Working 5.1 Audigy Series Vista Drivers

8 08 2007

My story begins in October 2006. Like many people around that time, I installed my brand new Windows Vista operating system. I was pleased to find that a lot of devices had fully working drivers and Vista was actually quite good contrary to everything I had read.

The only devices missing adequate drivers were my economy printer and my beloved Audigy 2 sound card. The printer driver was clearly incompatible but it cost less money than a black ink cartridge would. The Audigy however was strange. The beta driver wouldn’t stick to 5.1 speakers, wasn’t decoding Dolby Digital and failed the Vista speaker test. Not only that, but it seemed EAX hardware sound had been lost due to lack of DirectSound support in Windows Vista.

Bummer. I sat and waited for Vista to reach the stores and perhaps a good driver would appear. January 31st 2007 marked the date of Windows Vista launch. It also marked the date that Creative Labs chose for my beta driver to expire. I pulled the card out, removed all traces of Creative Labs software and used onboard sound instead.

Fortunately they released another driver a few weeks later so I plugged in my soundcard, and installed the new driver.

…did I say new driver? I meant the same driver, but with expiry date removed. The driver I’m taking about is the current driver version 2.12.0002. Again I had 2 speakers only, multichannel audio wasn’t working in the slightest. The microphone wouldn’t mute, the driver was seriously sabotaged to say the least. After much researching, I finally found that newer and better working drivers were available, yet Creative Labs chose not to release them!

Please Note: The follow method is the advanced manual method. I strongly suggest you try the recently added Audigy Series Vista Driver Installer Package before you try this manual install.

If you’re going to try it, make sure there’s no Creative processes running and uninstall your current drivers with the Guru3D Driver Sweeper.

How to get 5.1 sound back again…
The drivers are hidden away in the latest X-Fi drivers, but need to be extracted from the Setup.exe (using WinRar)

The drivers I’m talking about are SBXF_PCDVT_LB_2_15_0002.exe that cover most X-Fi sound cards.

Once you’ve uninstalled any previous drivers, download the latest X-Fi drivers, right click on the “SBXF_PCDVT_LB_2_15_0002.exe” icon and “Extract to SBXF_PCDVT_LB_2_15_0002”.  

A folder will appear called “SBXF_PCDVT_LB_2_15_0002”. Inside this folder you will find another folder called “Drivers”. Here you will find working Audigy/Audigy2/Audigy4 drivers. Launch the “Setup.exe” to install the May drivers.

Simply reboot to reclaim your multichannel audio once more.

If for some reason these drivers don’t install for you, perhaps try kX Mixer by Eugene Gavrilov. It’s a nice freeware utility and driver set that works well in Windows Vista. The only drawbacks with this solution are the lack of EAX support and ghastly skinned interface.

I hope this helps out somebody who is stressed with the poor driver support in Windows Vista. Later on I shall post about the mistruths Creative Labs told regarding DTS and Dolby Digital in Vista and then I’ll show you how to get them working.

I’m kinda bored typing at this point. If you’ll excuse me, I need a cup of strong tea.


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21 responses

20 08 2007
Rilla927

I’m going to give this a try to see if I can get my card working.

Does this mean I can use my software package that goes with my card?

Thank you for your generosity to help others!

20 08 2007
nomoregoatsoup

If you mean the XP software package, sorry, but no.
You can get them to install by running the setup.exe in “XP compatibility” mode, but sadly the program won’t run as intended for very long without errors.

20 08 2007
Tuco

They intentionally crippled their drivers to force an upgrade? F*** YOU CREATIVE!!!

21 08 2007
Rilla927

Hi guys,

I followed the instructions to the T and there is no Audigy/Audigy2/Audigy4 folders under Drivers in the two different X-Fi d/l’s I have tried. Did they yank these files or something?

21 08 2007
nomoregoatsoup

Looking at wdma_emu.inf, this driver package includes support for:
X-Fi
Audigy2
Audigy4
EMU10K1 chip (SBLive!, APS)

When you run the SBXF_PCDVT_LB_2_15_0002\Drivers\Setup.exe it should install them for you automatically.

When you say there’s no drivers, what do you mean?
Does the Setup report any error messages?

23 08 2007
Togphags

So are those hidden drivers better than the KX ones in terms of audio quality? Thanks for the info btw.

23 08 2007
nomoregoatsoup

I have to say that the DTS delivered by kX mixer isn’t as good as the Creative ones, from what I’ve tested anyway. I doubt you’ll notice any difference on MP3 and such.

kX mixer is a very good program, but it doesn’t half look ugly and it doesn’t support EAX or ALchemy.

kX is a lot more stable though.

I hope this helps.

23 08 2007
Rilla927

Once I extracted the contents there is no Audigy folder anywhere. I did try just installing the driver with out extracting anything and it says it cannot detect the proper hardware so it refused to install. Either way I tried it hasn’t worked.

23 08 2007
nomoregoatsoup

At no point should a folder appear called “Audigy”
A folder should appear called SBXF_PCDVT_LB_2_15_0002

SBXF_PCDVT_LB_2_15_0002\Drivers\Setup.exe

No folder, just a setup.exe

25 08 2007
Deanot

I would like to thank Mr nomoregoatsoup for his help getting my 5.1 back in action, as for the rest of you that may find his information of some help, maybe you could take the time to say THANK YOU too?

Its not going to hurt you, this free information has to be worth a free thanks huh?

5 09 2007
Togphags

Can this installer/driver be used with Vista x64 also? Has anyone tried X64 with an Audigy on Vista?

Thanks again goat.

6 09 2007
nomoregoatsoup

Yes the installer should work on Windows Vista 64bit, no problem.

Be advised that SPDIF pass through is not supported in Windows Vista 64bit too. Some users are reporting that the decoder tab won’t install under 64bit too, which is no doubt connected.

29 09 2007
hshah

I installed this, and all seems fine… someone told me I could download that CD and install the Eax Console separately, but I get the following error:

29 09 2007
nomoregoatsoup

No, sorry the setup files in the subfolders can only be executed from the main setup.exe in the main folder. Most Creative installers work like this in Vista.

It has to be that way otherwise the file protection kicks in, as you have found out. That error is normal, and expected.

Sadly the main Setup.exe (not the one in Audio Console subfolder) is the only way to install.

29 09 2007
hshah

Hmm… so any way of installing the X-FI drivers and then EAX Console?

29 09 2007
hshah

I have been told how to do this…

1) Extract the Unofficial CD found on this website using WinRAR
2) Browse to the Alchemy folder
3) Copy engine32.cab
4) Paste it in \Audio\EaxSet\
5) Now run setup.exe in \Audio\EaxSet\
🙂

29 09 2007
hshah

And CMSS 2 works perfectly this way😀

6 11 2008
Satsumomo

On August 1st 2008, Creative released a new version of ALchemy, it’s right here:

http://support.creative.com/downloads/download.aspx?nDownloadId=10632

I suppose this should work better?

7 11 2008
nomoregoatsoup

Satsumomo : Umm.. this post was written in August 07 when working Vista Audigy drivers were not available. It’s about drivers, not ALchemy application. ALchemy simply adds environmental sound to games by using software emulatation of dsound. You need latest drivers and ALchemy.

but to answer your question. Yes, the newer ALchemy is advised because it contains more supported games and stronger file protection. (To prevent being used on other cards such as Realtek).

10 02 2009
chantal

takk

14 09 2009
tonitus

Hi.

Would someone please tell me, why oh why, when I update this crappy Audigy SB0160 card, it only records sound on the other channel. Man, it is annoying!

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