Quote: Originally Posted by alphanumeric
Sounds like a hardware failure to me. If it was software I would expect it to work in another OS and on a clean install. Disabling the onboard sound in the BIOS would normally let you use an add-in sound card. My guess is the onboard sound has failed, and its so messed up it won't disable. Open up your case and just make sure a screw or something similar didn't get dropped inside or jammed up under the motherboard. Anything else weird happening? Sometimes a bad or failing power supply can cause weird things to happen.
No other anomalous behaviors beyond the audio.
I checked out the manufacturer's diagram for the ASRock 970 Extreme3 and just as I suspected the audio codec chip is directly next to the PCIe x1 slot where I plugged in the USB 3.0 expansion card a few days ago.
Now I'm just trying to figure out if it was more likely I hit it with ESD when installing or if somehow the card (by virtue of it's horrible design) somehow corrupted the chip merely by its proximity. The first seems more plausible, but generally I'm not touching the motherboard at all when I insert cards, unless they have a lock mechanism which the PCIe x1 slot doesn't have. If the latter seems completely implausible I'll have to own full culpability and can't blame the crappy card.
Is there any chance I can damage further or even perhaps desolder the chip to eliminate the chips interference with other sound cards? Anything at all I could possibly do to get BIOS to actually disengage the chip entirely?