Creative Finally Releases Vista Functional X-Fi Soundcard Drivers



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    Geez. This is a major investment for just a driver update. It has to load the driver on Vista on its own safe-mode type boot up. So I had to reboot two times and in order to get the audio console to run, shut the computer down then restart. Finally every time I reboot, I am getting a XFIhelper error (which I am sure I can fix easily enough- but still!). There is still no nicely crafted interface, just a tabbed box. Was this ready for prime time? I think not.



It only required one restart for me (to complete the uninstall of the beta drivers), and there were no errors on startup. And there IS a "nicely crafted interface", you just have to download it separately (it's called "Creative Console Launcher 2.60.27" at

Anyway, it seems the final driver has more bugs than the beta driver (I'm getting all kinds of intermittent sound issues when enabling CMSS-3D Headphone). I'm seriously considering rolling back to the beta driver, which has been out since June and was working perfectly on my Vista x64.

EDIT: I've finally had it with this "new" driver and wanted to install the older beta driver. Of course Creative doesn't provide an uninstaller and the older driver won't install while there is any trace of a newer driver. Took me 3 friggin hours to uninstall the new driver, following hard-to-find online guides, deleting registry keys and system32 files. For god's sake Creative, make a bloody uninstaller!

I was finally able to installer the older 2.18.0000 beta driver ("Sound Blaster X-Fi Web Update 6 - Beta") and it works great. Sound issues fixed and CMSS-3D Headphones back to its usuall goodness (and not sounding tinny and echoey). Too bad the older beta driver is no longer availiable on Creative's website (but can be found on a lot of other websites).

Beware of this driver! It will require a huge effort to uninstall it (this guide, which took a while to find, helped me:



I waited for as long as I could stand it, but gave up on Creative last autumn. I figured that nine months after Vista's street date was long enough to produce working drivers. I went with HT Omega's Claro+, even though it's lacking a couple of features that I loved in the X-Fi Platinum (sound fonts, DVD-A playback).

 I still have the X-Fi though, so I guess it's time to stick it into the media PC. Thanks for the heads-up. =)

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