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soundcard won't work

By EStreetJerseyGirl ·
Hi! We recently upgraded the OS on our Compaq Presario 1220 notebook to Windows XP (SP1). The notebook has 80mb of RAM, and a 200mHz processor. I know that this is not anywhere near optimal for XP, but somehow it's installed and running.

Our problem is that the soundcard is no longer recognized. It does not appear in Devices. It has an XPressAudio ESS soundcard, and after speaking with HP/Compaq tech support, we attempted to install an updated driver, which was listed as being for Windows NT (audiont.exe was the name of the driver). We get an "installation failed" message when we try to install this driver.

Does anyone know how to get the soundcard to be recognized? Again, I understand that this laptop does not have nearly optimal hardware to be running XP, so comments stating such are not really helpful. Any help is appreciated! Thanx! :-)

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by ozi Eagle In reply to soundcard won't work


Check out this site "", there may be some suitable drivers posted.

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by EStreetJerseyGirl In reply to

Already checked that site, that's where we got the NT driver. Thanx, though!

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by gil6002 In reply to soundcard won't work

When upgrading any device, it can be as hard or easy for Windows to recognize it. First you need to isolate the problem with the correct questions to ask. If its an onboard sound card, ensure first that your sound card is enabled through your Bios, if it is now enabled, you should have some Yellow Exclamation marks in your device manager. Once thats showing a yellow exclamation mark under sound device, then double click on the exclamation mark and choose "Update Driver", NOT reinstall driver. Then follow the prompts to wherever your Sound Drive is located at, whether on disk or your hard drive. If its an add on sound card, then ensure that any onboard sound is "Disabled" in your BIOS and do the same thing as above with installing the driver. Any questions, contact me at

LeShe` Computer Systems

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by smart031279 In reply to soundcard won't work

Firstly make sure that a "Unknown Device" or "Unknown Sound Device" is being detected and shown in your Device Manager. If yes, then the problem is ONLY of getting a correct driver.

Your are using Windows XP, please get driver for XP (2000 may or may not work). I tried to search for it but couldn't come up with something really useful.

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by EStreetJerseyGirl In reply to

Again, nothing is being detected in the Device Manager, and we tried finding an XP driver, but the best we could find was the NT one.

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by TheChas In reply to soundcard won't work

You need to determine the specific ESS sound processor in the laptop.

Then, download the correct driver from ESS:

The problem with older hardware is that newer operating systems often don't support some devices.

Looking over the Windows XP hardware list, only a few ESS sound chips show up:

ESS Technology
Allegro for Samsung WLP 2.0
ES 1978 WLP 2.0
ES 1980 WLP 2.0
ES 1983 WLP 2.0
ES 1988 WLP 2.0
ES1978 WLP 2.0
ES1983 WLP 2.0
ES1988 WLP 2.0
ESS Allegro WLP 2.0
Maestro 2e WLP 2.0

You might try removing any unknown or improperly recognized devices from Device Manager and then reboot. It is possible that XP might then be able to recognize the sound chip and install some form of driver.


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by dmiles In reply to soundcard won't work

You should first check to see if the card is compatible to XP.

If you have the driver software on a cd,it would be easier to reinstall the sound card drivers,you will need to boot computer into safe mode and delete all instances of the sound card card drivers

Boot computer,open the control panel,select the Add New Hardware wizard,choose to manually install the hardware,follow the on screen prompts.

If all goes well,you then should upgrade the driver

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by EStreetJerseyGirl In reply to

We tried installing the driver that had previously worked (original drivers were for Windows 95; we had drivers that worked on Windows ME, which was the OS we had before the XP install), but it would not install. As I stated in my question, we got an updated driver, but we get an "installation failed" message when we try to install it.

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by D_V Ant In reply to soundcard won't work

In some rare instances, the 9X drivers will work with XP. If that fails, as long as you can get the numbers for the sound processor, you may be able to get the reference drivers for that sound chip and have them work. IE, if it uses the ESS1869 you can download those drivers directly from ESS or driverguide.
This link goes to the ESS drivers site.

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by willcomp In reply to soundcard won't work

First things first. Determine exactly which ESS chip you have since there are a number of them. Download and install Everest Home from link below. It should identify the sound chip for you.

Once you know which it is, post back and we'll help you locate proper driver (if it exists).


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