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Making SoundBlaster Live! 5.1 work on Windows XP or Windows Server 2003

Discussion in 'Soundblaster Live' started by Sytelus, Oct 19, 2004.

  1. Sytelus

    Sytelus Guest

    If you has Creative SoundBlaster Live! 5.1 series and tried installing
    latest drivers and software on Windows Server 2003 or even sometimes
    on XP, you will find it isn't working. Starting AudioHQ will give you
    error message "Cannot Initialize Audio Driver. Reinstall Audio
    Driver". Running Diagnostics utility will say "SOUNDFONT SETTINGS" and
    "Mixer Driver" checks failed. If you look up the driver version, it
    would still say original default Microsoft driver rather then the one
    from Creative.

    The way I resolved problem was like this:
    1. Disable On-board soundcar from BIOS (I don't know if this makes any

    2. Uninstall drivers that reads like "Creative SoundBlaster Live!
    Basic" in Devices Control Panel. This is original Microsoft driver for
    older cards that doesn't have 5.1 functionality.

    3. Without rebooting, run the setup from original driver CD that came
    with Live! 5.1 card. This CD has much older versions of driver,
    AudioHQ and PlayCenter. Choose Drivers Only Installation option. You
    will get warning that driver isn't signed etc. Ignore it.

    4. In Control Panel > Devices you should now see a driver by Creative
    dated in 2000. Now go to Creative website and download a patch from
    this URL:
    While installing patch you might get errors that .ico and .bmp files
    are not found etc. Ignore those. After rebooting you should be able to
    run AudioHQ but you would see lot of things are missing and Mixer
    still doesn't work.

    5. Last step: Install the whole driver pack LiveDrvUni-Pack from

    Now you should see all and everything should work now. However in
    Speaker test my surround and center speaker never works. It had never
    worked before and I read that Dolby output is available only for DVD
    playback. That was shocking. True 5.1 surround card should ALWAYS
    emitt dolby/AC-3/DTS encoded signal from digital output - without
    fuss. It should do that even while playing Wave files. My hometheater
    system which is set on Digital-Auto mode has never detected Dolby
    signal coming from SoundCard for whatever settings I do - with old or
    new drivers, the problem remains same. I feel like Creative has fooled
    me by luring in to its $200+ useless cards which are not really 5.1.

    This combined with weired problems like above: No more creative sound
    cards for me in future.

    Sytelus, Oct 19, 2004
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