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Windows 7: S/PDIF Optical out - No sound from receiver (onboard and sound card)

11 Feb 2012   #1

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
S/PDIF Optical out - No sound from receiver (onboard and sound card)

I've got an Asus Crosshair V Formula motherboard that I couldn't get any sound on my Onkyo HT-R550 receiver via the onboard optical output (Win 7 Ultimate 64 bit OS) I was planning on getting a nicer sound card anyway, so I bought the Asus Xonar Essence ST.

Installed that sound card but alas, I still have the same problem.

Speaker and headphone outputs work, but no signal is recognized by the receiver via the S/PDIF. I know that the cable and receiver are fine, I still have my previous computer which is running Win XP and it has been sending audio via the same cable to the same receiver for years. It still works if I hook it up. It has an Asus M2N-SLI Deluxe motherboard and an HT Omega Striker 7.1 audio card. Both the onboard and sound card optical output work with the optical out to the receiver.

With my current computer the Win 7 "Sound" window displays signal on the audio meter when I play audio or when I use the "Test" function. But no signal is recognized by the receiver. I've tried every format and sample rate. I've uninstalled all drivers and reinstalled. I've used DH Driver Cleaner to sweep out all previous existing audio drivers. I've also had the onboard disabled since I originally installed the card. I've tried everything I can think of and manipulated all the settings in the Xonar Essence ST Audio Center software that are relevant. I think I've tried everything, but I'm hoping I'm wrong. I've submitted this to Asus technical, but it's been 5 days with no response, so I figured I post it here.

I've Googled the heck out of this for the last week and haven't found anyone with the same problem, or at least, none of the solutions were effective for me. This really should not be this difficult. It was practically "Plug & Play" with my previous computer. I'm strongly suspecting a Windows 7 issue, but I have no way to verify that currently. For what it's worth I'm using the only driver available that I'm aware of: Xonar driver

Anyone with any suggestions or ideas? I'd greatly appreciate it.

My System SpecsSystem Spec

12 Feb 2012   #2

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

although the xonar panel will control almost all functions for that, make sure that windows has it's default audio device set to the spdif card you want. If it's set to speakers HD AUDIO (hd audio being one of the cards you want) will only output through analog. Control Panel>hardware and sound>sound. Select the card that you want and make sure u select one of the options that also says spdif. Click set default, apply and it should work. Sorry if you have already tried this. But it's the first thing that comes to mind right now.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Feb 2012   #3

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
Keep the suggestions coming!

Thanks for the response, Vaseer. I'm glad that at least this forum has had someone reply to my issue.
I have toggled default in Windows: Control Panel>hardware and sound>sound
But to no avail. It displays a signal in the meter, as if a signal is being transmitted, but the receiver does not respond. I pray for the telltale "Click" that the receiver makes when a signal comes through, but so far, no cigar.
I only have two options in the Sound panel, my "Speakers" and the SPDIF passthrough via my sound card. The latter is the one I'm having problems with of course.

Thanks again for the input, and no suggestion is too simple. Anything anybody can propose is more than welcome. I'm always hopeful that it's something simple that I've just overlooked or am unaware of.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

12 Feb 2012   #4

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

ok, is the spdif coaxial or tos? Ok, usually when i was experiencing this kind of issues, where there seemed to be no ressolution i performed a reinstall of win. I know it may not be what you are looking for, or may not be easy for you if there is smth to back-up from drive C:, but since there were previous driversin the system, susch as the onboard and all, it may be that the installation is simply corrupted.
Also check your bios settings, uninstall the new dedicated soundcard, and first try to make the onboard spdif work. That way you can at least be sure it's not incompatibility with the receiver, or windows...
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Feb 2012   #5

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

It's tos.
I was trying to avoid a Win 7 reinstall, but ultimately if I don't find any other way I will do that. I'll give this a few more days and see if Asus ever gets back to me.

The fact that I couldn't get the onboard to work before I even got the dedicated sound card is telling me that I've got a Windows issue. There is also the fact that the "Test" function of the Control Panel->Sound has never worked with either onboard or card. That to me means that the issue is much more basic and points to Windows or a driver issue.

Thanks for the suggestions, I'll let you know of any developments.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Feb 2012   #6

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

Well, there is a way to test and see if it's windows or incompatibility. Though my guess is also that it's windows.
Go to this GeeXboX and download the software. Follow the instructions on the site, and you will be able to create a bootable cd/dvd/usb flash with it. It's a linux based multimedia player that is ment to work out of the box. No install needed, noformats, and most importantly, it will not touch your windows install. Boot it up and give it a go. That should work with digital out as it does not rely at all on windows drivers, it uses linux kernel and alsa for sound module. You can also try Downloads | XBMC . It's similar to geexbox and does the same thing. Geexbox goes for all auto, while xbmc alows you a more complex aproach on configuring the output yourself. It's the one way i see, without re-installing windows. Hope this helps.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Feb 2012   #7

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

Thanks again, Vaseer.
I was unaware of this option, it's a great idea.
I've booted into GeeXboX but haven't messed around a whole lot yet. I couldn't get any sound from even my analog output to speakers when I tried it, but I saw some information on the webpage regarding forcing dedicated sound card use that I may have to look into.
I'll let you know how it goes when I get some time.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Feb 2012   #8

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

GeeXbox wasn't giving me sound from any output selection, even those that work in Windows.
So I decided to try XBMC. I downloaded the Windows release just to get a feel for it. It looks about identical to GeeXbox, but did display different options for audio outputs.
So I used UNetbootin to copy the XBMCLive to a USB drive and then installed it to an external HD.
Now it won't recognize the default "xbmc" username and password. Google searches tell me that I'm not the only one with this problem.
Easiest suggestion presented is: "reinstall it". But now the installation won't pass the "mount CD" step, and I am failing to understand why because I was able to install previously from the USB drive...
I really don't care to learn Linux just to test my S/PDIF output outside of Windows, it seems like overkill.

I am able to use the "xbmc" username and password if choosing the XMBCLive option in the UNetbootin menu when booting directly from the USB drive, but I am then immediately exited to the arcane "Xbmc@xbmclive:~$" prompt.
Is there a command I can use at this prompt to launch the program and get to the GUI where I can use my English language skills to navigate?
Apologies for my level of inexperience with the Ubuntu OS, but I just want to get into the program to see what I can do.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Feb 2012   #9

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

I'm not sure if it's based on Ubuntu, but 'startx' or 'start x' would start the x server normally. That should power it up. I'm not an expert on those media center's though. Would recommend theyr forums. Though if you are not willing to mess arround with it and try it, the only other option that remains IMO is to reinstall windows. Sorry i couldn't be of more help mate. If anything comes to mind though i'll reply.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Feb 2012   #10

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

Thanks for the reply, Vaseer.

It is based on Ubuntu, 10.04 is the version I have. The "startx" command was correct, unfortunately it yielded a "Fatal error" related to the inability to detect an Nvidia device.

I will most likely dive into a Win 7 reinstall this weekend when I have time to properly backup. I will post the results of my endeavor good or bad.

I really appreciate the responses, out of three threads I have going on this problem, you're the only person who has responded. That says a lot, especially considering one of my posts is a technical inquiry to Asus themselves. I am not impressed with their complete lack of attention to my problem.

I'll be crossing my fingers during the reinstall!
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 S/PDIF Optical out - No sound from receiver (onboard and sound card)

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