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  Windows 7's Fatal 5.1 Issue? 
 
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Michael C Feb 11, 2010, 08:50am EST Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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Edited: Feb 11, 2010, 09:13am EST

Replies: 39 - Views: 7529
I've ran into a pretty terrible issue and believe the cause is Windows 7 itself. I've checked through just about every site and thread looking for a good fix on this and there doesn't appear to be any.

I am working with:

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 OS
Auzentech X-Fi Forte 7.1 sound card
Logitech Z-5300 5.1 speakers/analog connection

The issue is that 'true' 5.1 sound will not play through all of the speakers of my 5.1 setup. Only certain speakers get used, depending on how I have them hooked up to the Forte. Basically it's only using 2.1 rather than 5.1. When I first installed my Forte, I was having no issues until I installed a few Windows Updates - after I restarted, 3 speakers were not working. No issues through Headphones, those work and sound great.

I am using MediaMonkey and WMP as my main test programs, as they used to work before without issue so I see no reason not to. Playing high quality MP3s'. Games and DVD movies work through all 5 speakers, but that's about it. The speaker test in the control panel has all speakers giving the properly sound locations and all speakers respond correctly when I hit 'Test'. That's the thing that really gets me.

I've done A LOT of troubleshooting, here's what I've tried to basically limit it to being a Win 7 jack assignment/configuration issue:

1) Checked connections on back of the card and speakers several times.

2) Reinstalled sound card drivers several times/played with settings in control panel/device manager.

3) Re-inserted sound card a few times.

4) Installed my old Creative SB Audigy card and hooked it up. Ran into the exact same issue.

5) Re-formatted entire PC - installed sound card drivers - same issue.

6) Everything IS configured properly.

What the ____ can you do more than that?! I went to the extreme on this issue and even that didn't work. I'd say this basically limits it down to being something to do with Windows 7.

I can't figure out why it was working when I first installed my sound card, and for about 2 weeks after that it was fine. All of the sudden, they stop working. I can use CMSS in X-Fi(or Matrix Mode on the speakers) to run 5.1 'Stereo' sound - which is basically the sound of 2 speakers playing through 5. This is not the same as True 5.1 and the sound quality is terrible. Even running 2.1 is better than that, but I bought a 5.1 system so I could use it, not have it look pretty.

Here are some threads where other people have ran into the same issue, with no apparent resolution:

http://social.answers.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/w7music/threa...6917316dc3

http://social.answers.microsoft.com/Forums/en/w7music/thread/5...255399a808

I'm just wondering what I could do next...why is this not resolved? I am almost 100% sure this is something to do with Windows 7. I will go to great lengths to prove that, even installing Windows XP as a test. Hasn't anyone tried to get Full 5.1 from their Z-5300's and Z-5500's etc...? I know it's just not me. Any advanced users out there have an idea? The basics aren't going to work on this issue.


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Chad Mcaulay Feb 11, 2010, 09:32am EST Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Windows 7's Fatal 5.1 Issue?
Have you tried disabling the on-board audio in the BIOS?

"Reinserted the sound card a few times."

Have you tried different PCI slots?

I know this still sounds like basic stuff and you probably tried it already, but I just wanted to be sure.

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Michael C Feb 11, 2010, 09:43am EST Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Windows 7's Fatal 5.1 Issue?
Yes, on-board sound was disabled the entire time. The card is a PCI-Express slot so I'd have to switch it with my videocard - but I don't think that's the issue.

Chad Mcaulay Feb 11, 2010, 10:06am EST Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Windows 7's Fatal 5.1 Issue?
Okay, so you said this issue is still present even after a reformat. Did you test the Auzentech without installing any Win7 updates after the reformat? One issue I had w/my X-Fi extreme gamer was a driver conflict w/my ATi x1650xt. When I removed my graphics drivers and tested my card, the issues disappeared (crackling, popping and not playing through all speakers-WinVista & XP). An update of my graphics card drivers resolved my issue.

I know my issue isn't exactly as yours, but I'm wondering if you had only sound card drivers installed if the issue would still be there. The only other two things I could suggest would be an install of XP and/or a BIOS update.

Sorry, Michael, I know that sound card issues are a pain in the fcuking arse.

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Meats_Of_Evil Feb 11, 2010, 10:15am EST Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Windows 7's Fatal 5.1 Issue?
Have you made sure its set to 5.1 on the Windows Control Panel? I remember something like this drove me crazy on XP and that turned out to be the issue.

laying high quality MP3s'. Games and DVD movies work through all 5 speakers, but that's about it.

That's what it is supposed to be doing isn't it? Play through all speakers.

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Everything I write is Sarcasm.
Michael C Feb 11, 2010, 10:17am EST Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Windows 7's Fatal 5.1 Issue?
Indeed it is a pain. Actually, I did exactly what you said. I reformatted and immediately installed the drivers only to find that it didn't work. So after it didn't work, I installed the Windows Updates.

Michael C Feb 11, 2010, 10:19am EST Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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Edited: Feb 11, 2010, 10:19am EST

 
>> Re: Windows 7's Fatal 5.1 Issue?
Meats_Of_Evil said:
Have you made sure its set to 5.1 on the Windows Control Panel? I remember something like this drove me crazy on XP and that turned out to be the issue.

laying high quality MP3s'. Games and DVD movies work through all 5 speakers, but that's about it.

That's what it is supposed to be doing isn't it? Play through all speakers.


Yes Meats, but MP3's should be working as well I'm quite sure and they're not. Even regular windows sounds are not working, youtube..etc.

Meats_Of_Evil Feb 11, 2010, 10:20am EST Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Windows 7's Fatal 5.1 Issue?
I'm a little confused. Are you expecting all MP3's and windows sound to play on 5.1 through all speakers? without the matrix mode right?

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Michael C Feb 11, 2010, 10:24am EST Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Windows 7's Fatal 5.1 Issue?
Meats_Of_Evil said:
I'm a little confused. Are you expecting all MP3's and windows sound to play on 5.1 through all speakers? without the matrix mode right?


It used to, without CMSS or Matrix mode enabled I believe. I've tried several different kinds of MP3's but it's all the same. I will have to try Bioshock 2 out tonight to make sure 5.1 works in that. Are you saying MP3's should NOT play in 5.1 without these modes enabled Meats?

Chad Mcaulay Feb 11, 2010, 10:29am EST Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Windows 7's Fatal 5.1 Issue?
Michael C said:
Indeed it is a pain. Actually, I did exactly what you said. I reformatted and immediately installed the drivers only to find that it didn't work. So after it didn't work, I installed the Windows Updates.


I'm gonna do some more searching on this. The only other two things I can suggest right now would be, as you've already mentioned, an install of XP and/or a BIOS update.

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Michael C Feb 11, 2010, 10:38am EST Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Windows 7's Fatal 5.1 Issue?
Thanks Chad, I'm not sure what else I could possibly try other than that. Unless, MP3's don't play in 5.1? But I don't really know if that is true or not. I was damn sure it was working great before.

Chad Mcaulay Feb 11, 2010, 10:38am EST Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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Edited: Feb 11, 2010, 10:39am EST

 
>> Re: Windows 7's Fatal 5.1 Issue?
One thing I forgot to ask. Is your Creative Audio Service running? Also, I wonder if you could run Creative's software in compatibility mode for Vista sp1/sp2. One thing to try at this point would be to run the Creative setup.exe in compatibility for Vista on a reinstall of the software/driver pack.

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Meats_Of_Evil Feb 11, 2010, 10:42am EST Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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Edited: Feb 11, 2010, 10:43am EST

 
>> Re: Windows 7's Fatal 5.1 Issue?
Well Michael from what I know, if the source mp3 isn't 5.1 then it won't play through all the speakers. But you can achieve a similar output in the X-fi CMSS Expand option. There's a slider in my X-Fi xtreme music that lets me control how much "surround" sound I want out of these 2.1 sounds.

Also, I don't believe any Windows sound plays in 5.1 If they indeed do then I have never noticed it. Also, remember that the rear speakers are the least loud of the bunch. What you can do is put on some music and stand up and go to each rear speakers to see if they're doing anything. Of course try this without any Matrix mode or such.

Try them with any 5.1 EAX (they sound better) supporting game and again stand up and put your ear into a rear speaker to see if they're making sounds.

*Edit*
But don't let this fool you. 5.1+X-fi card is a must for the pure sound entertainment. Just fiddle with the settings until you're happy.

To put it simple Michale, if the source isn't 5.1 then naturally it won't play in surround mode, unless of course you have CMSS or matrix mode on.

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Everything I write is Sarcasm.
Michael C Feb 11, 2010, 10:44am EST Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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Edited: Feb 11, 2010, 10:48am EST

 
>> Re: Windows 7's Fatal 5.1 Issue?
I believe that may be the case, I will do some testing tonight to be sure of this. Thanks Meats. I was looking a few threads about this, such as this one.

http://www.hardforum.com/showthread.php?t=1268350

Now if I'm in a game like...Bioshock per say, even if I turn CMSS and Matrix mode off - I should should still be getting 5.1 sound correct?

Chad Mcaulay Feb 11, 2010, 11:00am EST Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Windows 7's Fatal 5.1 Issue?
Good post, Meats. Thanks for the insight on this. I hope this solves your issues, Michael. I'm gonna check back on this post tonight. Good luck, Michael! :)

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Michael C Feb 11, 2010, 02:17pm EST Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Windows 7's Fatal 5.1 Issue?
Yeah me too. Is there any positive way to make sure the 5.1 is actually working? Test file or webpage for example?

Meats_Of_Evil Feb 11, 2010, 04:15pm EST Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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Edited: Feb 11, 2010, 04:24pm EST

 
>> Re: Windows 7's Fatal 5.1 Issue?
yes Michael if you should turn off CMSS or Matrix whenever you're using a 5.1 surround sound source as I have heard it can interfere with the surround sound effects.

Check this video out and test your 5.1 http://www.metacafe.com/watch/354351/ac3_dolby_digital_5_1ch_sound_test/

Also, I have the Opeth cd Watershed and it brought a dvd with the tracks being in DTS 5.1 surrounds and what not and it's not that impressive at all to be honest. It doesn't feel like an immerse experience at all. Now, I'm keeping my eyes in Blu-Ray concerts. I have been reading of some that have exceptional picture and audio quality, of course it all depends on how they were recorded.

I'm thinking about these ones:
http://www.blu-ray.com/movies/Carlos-Santana-Presents-Blues-at...view/6856/

http://www.blu-ray.com/movies/Iron-Maiden-Flight-666-Blu-ray/5254/

http://www.blu-ray.com/movies/Michael-Jacksons-This-is-It-Blu-ray/7924/

http://www.blu-ray.com/movies/Andrea-Bocelli-Vivere-Live-in-Tu...-ray/1125/

http://www.blu-ray.com/movies/Steve-Vai-Where-the-Wild-Things-...-ray/6376/

http://www.blu-ray.com/movies/Led-Zeppelin-The-Song-Remains-th...u-ray/531/




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Everything I write is Sarcasm.
Michael C Feb 11, 2010, 05:21pm EST Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Windows 7's Fatal 5.1 Issue?
LMFAO @ that test Meats! It didn't work btw, the same speakers did not play(CMSS and Matrix off of course).

kOrny Feb 11, 2010, 05:51pm EST Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Windows 7's Fatal 5.1 Issue?
Not sure if this will help, but my friend with the Z-5500's had a similar issue (he was using a CREATIVE SoundBlaster Live! 5.1 card and Windows 7). His music would only play 2 channel unless he changed a setting on the speaker control itself, not settings on the computer. His speakers had a little interface with a scroll wheel or something. We changed the speaker output settings (to "Surround Sound" IIRC) and he got 5.1, though I don;t think it was TRUE 5.1... he just had sound coming out of all the speakers.

Meats_Of_Evil Feb 11, 2010, 05:58pm EST Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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Edited: Feb 11, 2010, 05:59pm EST

 
>> Re: Windows 7's Fatal 5.1 Issue?
Hmm interesting, I haven't tested that video on my PC Michael but I'll pm you as soon as I do. Also, did the surround work in games? Use Half-Life or Counter strike, it has a tool to test your surround sound.

Also, search through the settings to see if there's an option for turning the volume louder. I know my X-Fi has it, It has three options, the lowest is Quiet environment, the other is Normal environment and the third is Loud Environment which is what I have it at.

Here's another video to test out just in case:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k4tnrd1yYJc

Cool sounds.

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Everything I write is Sarcasm.
Michael C Feb 11, 2010, 07:26pm EST Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Windows 7's Fatal 5.1 Issue?
Those types of tests don't work! Youtube and FLV videos don't support 5.1 lol. Games do work in Full 5.1! Interesting...I think I get it now. Music still plays in 2.1. I guess that's just how it is.


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