Saturday, April 20, 2013

Creative X-Fi Titanium audio card went missing in action

I wake up early in the morning to play Crysis 3 before my wife woke up and what do I get? There is no audio. The audio icon in the system tray is crossed out which indicates either the mute button has been pressed or the device is not available. It was the latter.

I rebooted. No go. Dammit!

Then I uninstalled the drivers of my Creative X-Fi Titanium (PCI-E) audio card, cleaned up the remaining clutter using Driver Sweeper and reinstalled the latest PAX drivers. No go! Device Manager wouldn't show that a card even exist. Weird.

Then I removed the audio card from the PC. Rebooted into Windows to clear out any erroneous statues in OS/software/drivers. (No idea if this would make a difference, but I did so anyway. ) Then I plugged back the card and rebooted into Windows. Before installing the driver, I checked device manager and there was the audio card, with an exclamation mark. I didn't worry about it too much at that point and reinstalled the drivers. When I came back to Windows, the audio card was nowhere to be found. :/

I was so pissed about all this that I enabled the Realtek ALC892 onboard audio in UEFI, and went back to Windows. Good old Realtek does things well. Windows automatically installed a driver and I was good to go. I then went into Crysis 3 to play it now and fix the audio problem later. Funny thing was that apart from the noise inserted from mic jack (which, I believe, can be fixed by installing the audio control panel), I couldn't tell a difference between the quality of audio from the X-Fi Titanium card and the Realtek ALC892 chip. This was through the headphone (Roccat Kave 5.1) btw. I am not sure if the output was running in 5.1 mode though.

Later on, I downloaded the official Creative driver for my audio card from the manufacturer website and that fixed the problem! I don’t know if that particular PAX drivers I used were bad or if there was something else. I made sure to get only the components that I needed, the driver and the console launcher which is the control panel. PAX drivers installed a crap load other utilities that I didn’t use. Anyways, I’m glad that it was not a problem with the audio card. Right now the last thing I want to add to the PC is something that doesn’t improve the performance. I don’t think I would notice any difference between the X-Fi Titanium and a new card. I’m no audiophile.

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