15 November 2009

Windows 7 and Sound Blaster Live! cards

Ran into my first problem with Windows 7 right after the initial install. No sound. Nada. Zippo. Silencio.

Turns out that Creative - the company that mfg. the soundcard - doesn't have drivers for the Sound Blaster Live! under Vista or Windows 7. Probably want you to spend money on a new soundcard instead :P

But a bit of Googling revealed the somewhat tedious workaround.

  1. Goto Creative's support website and download the WinXP driver for the Sound Blaster Live! The filename is LiveDrvUni-Pack(ENG).exe

  2. Before you run the file, right-click on it and choose "Troubleshoot compatibility." Then select "Troubleshoot program."

  3. Select "Program worked in earlier versions of Windows..." and click "Next."

  4. Select "Windows XP (SP2)" and click "Next."

  5. Select "Start the program" and click "Next."

  6. Select "Yes to save" and click "close."

Now the driver install program will successfully run, and when you restart - you should have sound. Yes, all that work because Creative got greedy and decided they'd try to force you to buy a new soundcard ;)

Update: There is also an independent project to write a WDM-type driver which supports the Live! and any, other EMU10K1 and EMU10K2-based soundcard - the kX Project. Word has it that this requires some tweaking once installed, but they do list Windows 7 as a supported OS.

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