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Windows 7: Sound Devices Have Disappeared

11 Mar 2014   #51

Windows 7 home premium 64 bit

I'm sure you can explain this... as you can see from the thumbnails, when I do as you suggest I only see 1 HD Audio Controller, yet the 2nd thumbnail shows 2 of them in device manager under system devices. And I haven't even started to drink yet..... (I feel a 3:1 vodka gimlet in my immediate future).

Attached Thumbnails
Sound Devices Have Disappeared-capture27.png  
Attached Images
Sound Devices Have Disappeared-capture25.png Sound Devices Have Disappeared-capture26.png 
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Mar 2014   #52

Desk 1: Win 7 Pro x32; Desk 2: Windows 10 x64


Still provide the information requested in last post, but fyi... after some analysis of your Device manager data, "Houston we may have a problem".

There's evidence the sigmatel Hi Def audio chip and/or its controller are mis-behaving. In any case, will explain that and next steps after you provide BIOS info and snapshot as requested in my last post
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Mar 2014   #53

Desk 1: Win 7 Pro x32; Desk 2: Windows 10 x64

Looks like we both posted at same time! just saw your info. Gotta go out to dinner now. Will explain what i see and next steps when i get back
My System SpecsSystem Spec

11 Mar 2014   #54

Desk 1: Win 7 Pro x32; Desk 2: Windows 10 x64

Re: Only one HD Controller seen when View by Connections
I believe that's what you're seeing but not sure why. Maybe because no devices are attached to it??? I’m really not sure but that’s OK. I still got to see what I wanted to know.

Re: Sigmatel audio
I went through your data as well as inspected the Sigmatel driver from Gateway. Before I explain what I see, let me quickly explain “Hardware IDs”. Every Windows device is assigned one or more hardware ids. Hardware ids are cryptic looking strings but actually contain useful data.

The Sigmatel audio chip on your machine should be reporting hwid strings that start with HDAUDIO\FUNC_01&VEN_8384. That's consistent with the Sigmatel driver. I see it checking for a hwid string that starts HDAUDIO\FUNC_01&VEN_8384. (If none found, the driver install fails). The two problems I see from your data
  1. The audio chip and its devices are not always detected (as is the case right now). The device must be detected and the hwid reported for the device and its driver to work
  2. I also see evidence of a couple times when the device was detected but it seems data bits were dropped! and the WRONG hwid reported! (I wouldn't think that possible and is the first time i've seen it. But I can provide the info if anyone else is curious about that fact to draw their own conclusion) A wrong hwid would also explains why the Sigmatel driver wouldn’t install even when your device was detected several posts back
Both your audio controllers are running the generic Windows driver (which I see 99.9% of the time so that should be ok) BUT I do see you’re running BIOS v9D.05 dated 2008. Gateway support site only lists v9D.06 dated 2010. Suggest you carefully do a BIOS update first. (make sure laptop is plugged in and doesn’t loose power during the update)

Then let's see what happens next.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Mar 2014   #55

Windows 7 home premium 64 bit

Although you came into this thread fairly late, I assume you acquainted yourself with the various changes that my sound devices have entertained over the past week or so. That being said, I would like to emphasize that I have had sound from my internal speakers several times since the thread was initiated. Those times when I did have sound the system would always 'tell me' that it was going to disappear when the shutdown process would hang for about a minute because explorer was unable to play the logoff tune. The computer would of course shut down, but the subsequent reboot would ALWAYS be soundless.

And I also assume that you know that this originally ran Vista and was successfully (and sound-fully) updated to W7 years ago.

So I have no idea where to look for a BIOS update. Do I go to Phoenix? Gateway?

I was so encouraged the other day. Now I'm ready to copy the music, pictures, documents, buy a new laptop and take a 20 pound sledgehammer to this. It's been 10 days, 55 posts and I'm seemingly no closer to a resolution than when I first posted.

Will a complete reinstall fix this, or do I opt for the sledgehammer? Or is there anything behind door number 3?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Mar 2014   #56

x64 (6.3.9600) Win8.1 Pro & soon dual boot x64 (6.1.7601) Win7_SP1 HomePrem

I don't drink, but a Vodka Gimlet sounds tasty right about now.

Post# 44 DevMgr:

Post# 51 DevMgr:

If ComputerGeek agrees, I don't want to derail anything he was trying or might try, I suggest uninstalling
AMD PCI Express (3GIO) Filter Driver and get back to the base MS pci bus. After that, post another DevMgr screen showing what driver supplies the pci bus.

If you look at the SF Diag output I copied over from Bo's BSOD thread (post# 47), pci bus is in the MSINFO. I understand that things were uninstalled, but this is a bit confusing. Nothing should have touched pci bus, in fact, anything uninstalled should have rolled it back to the MS base.

I thought you already removed AMD/ATI from your machine. Where is it coming from? The chipset download from Gateway failed to install, even manually, so that's not it.

Windows update? Device installs at reboot or scan?

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by boweasel View Post
Will a complete reinstall fix this, or do I opt for the sledgehammer? Or is there anything behind door number 3?
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Slartybart View Post
There's also a nearly sure fire fix: a clean install of Windows. I'll have to take another look at your hardware (memory mostly) to see if I would recommend x64.
If you go the reinstall route, I would recommend another gig of memory and install Win7 x64. You can run x64 with 3 gig, but it will run better with 4 gig.

The choice is yours, just let the thread know your decision. Read both of these tutorials and prepare first.
Clean Install Windows 7
Clean Reinstall - Factory OEM Windows 7

Door# 3? Already suggested before my re-install response.

10 days... 55 posts - that's nuthin'

Troubleshooting is difficult enough when working on old equipment that require old software/drivers. Not having physical access to the machine and the nature of forums increase the difficulty and time required to find a solution. Members on this side of the monitor depend on you to be the eyes and hands - if something is putting the AMD driver back in place, you should see something - a new device found, installing driver.... - or a Windows Update.

Malware is another possibility. I've never seen malware do this device driver switching though, but let's see.
I'd like you to do a quick malware scan on your system just to make sure there isn't anything lurking.
Download Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Free (click here to download, select the free version)
"Save as" the install package to your Desktop
Double click the mbam-setup file on your desktop to install and run Malwarebytes (Mbam)

Answer YES to all authorization prompts and then follow the Mbam setup prompts.
Do not make any changes to default settings.
When the install is finished, verify that only the following two options have checkmarks,
change to match if necessary.
[a] Update Malwarebytes’ Anti-Malware
[a] Launch Malwarebytes’ Anti-Malware

Make sure that there is NOT a checkmark next to:
[..] Enable free trial of Malwarebytes Anti-Malware PRO

Then click the Finish button.

Allow Mbam to update, then
Select Perform Quick Scan from the options on the Scanner tab, then
Click the Scan button.

After the scan is complete
Click on Show Results
A window displaying any detected malware is shown
Select all malware (make sure all objects are ticked [a]), then
Click on Remove Selected

The Mbam report file pops up in your text editor when Mbam has completed the removal process.

Select all of the text in the report (Ctrl+A) and paste the text in a new post on this thread.

Note   Note
If MBAM encounters a file that is difficult to remove, you are asked to restart the computer.
The restart is REQUIRED to allow Mbam to complete the removal of the malware.
Failure to restart means that the malware is still present on your machine.

You want to restart in Normal mode, not in Safe mode.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Mar 2014   #57

Windows 7 home premium 64 bit

As of right now (just about 40 minutes past noon - way too early here for a vodka gimlet),
  • I have no audio output devices installed.
  • DevMgr - under Sound, Video and Game Controllers I have one thing - Audio Device on High Definition Audio Bus
  • The only place in DevMgr where I see any reference to AMD or ATI is under System Devices - the image you show above, Post# 44 DevMgr:, is exactly how it looks now with those 8 AMD/ATI devices. Should I just uninstall all 8? Can it get any worse if I do?
  • My concerns about a reinstall are multiple - First of all, it's a pain in the butt. There's a lot of music, both iTunes and non-iTunes that has to be backed up, along with the documents and pictures and videos. Secondly, I'm no longer positive about the product key. We ordered Windows 7 for this laptop online, receiving an iso file which we downloaded and burnt, along with a product key. That key was printed out and taped to the bottom of the laptop, but it does not match the key that displays from the Belarc printout. I do not want to spend any more money on what several people have referred to as an aging laptop. Thirdly, if the sound chip itself is in some sort of death throes, a reinstall ain't gonna help. Then there's the issue of the other drivers - since I'd be wiping everything out, a non-Gateway reinstall is not even going to supply me with an Ethernet driver, so I'd have to use another computer to go to where? Gateway? Will the drivers listed under M-1629 Vista work on Windows 7? And look at all the trouble I've had with the chipset drivers - ComputerGeek tells me that I have the correct driver for that, while Slartybart gives me a chipset link that can't be installed. I dunno....
As far as malware, I was apparently remiss. Before I ever posted here I ran a full, updated MalwareBytes scan, along with an online ESET scan, SuperAntiSpyware, JRT, AdAware, TDSSKiller, ComboFix and a BitDefender scan run from a bootable disk. All were clean, other than 2 PUP entries from MBAM which I removed. I have continued to run occasional quick MalwareBytes scans since the thread(s) started and everything continues to be clean (although I really haven't used this laptop to do anything beyond reply and post here).
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Mar 2014   #58

Desk 1: Win 7 Pro x32; Desk 2: Windows 10 x64

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by boweasel View Post
So I have no idea where to look for a BIOS update. Do I go to Phoenix? Gateway

I appreciate and am sorry for your frustration. But I am following the data. Your sound has become problematic and intermittent over the last several weeks. At times your audio chip is not even detected. And on occasion when it has been detected, it seems to supplied the wrong information.

Your BIOS is clearly out of date and IMO, given all the problems/symptoms, your BIOS should be updated. (Gateway doesn't even list your current BIOS version on their website). Go to the Gateway support site for your model, select the Vista x32 OS and look for BIOS on Gateway site v9D.06 dated 2010. Download and follow their instructions.

If that doesn't help, I would have you refresh ONLY the controller for the Sigmatel chip. (But i will have to get back with instructions so you can identify which is which)

I can see all you devices in your DevMgr data. I suggest you NOT uninstall all of the other AMT system devices. The Audio device on Audio bus is the AMT HD audio for your HDMI (with the wrong name - until AMD is installed again) but I'd hold that off till we can complete testing of Sigmatel.

After BIOS update, if still needed we will attempt controller refresh again BUT ONLY the controller for Sigmatel.. I'll need to give you instruction to know which controller is which.

I appreciate @slaty's input. Uninstalling the ATI PCI express driver is another avenue but i'd prefer to first update the BIOS and then we try the controller refresh next

/* EDIT */
At some point, i hope the issue resolved and we can ALL celebrate with that vodka gimlet!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Mar 2014   #59

x64 (6.3.9600) Win8.1 Pro & soon dual boot x64 (6.1.7601) Win7_SP1 HomePrem

Thanks for the malware scan info.

Where to begin with answers?

Yes, it is my opinion that the AMD PCI Express (3GIO) Filter Driver should be uninstalled in DevMgr.
If there is a checkbox for Remove software - Tick it so the software is removed
If a dialog box prompts you to remove the software - answer YES.

Restart you machine - cancel any device driver installs.
Post a current device manager->system, hopefully showing pci bus, not AMD PCI Express (3GIO) Filter Driver
If you have the pci bus - install the GW chipset

As far as a reinstall, you have a lot of questions - good questions.
Backups are always good - your choice of course.
The product key and product id numbers will be different - only you can determine the validity
Money? I suggested, not required, one gig of memory if you elected to install x64 - again your choice.
You're correct - a dying chip will not be helped by a reinstall.

Other drivers:
  • You will need the LAN driver and yes from Gateway
I always suggest starting with the Mfrs driver downloads as a base install and working up (Vista and Win7 are close enough OSes not to worry about compatibility).
The tutorials advise downloading the Ethernet driver (you need something to connect) and letting Windows update the drivers, OEM back filling any that WU doesn't offer. The OEM could be GW or another vendor of the actual device.

As far as difference between ComputerGeek(CG) and myself - it's a difference of opinion. As I mentioned, I advise getting back to the base if there are undetermined issues - back to the MS base drivers if necessary. The GW chipset is one of these cases - you need the pci bus to install the chipset. You currently don't have the pci bus - this I'm not clear on, but your SF diag shows that it was there. The DevMgr in post# 51 shows many devices under AMD PCI Express (3GIO) Filter Driver that I believe should be under System devices.

I think I've exhausted the options I have to offer on this issue, the choice of direction is yours to make and I won't be much help with that, so I'll back out of the thread.


edit: since I've extracted myself - follow ComputerGeeks lead.
Man, do I type way too slow (23 minutes+)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Mar 2014   #60

Desk 1: Win 7 Pro x32; Desk 2: Windows 10 x64


AFTER the BIOS update, if there's still a problem: We want to identifty which Audio Controller is for Sigmatel. It has a hwid string that start's PCI\VEN_1002&DEV_4383&SUBSYS_43831002&REV_00

You can check the hwid of each controller in DevMgr right click->Properties->Details Tab. Change the pull down menu to Hardware Ids. The controller we want for Sigmatel will have a hwid that starts PCI\VEN_1002&DEV_4383
/*edit: That 4383 will distinguish it from the other controller */

That's the controller you want to uninstall then action->scan for hardware changes to see if any new audio devices appear. If a new audio device is listed, right click to see Properties->Details etc. and confirm the hwid for the new audio device is HDAUDIO\FUNC_01&VEN_8384 (to make sure it's being reported properly). If so, you can then reinstall the Sigmatel driver
My System SpecsSystem Spec

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