Replacing Dell proprietory Soundblaster Live card with a retail Soundblaster Live card

Discussion in 'Dell' started by Anthony Edwards, Apr 3, 2004.

  1. I recently purchased a new Dimension 4600 machine, for use with the
    Linux operating system (SuSE 8.2). Since Soundblaster Live! has
    long been a supported audio card for Linux, I ordered the machine
    with a Soundblaster Live card in place of the standard onboard Intel
    sound chip.

    Unfortunately, I discovered after delivery that Dell's Soundblaster
    Live card is proprietory and works with Windows only as explained at:

    So yesterday, I purchased a new retail Soundblaster Live card to
    replace the Dell proprietory card (I was prepared to, since although
    I explained to the Dell salesperson at the time of placing the order
    that the machine would be used with Linux only, I do not believe it
    reasonable to expect a salesperson to know about this proprietory
    card issue, since officially Windows is the only operating system
    supported and the salesperson will have been trained only on that
    operating system).

    It does not seem, though, easy or straightforward to swap the cards
    over. The Dell OEM card appears to be connected to the USB system
    somehow (!) using a 6 wire hard wired connection, the "other end" of
    which is not accessible. One cannot therefore replace the Dell OEM
    card with the retail card without a great deal of hardware knowledge,
    which I do not have.

    I would like to arrange a (chargeable if necessary, I am quite happy to
    pay) Dell service visit to remove the Dell OEM Soundblaster Live card,
    and either replace it with the retail Soundblaster Live card which
    I have purchased or remove it and re-enable the onboard Intel sound
    chip (which Linux similarly supports), and in either case connect
    the DVD-RW drive to the sound device enabled.

    Is this possible? Cost really isn't an issue, and I am willing to pay
    whatever Dell wish to charge. I am hoping for a speedy resolution
    if possible. Alternatively I can drive to anywhere in the UK where
    Dell might have a service centre, if they can do the work whilst I wait
    (I will wait all day if needed).
    Anthony Edwards, Apr 3, 2004
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  2. Anthony Edwards

    Dave Guest

    The other end of that mystery connector goes to the front headphone
    jack. You should be able to plug in the retail SB card and use it.
    You just won't have the front headphone jack working anymore. The
    retail card doesn't have the connector needed to use the jack.

    Dave, Apr 3, 2004
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  3. Well using an XPS Gen2 Dell- I too almost got "burned" by the OEM SB Live
    issue. However, easily overcame that by upgrading to Dell's Audigy 2, which
    IS fully compatible with a variety of Linux distros (Mandrake, Suse,
    Libranet, etc.).

    So perhaps, to preserve all your Dell-specific connector options- see if an
    Audigy 2 upgrade is feasible for your 4600. Might even be able to
    "guilt-trip" Dell into a no cost swap..?

    Robert G. Ragosta
    Robert G. Ragosta, Apr 3, 2004
  4. Anthony Edwards

    Tom Scales Guest

    That solution also retains the front head phone jack and gains you a
    Firewire port.

    Tom Scales, Apr 3, 2004
  5. Anthony Edwards

    Joan Hansen Guest

    Tom, I have the SB Audigy retail. Could you tell me what I would use
    the firewire port for? Just curious.


    Joan Hansen, Apr 3, 2004
  6. Tom-
    Succintly and accurately put.. Also, the Firewire is fully
    recoginized/configured by multiple distros (Mandrake 9.1/9.2, Suse 9.0,
    Libranet, etc.) as well... Overall, all features, connectors, and Linux
    Apps (sound-dependent) work as advertised (Alsa, OSS) in either KDE/Gnome.

    Robert G. Ragosta
    Robert G. Ragosta, Apr 3, 2004
  7. For example, to import video.


    Rocket J. Squirrel, Apr 3, 2004
  8. Anthony Edwards

    Tom Scales Guest

    Well, I have a film scanner that requires Firewire. My Mini-DV camera
    requires a firewire connection too. My Maxtor external hard drive will
    support both USB2 and Firewire. Even my Epson printer, with a card I don't
    own, could use Firewire.

    If you don't need it, you gain nothing. If you do, this saves you a PCI

    Tom Scales, Apr 3, 2004

  9. on my pc the following are connected via firewire

    dsr11 dvcam video deck
    epson 2100 printer
    160gb hard drive in firewore enclosure
    networking cable to second pc.
    Gary MacKenzie, Apr 3, 2004
  10. Anthony Edwards

    Joan Hansen Guest

    Thank You Tom and Rocky. Darn Best Buy. When I bought my DV Mini
    Camcorder, I told the guy I had the firewire connector on my SB Audigy
    card and he said it was for Audio, so I bought a firewire card and
    actually glad I did. Now I also have a beautiful WD external HD with 8
    meg cache and I love it. I do have two internal HD's but I use the one
    as backup with Ghost. Great when you buy a program like Roxio's Creator
    Media 7. For me the program works great. :) Thank Goodness.

    Joan Hansen, Apr 3, 2004
  11. Now this is really OT, but as long as you mentioned do you like
    Roxio 7? I have (Platinum) version 6.

    Rocket J. Squirrel, Apr 3, 2004
  12. I would never use the headphone jack, nor FireWire, so those aren't
    concerns. The Creative Labs SoundBlaster Audigy 2 (Dell) Sound Card
    (+£55) is a valid option for my machine, however not now as the machine
    has been ordered and delivered. Dell have informed me also that an
    engineer visit is not an option since my machine would have worked
    as advertised (with Windows, the only supported operating system)
    and no fault is present.

    I have now found a local company who are Dell resellers, and I will
    arrange to take the machine there to have the new retail Soundblaster
    Live card installed. The existing Dell OEM Soundblaster Live card
    is not connected to the DVD drive by cable [1], and to install such a
    cable is well beyond my (extremely limited) hardware knowledge since
    the drive does not seem to be sufficiently accessible to attach the
    cable without first removing the DVD drive from the case.

    [1] Apparently, not considered necessary by Dell since Windows is the
    only supported operating system and supports Digital Audio Extraction:
    Anthony Edwards, Apr 3, 2004
  13. Anthony Edwards

    Joan Hansen Guest

    I like it. Everything works great. Lots of features, but some have had
    problems. You can leave your Platinum 6 or 5 version on and you can use
    both programs. I have the NEC 4X DVD 1100A burner and it had a firmware
    update so I had no problems. There were a few concerned Dell owner's
    but all got the program working. Roxio, was great on their help section
    and got an update out which took care of the majority of the problems.

    I'm burning beautiful DVD's of family photos, video, etc. You can
    include music. The sound program lets you combine different MP3's into
    one MP3 file. Version 6 may do all those things, I only had version 5,
    so this was a great upgrade for me.

    Joan Hansen, Apr 3, 2004
  14. I am now informed that a cable connection between a DVD-ROM drive and
    sound card are not necessary when playing DVDs (and of course cdda2wav
    can play audio CDs without the need for such a connection using Digital
    Audio Extraction under Linux), which makes a great deal of difference; I
    should now be able to install the new sound card myself.
    Anthony Edwards, Apr 3, 2004
  15. Glad you corrected that Linux can't do Digital Audio Extraction (DAE). For
    Linux, almost ALL distros have been/ARE capable of DAE, via a number of
    utilities and full-fledged "Windowed"-apps (KDE, Gnome, IceWM, etc.).

    Bottom-line, your "assertion" about Linux was WRONG, you partially corrected
    it (good..), and now the record is formally a bit more accurate/truthful.

    Robert G. Ragosta
    Robert G. Ragosta, Apr 3, 2004
  16. That isn't an issue, since I would never use headphones anyway.
    Given that the headphone jack end of the cable isn't accessible though,
    what would you recommend be done with the cable? Remove it from the
    Dell OEM Soundblaster Live sound card being replaced and wrap the
    end up with electricians' insulating tape?
    Anthony Edwards, Apr 4, 2004
  17. Anthony Edwards

    Tom Scales Guest

    That would work fine.

    Tom Scales, Apr 4, 2004
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