Realtek AC97 outputs very low

Discussion in 'Asus' started by song, Dec 15, 2005.

  1. song

    song Guest

    I have A8V deluxe and have a problem with onboard Realtek sound
    chipset. Suddenly, the line-out volume became very low.

    I leveled max both volume and wave out controls, but the signal is not
    strong enough. It is more likely under medium output as compared
    before. I usually listen music through headphone. And it is a little
    annoying because I have to hear low sound all the time.

    Is there a hidden setting to increase output gain? Did I fry the
    amplifier ? (I am sure even it has a amp)
    song, Dec 15, 2005
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  2. song

    Paul Guest

    According to the ALC850 datasheet, both the "front-out" and
    "surround" have amplifiers capable of driving a 20 ohm load
    to 1 volt. That would traditionally be suitable for driving
    headphones (at least some headphones are a lighter load
    than that, at 32 ohms - higher ohms is lighter).

    In the AC97 register interface, there are two options for
    both amplifiers. The output can be turned off completely, or
    the amplifier modules can be bypassed. With the amplifier
    bypassed, it has the driving strength of say, the
    center/sub output. Somewhere between 200 ohms and 1000 ohms,
    which is very weak, and is most suited to driving the input
    on amplified computer speakers. In that state, if you
    connect headphones, the output would be barely audible.

    The ALC850 has universal audio jack detection. When you
    plug in the headphones, does the Realtek driver recognize
    that headphones have been plugged in ? Make sure that when
    you do plug them in, the software is set up to drive "headphones"
    and not "computer speakers". It is possible that one of those
    software selections, would cause the amplifiers to be bypassed.

    (PDF page 38, MX7A bit 6 set to 1, makes headphones weak.)

    1) Make sure that if jack sensing is enabled, and a dialog box
    pops up to verify what was plugged in, that the software
    is told they are "headphones".
    2) Try driving the headphones from the Surround output instead.
    Some audio control panel software has a "cloning" mode, where
    the same stereo signal, can be fed to more than one output jack.
    See if the Realtek software supports that.

    You might have a look around, and see if a later AC97 driver is
    available for the ALC850.

    The current driver version at RealTek is A3.80 . This is a
    _big_ download. RealTek download servers are usually pretty
    slow, so try all three and see which one is faster. Uninstall
    the old driver, and try a newer one.

    Paul, Dec 15, 2005
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  3. song

    Dale Brisket Guest

    I've been following your replies here with some interest. You always seem to
    have lots of useful info willingly shared, and nary a bad work for anyone.
    Most rare for Usenet. I hope you're there when I'm in need. Thanks.
    Dale Brisket, Dec 16, 2005
  4. song

    Paul Guest

    Keeps me busy :)

    Paul, Dec 16, 2005
  5. song

    Sherman Guest

    My onboard sound quit working on me. I finally reinstalled the
    operating system and then ran the setup programs for it and it came
    back normal.

    Also the flimsy mini plugs and receptacles on the motherboard are
    prone to failure.
    Sherman, Dec 16, 2005
  6. song

    song Guest

    Thanks all, specially Paul.

    Although reinstalling OS is the best option, I cannot reinstall whole
    OS at this moment, so I will try once again to reinstall newer sound
    driver once Realtek site is back online.

    About auto sensing jack feature in Realtek Sound Manager; Does it
    really work ?
    If "UAJ Automatic" is on in speaker configuration, It does not detect
    my headphone. It shows errors on connection. But, "UAJ Automatic" is
    off, then it detects correctly: headphone or passive speakers connected
    at the green.

    Also I experience some misbehaviours in RealTek Sound Manager, for
    example, "speaker configuration" and "connector sensing" tabs are not
    shown sometimes.

    Even if it detects my headphone, the output is still low.
    song, Dec 16, 2005
  7. song

    BC Guest

    Dear Paul,

    I concur completely about your informative, educational, and helpful

    I do have a question for you, not concerning the original AC97 thread--

    I had an Asus CUSL2-M running Windows 2K Advanced Server, with two
    Western Digital 80G/8MB cache drives in a RAID 1 array.

    As the CUSL2 slowly expired over a week or two, I "disconnected" the
    RAID drives from each other, and used one to reinstall the OS a time or
    two; the other I kept as the backup. (And yes, this is the bad part, I
    did not back everything up to another medium at this point....)

    Got new socket 939 mobo to replace CUSL2, and two new drives, also now
    in RAID 1 array--but, at this point, of *old* 80g drive array:

    first is now reformatted, NTFS like before, and is "E" drive on computer
    I am using.

    second "backup" drive was in reserve to pull that backup data off
    (nothing superimportant, old emails, documents, etc....) *but*--a
    friend's computer went belly up, rebuilt it for them with various spare
    parts I had, one of which was, you guessed it, the second *backup*.
    That drive now has XP and lots of new data written all over it, and, is
    essentially gone.

    I have the first 80G drive, reformatted, but it is using only 141MB out
    of 74.4GB--it was originally NTFS, reformatted once or twice during
    attempted CUSL-2 repair.

    I tried a demo version of a program called "Restorer 2000", but, it does
    not appear to find my old files or old file structure on there.

    I am not familiar with this sort of data recovery--I am pretty sure a
    lot of the data is still there.

    Is it possible to get it back, given that my budget is pretty limited?

    Thanks as always for your help,

    BC, Dec 18, 2005
  8. song

    Paul Guest


    It souhds from this description, that redefining the volume that
    formerly had NTFS on it, will overwrite the master file table (MFT).
    But maybe everything after that small section, would be untouched.
    I doubt I can find a complete enough spec to say for sure, but
    this hints that all is not lost.

    Before doing anything else, you need some place to put the recovered
    data, assuming you are going to buy one of the many tools invented
    for such catastrophies. I would recommend the purchase or acquisition
    of one or more disks for the purpose. If the data is valuable, it is
    valuable enough to buy a couple of disks. The disks can be used
    later, to make the backups you should have been making.

    I've learned my lesson about recovery software before. I used a tool
    once, which caused more damage than it fixed. So the _first_ thing you
    do, is a sector by sector copy of the damaged disk onto another physical
    device. This could either be an exact copy (in which case, a
    recovery tool can be run against the exact copy), or it could be
    some kind of compressed image of the volume (suitable for restoring
    to the original disk, multiple times if necessary). Then,
    if one of these "wonder-tools" doesn't work, you are not
    completely sunk.

    Here is a sample tool. You can run this against the damaged disk,
    or the exact backup image, but not both. Always keep at least one
    image in pristine condition, so you can start over again with the
    recovery effort.

    So the first tool you need, is something to copy the disk to a
    second disk. (If the recovery tool wants to write the recovered
    data somewhere, yet another disk can be used for that. Some
    tools work that way, as they really should not be writing to
    the bad disk, as part of their recovery process.)

    The second tool you need, would be one like this.

    The above link is not a recommendation - I've never had to recover
    a PC file system, so have not been faced with this.

    You can try as many of these recovery tools, as you have time
    to copy back the backup image, onto the original disk. Whether
    refreshing the disk each time, between attempts, really depends
    on whether the recovery tool tries to write the disk or not.

    Using your favorite search engine, you can search on

    reformatted ntfs recovery

    and see what other tools are for sale.

    Good luck,
    Paul, Dec 18, 2005
  9. song

    BC Guest


    Dear Paul,

    ouch indeed....but, as I have learned the hard way, all education is

    Thanks very much for your recommendations, as always they are right on
    target....have been trying some 'trial' versions of recovery programs,
    will let you know what I discover....

    Thanks again,

    BC, Dec 19, 2005
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