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Windows 7: Speaker Configurations change randomly in Windows 7

20 Feb 2010   #1

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
Speaker Configurations change randomly in Windows 7

Hello everyone!

I'm fresh meat and would like to say hello by dropping a question i've been wanting to ask but couldn't because no forum like this one had a section for it.

Okay, Here is my issue. It's slightly difficult to explain.

I currently use an old Creative X-Fi Xtreme Music sound card in my system. Worked wonders under XP (What didn't, honestly) and upgraded recently to Windows 7. My sound in Windows 7 works great, all speakers emit their proper sound in their proper positions and when I play games, I can hear everything like I did in XP. Someone sneaking up from behind has no clue that I can actually hear them. -.- Anyways, to my point...

The issue I have is... about...ohh say, half an hour into the game, All the speakers CHANGE POSITIONS. Usually it changes to this:

Front Left becomes Rear Right,
Center Becomes Front Left,
Front Right Becomes Center,
Rear Right Becomes Front Right
My Rear Left Makes No Sound
And Sub Becomes non-existant!

This all happens just after a quick *Pop*, and suddenly someone speaking dialogue in front of me sounds like he is behind me! The only way I have found to fix it is to open my Creative console (I use Game Mode (Entertainment proves just as problematic)), set my speaker configuration to 2.1, then set it back to 5.1 and the sound works properly again! But, wait about another half hour, *Pop*, back to messed up configuration.

I have an XP partition, works fine under it with no sound re-arrangement,
Figured It was my speakers, Bought a new set, does the same thing.
I've checked the cables: Everything is as they should be and placed correctly
Does this in OLD and NEW games, as well as iTunes and WMP.

Now, I'm not going to pretend I know everything (Else I would have solved this by now) But I know how to use my computer on a very deep level. Most issues I can solve on my own or with Forum help...But this? This...ohh dear lord is going to give me an Aneurysm!!!

Anyone with any help, it would be much appreciated.

Will be happy to provide some of my Techy brain matter to this site if we can get this issue solved.

Thanks in Advance,


My System SpecsSystem Spec

21 Feb 2010   #2

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

Bump, I really do need help with this, guys.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Feb 2010   #3

Windows 7 Home Premium

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by TildeMerand View Post
Bump, I really do need help with this, guys.
Looks like no one has had the same symptoms or experience.

Usually, when a "pop" is heard, audio hardware and audio driver have lost "touch", his can occur when a CPU spike hit's 100% and/or the bus becomes saturated. Does it always happen under heavy CPU load?

I can only offer a couple of suggestions.

Audio drivers are a background process

Under Control Panel/System/Advanced System Settings/Advanced Tab/Performance-Settings Button and one more advanced tab.. set processor scheduling to background services. You shouldn't notice any program performance change.


Also, Control Panel/Power Options/Edit Plan/Advanced... make sure min/max CPU are 100%. I don't know if this has an effect on a desktop, doesn't seem like it should but a few others have reported improved performance.

My System SpecsSystem Spec

21 Feb 2010   #4

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

Thanks, Ap, I'll give those a shot and see whats what.

Intense CPU load really isn't an issue for me considering my i7...But it's not just under load. Music and movies cause the same issue and on an i7 that's second nature.

Thanks for the assist.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Feb 2010   #5

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

Just noticed I already tried those suggestion,

Both CPU min/Max settings were already at 100% and I already had Background task checked.

it seems that I've tried so many solutions that I've forgotten what I've actually tried.

Thank you though, Ap, glad someone finally came forward with some assitance.

Any other suggestions, anyone?

My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Feb 2010   #6

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

Apologies for the Triple post but I might have to assume it's the bullcrap drivers Creative put out for Windows 7.

Regardless, help is still accepted.

Oh, Another thing, In one of my games (Far Cry 2) It NEVER happens, EVER. *Rips hair out*

At first, I assumed it doesn't use 5.1...Well, that was proven wrong pretty quick by hearing gunshots from behind me...

My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Feb 2010   #7

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

Quad post... >.<

Someone on another Forum directed me to Creative's website...

Has anyone heard of ALchemy?

He claimed use of this program with my games should stop the speakers from changing positions.

Can anyone confirm ALchemy or atleast advise me of it's uses?

My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Feb 2010   #8

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

I'm obviously talking to myself in here, but hey,

If I finally solve this, then someone else with this problem can learn from my many mistakes!

Update, ALchemy seems to be "Working"

I say that loosely as all the sound is VERY Degraded. But the positions do not change.

I'm going to muck with the settings in ALchemy and see if I can't make it tick a little better,


P.S. This is the most progress I've had in almost a Year.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Feb 2010   #9

Windows 7 Home Premium

Does Alchemy work on a per game basis?

My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Feb 2010   #10

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

Yea, it does.

I've also made it so the sound doesn't glitch. I may have found the Solution...

I'll update more with some more tests.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Speaker Configurations change randomly in Windows 7

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