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How do I get surround sound to work with Dell Home Theater Speakers on Windows 7?

Posted on 2011-09-03
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Last Modified: 2012-05-12
I have a Dell Dimension E510 that originally had XP running on it.  I've been running Windows 7 since October 2009.  The computer came with a set of Surround Sound Theater Speakers (model number MMS 5650). The computer is using Creative SB Audigy 2 ZS WDM, however only the Front Left and Front Right speakers appear to be working.  The Center and Rear Left and Rear Right do not work.  I've never noticed this before because I wasn't using the rear speakers (due to room size). Today, I moved the computer into a different room and I plugged in the rear speakers and noticed this for the first time.

I tried updating drivers through Device Manager and it says that I have the current drivers intstalled.

I also tried the speaker setup, but did not have any success.

 Speaker Setup
Thank you in advance for your assistance. :)
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Question by:NealJ777
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14 Comments
 
LVL 37

Expert Comment

by:Gerwin Jansen
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How did you connect the speakers to your Dell E510?
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Author Comment

by:NealJ777
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All four speakers (Front Left, Front Right, Rear Left, Rear Right) attach to the subwoofer.  There's also a "Center" that attaches to the sub.  The sub then has a cable that splits into 3 stereo plugs that plug into the sound card jacks on the back of the PC.
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Assisted Solution

by:☠ MASQ ☠
☠ MASQ ☠ earned 333 total points
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Are you using these drivers?
http://support.creative.com/downloads/download.aspx?nDownloadId=11314

Check the release notes about compatibility with Windows components including Media Player + the link to download updated components for playback.
Check the 'Show Details' link here

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Author Comment

by:NealJ777
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Okay, I downloaded and installed the latest driver:

Driver
Creative Sound Blaster Audigy series driver 2.18.0017
Filesize : 40.42 MB Download
      Show Details
Release date : 9 Apr 10
This download is a driver providing Microsoft® Windows® 7, Windows Vista® and Windows XP support for Creative Sound Blaster® Audigy® series of audio devices. For more details, read the rest of this web release note.

No change. :(

BTW. I failed to mention.  I am using Windows 7 32 bit.
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Author Comment

by:NealJ777
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When I run the "Speaker Setup" (see screenshot in first post) everything works.  When I try listening to audio (iTunes) only the front speakers and the sub appear to be working.
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LVL 78

Expert Comment

by:David Johnson, CD, MVP
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That is normal as it is not 'surround sound' encoded
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Author Comment

by:NealJ777
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What do you mean by "it"?

Do you mean the driver?

Do you mean iTunes?

Is there a solution that will allow the surround sound to work?
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LVL 34

Expert Comment

by:jamietoner
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Check the settings for the sound card in control panel for an option called speaker fill this will make stereo sound work on the surround speakers. Note not all sound cards support speaker fill. What(i think) ve3ofa meant was the audio you are(were) playing does not include surround sound so its only going to use the front speakers and subwoofer.
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Assisted Solution

by:David Johnson, CD, MVP
David Johnson, CD, MVP earned 167 total points
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Yes that is correct.. mp3's and most other audio files are only in stereo (2 channel sound).
Try playing a DVD and you will get surround sound.
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Author Comment

by:NealJ777
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I tried it with a DVD (Pearl Harbor Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound) and it did not work.

Jamie: There was no "fill" option available.
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Accepted Solution

by:
☠ MASQ ☠ earned 333 total points
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I think you're missing ALchemy
Download here: http://support.creative.com/Downloads/searchdownloads.aspx?filename=ALMY_PCVTAPP_LB_1_41_02.exe
This should restore your EAX and surround.

Sorry should have spotted that earlier.
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Author Comment

by:NealJ777
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Masqueraid:

Sorry, no dice.  I downloaded ALchemy and no dice. :(

When I run the "Speaker Test" in Windows 7, it works.  I can hear sound through all speakers.  When I try anything other that the Speaker Test, it doesn't work. :(
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Author Closing Comment

by:NealJ777
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Thank you EE
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Author Comment

by:NealJ777
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We're good! Thank you EE.

Now it's time to watch some movies! :)
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