Friday, January 22, 2010

Installing IDT Sigmatel Drivers

How To: Describes how to most reliably install the IDT/Sigmatel Audio Drivers in Windows 7 64-bit. You may also get a message, "The Sigmatel Audio driver must be removed." Also shows how to resolve Media Player's "no media devices found". This article is an excerpt from a longer article: Dell XPS M1530 Windows 7 Drivers.

IDT / Sigmatel STAC 92xx C-Major Audio Drivers for Windows 7 64-bit

Note: This article was originally written for a Dell XPS M1530 laptop and the recommended driver downloads may not work for your computer. Be very careful about applying these drivers to different machines. Beyond that, these steps fix several installation problems people have reported and the installation steps are solid. This indicates IDT's Setup program is somewhat flawed.

Preamble:
IDT drivers are the world's hardest drivers to find. Some versions work on some machines but not on others and there seems to be little rhyme or reason on how to tell. The company "IDT.COM" has acquired the Sigmatel brand but they refuse to support the product; instead saying to contact your OEM. The trouble is the OEM's are not supporting their older products either. Thanks to readers Rob Stumborg, and others, for helping keep up-to-date on the driver. For your specific hardware, your recommendations are welcome.

Confirm the Windows Control Panel
If you have done nothing with the audio drivers, the "Sounds" control-panel will show a "High Definition Audio Device," -- which sounds impressive, but this is the generic Microsoft driver, which is not very good; you should upgrade.

Download the Driver:

Important Note: The download links below are for the DELL XPS M1530. If you have different hardware, I *HIGHLY* recommend downloading the drivers for your specific hardware and I do not recommend these on other machines. If you choose to use these drivers, make an Image backup of the machine prior to installing. Usually, IDT drivers will report "cannot install" if it does not match the hardware -- but I have seen this crash machines.

For the Dell XPS M1530 Laptop: These drivers work perfectly:
Installation:

Follow these steps for the best results when installing IDT drivers.

1. In the Control Panel, select Device Manager, "Sound, Video and Game Controllers"

2. Other-mouse-click the existing driver (either Microsoft's, Sigmatel, or "IDT"; choose Delete.

If the old drivers were either Sigmatel or IDT, check the "Delete the driver software for this device" check box. Allow the old drivers to de-install. If prompted, do not allow the machine to reboot.

3. In Control Panel, "Programs and Features", un-install "IDT Audio" (or other IDT / Sigmatel software). If prompted, do not allow the machine to reboot.

4. Return to the downloaded IDT driver, Double-click the file and allow it to expand.

Run the setup.exe, accepting all defaults.
Reboot when prompted.


TESTING
I recommend testing the sound installation; you may find the sound-driver works superficially with simple Windows playback sounds (Beep, ding), but fails in Windows Media Player.

A. Launch the Windows Sound Control Panel.
If error messages appear and it wants to disable features, see below.

B. In the Sound Control Panel, click "Test" and confirm sounds, such as Default Beep, Windows Startup, etc. can play.

C. Launch Windows Media Player and play a ripped CD, music-CD, or other media.
Confirm it plays without error.


Problems: "No media Devices Found"

On my machine, I had problems when I upgraded from an older IDT driver to the new (I suspect upgrading from default Windows drivers will not have these problems). What I found was normal sounds (beeps, and other Windows sounds) played correctly, but Windows Media Player reported errors and showed red-x's (red x) as it attempted to play CD tracks. Also, the upper-left Play-to "device" icon may show "no media devices found."

Solution:
You may need to re-install the drivers a second time. In the Sound Control Panel, de-install the driver (using steps from above), be sure to select "Delete the Driver Software". In the Control Panel, Programs and Features (Add/Remove), uninstall any IDT or Sigmatel software.
Do not reboot.
Re-install the new IDT drivers.

Stuttering Problem:

When installing either the NVidia or ATI video drivers (which should have nothing to do with audio -- but there are conflicts), I highly recommend choosing the custom installation, installing the minimum "Drivers only"; do not install the other add-on features.

There is a reported conflict with NVidia's Power Miser (powermizer) feature and the IDT video drivers and this can cause a stuttering problem. I have not seen this problem myself and because of this I am unable to verify this content.

In any case, NVidia is aware of the problem and has fixed the issue with drivers 258.96 or newer. See NVidia's site for the latest drivers. Be sure to choose correctly between laptop and desktop versions.

Additionally, reader Ted pointed mentions this undocumented registry key, which has fixed the problem with many readers, but with the new drivers, this is not necessarily recommended.:

NVidia Registry Key:

Force NVidia's GPU to run at full power when running on AC by changing a 'PerfLevelSrc' registry key from x'3333' to x'3322'. While on battery, the GPU can still scale back.

Using Regedit, locate this DWord32 key:
\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet
\Control\Video\
{variable GUID}\0000\PerfLevelSrc

Set to x'3322' for AC/Battery mode (recommended)
Set to x'2222' to run the GPU at full power in all modes

You will find multiple GUID's. Rather than figuring out which GUID to use, it is safe to make the change in all of the GUID's (where allowed), creating the new "PrefLevelSrc" Dword-32 value. Some of the GUIDs may not let you insert the key; this is okay. *** If you install a new version of the video driver, you may have to re-examine these GUID's***. I would not bother with this unless you are experiencing the stuttering problem.

3 comments:

  1. I wish I'd found these instructions sooner!

    I was trying to install the IDT drivers, and the setup program told me to uninstall the SigmaTel drivers (of which none were listed anywhere in the device manager). So, I 'uninstalled' the audio drivers that were listed. Now I have no audio at all, and the IDT installer is still telling me to uninstall the SigmaTel drivers.

    Shambles.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I can't thank you enough for this Tim! I've been looking for a solution to Dell's pathetic drivers for almost 4 years now. I have a full-duplex sound card. Who knew?

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hi, driver link update:
    http://www.dell.com/support/drivers/us/en/04/DriverDetails/Product/inspiron-1440?driverId=7RDWC&osCode=W732&fileId=2731093490

    ReplyDelete

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