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HTPC no audio through reciever (Gateway DX4831; Onkyo HT-S3500; HDMI and TOSLINK

Last response: in Home Audio
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July 4, 2012 6:33:08 AM

I recently bought an Onkyo HT-S3500 5.1 Receiver. I have a Gateway DX3852 with standard onboard Realtek audio and integrated video (Motherboard>>HDMI). I have had this PC connected to a TV (HDMI) and Receiver (Optical: S/PDIF,TOSLINK) with stereo tower speakers for several years and they worked fine. But now that I have set up the new system, I am only able to get video, NO AUDIO.

Here is what I have tried:

I have set the optical port as the default device both in the Realtek HD Audio Manager and the Audio Devices Manager in the Control Panel.
I have swapped TOSLINK cables and ensured a proper connection.
I have tried all Sample Rates and Encoded Formats. As well as setting the default format back to 2 channels.

In fact, in my efforts to get this working, I accidentally disabled the Realtek Digital Output (Optical) and was unable to re-enable it and it no longer appeared as a device. Shortly after, I began getting a Blue Screen error and had to reinstall windows.

Is this a compatibility issue? I know my HDMI is carrying audio because if I change default audio device to TV Display (note: it is not labeled HDMI), I Get audio only through the front L and R speakers. Switch it back to Optical and it is silent.

Or could it be that the TOSLINK is too long? Mine is about 12ft. and who knows how old. Still very bright and have worked before with another receiver for stereo.

Or is it that the stock integrated motherboard and sound card are not compatible? And in that case should I invest in a quality NVIDIA or ATI card to resolve the problem.
!