Sunday, April 10, 2011


UPDATE:  I fiddled with it some more last night and now it is recording again.  Device Manager still calls it an "unknown device" that has no driver, but as long as it is recording OK I don't care!  Thanks for all the help and suggestions.

I finally had some time this weekend to do some recording.  I've planned and practiced three, yep, count 'em, 3 parody songs.  I even borrowed some gear from the church so I could get some better sound.  Now all of a sudden, my computer won't record.  The front input is just silence and the rear input yields only noise and random popping noises.

Device manager shows a yellow question mark with "unknown device on HD Audio Bus" so I tried to re-install the driver automatically.  No go.  Went to ASUS website and downloaded another copy.  It installed an audio codec successfully but barfed on the actual device driver.  So still no-go.  Output is fine, however.

Ideas?  Did some component in the audio system get cooked?  I'd had good luck with ASUS stuff going back to the mid-'90s but then one motherboard's USB system cooked (literally) and then another ASUS board started acting intermittently flaky and the shop said it had a bad capacitor.  This current one is about a year old and isn't otherwise giving me trouble so I'm not yet convinced it's an actual hardware problem.  I'm much more inclined to blame it on Windows, 'cuz, well, it's Windows.  XP with all the service packs and updates, to be more specific.

Hopefully one of ya is a tech hero that can help me out, because I know you're all just dying to hear my version of Simon & Garfunkel's Mrs. Robinson Ms. Napolitano!


  1. Oops ... if you had a Mac I would say go into your System Preferences and turn your mics on. Did you say Windows XP and one year old? Have you tested your mics?

  2. Odie - Mics are OK. Getting good signal at the mixer. Yep, XP. The motherboard was replaced about a year ago. Didn't want to mess with Win7 at the time so I kept XP.

  3. I think your woofer ate your tweeter.

  4. No help here, but I most certainly hope ya get it fixed. I wanna hear "Mrs. Napolitano."

  5. If you go to Control Panel, Sounds and Audio Devices,then click on Audio, you'll see driver choices for Sound Playback, Sound Recording and MIDI Music Playback.

    If you don't see any choices in the Window, you don't have a driver. If you added a sound card to your system, you should have a disk for the soundcard. You can re-install your drivers from the disk.

    Otherwise, if you have a choice of drivers in the Audio tab, try changing your driver.

    Should work.

  6. Infidel - Compassionate Conservatism bites me in the butt over and over again.

    Moogie - My woofer(s) eat everything in sight.

    Buck - I'm tryin'

    OG - I have choices for input and output: HD Audio Front Jack, HD Audio Rear Jack, and Microsoft Sound Mapper. I'm using the built-in sound on the motherboard. I can't find the CD, but that's why I went to ASUS and downloaded all the audio goodies for my model of motherboard. I suppose I could just disable all the on-board stuff and put a separate sound card in.

    WHT - I sound bad enough trying to sing a single song. A medley might drive listeners loco.

  7. When you go to Control Panel, Sounds and Audio Devices, what do you list in Hardware?

  8. OG - I'm at work so I don't have it in front of me, but it was something like "Unknown Device on HD Audio Bus" with a yellow question mark.

  9. XP Service Pack 3 is the likely culprit. SP 2 was great, SP 3 is broke real bad. I know this doesn't help you much, but it might explain why it's suddenly stopped working. And knowing is half the battle.

  10. Stand back about 5 feet. Squint at the sights until you're more or less on target. Squeeze off 5 rounds of double ought. Move to Pennsylvania and but a cow.
    Well, that's what I'd do.

  11. MI hit it. I won't run XP with SP3; it screwed up too much stuff.

    If you've installed that, it's bad news. I wiped the disk and did a clean reinstall of XP, then added up to and including SP2. No problems since.

    PITA, but ultimately the best way to go. Also, I wouldn't use on-board - sound cards are inexpensive, easy to install, and consume less resources.

    I use CREATIVE in my builds. They're pretty bullet-proof.

    Another thought or two: have you ever successfully done audio capture on the system? If so, query: when did you last open it up and clean it?

    Dust acts as an insulator, which overheats chips. Screws up data and eventually kills system. Do a blowout at least every 3 months or so.

  12. MAX - Yep, done audio capture as recently as a week or so ago. I'm scared to pop the lid on this thing - I think the dust bunnies are rabid. But I'll be brave one more time...

  13. In the words of Bob Dylan: It ain't me babe. I am no el teck savy, not by a looong time shot.

  14. Following the Viral Invasion of '11, I updated everything, including SP3. I had to go into Control Panel and re-set my audio drivers, but that was more frustrating than anything else. I do use Audigy for a sound card, but didn't want to rely upon a solution that required an outlay in cash. But, Max if right. The simplest solution is to add a sound card. And, while I use Audition, Audacity is a freeware version that seems to work pretty well.

    Also, if you have a bud that works at a computer service/repair store, check with him/her for a used sound card. Usually, I get mine free, or for just a coupla bucks.

  15. OG - I fiddled around with drivers a little more last night and didn't get anywhere but suddenly IT DID start to record again. Device Manager still calls it an unknown device and says there is no driver installed but I don't care anymore as long as it records.

    The XP install disc I used was already at SP3 and I haven't noted any real problems with it. Firefox burps sometimes but I think that is more of a FF issue than a WinXP issue.

    I use Audition at the church and Audacity at home. As GIMP::Photoshop and OpenOffice::MS Office, so is Audacity::Audition. Not quite as polished and the effects don't have as many fine adjustments, but still amazingly capable for $0.

  16. Being a Pennsylvanian, Six pretty much nails our way of doing it. My ancient Dell has been in the sights more than once.


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