Case: Cooler Master Storm Scout
VGA: Gigabyte Super Overclock GeForce GTX 470 (GV-N470SO-131)
HDD: WD Caviar Black 640 GB - 7200RPM (WD6401AALS)
ODD: Asus DVD Burner (DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS)
Installation and such has been smooth, except for the serious problem that I cannot get the sound to work. At all. Consequently, since Christmas I have been banging my head into progressively harder surfaces at progressively greater speed.
The problem comes in two flavors. Firstly, if I try to install the Realtek drivers on the ASUS CD or from the Realtek website, I get this error:
Install Realtek HD Audio Driver Failure !!
[Error Code: 0xE0000248]
and installation fails. Following this, Win7 tries to convince me that running the installer in Compatibility Mode will solve the problem, even though the driver is explicitly for Vista/Win7 x32/x64. If I let it try CM, it comes back with the message that no compatible driver is in the package. Furthermore, it locks CM into XP SP2 mode, refusing to change it or disable it; the check box in the properties menu is greyed out. I had to search the Internet to find a way to edit the registry to get it back to normal.
On the other hand, I can let Windows Update try to find a driver automatically. If I let it, the driver installs without error, but then the software does not, generally, detect any speaker jacks plugged in or out anywhere on the system, front or rear. So I get no sound, since the PC doesn't think I have any speakers plugged in.
My speakers are a set from my aforementioned Dell: harman/kardon HK 695. This is a 2.1 system, using the traditional, color-coded, analog jacks. However, in addition to the standard L/R channel (traditionally, a green jack), it accepts Rear L/R input (traditionally black) to make pseudo-surround sound. So in a sense, my speakers look like a 4/4.1 system to the PC. I also have headphones, which are not recognized either. I confirmed both my speakers and headphones worked on another XP machine.
Curiously, I CAN get the computer to respond, by plugging a jack in and out semi-rapidly, or by twisting it in the socket. However, this only makes the computer think I plugged a Mic into the front Mic plug, no matter where (or what) I actually did.
I've done alot of googling, and it seems that there are alot of people having problems with Realtek drivers on Win 7 and/or 64-bit. But I'm starting to wonder if there is something wrong on a hardware level. I'm reaching my wits' end, please help.