I just had a customer come back into my store with a laptop which I had replaced the hard drive and reinstalled windows XP on. He was complaining that there was no sound. When I first repaired the laptop,I did the usual by going to Gateways web site and downloading all the drivers that Gateway said I need for this computer.
Now normally I test every driver but sometimes I get in a hurry and skip some as long as they look correct in the driver management interface. After the laptop was dropped off I took another look and sure enough the audio device was listed under Sound,Video and Game controllers and there were no error icons. I then went to play the sample music and sure enough the audio driver did not work.
So next I tried to install various other drivers from the gateway site in a effort to get it working. Much to my dismay every driver which even slightly resembled my hardware was a complete failbus. I decided to get some coffee and hit google. A few cups of coffee later and a big head ache I put together the solution.
Please follow these steps exactly or it will not work:
- Install Realtek Audio Driver: Install the Realtek audio driver from here http://www.download3k.com/System-Utilities/System-Maintenance/Download-Realtek-AC-97-Drivers.html(please take note that the version number of the driver can change)
At the time I wrote this the name / version of the driver was Realtek AC’97 Drivers A4.06
- Reboot Computer: After you get that installed reboot the computer.
- Install Driver: Now the driver you need is called Doo377-002-001 from the gateway website driver download section.http://support.gateway.com/support/drivers/getFile.asp?id=20489&dscr=Audio%20Driver%20version:%126.96.36.1995&uid=252842464
They claim that this is the correct driver and it will work. That maybe but it fails on install.Install the driver anyway and let it fail. The important part is that it will be extracted to a folder called cab directly at the root of your C drive. So that would be C:\cabs. you can get to this by clicking on My Computer and selecting the C drive.
- Fail & Select Device Manager: So once that fails we are going to manually force the driver. So open up the control panel and select administrative tools. From there we want to select computer management. Then in the left pane of the computer management screen select the device manager. Scroll down till you see Sound,Video and Game controllers and expand that menu. You should see the Realtek device with a error icon.
- Highlight Realtek: Highlight the Reltek device and right click and select update driver.
- Don’t Connect To Windows Update: Select no when it asks to connect to windows update and click next.
- Select Install Location: Select “Install from a specific location” and click next.
- Select Don’t Search: Select “Don’t search. I will choose the driver to install” and click next.
- Select Compatible Hardware: On the next screen make sure you un check “Show compatible hardware”. Once you do that you should see some more choices and CONEXANT should be one of them.
- Select Conexant: Click on it and the select “Conexant AC-Link audio” on the right side and click next.
- Point To Driver File: The driver will now try to install. It may ask a few times where to find the driver. Just keep pointing it at C:\cab\D00377-002-001
- Reboot Agiain: The sound may not work immediately but if you reboot it should work.
Hope these steps are helpful to anyone in the same situation.