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Problem with SoundMax when installing new graphics card

Posted on 2009-04-14
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Last Modified: 2013-11-09
I'm putting a graphics card in a new PC. The PC is an out-of-the-box HP DC7900 Compact Minitower and I'm using the standard HP Windows XP installation with some of the extraneous software removed and Office, Acrobat etc installed + Microsoft updates run upto SP3. I've also upped the RAM to 4Gb. All was working fine.
I then installed an ASUS EAH4870 PCI Express graphics card (after a lot of palaver with power cables, but that's another story!) I installed the drivers and it seems to work fine, although it had to be in the x4 PCI Express slot rather than the x16 one due to the layout of the case and mobo.
However on logon now I get an error:
The SoundMax driver did not load. You may need to re-install SoundMax
I then get no sound from the PC (apart from error beeps)
If I remove the graphics card again the sound starts working again.
Looking in the Sound and Audio devices properties it would seem that the SoundMax entry has been replaced by 'ATI Function Driver for High Definition Audio - ATIA A01

Any ideas?
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Question by:SYPTE-IT
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by:☠ MASQ ☠
ID: 24138854
Part of the issue here is you've actually installed a graphics adapter that contains a sound card!

Because the 4870 supports HDMI this takes the digital sound signal from the video card using a system called SPDIF, when you installed the card it also installed the digital sound drivers to support this and these have displaced your SoundMax drivers.

There are a couple of related threads here:
http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/forum/page-252276_15_0.html
http://forums.techpowerup.com/showthread.php?t=59405

Which basically involve getting the right drivers and disabling the additional audio card except for HDMI output.

On a secondary note please put this is a PCI-E X2 16 slot ASAP even if it means getting a different case or a few more power cables you won't get the best out of it until then :)
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by:SYPTE-IT
ID: 24146167
I was wondering if there was a sound element to the graphics card, nice to be proved right!
I can't work out how to disable the the audio card in the 4870. I don't need the HDMI output so the whole thing could be disabled if it is easier.


As for putting it in a 16X slot, its not going to be a goer as the hardware is already bought (not by me I hasten to add!) The only thing is, is this card in a 4x slot actually going to be any better that the onboard graphics? It's going to be used for video ediuting rather than 3D stuff (see the 'not bought by me' proviso!)
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SYPTE-IT earned 0 total points
ID: 24158704
Got it working, inserting the card disabled the on board sound in the BIOS, re-enabling in the BIOS fixed it.
I have to say the documentation with the graphics card us really poor, I'm certainly not going to buy an ASUS card for my own use because of it.
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