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Windows 7: Audio Driver for Dell Optiplex GX280

15 Dec 2009   #1

MenuetOS, Windows 95, Windows Vista Home Premium, Windows 7 Professional x86
 
 
Audio Driver for Dell Optiplex GX280

I recently bought a gently used Dell Optiplex GX280. It came with Ubuntu which was removed when I installed Windows 7 Professional x86. The install had its rough moments but I was finally able to complete it successfully. The problem is that I can't seem to get the sound to work; my computer keeps saying "No audio output device is installed". I am using a pair of speakers plugged into the audio jack in the back of the computer.

I tried going to the Dell website but they just said that my computer is not compatible with Windows 7. I tried the XP driver once straight from the download and a second time running it in XP compatibility mode, but neither worked.

Then I looked on Google and checked some forums. A few people had successfully used the Windows Vista driver in Vista compatibility mode, but that didn't work for me either.

Every time I try installing a driver I get the error message "Installation failed! The audio driver files do not support your computer hardware." I'm not sure what to do next, besides eschew the computer and buy a harmonica to make my own music (not polite when you're tone deaf like me ). Please help!

One extra piece of information: I haven't connected the Dell to the internet yet. All these downloads have been done on my Acer laptop running Vista, then the zipped folders are transferred via flash drive to the Windows 7 Dell. I don't think this should be a problem, though, since I have done all this successfully before for a different Dell running XP.

Thanks in advance for your help!


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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15 Dec 2009   #2

Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit
 
 

Hi Nekton,

If there are no drivers for Windows 7, you may be out of luck. However, before we give up on you lets try a few things.

1. Providing that the vista drivers you downloaded were for exactly the same hardware device, it may be possible to force the install using the legacy hardware function.
Open up device manager, right click and select install legacy hardware, the choose your vista drivers.
This is originally designed for installing hardware that is not plug and play; but may work for you.

2. If still no good, it might be possible to alter the ini file and name of the vista drivers so that Windows 7 does not recognise them as blocked drivers. Here's the steps from a previous post Leadtek Winfast TV2000XP RM Drivers ? with my TV card.

3. Lastly (and more ugly) is an external usb sound card. I bought one with headphones attached from Sony for around A$40 (actually mine was usb headphones; but I found I could unplug the headphones and attach any speakers to it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Dec 2009   #3

Windows 7 Ultimate x86-64
 
 

Download HWInfo32 and use the guide in my sig to indentify the audio driver and update it. If its Realtek you can download the manufacturer's driver.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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15 Dec 2009   #4

MenuetOS, Windows 95, Windows Vista Home Premium, Windows 7 Professional x86
 
 

TimStitt,

I tried adding legacy hardware in device manager, but it didn't work. I also tried the "troubleshoot compatibility" option, also without success.

Your second suggestion looks promising, but I doubt that the Vista driver ever even made it into the file repository. When I downloaded the driver from the internet it was a .exe file. I assume the function of running the executable is to unpack the driver's system files to FileRepository? When I open the executable in Windows 7, it doesn't get to finish its 'gyrations' before it is interrupted with the "Installation failed" error message. I checked the file repository anyway, but it didn't have any drivers that have been modified more recently than yesterday (I've just been trying to fix the audio since this morning).

My knowledge of drivers and the workings of programming is VERY limited, but is there a possibility that I could run the executable on my Vista laptop, then transfer the files in the file repository over to my Windows 7 Dell with a flash drive, then do the name change? Could that potentially do irreversible damage to my Vista laptop?

As for the sound card idea, I've got plenty of slots left and I wouldn't be adverse to installing one internally or externally. But would I still have the same problems of compatibility between my Dell and Windows 7?

I'm willing to try pretty much anything except application of solder. I don't have any personal files on that computer yet, and I can always re-install Windows 7 if something goes horribly wrong.

Thanks again for your help!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Dec 2009   #5

Windows 7 ultimate 64 bit / XP Home sp3
 
 

The only drivers available for your system are for XP Drivers & Downloads= Your graphics card is an ATI X300 PCI-e which you should be able to use the latest ATI driver for. Your sound is ADl 198x integrated Audio You can try and install the XP driver in compatibility mode. Compatibility Mode If this won't work their are other options. Fabe
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Dec 2009   #6

Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Nekton View Post
TimStitt,

I tried adding legacy hardware in device manager, but it didn't work. I also tried the "troubleshoot compatibility" option, also without success.

Your second suggestion looks promising, but I doubt that the Vista driver ever even made it into the file repository. When I downloaded the driver from the internet it was a .exe file. I assume the function of running the executable is to unpack the driver's system files to FileRepository? When I open the executable in Windows 7, it doesn't get to finish its 'gyrations' before it is interrupted with the "Installation failed" error message. I checked the file repository anyway, but it didn't have any drivers that have been modified more recently than yesterday (I've just been trying to fix the audio since this morning).

My knowledge of drivers and the workings of programming is VERY limited, but is there a possibility that I could run the executable on my Vista laptop, then transfer the files in the file repository over to my Windows 7 Dell with a flash drive, then do the name change? Could that potentially do irreversible damage to my Vista laptop?

As for the sound card idea, I've got plenty of slots left and I wouldn't be adverse to installing one internally or externally. But would I still have the same problems of compatibility between my Dell and Windows 7?

I'm willing to try pretty much anything except application of solder. I don't have any personal files on that computer yet, and I can always re-install Windows 7 if something goes horribly wrong.

Thanks again for your help!
To answer your questions:
- When I downloaded the driver from the internet it was a .exe file. - See if it will unpack with WINRAR this usually works.
- Re: Running the EXE on Vista - It probably won't install with the hardware missing; but give it a go.
- Could that potentially do irreversible damage to my Vista laptop? - Irreversible - highly unlikely. Could it mess up your sound settings? - perhaps; but you can always roll the drivers back. HOWEVER - The golden rule is play safe. There is always the chance it will mess up, so back up before you play with this one.
- I also want to highlight that changing the driver ini and renaming them has 'epic failure' potential, do this at your own risk (like you said, you can always re-install).
- re: hardware compatibility of an external sound card - Look for the Windows 7 sticker and/or ensure that you buy one that is compatible (it's a different device, so has different drivers).
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Dec 2009   #7

Windows 7, 64 bit Home SP1, Win 8.1.1 Pro 64 bit
 
 

Most of the Dell systems require Dell sound drivers to either work or work correctly. There are many posts about this on the Dell users forum. Also, as previously noted it will probably take installing a Win 7 compatible sound card to get the sound working - that is what most on the Dell users forum have reported doing.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Dec 2009   #8

Windows 8.1 Pro RTM x64
 
 

Hi Nekton,

Try this. Thank you for downloading Dell Optiplex 160 Analog Devices ADI 198x Integrated HD Audio Driver A06 - Soft-Go.Com

I know that it says Optiplex 160, but it uses the same audio chip, ADI 198x.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Dec 2009   #9

MenuetOS, Windows 95, Windows Vista Home Premium, Windows 7 Professional x86
 
 

Frostmourne,
Wow, that's a really cool application! I installed it on my Dell and got all the information that I will need for setting the computer up. Except for the sound driver. It just comes up as "unknown or none" and has no details when I click on it. It's not particularly helpful in this situation with the audio driver, but it's still a really cool app.

Dwarf,
That looks promising, but when I tried it my computer still gave me an error message: "Installation failed! The audio driver files do not support your computer hardware." I suspect it would work, but my computer won't install it. Do you suppose there is a way to force it to install?

TimStitt,
Epic Fail is my computing themesong! I did finally find out where my computer unzipped the files, but when I tried to open them in Notepad, all I got was a string of gibberish without any kind of letters that I recognize. I'm not sure I was opening the right file, mind you; I only found the "system file" and neither of the other two file types that you listed. The system file is the one that I opened. It s distinctly possible that I am doing this wrong.

thefabe,
Right you are. That is indeed my graphics card, but it's not what's giving me trouble at the moment. Trying the sound drivers in compatibility mode is the first thing I tried. No luck. Yet.

Fireberd and the rest of you helpful folks:
Drivers aren't doing the trick yet. I haven't given up, but I'm beginning to suspect that I will need to install a sound card to make Windows 7 work as it should. Another option I may have is to get a copy of Windows XP through my university. That would solve my problems, but I wouldn't get to play with Windows 7 which is why I'm doing this in the first place. Well, that and to play Portal.

I'm actually a student and this is my finals week, hence I'm not going to have much time for this until Friday afternoon. After that I plan to start looking at sound cards or XP, unless you fine folks think of something else.

Thank you all for all your help!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Dec 2009   #10

Windows 8.1 Pro RTM x64
 
 

OK. Try this. It's from the Optiplex 780, but it uses the same audio device and it's a Windows 7 driver.
Drivers & Downloads
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Audio Driver for Dell Optiplex GX280




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