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Sound issues (Problem with Multimedia Audio Controller?)

wilfredsbackup

FPCH Member
Joined
Jan 9, 2013
PC Experience
Some Experience
Hey guys,
I'm having a probken with my sound cutting out/returning. Here is the story:

Firstly, I should point out that I use headphones as I don't have any speakers right now. The headphones are plugged directly into the soundcard in the back of the PC, this is because the line in/line out on the front of the PC stopped working many moons ago (it's a relatively old PC).

A few days ago, with my sound working perfectly, I left my PC running and went to sleep. When I woke up and went to play some music, I found I had no sound. I checked my headphones and there was no problem with them. I checked Device Manager and saw that under "Other Devices", there was a little yellow exclamation icon next to Multimedia Audio Controller.

With a little advice from searching the internet, I realised I should try updating my soundcard drivers. I tried using the Windows Wizard to do this but it couldn't find the drivers. So I did it manually at the manufacturer's website (Creative) and after installation, I restarted my PC. Success! I had sound!

However, the next day, while I was working on some music production (using sequencing software and MIDI VSTs) I suddenly lost my sound again! I used the Creative auto-updater I installed to check if my soundcard was still missing drivers or updates but it said everything was fine and up to date.

While searching the internet for advice (I have my headphones on) I heard a strange echoing crack. I immediately checked to see if sound had returned and it had! So I then had sound again. But tonight it cut out again! The soundcard drivers are all up to date and I don't know what to try.

What's going on!? Is my soundcard on its last legs? Or is there something else I should check for?
Here is my basic PC info:

OS: Windows XP pro
Processor: 2.00 gigahertz AMD Athlon 64
Soundcard: Sound Blaster X-Fi Xtreme Audio (by Creative)

Please ask if you need to know anything else!

Thanks!
 

wilfredsbackup

FPCH Member
Joined
Jan 9, 2013
PC Experience
Some Experience
By the way, in Device Manager, the yellow exclamation icon is still there next to Multimedia Audio Controller under "Other Devices".
 

Plastic Nev

Deceased - sadly missed
Joined
Oct 19, 2008
Location
Lancashire
Hi and welcome to Free PC Help.
The strange crack that brought your sound back, sounds like it may be a connection problem possibly in the PCI slot your sound card is fitted into.
If you fitted it yourself, you will know it is easy to remove, once out, clean the contacts on the card, the hard, usually blue, end of a pencil eraser will do that as that end is slightly abrasive, wipe the contacts to make sure no residue from the erasor is left, then refit, see if that cures the problem.

let us know and we can look at the Multimedia controller afterwards if the cleaning doesn't solve that one.

Nev.
 

wilfredsbackup

FPCH Member
Joined
Jan 9, 2013
PC Experience
Some Experience
Hi and welcome to Free PC Help.
The strange crack that brought your sound back, sounds like it may be a connection problem possibly in the PCI slot your sound card is fitted into.
If you fitted it yourself, you will know it is easy to remove, once out, clean the contacts on the card, the hard, usually blue, end of a pencil eraser will do that as that end is slightly abrasive, wipe the contacts to make sure no residue from the erasor is left, then refit, see if that cures the problem.

let us know and we can look at the Multimedia controller afterwards if the cleaning doesn't solve that one.

Nev.
Thanks for the welcome!

I tried cleaning the contacts and reseating the card (and gave the whole PC a dusting while I had the case open), but I'm still not getting any sound.

Also, I'm not sure if this is helpful or not, but I tried playing a song and recording the PC's output using Audacity (just to see if it was picking anything up) and I got a waveform, so the computer is picking up its own sound, just not putting any through the line out.
 

Plastic Nev

Deceased - sadly missed
Joined
Oct 19, 2008
Location
Lancashire
Hi again, OK, Is there any other warnings in device manager other than the Multimedia controller?

In device manager, click the left hand arrow to expand the multimedia, then double click on the one showing a warning, then click the drivers tab. First try the update drivers. If no go, next try the uninstall, then reboot, Windows should find and install new drivers, or you may need to run the Creative sound card disk to install them if the media controller is part of the creative stuff.

to try ruling out the Creative card, have you tried the original on board sound by removing the card?

Nev.
 

wilfredsbackup

FPCH Member
Joined
Jan 9, 2013
PC Experience
Some Experience
Hi again, OK, Is there any other warnings in device manager other than the Multimedia controller?

In device manager, click the left hand arrow to expand the multimedia, then double click on the one showing a warning, then click the drivers tab. First try the update drivers. If no go, next try the uninstall, then reboot, Windows should find and install new drivers, or you may need to run the Creative sound card disk to install them if the media controller is part of the creative stuff.

to try ruling out the Creative card, have you tried the original on board sound by removing the card?

Nev.
There aren't any other warnings in Device Manager.
I ran Astro32 and discovered the missing drivers (that were causing the warning in Device Manager) were for my original onboard sound (Realtek AC'97).
I updated the drivers for the onboard sound and the warning no longer appears in Device Manager.

I tried changing the default device for playback to Realtek AC'97 and I'm getting sound, so it must be something to do with the Soundcard.

The Soundcard's drivers are all up to date. I'm going to try using a microphone with the line in part of the soundcard tomorrow.
I guess if that works then there must be a specific physical problem with the line in part of the card itself.

The soundcard is pretty old, I guess it could just be reaching the end of its life?
 

Plastic Nev

Deceased - sadly missed
Joined
Oct 19, 2008
Location
Lancashire
Hi it certainly looks that way and if the speaker or line out socket or port has seen frequent use, it could just be the contacts worn out. I have a friend who has done just that with two USB ports, constantly plugging in and removing a card reader has worn them to the point of useless.
As for the Creative card, a local one or two man dealer repairer if ther is one might be able to check it out, and if very good may even be able to replace the socket on the card if that is all it is. Otherwise it will mean a new card.

Nev.
 

wilfredsbackup

FPCH Member
Joined
Jan 9, 2013
PC Experience
Some Experience
Hi it certainly looks that way and if the speaker or line out socket or port has seen frequent use, it could just be the contacts worn out. I have a friend who has done just that with two USB ports, constantly plugging in and removing a card reader has worn them to the point of useless.
As for the Creative card, a local one or two man dealer repairer if ther is one might be able to check it out, and if very good may even be able to replace the socket on the card if that is all it is. Otherwise it will mean a new card.

Nev.
Yeah, I think you're right. I know a good place that can have a look and hopefully repair the socket (I'm pretty sure that must be the problem).
If not then at least it's an excuse to get a better soundcard!

Thanks for your help! :)
 

Plastic Nev

Deceased - sadly missed
Joined
Oct 19, 2008
Location
Lancashire
Hi, thanks for the feedback and please let us know how you get on.
Just out of curiosity, which software and midi controllers if any are you using, I play around and still learning as there is a lot to learn, but do have Finale 2012, and on an older XP machine, also Sibelius and band in a box. I am trying to get my head round the subltle art of arranging, I can write a tune, just can't seem to get it right after that.

Nev.
 

wilfredsbackup

FPCH Member
Joined
Jan 9, 2013
PC Experience
Some Experience
Hi, thanks for the feedback and please let us know how you get on.
Just out of curiosity, which software and midi controllers if any are you using, I play around and still learning as there is a lot to learn, but do have Finale 2012, and on an older XP machine, also Sibelius and band in a box. I am trying to get my head round the subltle art of arranging, I can write a tune, just can't seem to get it right after that.

Nev.
I use Cubase for sequencing (using it's in built MIDI controller) and I have a whole bunch of VSTs I've amassed over the years. I mostly do ambient stuff so I use software like Native Instruments' "Absynth" and things like that. I've done a bit of arranging with the Edirol Orchestral VST, using Cubase's in-built MIDI controller, but I've always found it pretty darn hard.
 
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