Odd: Explosions, Sound Cards, DualView, Oh my…
Well, part of my ‘relaxing’ vacation was to spend some time cleaning up my PC during the down times. I swore to do almost nothing except relax, catch up on reading that has absolutely nothing to do with certifications/school work/etc, and enjoy a bit of peace and quiet. Yeah, right. Like that’d ever happen.
Anyway, my joy came in pairs today–I kicked the ‘ol feet up on the desk to start reading… and my desk shattered… well, not shattered, but broke into a couple different pieces. A few hours, and a lot of cuts and scraps on my legs from trying to catch the desk with them (SAVE THE COMPUTER!), I opened up my Dell 710 to make sure everything was still seated properly and such.
Big. BIG MISTAKE. I should just never open things–especially non-whitebox PCs that I didn’t build originally. Why? Because I begin critiquing. Yes, I’ve opened it a couple times before to pop out the memory so I could install Vista, but never really looked around. Beyond the horridly tight layout and seemingly wasted space at the front and top, it just seems… cramped. Anyway, my second goal was to remove my Creative Labs X-Fi sound card. I’m sure that this card plays like a dream on OTHER PCs, but it seems to be horribly unpredictable with the combination of 4GB RAM, Vista x64, and my NVidia video cards. Plus, I have an Intel HD Sound Card built in–that’ll work. I just play music from my iPod and Pandora. I’m not real acoustically interesting.
The card came out just fine, but, it seems turning on my Intel HD Sound Card had an odd side effect (beyond non-crackling sound)–my dualview monitor disappeared. No matter what I did, it wouldn’t detect I had a second monitor plugged in. I literally spent hours digging around, testing, trying, reinstalling drivers, and then finally formatting. No avail.
I managed to finally fix the problem with the following steps. Are they all necessary–frankly, I have no idea–but it worked. After installation, this assumes that the onboard sound is already installed and working.
- Shut down.
- Take the second video card out–make the system thing that there isn’t any chance of SLI capabilities in the system.
- Boot up into the BIOS, disable the onboard sound card.
- Continue into Windows.
- Configure dualview; first in Display Properties (of Windows/Vista) then in the nVidia Control Panel.
- Shutdown, put in the second video card.
- Boot up.
- Verify that everything is working; you’ll get a bubble pop-up that SLI is now possible, but is disabled. Good deal.
- Restart, enable the onboard sound card in the BIOS.
- Continue booting into Vista.
- You should have dual view and Intel HD sound.
Now, observations. I noticed that reenabling it didn’t just reactivate it in Windows, but created a new entry… “2 – High Definition Sound”. I didn’t check before, but I’m assuming it assigned it new interrupt addresses, memory addresses, or something.
Now to reinstall software. I’m going to give SVS a try for game software. If it works, then if this happens in the future, I can just transport the packages around–rather than reinstalling and redownloading a day’s worth of updates. Oh, and yes, it’s 3AM. *sigh*
Update: Yeah, cross off the SVS idea; it’s not supported on Vista yet. *sigh again*