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Windows 7: Realtek HD Audio Driver Randomly Stopped Working and Disappeared

10 Jan 2015   #1
iahtebrandon

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 
Realtek HD Audio Driver Randomly Stopped Working and Disappeared

Realtek HD Audio Drivers randomly failed after about a month of perfect operation.
The icon for Realtek has vanished, and the audio manager is nowhere to be found in the control panel. Realtek is no longer seen in Device Manager as well. Playback Devices menu shows nothing related to Realtek like it previously did.

Now my front and back audio ports do not detect anything. Only the HDMI audio is working via my monitor speakers. All other peripherals are working fine as well (I don't have anything to test the mic ports).

I've tried uninstalling and reinstalling the drivers multiple times, from both the version given on the Realtek site and Gigabyte site. The HD Manager is still nowhere to be found.

I tried manually installing the driver to the device manager via the "Install Legacy Driver" and receive "This device cannot start. (Code 10)" as the device status. I have NVIDIA High Definition Audio also installed and working perfectly. I tried uninstalling all of my audio drivers (including the High Definition Audio Controllers in the System Devices categories) only for it to reinstall my NVIDIA drivers that I believe supply the HDMI sound.

I am under the impression that Realtek is supposed to install to both Program Files and Program Files (x86)? It is only installing to the latter every time I try to uninstall and reinstall. A search for RAVCpl64.exe yields nothing.

I am currently running Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit.

Specs for my custom build pc:
MOBO: GIGABYTE GA-Z97X-SLI LGA 1150 Intel Z97 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard

CPU: Intel Core i5-4690K Devil's Canyon Quad-Core 3.5GHz LGA 1150 Desktop Processor BX80646I54690K

RAM: Team Vulcan 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory (Yellow Heat Spreader) Model

SSD (Where OS is Installed): Intel 530 Series SSDSC2BW120A4K5 2.5" 120GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)

GPU: GIGABYTE GV-N770OC-2GD G-SYNC Support GeForce GTX 770 2GB 256-Bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 HDCP Ready WindForce 3X..

I'm beginning to suspect it's a hardware issue with my motherboard (although it might possibly be some sort of conflict), as it was working perfectly fine this morning before I shut it down. There were no updates to Windows, and I even tried a system restore just to be safe. I scanned my computer with Malwarebytes and it found nothing.

I have also checked my BIOS, it says that on-board sound is enabled.

Please help me solve my problem; I can't use my awesome headphones or speakers, and my monitor speakers sound awful I'm all out of ideas. I've gone through all the possible solutions I could find, and I am at my wit's end. Again, it's been working perfectly for about a month now since I've built it.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
.
10 Jan 2015   #2
fireberd

Windows 10 64 bit
 
 

First question what is displayed in the Device Manager, Sound Section? (All entries - post a screenshot).

HDMI sound and PC sound are separate as the HDMI sound is generated by a sound chip on the video board.

If the sound chip is working and not having a conflict, if the RealTek will not install the generic Windows installed HD Audio Driver will be used. If this is not installing either (after uninstalling the Realtek and rebooting) it does sound like a potential hardware problem.

Try this, go to the Device Manager, RIGHT click on the entry for the RealTek sound (even if it has the error code), then Left click "Uninstall" and check the box to also uninstall the drivers (if it gives you that option). Then restart the PC and watch to see if Windows detects the sound and installs the HD Audio Driver. If it does, that says the sound chip is OK. If not, either its bad or it has not been identified and you need to reinstall the Intel motherboard chipset drivers (one of the chipset functions is it identifies all the devices on the motherboard).
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Jan 2015   #3
iahtebrandon

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Thank you for the reply, I have attached screenshots of my device manager before and after uninstalling the Realtek driver. My computer is still using the monitor sound.

On a related side note, the first time I turned my computer on my speakers and headphones were both working, running through what I believe were the generic Windows drivers. Realtek can now be found in the Program Files folder, but the HD Audio Manager refuses to start when I click it from the .exe. When I restarted the computer, it went back to the monitor sound with no sight of the generic Windows Driver. One more restart and my NVIDIA GeForce icon was missing as well (it came back though with another restart).

Where would I go to find the Intel chipset for my hardware? According to the website for my motherboard, it uses a Z97 Chipset, which I can't find any drivers for on the Intel website.

Edit: I found a link for the Intel Chipset Device Software and installed it; however the only new things installed is seen is screenshot 3.


Attached Thumbnails
Realtek HD Audio Driver Randomly Stopped Working and Disappeared-untitled.png   Realtek HD Audio Driver Randomly Stopped Working and Disappeared-untitled2.png   Realtek HD Audio Driver Randomly Stopped Working and Disappeared-untitled3.png  
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

10 Jan 2015   #4
fireberd

Windows 10 64 bit
 
 

The NVIDIA Virtual Audio Device has caused some problems in the past. I would uninstall it and see if it makes any difference.

If you are using HDMI (or even have a cable plugged in) Windows will default to the HDMI audio and not the PC audio (Speakers). You must manually change the default audio playback device to the Speakers.

The gigabyte site is down (as I type this) so I can't link you to the chipset drivers, however, they are on the gigabyte installation disc that comes with the motherboard. Or you can go to www.intel.com and check for drivers by letting Intel scan your PC.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Jan 2015   #5
iahtebrandon

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Thanks for your quick replies; I really appreciate it.

I've uninstalled the NVIDIA Virtual Audio Device. Nothing has changed.

There is no Speakers option in my playback devices.

Here is another screenshot of my situation. As you can see Realtek is installed but is not detected by device manager nor does it launch through the .exe.

I tried using the Intel Driver Update Utility to automatically detect my drivers; however it only found an update for my on board graphics


Attached Thumbnails
Realtek HD Audio Driver Randomly Stopped Working and Disappeared-4.png  
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Jan 2015   #6
fireberd

Windows 10 64 bit
 
 

If you are not using the Intel graphics, you can disable the Intel Audio.
I would also temporarily disable the Life Cam.
That gets you down to only the NVIDIA HDMI Audio.

Completely uninstall the RealTek drivers, if you can to get a clean start.

Also, if you installed the Gigabyte EasyTune software uninstall it. It will cause system problems, latency, pops and clicks. I had a Gigabyte Z77 board and it came with EasyTune6 and I was having dropouts and noise in my recording studio software, and it turned out EasyTune6 was causing the problems.

However, as the generic HIgh Definition Audio is not installing that says either a conflict somewhere or a hardware problem. I would like to think its a conflict, very rare do sound chips go bad (although they can).

Double check the BIOS to verify the on-board audio is enabled. Gigabyte web site is still down and I can't get info on this board.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Jan 2015   #7
fireberd

Windows 10 64 bit
 
 

One thing I forgot, even though it said the chipset driver was up to date, reinstall it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Jan 2015   #8
iahtebrandon

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

I use Intel Audio for my TV that I sometimes use as a second monitor; however I have disabled it for troubleshooting purposes. I have also disabled LifeCam.

I have uninstalled the Realtek Drivers completely via CCleaner. There is no trace of it in my Device Manager or either of my Program Files folders.

I do not have EasyTune installed.

I have double-checked the BIOS and it says on-board audio is enabled. I have attached a picture of my BIOS for you to confirm. Also attached is a screenshot of my current situation with some relevant windows open. Sound is still only coming from the monitor after reboot.

How would I go about reinstalling the chipset driver? It's not something I've ever really tinkered with before.


Attached Thumbnails
Realtek HD Audio Driver Randomly Stopped Working and Disappeared-untitled5.png   Realtek HD Audio Driver Randomly Stopped Working and Disappeared-20150110_140345.jpg  
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Jan 2015   #9
fireberd

Windows 10 64 bit
 
 

Since the audio chip is not being detected, run the Intel INF chipset utility, Setupchipset.exe from Intel.
https://downloadcenter.intel.com/Det...eng&ProdId=816

Restart the PC after the chipset install (reinstall). If its still not detected one last thing to try. Most Gigabyte motherboards have dual BIOS. Change to the second BIOS and see if that makes any difference. If not, it would appear that there is a hardware problem with the sound chip. Contact Gigabyte about warranty service.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Jan 2015   #10
iahtebrandon

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

The chipset install did nothing. I'll try to flip the BIOS tomorrow as from my understanding I'll have to open up my rig to do so.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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