What would kill on-board sound on two mobos?

This is killing me...

I built a computer in February based on a Sabertooth X79 using on-board audio. A couple of months ago my speakers started making popping sounds and then there was no sound. I knew it was probably dead but I did all the usual trouble-shooting (reinstalling drivers, reinstalling Windows, checking connections, etc.). It appeared in device manager as working fine, but didn't actually output any audio (it said, and says, nothing is plugged in).

So I RMAd the board with Asus and I got my computer set up with the new mobo and there was still no sound. Fresh Windows installation, everything verified in device manager, etc. I took everything out of the case and even used a new PSU but still no luck.

I finally said screw it and bought a sound card but it blocks one of my video card fans and causes my computer to get really hot so I'd like to get my onboard sound working again. Is it possible my case is frying the onboard sound and ONLY the onboard sound? Twice? I'm going to see if Asus will advance me another mobo. Next time I'll put it together outside the case for initial testing, but if anyone has any thoughts as to what this might be related to I'd really appreciate it.

Asus Sabertooth x79
Core i7 3820
16 GB G. Skill Sniper 2133
Seasonic Platinum 1000
2x Gigabyte GV-R797OC-3GD
9 answers Last reply
More about what kill board sound mobos
  1. Did you connect the Front Panel Audio? Maybe it was set to the wrong option in BIOS? Only guessing though! Or the front panel pins got shortened somehow?
  2. I did connect the front panel (both originally and on the second mobo). I've run through several versions of the BIOS and have reset CMOS several times.

    I thought it might be possible that the front panel pins shorted the board, but they're plugged into my sound card at the moment and it's working (for now?).

    Thanks for the response, though.
  3. I should add that everything is plugged into a UPS and it indicates a building wiring fault. It's an 80 year-old building, though, and I think that's just how it has to be.

    At this point I think it's either the case that's shorting and killing the audio, or the audio cable from my speakers. Although "kill" is a strong word since it still shows up as functional (though unplugged) in device manager.
  4. Have you tried different speakers, even usb speakers or headphones?
  5. I tried headphones as part of my trouble-shooting for the initial problem, and when I took the second mobo, etc. out of the case. This was AFTER the sound was already not working, so the damage may have already been done.

    I guess if I RMA again I'll assemble the computer out of the case and try headphones for the initial testing. I'm still incredibly stumped by this problem.
  6. if your UPS is indicating that theres something wrong with the building wiring.. I strongly suspect there is no dedicated ground wire which would disable the spike/surge protection of the UPS or any outlet strips you have.
  7. Right, and I plan on eliminating that as a possibility if I can, but would that kill the new mobo on power-up when the first one worked for 3-4mo? That would be horribly unlucky.
  8. Well, I moved the computer to an outlet without said wiring problem and there was still no sound. Again, it shows up in device manager, but says it's unplugged. I guess another RMA is in order...
  9. If the speackers where plugged in an that outlet with dedicated ground, that can destroy the audio chip. The way the UPS detects the faulty wiring is by the constantly applied voltage to ground and that is also going through the audio chip if plugged into the faulty outlet. The good news though is, that obviously only one plug is affected. Get an electrician in to fix it. :-)
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