Thursday, March 1, 2007

Info Update on Dells Sound Blaster Audigy (invitation) Advanced MB "upgrade"

This post is for all the Dell customers with Windows XP and Sigmatel STAC 9200 audio who have:

  • Upgraded to or will be upgrading to Windows Vista
  • Purchased Dells integrated Sound Blaster Audigy Advanced HD audio *Software Edition*
  • Downloaded the Sound Blaster Audigy Invitation from Dell for Windows XP
  • Need "stereo mixer" (aka: What You Hear) in Windows XP with their Sigmatel 9200 audio

Note: I do not know if this applies to other Sigmatel audio codecs (chips). I am however going to look in to it.

This week, Dell made a couple of announcements which I'll boil down here:

#1) Dell customers who are Windows XP users with Sigmatel STAC 9200 codecs (chips), will find that a future Sigmatel driver update from Dell, will enable "Stereo Mixer" functionality in Windows XP. This will not require the Audigy upgrade. Dells own community forum liaison "Rollie" made the initial announcement in the Dell Community Forums. However, there is not yet a definitive date when this long expected functionality will be made available. If you absolutely require this functionality now,

#2) Lionel Menchaca from the Dell blog has announced that there will be a Windows Vista version of the Sound Blaster Audigy MB software which is also known as the "Creative Audigy Invitation" or the "integrated Sound Blaster Audigy Advanced HD audio - Software Edition." As I understand it so far, this version is currently being provided for free to only customers who meet specific requirements. This post by Lionel explains more:

Now, for Windows XP users who cannot wait for the new driver mentioned above, there are a few posts in the Dell Community Forums that may provide a "try at your own rick" solution. Many people are finding it useful until a Dell sanctioned solution is made available. Here is a link to the primary post in the thread concerning this issue: and a few key terms to further search the forum for more info and solutions would be: monitoring, stereo mix, audio ini

I'll update further details as I research and confirm them.


Anonymous said...

Bravo - I'm glad to see this issue is finally being addressed


Anonymous said...

The Sigmatel driver posted on Dell's website will install, but ONLY if you roll the BIOS back to an earlier version first.

I made this discovery by accident.

I have a Dimension E521 which shipped w/ BIOS v. 1.1.5. When I could not get the SigmaTel drivers to load, I tried switching to their most current BIOS, v.1.1.8.

Tried it again, and still no luck. Plus v1.1.8 has some other issues.

So, I looked to roll it back to 1.1.5.

Surprise! The only earlier version of the BIOS was 1.1.4. So, I rolled it back to that, and tried the Sigmatel install, which now worked.

Then, I went to see if I could go back up to 1.1.8 and still have the Sigmatel work. It does.

BUT....I have a feeling that their integrated hardware is problemmatic because I have had issues with games freezing, and I suspect that if I drop in a PCI sound card, these problems will go away.

Of course, that is another way of dealing with thr whole Sigmatel mess! said...


What version of the Sigmatel "drivers" are you installing? And, what OS are you using? Others are using updated bios on the E521 (though I would have to confirm version) without this driver conflict occuring.

I'm not saying you're wrong. But, it may be specific to your machine, or a particular production run of the mobo, codec..etc. I suggest you contact Dell (which I'm sure you will, perhaps post on and see if they can help you out. Good Luck, and please come back to let us know how it goes.


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