Windows Vista Beta 2 – Is Silence Really Golden? RRS feed

  • General discussion

  • It would appear that no native sound drivers exist in ether Windows Vista Beta 2 32 or 64 bit platforms. For the average user that installs Windows Vista Beta 2, all you are going to hear from this multi-media powerhouse is the sound of silence.

    I have a Creative Labs Sound Blaster Audigy 2 and I did download and try both the 32 bit and 64 bit drivers for Windows Vista, but they do not work with Beta 2. Finally I did get sound to work in the 32 bit Vista version after loading the Windows XP drivers, but they don’t really work properly. Any attempt to play a video or music file longer than two minutes finds the audio to first become distorted and later it just shuts down completely. I don’t recall a Windows Beta OS in the past that did not include any native audio driver support. A whole lot of changes must occur before Windows Vista will be worthy of even a release candidate version.

    Here are the full details with my experience with Windows Vista Beta 2:

    Computer Hardware Specs:

    AMD Athlon 64 3700+ CPU

    ASUS A8N-VM motherboard (built-in Sound, Network and Video are Disabled)

    2 gigabytes of RAM

    300 Gig Seagate PATA hard drive

    NVIDIA (BFG Branded) 6600 GT OC w/128 megs of RAM video card

    Creative Labs Sound Blaster Audigy 2 Sound card

    D-Link DFE-530TX+ PCI 10/100 Network Card

    Memorex Dual Layer 16x DVD/CD Burner

    1.44 meg 3.5” Floppy Drive

    Present Partition Configuration:

    4 Partitions Setup in Dual Boot between Windows Vista Beta 2 (HD0,0) and SuSE 10.1 Linux (HD0,4). Partition 2 is a FAT32 Logical data storage volume and Partition 3 is a Linux Swap Partition.

    Installed Version:

    I am presently using Windows Vista Beta 2 32 bit version. I actually have loaded the 64 bit version twice and the 32 bit version once. The total load times on my PC for the two versions were:

    Windows Vista Beta 2 32 bit load time – 40 plus minutes total

    Windows Vista Beta 2 64 bit load time – 70 plus minutes total

    Both versions did successfully load the first time. However, after being unable to get sound to work with the 64 bit version, I decided to try the 32 bit version. I have sound working now, but only because I have loaded the Windows XP driver which does not really work properly.

    Windows Vista Beta 2 64 bit Problems:

    1. I could not get sound to work even after loading the Creative Labs Windows Vista 64 Sound driver. I think the driver does not work because it was not intended for use with beta 2.

    2. I did not get the networking to work until I went out and purchased a D-Link network card that included both Windows Vista and Linux networking.

    3. When I tried to load the NVIDIA Video Driver, it failed to load and told me I was not running Windows Vista.

    4. I downloaded and installed the CA eTrust free antivirus software but real time virus protection did not work.

    5. After two loads of 64 bit and no sound I gave up on the 64 bit version.

    Windows Vista Beta 32 bit Problems:

    1. I could not get the Creative Labs Windows Vista Sound Driver to work and did not get sound until I loaded the Windows XP drivers. The XP drivers do not really work properly and sound becomes distorted after running for a couple of minutes and many times sound just stops working.

    2. The D-Link 10/100 network card I purchased worked properly with the Vista 32 bit version as well as the 64 bit version.

    3. The NVIDIA Windows Vista 32 bit video driver loaded properly and without a problem.

    4. The CA eTrust antivirus software did load and appears to work properly.

    5. When the selected screen saver kicks in, the computer just beeps and the monitor goes blank. The keyboard and mouse are unresponsive and you must hard reset the computer to gain computer operation.


    Of course we know this is beta software, but the present version is not really usable in any meaningful way and just a curiosity to look at and play with to see what the future of Windows holds for us all. Much more work is thusly required by Microsoft and hardware driver writers to get this product ready for shipment.

    I shall continue to see what works and what does not work in Windows Vista Beta 2. I have ordered MS Office 2007 beta and will load it on top of Windows Vista.

    That should be interesting…..

    James D McDaniel  - Austin, Texas

    Friday, June 23, 2006 1:56 AM

All replies

  • James,

    For what it's worth, I'd say I'm a fairly "average" user - at least as far as my needs are concerned. Your blanket statement about not having ANY sound drivers for Beta 2 is quite erroneous.  Granted, I don't have a Creative Labs sound card, but I do have sound with my Gigabyte K8N51-GMF-9 board which has a surprisingly rich 8 channel sound output. And Vista had the drivers for this version in it's store of drivers.

    Just for grins and giggles if you feel up to the challenge - take the Audigy card out and renable the onboard sound and let Vista find the hardware and supply the needed drivers. I'll wager you just might hear something.

    As you said, this is beta software. And an EARLY beta at that. It's not ready for prime time by any stretch of the imagination. Drivers are now and always have been an issue during beta phase - so this IS the time to get the issues reported directly to Microsoft so their programmers can fix the issues before release day. You can do that by clicking the Feedback icon on the Vista desktop and installing the Problem Reporting Tool (aka the Microsoft Beta Client) and by using it to report the issues you're having with the sound and other drivers.



    Friday, June 23, 2006 6:49 AM
  • I don't think this will be Microsoft's problem.  Most of the high end sound card companies will be the ones who create the drivers to use on Vista.

    Just like how ATI for graphics card has already put out a beta driver for vista.

    Friday, June 23, 2006 2:02 PM
  • Maybe so, but the guy does have a few other issues that ought to be reported anyhow. Having a post here is nice, but may or may not find it's way to the people who are writing/rewriting/fixing the code.
    Friday, June 23, 2006 2:40 PM
  • First off I do thank you for taking the time to post a reply. I do very much want to hear how other users of Windows Vista Beta 2 are doing.

    If you go into the Add hardware function in the Control Panel and elect to manually select your hardware and select sound, video and game controllers you will only find a single Microsoft Entry that indicates it is a dummy place holder for file copying. There are no other brands of sound cards to select from.

    Since you have a Gigabyte motherboard you may have inserted the motherboard disk into your computer and Windows Vista then loaded the Windows XP driver. Further, this driver may actually work unlike the one from Creative. Or, you may have downloaded a driver directly from the internet or Microsoft may have had one online not included on the DVD. A few people may get lucky. However, a lot more will not be so lucky.

    When I did the same function for network cards I found several to select from.  I did not own any of them at first, but a card that would work with Windows Vista and Linux was only $15 at Fry's.  When using Beta software I am used to having to buy hardware from a very small selection.  In the case of sound cards, not including anything from Creative Labs, perhaps the largest supplier of add-in sound products seems to be a bad choice.  We don't know just how Microsoft and Creative work together, but something is not working right.

    A good part of the Windows experience depends on sound. A fully public beta release must do better than this if you are trying to impress people into going with Windows Vista when it finally comes out. Again, this is Beta Software, but perhaps letting out a more ready product would have been a wiser choice to make. As always, this is just my opinion and I do thank you for letting us hear yours.

    James D McDaniel

    Austin, Texas

    Friday, June 23, 2006 11:37 PM
  • James,

    Actually.. NO. The only disk with drivers that has been placed into the DVD drive on this computer was the Win Vista Beta 2 DVD. In fact, it's found EVERY piece of hardware with ONE minor exception - the NForce SM Bus driver - which was found immediately when I got to the Windows Update site.

    For what it's worth, as someone else on this thread mentioned, many vendors of high end parts may opt to wait until Vista's gone Gold and is RTM (Released to Manufacturing) until they decided it's time to start pulling some all nighters in getting drivers ready for the January release. Given Beta code tends to change and often breaks stuff, I don't blame them.

    Sound is actually only important for home and other non-business users. Most places I've done work at do NOT supply speakers to workstations. Especially where phone calls are an important piece of the business plan. In that case, silence really IS golden.

    Saturday, June 24, 2006 5:30 AM
  • Isn't beta "testing" great fun I've managed to get my X-Fi Fatal1ty to work under Vista, but not Diskeeper 10 Professional (with XP64bit support). Likewise Avast AV installed first time but Nforce SM bus failed to install -  giving a message that the 32bit uninstaller was incompatible ? Logitech 64 bit drivers for  the G15 keyboard and G7 mouse installed OK also. BTW my install seemed flawless with no hiccups - so I guess all my grief is yet to come
    Sunday, June 25, 2006 2:05 PM
  • I have a very similar machine to the person at the top of this thread.  However, I am receiving the following issue:


    Status: 0xc0000098

    Info:  Windows failed to load because the kernel is missing, or corrupt. 

    I get this frustrating message each time I go to install.  I have removed the partition and re-created it.  Any ideas why I might be getting this?




    Tuesday, June 27, 2006 5:52 AM
  • here is my specs

    athlon 64 3500

    asus a8v deluxe

    1024 corsair

    sound blaster audigy 2

    74 gig WD raptor = vista install

    120 maxtor= xp pro install

    when i first installed vista i had alot of problems but i did an upgrade only when i did a fresh install on a

    different  hard drive did i get vista up and running perfectly

    audigy card works fine

    i think if you do a clean install without all the partitions and other os installs you might have less issues

    just my 2 cents

    i only  have problems with some games not working other than that i love vista its great

    Tuesday, June 27, 2006 11:25 PM
  • And did you load the Windows XP drivers for the Creative Audigy 2 and they work OK?

    I did do a clean install of Windows Vista, three times.  I don't feel data located on other partitions has any effect on Windows.  Since each computer is a custom combination of hardware, different addin cards can work in one setup and not another. The basic problem is not having the correct Windows Vista Beta 2 driver for the Audigy 2 soundcard and the fact that no such driver exists in the native load of Windows Vista 2.

    Thank You,

    James D. McDaniel

    Austin, Texas

    Wednesday, June 28, 2006 2:14 AM
  • Initially I had a problem with sound in Vista, too. Granted, I have an integrated sound chip in my motherboard which makes everything difficult, so I fully expected it. After getting it "fixed" (the driver I'm using isn't the best and certainly wasn't designed for Vista beta), how disappointing to find that Microsoft didn't include a revamped Windows sound library. I imagine it'll come in the final build, but what a letdown in hearing the same old same old again.

    Ce la vie.
    Wednesday, June 28, 2006 6:19 PM
  • i used the beta driver for vista at creatives site

     there isnt a driver in xp either for a sound blaster card

    Wednesday, June 28, 2006 8:56 PM
  • Basically, there will be no further Creative Labs sound driver support for any Windows Vista Beta product until the final Vista software is released.  We can only hope that the support will actually show up on time.  Further, I have read that Bill Gates himself says that there is now a 20% chance Vista will be delayed again from the general public release in January of 2007.  I would say that anyone supporting a Creative sound product should reconsider.  This may even be the time to go with some version of Linux.  Linux supports all internal versions of Creative sound cards except the very latest version X-Fi.  Creative has not seen fit to release the required Open Source information to allow drivers to be written for the X-Fi sound card and Linux.  I have been using Novell SuSE 10.1 with an Audigy 2 and it works great!  As for Vista, I did get sound to work using the older Windows XP driver, but sound fails after a few minutes on ALL applications.  Get used to having no sound for at least six more months in Vista, perhaps even longer.


    Thank You,

    James D. McDaniel

    Austin, Texas


    Saturday, July 15, 2006 1:52 AM
  • Granted this is kind of off this thread.  However, I have an ATI All-in-Wonder 2006 Edition.  (9600 series) I installed the beta drivers from ATI and all it did was lock my system up.  So those have a bit to go before they are ready.  I reinstalled Vista doing a clean install and everything is working just fine.  Right now I'm looking for a sound card that will work with Vista.  I have a soundmax and I can't get sound to work on it.  Looking at just upgrading my sound card anyway, but need to know one that will be compatible.  Any help would be appreciated.
    Saturday, August 5, 2006 7:09 PM
  • Off thread/topic? Hardly. Sounds like you're experiencing the same growing pains as the thread's originator has been going through.

    Not sure which sound card you might want to consider, but, the smart move would be to visit their site and find out if they've got beta drivers available before buying. Unfortunately, THE biggest name in sound - Creative Labs - seems to not be willing to jump into the Beta foray and publish some drivers for Vista.

    I'd recommend the one I'm using but given it's built into the motherboard, I don't think that would quite be what you had in mind. If you CAN find an aftermarket sound card based on the Nvidia chipset - those DO have drivers. In case you do get desperate enough - I've got a Gigabyte motherboard (K8N51GMF-9) which supports 939 pin AMD processors. It also sports the Nvidia NForce4 430 chipset and there are drivers for everything - sound, lan, bus controllers, etc... available.


    Sunday, August 6, 2006 1:52 PM