[SOLVED] 'Alienware Audio' missing, RealTek HD Audio Driver issue

lawrencejkparsons

Prominent
Feb 3, 2018
11
0
520
Hi everyone,

I was having some issues with sound on my computer – there was sound, but it was tinny, flat, etc. This issue had been around for a little while, but normally I could just flick my headphones a bit to the left or right and it would work correctly. However, this morning, the sound had that same effect and wiggling it around in the audio jack didn’t seem to work.

I know that in the past I’ve been able to correct tinny sound through one setting or another, so I opened Alienware Audio (I have an Alienware Aurora R4, which I believe has this as the equivalent for Realtek HD Audio Manager). Here there was a series of presets under ‘MaxxAudio’. Even though it wasn’t perfect, the sound was a hell of a lot better when using the ‘Music’, ‘Movie’, or ‘Gaming’ preset for the MaxxAudio in the Alienware Audio Manager than it was when I just plugged my earphones in.

Still, the sound wasn’t as good as it should be, so I thought reinstalling my audio drivers would work. I’ve reinstalled drivers many times before and thought I knew enough/it was simple enough that I wouldn’t mess it up, so I didn’t create a restore point. First mistake, I know. I deleted all the audio drivers from device manager, then restarted, ‘scanned for hardware changes’, and let windows re-acquire the drivers. However, it seems there was some problem here.

Normally when I plug in headphones, I get a popup asking what I just plugged in. That didn’t come up. In Alienware Audio, many of the settings were also not available. The presets for MaxxAudio (such as music, movies, gaming, voice) were gone. Additionally, I’m unable to turn on ‘MaxxSpace’, which also increases the audio quality. It says that this is only available for headphone (which I am using). I tried a bunch of different things to 'fix it' (detailed below) and the result is now that my tinny sound issue still persists, but the Alienware Audio manager is missing and with it the EQ options that let me improve sound somewhat.

Regarding the original issue of tinny sound, I’m now thinking that it’s likely an issue with the physical jack, which I won’t be able to fix without physically replacing it. At this stage I’d just like to get everything how it was before I deleted the drivers, but for the life of me I can’t figure out what I’m doing so wrong.

I have tried:
  • Manually deleting drivers through device manager and letting windows reinstall
  • Removing drivers with DDU and reinstalling with this (Install unable to complete. Error code: -0001)
  • removing drivers with DDU and automatically updating drivers with Driver Booster
  • removing drivers with DDU and automatically updating drivers with Driver Easy
  • removing drivers with DDU and using the driver installer executable directly from the Dell website
  • removing drivers with DDU and using the driver installer executable directly from the RealTek website
I would love if someone could point out to me where I am going wrong here. I don’t think I left anything out here, but the next time I try to update the drivers I will log exactly what I did at every stage, including every single button pressed and screenshots where appropriate, to make sure there’s nothing important I could be leaving out.
 

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