I've been working on my kids computer for months now, off and on, thanks to a classic case of good intions going VERY bad. Their computer WAS working just fine until I decided that since I was upgrading the soundcard on my Dell, that it was only fair I give them my old soundcard. BIG mistake! The SB Live I tried putting in their computer was designed specifically for Dell and created a miriad of problems. So, I decided that I would simply remove it and use System Restore, No, it was disabled for some reason. No big deal, right? WRONG! The recovery disk that came with the system wouldn't work. Ok, I can get through this, I'll just use the generic XP disk I have, they aren't online and it has SP2 on it, so no biggie. ALMOST right, it went on ok, updated the most important stuff with my internet connection, but now I have the stupis message "No Active Mixer Devices Availabe.." I've been searching these forums for days, trying every suggestion listed, still no luck. I'm assuming, but not certian it has SOMETHING to do with SP2.

PLEASE help me get the kids off my back, there are 4 of them and they're threatening mutiny and confiscating MY system!!


I assume you tried to activate the volume control for the system tray in taskbar and got that message? This is a pretty common problem then. In some cases, the Sndvol32.exe application (the mixer) doesn't install. Provided you I got you right and you tried to use the old soundcard again and there are no conflicts reported in the hardware manager, here's my suggestion:

Try a search for this Sndvol32.exe file on the disk. Last time I missed it I found it in <Windowspath>\System32\dllcache. Or just copy it from your other computer. Put it into <Windowspath>\System32. Then go to control panel -> "sounds and audio devices" and try to check "place volume in task bar" again. If this doesn't help, please describe the problem again more detailed, i.e. if you have any sound at all or if there are hardware conflicts.

Xpenetrator, I have tried all those as you had assumed and I have no sound at all, except the default beep. I do have conflicts Microsoft Kernel Acoustic Canceller (which at times shows twice, other times once) and with Microsoft Kernel GS Wavetable Synthesizer. I also show douplicates of Legacy Audio Drivers and Media Control Devices but no confilcts there. I am running onboard Realtek AC'97 Audio

Thanks for the reply and any and all suggestions

Ok, I have no clue, but a whole bunch of standard questions in my editor for you to chew on while your other computer is occupied :cheesy: . But first another one:
I found quite some users reporting that they fixed similar hair-rising problems with Realtek onboard audio just by clueless clicking on "update drivers" at the appropriate place in device manager. Did you try this?

Still no luck, tried almost everything I can think of. The kids are getting pretty restless!! I can hear them pacing outside the door. PLEASE HELP!!

Did you actually plug in the SB Live? If yes, it's possible that your mainboard has autmatically disabled your internal sound-device on your BIOS...
Worth the try to check....

We're all on your side, TinglyCourier ! :)

I learned from your introduction that you are experienced with those things and you might know more about that stuff than me - I hope you don't mind if I ask some things anyway:

A: What exact model is the audio chip? ALCx50? RTL...? Which driver package did you try? How did you check which chip you have? Tool? (They fail sometimes with audio chips) Eyes?

B: What is the exact make and model of the computer? If homebuild or rather unknown brand, what is the manufacturer and model of the mainboard?

You say you've tried almost anything. Even if your kids just tied you feet up to the ceiling lamp, try to describe what you've tried. This might help us helping you. Installing onboard sound is hell sometimes.

Thanks guys for your suggestions, first of all, PegasuZ I did check the BIOS, onboard sound is enabled, had to check that one twice. LOL. Xpenetrator, my audio chip is a Realtec AC97, checked with Belarc Advisor and phyically. Tried 3 different driver packs, including the newest drictley from their site. The computer is a Cicero made by Seanix. The motherboard is a Gigabyte model GA-8S650GXM. Hopes this helps. I truly appreciate the suggestions, I have an anxious 11 year old yapping in my ear as I type. HURRYYYYY!!!!!


Ok, thanks for the info. This way I can check if there are specific issues with that hardware. Nothing specific found. Your MoBo has an ALC650 soundchip and that one seems to be a bit picky. But everybody seems to solve his problem with newer drivers.
On the Seanix site, the latest driver for this chip is from 2003 and that one may have troubles with SP2, as you mentioned in your first posting. Did you try the driver from the old mainboard CD first? This could have been the wrong step:

You mentioned duplicated entries in the device manager. This could be from trying the several driver packages, shouldn't be there and indicates that something with the (de-)installation has gone wrong. Uninstalling one driver will not remove remainders of the other. I would have done this list now:

0. Try a uninstall of the driver from control panel. (Mainly to remove it from there, this won't help a lot)

1. While in device manager go to the top of the window and select View ---> Show hidden to make sure that all devices are shown. Delete all devices provided by the audio chip.

2. If possible, clean up registry from all references to the driver files

3. Go to Windows\inf and delete all ALC*.inf and ALC*.cat files

4. Reboot and ignore/cancel all upcoming "new hardware detected" and "have disk" -windows.

5. Back on Windows, run the latest driver (3.91) installer again.

I assume you tried this (and repeated XP installation) 20 times already, but from the symptoms you described I don't believe in a hardware issue yet. Anyway, "driver installation gone bad, redo from scratch" is a thing I know well from my audio driver experience...:) Please tell us if you tried something like this already and what happened. As long you give lifesigns, we know your kids didn't trade you for a new computer and we try to help you... :mrgreen:

Sorry guys, tried all of the above nothing worked. Starting to think the kids computer might want to meet my old friend, Mr Ball-Pien Hammer!!!

Just wait with the hammer, I believe you're a patient guy anyway ;)
We're not all done yet:

Are all duplicates in device manager gone now?

If the drivers seem to be installed correctly (?) have you checked this:
In some rare cases, the Windows Audio service doesn't start by itself. Run services.msc and see if it's running or not.

When everything fails, have you considered buying a cheap standard PCI soundcard? This would be less fun than the hammer, but save you some nerves and bucks, too. Real SB-Live cards are on sell-out and don't cost a fortune. But this doesn't mean I wanna give up. :D

Tried all of the above, my friend. Still same deal. REALLY at a loss. Thanks for all the suggestions though, keep em coming.

You're welcome. :) Unfortunately, I'm a bit at my wits' end. I wish I could have a RL look at that machine. One more thing that may affect the outcome of an installation attempt: The right order of installing the OS, SPs, hotfixes, DirectX and drivers, in all variations. Also, have you tried to get it working without SP2 and the old drivers? (It should have worked in this configuration when it came out of the box) BIOS updates? Latest chipset drivers? Have you checked if XP mapped all PCI devices to a single, shared IRQ maybe? (Even though this is supposed to work fine, sometimes it doesn't.)

Here the Google search string I use:
realtek no sound "No Active Mixer Devices Available"

Almost all hits with this string sound pretty much like your problem. There are quite some people that struggled as much as you with their Realtek ALC650 chip and they had no luck with new drivers, too. Maybe you find something sounding familiar to you that we can't know yet. Anyway, maybe you find some more suggestions there. Or more reasons to swing the hammer... :) (No, please don't!)

buy a cheap pci card ,will solve all your problems

That was what started this whole mess in the beginning. The card I tried to install wouldn't work so I removed it, had problems, tried System Restore, didn't work, tried re-installing Windows, REALLY had problems after that. Specifically this one.

Ok, problem solved! Had to do it the hard way, but it worked and my computer is still MINE!

I re-installed windows and went DIRECTLY to Device Manager to check for conflicts or any other problems. Under "Sound, Video and Game Controllers" all was fine, but the heading above was "?Other Devices" with the sub heading ?!Multimeadia Audio Controller" with the error message "Drivers Not Installed" So, without doing any updates of any sort (SP2 is already integrated on the CD unfortunately) I IMMIDEATELY installed the newest driver directly from Gigabyte to the mystery "Other Device" and did a reboot. VOILA! Sound the instant the computer logged off. (As luck shoud have it the volume was set top high so I almost got stampeded by 4 VERY excited children. So, Lesson learned, rookie mistake, I've taken my lumps, next time I'll take my time and do it right. Thanks for all the help guys. GREATLY appreciated.

Wooo-hooo!! :mrgreen: I love to hear that! TinglyCourier:1 Hardware:0 ^^ And thanks for reporting your successful solution!

Go into your Control Panel and open Folder Options, under the View tab uncheck "Hide protected operating system files (recommended)", click Apply/OK. Now go into Windows Explorer(Not Internet Explorer) and go to C:\Windows\System32\dllcache folder and open it. Locate the sndvol32.exe file right click it,choose copy. Next go to the C:\Windows\System32 folder and open it. In the right pane right click an empty area and choose Paste. Now you should have your volume icon back.

Thanks a lot to all involved in this forum
I was facing similar issue of active device after formatting the machine.
And finally i could solve it with the help of this forum
Thank you.

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