Onboard sound issues?


Apr 23, 2013
I've just built my first PC, and the sound has not worked at all. I don't think the system even beeps when I turn it on. I'm afraid that the motherboard was damaged somehow. Everything else seems in order... but you know, it's hard to enjoy a PC without sound. Note that I have my speakers plugged into the green "audio out" port on the back of my PC.

I've contacted Gigabyte motherboard support about it, and I have a ticket going with them, but their responses take a day or two... and I'm afraid somehow it will fall out of warranty with them even though I ordered it new from Amazon ~2 weeks ago.

So while Gigabyte support will probably be willing to help me RMA this motherboard, it could take another week or so of them asking me questions before it comes to that. I'm asking about this here in the event that I overlooked something simple.

Here's a picture of the sound settings:

Here's my build, if it matters:

CPU: Intel I7-3930k
MOBO: Gigabyte GA-X79-UP4
GFX card: GTX 680 2GB
O.S.: Win 8

Things I've tried:
* Uninstalling the driver via device manager, then restarting
* Uninstalling the driver, installing it from the Gigabyte MOBO website, restart
* Testing my external speakers on another computer (they work)
* Switching audio output (no luck)

Edit: Whenever I run sound troubleshooter programs from Microsoft, it always says that the speakers/headphone/microphone is not plugged in.



Jul 28, 2011
First I wanted to note that the audible beeping noises you're used to hearing from your computer on boot are not related to your onboard sound card. Most newer motherboards have done away with the motherboard speaker for diagnosing POST issues and replaced it with a visual display of sorts (although some do still have the interface for attaching a motherboard speaker if desired),

So, after you install the driver and open Device Manager, does it recognize that you have installed the drivers?

Have you looked at your Playback Devices under Windows sound options? Is your on-board sound card recognized there?

Its possible that your on-board sound came DOA, but I wouldn't jump to that conclusion before trying everything else first. The on-board Realtek chip on my Z77 mobo unfortunately crapped out a couple months into my purchase. Rather than disassembling my new build and returning it to the manufacturer, I picked up a cheap PCI-E sound card, which sort of sucks because it takes up a PCI-E slot I was intending to keep available for extra GPUs.



Apr 23, 2013

Thanks to Gigabyte mobo tech support, I have tried numerous things - uninstalling the NVIDIA sound driver, uninstalling the Realtec driver, rebooting, then installing the audio driver from the MOBO manufacturer's website... no luck. I've even removed the CMOS battery to reset BIOS settings. I think I might go with the cheap PCI-E sound card thing. I contacted Amazon, and they agreed to give me a very small partial refund to cover the cost of a $30 sound card - since I had ordered the motherboard recently.

So, I have to ask: Do you use Windows 8 x64? BillyMac's Amazon Review of the Asus XONAR worries me: http://www.amazon.com/ASUS-XONAR-Headphone-Audio-Card/product-reviews/B0045JHJSS/ref=cm_cr_dp_synop?ie=UTF8&showViewpoints=0&sortBy=bySubmissionDateDescending#R2TTC1411WBS01

tldr version: The card does not seem to work with Windows 8.

Here's his review:
"Let me preface by stating that I have a relatively high level of tech competence. I've been using computers regularly for almost 20 years and been putting together my own machines for almost 15 and this sound card is, without any doubt, the most frustrating piece of hardware I've ever encountered.

My computer has integrated audio which I've been using. So in preparation for installing this card I did what I should do - I went into my bios and disabled integrated audio. I then booted into safemode, uninstalled my audio drivers and ran CCleaner and Driver Sweeper to clean up. I turn off my computer, unplug everything and install the card. I boot back into windows (Windows 8 Pro, 64-bit) and run the start up for the most recent drivers that I got off the Asus website. I run it and...wait, what? It tells me to install the card before installing the drivers. Well, yeah, but the problem is the card is in my computer. I reseat the card a few times, trying out different pci slots but always the same problem. The driver program doesn't recognize the card as being plugged in the motherboard.

Technically, it was showing up in device manager but as a generic non-functioning "multimedia audio controller". I tried installing the drivers manually. It would show up as the proper device in the device manager but remained non-functioning for an unspecified reason.

In this first bout with the card I restarted my computer probably around a dozen times trying to get this card installed. Out of those dozen times it showed up properly on reboot twice. The first time I proceeded to install the drivers. They took and on reboot everything looked fine. Fine, except there was no audio at all. The second time, it showed up properly in device manager so I thought I'd see if it worked right with whatever drivers Windows 8 provided automatically for it. I start up my audio player, hit play and then BAM! Complete freeze. And that would be the last time I see that installation of Windows. Every time afterwards the computer would hang at the Windows loading screen. Well, not that big of a deal. I was looking for a reason to go back to Windows 7 anyways.

I install Windows 7 get everything loaded and updated and go to bed because it's 2am, I've been screwing around with this card for nearly 4 hours and I'm tired. Wake up the next morning and on a lark decide to put the card in and see if it makes any difference. Repeat the same preparation process (uninstall drivers, disable integrated audio, etc). Put the card in, boot up and.....card still not detected when I try to run the Asus driver program. I figure while I have it in I might as well try to install the Win 7 drivers manually. I go thru the process (it recognized the device again, like it did when I did the same thing in Win 8). I start up my media play and...glorious sound! It's working! Hallelujah! I have no idea why it worked when I did this for Win 7 but not Win 8.

But there's one final snag. Installing the drivers manually doesn't install the Xonar Audio Center. Without that software many of the functions of the card are inaccessible or diminished. And, naturally, there's no stand-alone installer for that software. So I have to run the driver program again. Fortunately, this time the card is recognized (duh! I already installed the drivers for it). I reboot and everything works.

And it works well. It blows my Realtek Alc889 integrated audio out of the water and if I was rating this device purely on the quality of the audio it produces it'd get 5 stars. Unfortunately, the time and frustration that went into getting this thing to work properly is inexcusable. I still don't know why it was so hard but if you run a 64-bit version of Windows 8 beware of this card."

Any other suggestions on a card that is Windows 8 compatible?


Dec 25, 2012
Well, the only thing I can really think of is buying a soundcard, try buying a cheap one from a local store if possible with guarantee you can take it back and test it. :??:

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