How to make Windows XP install a sound card?

By julianvb ·
How Can I Make Windows XP Install Realtek AC97 Sound Card Driver?

I hope this time I finally succeed in posting my new message on the above-indicated subject matter, namely Windows XP's failure to install the Realtek AC97 Audio Sound Card's driver.

My computer is an HP Compaq d530 buisness desktop running Windows XP. About two years ago it suddenly lost its sound mysteriously.
If I use a stand-alone Linux CD with this same machine, I can make it play all kinds of music CDs or sound files (via Linux, of course).
Thus I conclude that this is not a hardware porblem but stricly a Windows XP one.

According to the computer's documentation, the sound card is an integrated (not discrete) SoundMax Digital AC97 Audio but the Find New
Hardware Wizard calls it a Realtek Ac97 Audio. Essentially the driver is one and the same. Normally Device Manager shows only Microsoft
files for this device under Sound, Video and Game Controolers and reports that everything is working properly.

However, Control Panel reports that there is no sound device. I tell Windows XP to proceed to install Realtek AC97 Audio's driver any way even though it says that the software is not on the compability list. Invariably after installing a number of files, it stops and reboots. At bootup Windows XP always reports this new hardware and wants to install its driver, but ends up aborting it and executing a reboot just as before.

If I examine Device Manager's Sound, Video and Game Controllers, I see a yellow-flagged entry associated with the Realtek AC97 Audio Sound Card. Disabling it and repeating the installation process does not help one iota. In other words, Windows XP is determined to reject this device becuase its driver is not compatible?

By the way, I have downloaded the Realtek AC97 Audio driver only recently from www.realtek.com. Your help will be greatly appreciated.

Registered member, TechgRepublic

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All Answers

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Well provided that you have not reloaded the system

by OH Smeg Moderator In reply to How to make Windows XP in ...

You can go to the Control Panel switch it to Classic View and then open the Sounds & Audio Devices, When that window opens left click on the Audio Tab and from the Drop Down List Select Realtech AC97.

Just one thing here Sound Max isn't Realtech and they are not interchangeable drivers so if you have reloaded the system try using the Driver on the HP Web Site listed as SoundMax Integrated Digital Audio

It's a different driver to the AC97 Driver.

However if you have the Realtech AC97 Audio Device and you have reloaded the system and connected it to the Windows Update Servers there is no way to get the Realtech AC97 Drivers to actually work. This is because Realtech doesn't submit their Drivers to M$ for Digital Signing and once you connect to the Windows Update Servers it's Impossible to make any Realtech Audio Device work. It's to do with the first 2 Pieces of software that are downloaded and Installed before Windows Checks for available Patches/Service Packs and so on.

To find out which Audio Device you actually have you can use Unknown Device Identifier available as Shareware here



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Reponse To Answer

by julianvb In reply to Well provided that you ha ...


Thank you very much for cofirming my tentative conclusions. Microsoft has screwed my HP4100 scanner in a somewhat similar way except that I can still run the scanner by using only the M/S generic scanner driver, an inferior product. I thnk I have spent enough time on Windows XP and it would be more profitabble for me to devote my time to Linux.


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Reponse To Answer

by Ruiner6 In reply to Well provided that you ha ...

Wow thank you so much for this information. I work in tech support and this ac'97 issue was driving me up a tree. Went so far as to completely reformat and first thing I did was head to that update site to get all my updates, without knowing about this issue, and then trying EVERYTHING to fix it. I'm assuming my 'fix' is yet another wipe, direct soundmax driver install, THEN win update? OR to avoid updating from that site like the plague? Any direction in this matter would be greatly appreciated. In addition, if this makes any difference, I even installed win 7 on this emachines T2893, which 'corrected' the sound driver issue (by getting a different version of the software completely, as I recall) but win 7 could not find a compatible video driver that would recognize and provide the full functionality of my onboard vid card, so I ended up having to do a full wipe anyway to go back to xp in the first place. another one or two couldnt hurt.

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try a couple of things....

by databaseben In reply to How to make Windows XP in ...

you may have another sound driver that is interfering with realtek driver.

try running "autoruns" and delete "any and all" drivers and system files pertaining to the "sound" for your system, including realtek.

you may also want to scour the registry for anything related to realtek and or any other sound driver you discover, and remove those keys.

also, if you installed any freeware pertaining to music, like itunes, etc..., i would temporarily uninstall them.

then reboot then go to the computers home site or the home site for your motherboard to download "their" version of sound drivers for your system.

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Reponse To Answer

by julianvb In reply to try a couple of things... ...

Hi, Everyone,

Good news.

I was peviously confused by Windows XP's prompting me to install the Realtek AC97 sound card every time I powered up the computer. So I thought my sound card was a Realtek
AC97. Yesterday while checking my HP Compaq d530 computer's
documentation once more, I discovered that the sound card
is the SoundMAx AC97 Integrated Digital Audio. This information enabled me to locate the correct driver online, which turned out to HP's SP28818 file. Even though it's not on Microsoft's compatible list, I was able to install it successfully. Now my computer has regained its sound.

Thank you all for your generous and helpful advice.


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