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SoundBlaster X-FI Fatal1ty, Sound seems to play, but can't ear anything

I've a computer in my hands that have a strange behavior.  It has a Sound Blaster X-FI Fatal1ty Titanium something.  It's properly detected by Windows 7 64 bits, there's no Yellow Exclamation mark in the device manager for anything.

When i play an MP3, i see the green "sound bar" on the right moving up and down just like its playing (See the pic bellow).  So i thought that the speakers were dead.  I've connected an headset in the "base" of the logitech system, no sound.  I've disconnected everything behind the computer for logitech system and connected the headset directly inside the green connector of the SB, still no sound.
Snapshot of the Sound in Control Panel
The owner of that computer told me that it was working 3 days ago.  So i've went to the System Restore to bring the system back to a "stable state".   No effet.

So i've updates the drivers of the sound cards, still no effect.

I'm out of solution at the moment.

The only solutions left is:
- Uninstall the whole driver, and reinstall the oldest one found on Creative (because the Owner doesn't have his CD anymore).

and

- Remove the sound card from it's slot, and try another slot...


Note: This card worked for few years without any problem.  So the risk that the PCI slot is defective is almost impossible.  It's also important to note that the sound card on the motherboard is properly disabled

Any idea is welcome.
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Christian de Bellefeuille
Asked:
Christian de Bellefeuille
2 Solutions
 
doublestickCommented:
It may seem obvious, but are you absolutely sure you are plugged into the card and not the green plug on the motherboard?  Also, since you did restore points, I assume you rebooted the computer, but I have seen this issue with old sound blaster cards (and I mean oooold) that worked after a hard reboot (all the way off, then back on).  It really sounds like you are using the wrong port though.
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☠ MASQ ☠Commented:
Before starting on detailed troubleshooting you could check the hardware is OK by booting into a Linux environment from the DVD drive.  Knoppix for example plays a sound when it starts up so you can bypass any Windows configuration problems. If it plays a sound you know the hardware is OK and can then start taking Windows apart to find what's causing this.  No sound from Knoppix and it's much more likely to be hardware despite the fact it was working 3 days ago.

Knoppix boot disk image
ftp://ftp.gwdg.de/pub/linux/knoppix/KNOPPIX_V6.7.0CD-2011-08-01-EN.iso
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nobusCommented:
test also if you can play Windows sounds from the "SONS" tab in your picture
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Christian de BellefeuilleProgrammerAuthor Commented:
@doublestick: All those cases might apply if you were talking to my grandmother, but i'm an IT since 15 years.  So, yes, I've done a cold boot, i've connected in the good connector of the SoundBlaster, not the on-board sound card.  I've even checked the manual of the SoundBlaster to make sure that they used the standard color (GREEN = Output to headset or speakers, PINK = Microphone).

@Nobus: Already done.  No sound get out of the speakers, but the Level bar found in the mixer goes up & down.

@Masqueraid: Thanks, i'm going to burn that disk and test it.

I've said in my 1st post that the on-board sound card was disable.  I was wrong and assumed that the customer was saying right.  I've went to the BIOS, it was not disabled at the BIOS Level, but only in Windows.  So i've disabled the on-board sound card in the BIOS and now we have "Haut-parleurs / Creative SB FX-I" and "SPDIF Out / Creative SB FX-I", both are ready and "Haut-Parleurs" (Speakers in english) is set as default.  But still not working...

So i'll test what Masqueraid to see if it's a sound card issue or a Windows Issue.

One thing that is weird is that Windows doesn't popup anything when i connect the speaker or an headset.  Usually, with On-Board sound card at least, when you connect something, Windows popup a window and ask to confirm if it's a speaker or headset.  I don't know if it's supposed to appear when you connect stuff to non-onboard Sound Card.  

Also, the customer can't really put the sound card in another slot... there's no other slot of this type in his computer.
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nobusCommented:
is there an onboard sound card also? you can also test if that works
other wise, make the Knoppix cd, and boot from it, you shoul ghear the welcome sound; if not = bad hardware
ftp://ftp.gwdg.de/pub/linux/knoppix/KNOPPIX_V6.7.0CD-2011-08-01-EN.iso
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CallandorCommented:
>This card worked for few years without any problem.

It is the nature of hardware failures that the equipment works fine, up to the point when it fails.  A history of problems may indicate why something fails, but no history of problems does not mean it hasn't failed now.  If the machine got an electrical surge, it could have knocked out the sound card, even though there are no errors.  The lack of a connection tone seems to point to Windows no longer connecting to the device.  I would replace the card, since you already reinstalled the drivers.
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Christian de BellefeuilleProgrammerAuthor Commented:
@Callendor: I didn't reinstalled the driver.  I said it was one of the 2 solutions left that i still didn't tried.

About Knoppix.  I've downloaded the ISO from their web site (not from ftp.gwdg.de) but it should be the same (just trying to avoid my computer to get hacked).  I've tested it on one of my computer at home...

When i start it, i get:
Graphics 0: Advanced Micro Devices [AMD] nee ATI RV620 LE [Radeon HD 3450]
Sound 0: Intel Corporation 82801I (ICH9 Family) HD Audio Controller
Sound 1: Advanced Micro Devices [AMD] nee ATI RV620 LE [Radeon HD 3400 Series]
[mod] [udev] [drm] [snd] [hw] [dbus] [hal] [acpi] [net] [swap] [bg]
System Setup... (PROGRESS BAR) OK.
INIT: Entering runlevel: 5
(BLANK SCREEN WITH CURSOR... so i guess that XWindow start loading, then BAM!)
INIT: Id "x1" respawning too fast: disabled for 5 minutes

Is it because it take too much time to boot?  Any way to avoid this?   Any method to stop
entering in Level 5 so it can run just like it should and don't bother if there's some delay?

Is there a way i can play some sound from the command prompt?

I'm not a linux user... i've tried some distrib for fun, but never got a good experience with it.  I've always ended up in a "No driver exist for my %@!# hardware"...
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nobusCommented:
>>  XWindow start loading, then BAM  <<  this shows you have bad hardware, if the cd boots ok on a known working pc

FYI - i posted a direct link to the download iso for knoppix
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Christian de BellefeuilleProgrammerAuthor Commented:
@NOBUS: FYI -> Masqueraid already posted that link that you copied, but as i said, i prefered to get the official version from Knoppix.net.  Plus i've no clue if it's caused by BAD HARDWARE, because i've never tested it on that hardware before!  It might just be a problem with a missing driver for that card.

PLUS -> The computer at home is giving me that error, not the PC with a possible sound card problem!   The sound card on this computer work perfectly, the graphic card on this computer work perfectly... Knoppix still fail.  

That wouldn't be the first distribution of linux that drivers are missing for the hardware i've got as i said.
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Christian de BellefeuilleProgrammerAuthor Commented:
I've googled for a while to find the information i've asked, since i can't even load X:

Is there a way i can play some sound from the command prompt?

I've typed find -name "*.mp3", found some MP3 on the drive, then typed play house_lo.mp3 from that directory. (It's a sample in a python game folder)

Now i know that the card is working on my computer.  I just need to test it on his computer, hoping that it will detect the sound card properly.
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nobusCommented:
FYI the iso link is the official en version - but you may prefer a french one
so you were unable to get knoppix to work on both pc's?  then i suppose your cd is not ok - test it on another pc to be sure
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Christian de BellefeuilleProgrammerAuthor Commented:
@nobus, sorry, i didn't knew it was the official version since the domain name was not knoppix.  You probably gave me the name of a mirror site.  I took the english version, not the french one.

By the way, i've never managed to get X Windows working on my home computer, but the sound card was working properly using the "PLAY" at the command line.

I've went to this customer 30 min ago, and found out that his SB X-FI was working properly in Knoppix.  So i've uninstalled the whole suite of Creative Stuff, then downloaded the Windows 7, 64 bits version of the driver.  For some reasons, it kept saying that it didn't detected any compatible hardware.  So i've downloaded the 32 bits version, and it worked fine.  It doesn't look like Creative tested their drivers.  It's really a 64 bits version of Windows.

Anyway, case closed... it worked.  I'll remember to boot with Knoppix to test if it's a Windows issue or hardware issue.

Thanks for your help
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nobusCommented:
did you ever try windows update>optional downloads?  it often helps  too
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Christian de BellefeuilleProgrammerAuthor Commented:
@NoBus:  Already done that check.

There was Logitech WebCam Driver, and few other littles things, but nothing related to the sound card or creative.

Creative have their own Update Utility.  I've already done that (update everything... not only the driver, but mixer and other stuff.  7-8 applications).  Result -> Still fail even if it didn't give any error message at the update.

Only the latest 32 bits drivers worked properly.
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nobusCommented:
ok - . sorry i could not help more
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Christian de BellefeuilleProgrammerAuthor Commented:
That's ok, like i said - Problem solved... it's working now.
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