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Old 09-25-02, 10:46 PM   #1
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Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 12
Unhappy Creative drivers ?

Below is a support request I made with creative labs to see what drivers the recommend to use with their sb Live! under winXP. I've seen the behavior I described below on both my machine's that I have sb Live cards and winxp. I was a little disapointed with their response, so I wanted to get an idea of what drivers other people run (latest creative drivers or the one that comes up on windowsupdate).

Thanks! ( sorry for so long a post )

I would like to know what you recommend for what drivers should be installed for WindowsXP. I have downloaded and installed the latest drivers from your site. (LiveDrvPack.exe) However, when using this set of drivers, I often get popping sounds or some white noise / distortion when using this driver with "hardware acceleration" turned on in some games. With acceleration turned off, these effects go away. One of the things I've noticed is that with these drivers, the number of channels with hardware acceleration is reported as 31. But, with these drivers I am able to pass all of the diagnostics tests in the included program. When I goto windowsupdate, Im prompted to download Creative Media Driver Version 5.1.2603.0 Is this an update to the drivers I can download here ? When I install this update, the popping and distortion under hardware acceleration go away, and the number of channels is reported as 63. However, I can't load the mixer and other included software, and several of the diagnostics fail (though I can use the windows mixer and there are no other aparent side effects). What I would like to know, should I install this driver from windows update ? Its seems to fix some problems, but breaks some of your software...I would like to be able to use the creative mixer,etc.

Creative response :

No you should not install from windows installer.

Windows installer uses window driver and not our drivers.

Make sure you have the latest BIOS and motherboard updates for the system. Go into the BIOS and if you have any of the following options, and if so, try adjusting them as indicated:
AGP Aperture Size = 2 times the amount of video card ram
VGA Palette Snoop: Toggle
Peer Concurrency: Toggle
PCI 2.1 support: Enable
Check the PCI slot speed; it should equal 33 or 66 MHz.
Enable a 1 meg memory hole. Usually listed as 15- 16 meg Memory Hole
Toggle PCI Latency Timer: Start with a setting of 16 then adjust up and down

I would also suggest trying to switch slots on the system and see if that has any effect.

You could also go to system proerties --> Perfomance --> Graphics and change the hardware settings.

My reply:

Im a little puzzled by your response. I do have the latest bios/drivers for my other hardware. Why would you suggest toggling these settings, not knowing their current values ? Peer concurency deals with multiple devices being able to use the PCI bus at once, and really shouldn't be disabled. Palette Snoop deals strictly with the video card and the possibility of other devices needing access to its 256 color pallette...which is also unnecessary for my hardare. As for the memory hole, I've never heard of soundblaster cards needing this option enabled. Is such the case ? The other stuff you mentioned deals with graphics, which isn't causing me any trouble.

The problems I described earlier when using the drivers from your site are reproducable on another computer that also has an SB Live! card. It appears to strictly be a driver and/or software issue. When using the drivers from this site, hardware accelerated sound under some conditions is distorted. When using the drivers from the windowsupdate site, the distortion dissapears but the creative software doesn't work (ie mixer exits with a box that says devcon32.dll has returned an error. Mixer will now exit; AudioHQ says cannot init audio driver.) There are also the descrepancies between the number of channels reported.

Because of the differences above, I just wanted to know what the recommended drivers were for WinXP.

What is Creative Media Driver Version 5.1.2603.0 ? Is this a previous driver ? or update to the one on your site ? If its older, shouldn't you guys tell microsoft to not have it appear on windowsupdate when your latest drivers are installed ? If its newer, shouldn't it be what I download from you ? Is there a forthcoming driver release scheduled soon ?
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