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Sound Card Won't Work

Posted on 2000-04-02
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Last Modified: 2013-11-09
I recently upgraded my mother's computer system -- motherboard, CPU, memory. She has an inexpensive (cheap!) Yamaha sound card that appears to be completely and properly installed, yet it produces no sound whatsoever. Speakers are attached to the proper jack, Device Manager reports no conflicts and Multimedia shows everything to be in order and working. I even installed a new sound card in her system today with the same results, only this time her modem was "disconnected due to hardware error." Again, nothing seemed out of place, no conflicts, etc. It's the first time I've ever seen this and it has every indication of being a resource problem. But it also could be hardware, I don't know. One final thing. The first sound card was an ISA; the second was a PCI. I plugged the speakers into a portable radio and got sound, so I know the speakers are working. No system buzzes or beeps either. Any ideas on this one?
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Question by:jiler
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36 Comments
 

Expert Comment

by:Sco032900
ID: 2678374
After installing the new motherboard, CPU, and memory, did you reinstall Windows?  I have seen many times that after an upgrade like that reinstalling windows over itself has fixed many problems like that.  
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Author Comment

by:jiler
ID: 2678399
Since I just installed Windows 98 (fresh) on her system when I did the upgrade, I doubt that would be the problem. Still, I may try that if all else fails. I've also installed all the critical updates. But I don't remember ever hearing or testing the sound after the installation. Still, I may give reinstallation a try if there's no other recourse -- and if it works, I'll be happy to award you the points. Check back! And thanks.
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Expert Comment

by:sorgie
ID: 2678435
Have to ask!!
Did you open the volume control panel to make sure mute is not checked???
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Expert Comment

by:christalnet
ID: 2678639
you must make sure that the cmos is configured to use the pci slot the card is plugged in to, make sure all the pci/irq settings in cmos are set to "auto" and also check that your plug and play config is turned on. If windows does not show a problem in device manager then the difficulty lies at the sub os level right?
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Author Comment

by:jiler
ID: 2679848
Thanks for your response -- yours too, Sorgie. Yes, the volume is up. And yes, the bios is configured for PnP and everything set to auto. Like I said, I've never seen this happen on any system I've ever built and at first I thought it was the sound card itself. But after the second card acted flakey, I determined something wasn't quite right. I honestly have no clue about what's going on unless the motherboard is somehow deficient. Weird!
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Expert Comment

by:hari_kp
ID: 2679901
Are you sure that your motherboard doesn't have an onboard sound? If not check from CMOS.
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Expert Comment

by:celtics
ID: 2679906
Here is what Microsoft says :
http://support.microsoft.com/support/kb/articles/Q241/0/92.ASP?LNG=ENG&SA=ALLKB&FR=0

In a nutshell, it basically asks you to ensure you have the latest and appropriate drivers, and gives reference to the Yamaha sound card website.
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Expert Comment

by:russsnow
ID: 2679964
Have you tried putting it in a different slot? Some pci and isa slots are shared.
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Expert Comment

by:MMILL
ID: 2681084
check in the device manager for resource conflicts (namely, IRQ) windows thinks that it is okay to share some resources, but it isn't always.  check the properties of the computer icon at the top of the device manager and it will list all IRQ's in the system that are in use.  Make sure that the soundcard is the only device on its IRQ (it is okay if you see an "IRQ holder for PCI steering" listed on the same IRQ).  If it is sharing with anything else, make sure that you have at least one free IRQ and then change the slot that it is in.
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Author Comment

by:jiler
ID: 2681377
Thanks for all the responses. First, no, the motherboard has no sound device built-in (it's a FIC VA-503+). Will try celtics' suggestion of upgrading drivers and also try swapping slots. (It's in a shared ISA/PCI slot right now). I've already checked the Device Manager for conflicts (none), but will check the IRQ Sharing listing. I've built about a dozen systems using this motherboard and have never the slightest problem with sound. This is truly strange.
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Expert Comment

by:ga9ul
ID: 2681871
It seems as though there is a voltage missing that the audio pre-amplifiers use. Are your speakers passive, ie do they use a power adapter ? If they don't, then it may be that the preamp on the sound card isn't receiving the right voltage from the system board. The missing voltage could be present on other slots (ie this could be bad contacts between some of the slots and the board on the 12 volt rail.) You would expect other failures if 12 volts was missing altogether, ie nothing would work. But if there is a small crack in the board then this problem may occur. To prove the fault, try loading the DOS level drivers for the sound card. If it works then the problem is with the windows drivers.If it still doesn't work, then your looking at hardware failure. Most likely from what you have written, the system board is faulty.
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Author Comment

by:jiler
ID: 2682252
Well, under her old system the sound card and speakers worked fine. Which leads back to your statement that the system board might be faulty. I've determined that over the next week I'm going to buy a Creative Labs Live! Value card and install that. If it doesn't work, I'm going to reinstall Windows 98. If that doesn't work, I'll look at replacing the motherboard. But before all that, I'll swap slots and see if I can't get things working. I do find it odd that the modem would go south when I installed the second sound card. They're both cheap Yamahas and I have a feeling that a better sound card might be in order. What do you think?
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Author Comment

by:jiler
ID: 2682263
Oh, the modem's an ISA 56kFlex/v90. One sound card was an ISA; the other a PCI (again, both Yamahas). The PCI sound card caused the ISA modem problem. Since I haven't put much of a demand on resources, it comes back to Windows or the motherboard or the Yamaha cards. Sigh.
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Expert Comment

by:SuperKirker
ID: 2682398
Just a thought - are you dead sure the HD isn't failing?  When I was upgrading this system, the C: drive (a 1.2GB Western Digital) seemed like it worked perfectly fine...however, I kept getting craploads of resource problems and nothing would fix them - it was like Windows couldn't remember them and kept trying to put a lot of stuff using a few resources.  Well, after a while, it popped up the question that there may be a bad sector on the drive...ran ScanDisk with surface scan...lo and behold, about half the drive came up bad!!!!  Turned out that because the drive was crapping out, Win98 couldn't remember resources because when it tried to write them the drive just plain wasn't working!!  A shame though, it died 3 months out of warranty...now this thing has a WD 6.4GB, no hint of problems yet, but who knows what happens after the 3yr warranty expires...
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Expert Comment

by:SuperKirker
ID: 2682400
Another thing - on the old Yamaha, you may want to see if by some freak chance it actually has jumpers on the sound board to tell the board what resources to take!!  I have an old ESS688 SB16 clone that works that way!
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Expert Comment

by:madmax_40
ID: 2682597
Thought
If it worked in the old system befor you upgraded to win98 maby win98 reconfugerd the(IRQ) and the(DMA).
You may have to set them manuly.
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Expert Comment

by:ga9ul
ID: 2684097
Does the speaker symbol appear on the task bar in windows ?(Near the time display) If it does, this would suggest that the drivers have loaded ok. You could try using a dos level diagnostic tool, like BCM ( www.bcmcom.com )to test if windows sees your sound card ok. Although BCM is a dos based program, it will run within windows and test windows drivers. You can download a trial copy of BCM to test your sound card and other devices. I think it will allow you to use it for about three weeks before demanding registration. (By the way, I still think the problem lies with the system board.)
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Author Comment

by:jiler
ID: 2684609
Okay...wow. Umm, the hard disk is new and fine. I've checked it with Norton and no problem. The jumpers also are fine (the only jumper setting is the one that lets you choose between amplified and unamplified output). Regarding the resources, I'm going to go back and reinstall the IRQ VIA router and see if that helps. Finally, yes, the speaker symbol is there and the slider works. I may try the DOS diagnostic, but it looks like reinstalling Windows might be my next step. Or maybe just buying a decent sound card like the Creative Live! or PCI 128.
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Expert Comment

by:tjoiner
ID: 2685593
By any chance do you have an AGP video card? I have that same motherboard, and if you use the AGP video slot, you can NOT use the first PCI slot.

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Author Comment

by:jiler
ID: 2685761
Quite correct. I'm using the shared ISA/PCI slot, though, which shouldn't be a problem. On my system, I'm using a Voodoo 3 2000 AGP with a Hollywood+ decoder card in the shared slot. My system, in fact, is so loaded that I'm surprised I have ANY resources left. But my mother's system is very basic. Sound, modem, video -- that's it. The sound card she has worked fine under Windows 95 and I reckon ought to work under Windows 98 SE. Perhaps I should remove the ENUM entry in the registry and see if reinstalling the hardware will work. Either that or get a priest....
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Expert Comment

by:madmax_40
ID: 2686180
You can try that BUT i got a new modem and in win95 works great but under win98se it did not work i havent got it to work under win98 and i went back to win95 but i am not giving up on it yet.
You can try to move it to a nother slot my sister had the same problem and we moved it to another slot and it works great now.
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Expert Comment

by:tjoiner
ID: 2686276
By any chance did you remember to install the VIA miniport drivers and all those VIA IRQ patches that come on the CD with the motherboard? I remember reading something about Win98 having trouble with IRQ's 5 and 10. Also, did you check all of your USB setup? I fixed a guy's sound problem last week by re-installing all the USB support, AFTER making sure the "update configuration" option was set to TRUE in the BIOS on the PNP/PCI page.

Tim
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Expert Comment

by:asnack
ID: 2686292
Try going into the Control Panel>Multimedia and then the Devices tab.
Look in Audio Devices. If you drivers loaded there and no resource conflicts. There's a good chance that your card is bad or you have the speakers plugged into the wrong jack. You wouldn't be the first, believe me.
good luck
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Expert Comment

by:madmax_40
ID: 2688453
tjoiner has a good ideal.
When i upgraded win98 i hade the same problems with my Modem and AGP card.
I installed the VIA PCI IRQ Miniport driver from the disk that come with my motherbord and it fixed it.
 my Modem checked out ok till i ran a diagnostic on it and coul't not open port in win98 befor i installed the drivers.
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Expert Comment

by:pieterw
ID: 2690065
Cloud it be that the sound cars works (ISA) if the modem is unplugged. Try to solve this by ripping out al the add on cards (just use the VGA + Sound) and reinstall + test. If it works, re-place all the card's one at a time. If it is an IRQ problem, you can try to free a view by disabling the options you don't need in the BIOS (USB IRQ / SER / PARR etc.)
Windows does like to give a "no conflict" while there is one.
Good luck.
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Expert Comment

by:ga9ul
ID: 2690469
If your using windows 98 you could check to see what devices are sharing resources (or conflicting) via system information.(Programs>Accessories>System Tools>System Information> Hardware Resources> Conflict/Sharing). But if your using windows 95, all you've got is device manager or bcm ( as mentioned above)
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Accepted Solution

by:
jiler earned 0 total points
ID: 2691843
Well, I dropped by my parents' house today and tried everything I (and you) could think of. I switched slots. Nothing. I checked for conflicts in System Manager (IRQ 9 with no conflicts). I examined Device Manager and Multimedia and everything checked out with nothing grayed out and all sliders working. Same with volume. CD audo cable was correctly attached. Speakers plugged in to correct jack. I also reinstalled all of the VIA patches and drivers (newly downloaded). No change. I deleted the hardware settings and let everything reinstall. No good. Finally, I took my little 'ol gray-haired mom out for a long lunch, then swung by the local mom & pop computer shop and made her spring for a Creative Labs Live! Value OEM. When we got back, I ripped out the Yamaha and replaced it with the Live!, booted up, installed the drivers and everything worked perfectly. I'm still mystified that her original card would work under Windows 95 and not Windows 98. I had the latest Yamaha drivers and the instruction manual even had instructions for installing under Windows 98. Either the first sound card went bad and the second one was also, coincidentally, defective, or there's a reason I can't even guess at. Anyway, the Live! card works. The Yamahas didn't. They're not great cards, granted, but they should have worked. The only other difference is that I installed DirectX 7a on her system when I installed Windows 98. Previously it was 6.1.
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Expert Comment

by:madmax_40
ID: 2692071
Glad you got it fixed and thanks for sharing your solution with us.:-)
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Expert Comment

by:tjoiner
ID: 2692186
I've heard nothing but bad reports about DirectX7 and how it breaks a lot of  games that used to work fine, due to hardware issues. Maybe that was the root of your problem. Glad you got it fixed :)
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Expert Comment

by:madmax_40
ID: 2692232
It could have been Directx7 i tryed it and did not like it so deleted it and put Directx6.1 back in mine.
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Author Comment

by:jiler
ID: 2693124
The Yamahas weren't supposed to be terribly compatible with DirectX 7a and, I think, had to use their own drivers -- there were no DirectX replacement drivers. The fellow at the computer shop told me they only used Creative cards and didn't like any of the Yamaha iterations. Thanks again, all, for your thoughts! I'm in the process of building another computer for a friend and I'm going to try the Yamaha PCI just for giggles and see what happens.
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Expert Comment

by:madmax_40
ID: 2694134
i am not to familiar with yamaha sound cards i use ESS and Soundblaster.
These are easy to setup with windows.
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Expert Comment

by:pieterw
ID: 2694143
I wish your mother lots of happy music times with the Creative.
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Expert Comment

by:darinw
ID: 2875783
Community Support has reduced points from 100 to 0
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Expert Comment

by:darinw
ID: 2875784
Hello everyone,

In order to save the work done in this thread, I am moving it to the Previously Asked Questions (PAQ) area.

-- I am accepting one of jiler's comments as an answer --

darinw
Customer Service
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Expert Comment

by:darinw
ID: 2875787
Comment accepted as answer
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