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 Post subject: Sound card dying? Or PCI slots? (solved:PCI slots/mobo)
PostPosted: Wed Apr 17, 2013 6:01 pm 
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Specs:
Mobo: ASRock 880 GM-LE
CPU Athlon II x4 640 (3.0GHz, no OC)
RAM 2x 2GB DDR3 1333 RAM (Kingston)
Sound card: Diamond Xtreme 5.1 PCI
OSs affected: Win 7 Pro 32-bit and Windows XP Home SP3

Over the past few weeks, I'll go and sit down at the PC to fire up Winamp to play my MP3 library and get no sound.
Device manager will show the (!) next to the sound entry, "C-Media PCI Audio Device", and Sound will show "No sound device attached".

The drivers are the latest from the Diamond Multimedia website. I reinstall them and get my sound back until the next time.

What's odd is that if I'm in one OS and I reboot into the other the sound card installs as if it's just seeing it for the first time.
The mobo manual says to set the the BIOS to "Auto" if a PCI sound card is added, not "Disabled", in order to auto-detect a PCI soundcard. So that's what I do. Today Windows 7 kept the Diamond card, and automatically installed the onboard HD audio drivers, so both appeared in Device Manager. Disabling HD audio in Device Manager brought back the PCI card.

I've already swapped the card from one PCI slot to the other. I thought it was very strange that the card came out of the lower PCI slot with almost no effort at all. A pair of tweezers could have tugged it out. Plugging the card into the upper PCI slot made the requisite crunching sound of a fresh slot, but after two days I'm having the same trouble as before of the card seeming to just vanish and needing a driver reinstallation.

The Diamond card is 8 years old and has worked great until now. Is this the card dying or the PCI slots?


Last edited by OvenMaster on Tue Jul 16, 2013 6:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Sound card dying? Or PCI slots?
PostPosted: Wed Apr 17, 2013 7:05 pm 
8086
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Joined: Tue May 08, 2007 8:22 pm
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Location: Tampa, Florida
Considering it happens in multiple slots, I am leaning toward the card.

The only way to be sure is to try it in a different system and see if the problem follows the card.
Or try a different card in this system. It doesn't have to be a good card. Any PCI soundcard should act flaky if it is the slots.


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 Post subject: Re: Sound card dying? Or PCI slots?
PostPosted: Wed Apr 17, 2013 8:40 pm 
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I thought of trying another card, but the only ones that I have left in my parts box are so old they don't have XP drivers available, never mind 7. :cry: The only other system I have in the house that has PCI slots voids the warranty if the case seal is broken. Crap.


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 Post subject: Re: Sound card dying? Or PCI slots?
PostPosted: Wed Apr 17, 2013 9:23 pm 
8086
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Joined: Tue May 08, 2007 8:22 pm
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Location: Tampa, Florida
Do you have a buddy you can talk into helping?

Or maybe a repair shop or flea market where you can pick a used one up for a few dollars?


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 Post subject: Re: Sound card dying? Or PCI slots?
PostPosted: Thu Apr 18, 2013 11:26 am 
Klamath
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Buy a sound card from a store that has a liberal bring back policy. If it works keep it, if it does not work, bring it back.


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 Post subject: Re: Sound card dying? Or PCI slots?
PostPosted: Thu Apr 18, 2013 2:59 pm 
Willamette
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Joined: Thu Aug 12, 2004 9:04 am
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To be honest, it sounds to me as though it could be either the PCI slots in the motherboard or the soundcard itself. I have seen this particular problem happen with a defectiive motherboard, and I have seen it happen with a defective soundcard (a Creative Soundblaster X-Fi ExtremeGamer card in both instances). In my opinion, based on the age of the soundcard, I would say that the problem is more the soundcard than the motherboard. No soundcard lasts forever.


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 Post subject: Re: Sound card dying? Or PCI slots?
PostPosted: Thu Apr 18, 2013 3:10 pm 
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Grandpa wrote:
Buy a sound card from a store that has a liberal bring back policy. If it works keep it, if it does not work, bring it back.

This may turn out to be my best bet. Amazon has it for just $17. I like how it sounds and I like the output levels. I just might as well buy another one. It'd be a drop-in replacement... I wouldn't even need to change the drivers, equalizer settings, or levels.

I really hope it's the card that's dying.. the mobo is only 18 months old. I tried the onboard sound and the levels are too low for speakers as well as recording what I hear even when cranked up full. Thanks, everyone.


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 Post subject: Re: Sound card dying? Or PCI slots?
PostPosted: Thu May 09, 2013 6:41 pm 
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Okay, got another Diamond 5.1 card from Amazon and slid it in today.
If I get any sound glitches in the next 30 days, it will show that the motherboard is at fault.
If that's the case, I'll keep using the board and swearing at it when I have to reload the drivers yet again.
A new board is ±$55 and that's $55 I haven't got at this point in time.
The clock is ticking.


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 Post subject: Re: Sound card dying? Or PCI slots?
PostPosted: Thu May 09, 2013 7:20 pm 
8086
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Okey dokey. We will be waiting.


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 Post subject: Re: Sound card dying? Or PCI slots?
PostPosted: Fri May 24, 2013 7:16 pm 
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After 14 days:
Except for ten minutes where system sounds and music played through Winamp sounded like Alvin and the Chipmunks (solved with a reboot), there've been no issues with the replacement card.


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 Post subject: Re: Sound card dying? Or PCI slots?
PostPosted: Fri May 24, 2013 7:45 pm 
8086
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Sounds good. Enjoy. :)


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 Post subject: It's the PCI slots.
PostPosted: Thu May 30, 2013 11:08 am 
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Okay, it's a fail.

Problem started again this morning. Now every time I boot into Windows, I have to manually open Device Manager and scan for new hardware because there's no sound device listed. Sometimes it will say "Multimedia Sound Controller" and can't find a driver, sometimes it will say "C-Media Audio Device" and then it will play sound, sometimes it will say "C-Media Audio Device" and play no sound. When that happens, I have to reboot and try again.
:evil:
Looks like I'm going to have to fight with this for a while because my budget won't allow a new mobo.
Screw you, ASRock. That's twice now.


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 Post subject: Re: Sound card dying? Or PCI slots?
PostPosted: Thu May 30, 2013 12:25 pm 
8086
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Sorry to hear that. :(


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 Post subject: Re: Sound card dying? Or PCI slots?
PostPosted: Thu May 30, 2013 1:53 pm 
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Well, I may be able to get a bit of help with the mobo purchase.

Now I need to find a board that accepts my AM3 proc (Athlon II X4 640), two sticks of DDR3 1333 RAM, has at least 4 SATA ports (2 SATA HDDs and 2 SATA DVD burners) and one IDE/PATA connector (2 IDE HDDs).

I found two Biostars on Newegg, and I got almost 5 years out of my last one (until my PSU died and blew out the BIOS and both my Pioneer IDE burners), so...
But then having "only" 4 SATA ports puts a crimp in future expansion. If one of my IDE hard drives go belly up and I need to replace it with a new SATA drive, I won't have any open ports for it. Or I could take out one burner. Decisions, decisions.
The closest board to what I have now seems to be this Gigabyte board:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6813128565
6 SATA ports, integrated graphics, IDE/PATA port, a single PCI slot for my sound card.

I remember when shopping for PC parts used to be enjoyable.


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