Update: June 2006: THE LATEST drivers from Creative appear to work perfectly with DELL OEM Audigy 2 cards. You can get the drivers here.
Update: Scroll to the bottom for a fix that has so far worked on 5 Dell PCs, including my own.
…says it has new procedures for dealing with the blogosphere. The company’s public relations department monitors blogs, looking for commentaries and complaints–and, starting about a month ago, began forwarding complaints with personally identifiable information to the customer service department so that representatives can contact dissatisfied consumers directly, said Dell spokeswoman Jennifer Davis. The move appears to have been triggered by a series of “Dell Hell” posts penned by Jarvis about his problems with a Dell computer. Jarvis first wrote about the topic in June, and continued posting updates through the summer.
“Obviously, Mr. Jarvis’ experience could’ve been handled better,” Davis said.
But I have my own grief, and I have to admit it is rare I have had problems with the Dell PCs I have owned in the past. But this time Dell seem incapable of solving the problem, or at least are unresponsive.
Yes of course I could ring tech support in Bangalore, with a quick ‘Kay sa-ha’ I would be on the pigs back, but the simple thing is I shouldn’t have to because Dell are failing to do something very simple:
…post drivers for their hardware on their own website.
Allow me to elaborate. I own a Dell Dimension 8400, 3.4Ghz, 2048Mb DDR2, 320Gb SATA, 256Mb GeForce 6800, DVD/RW…yadda yadda, with a Creative Audigy 2 ZS sound card. And I ran into a big fat problem with it this week.
Following a clean install whereby I formatted the RAID 0 array and clean installed Windows XP SP2, the Audigy 2 has failed to work. At all. And being the nerd I am, since I’ve been tinkering with everything from Atari 2600’s and Amiga’s since I was knee high to a grasshopper, I always endeavour to solve these problems myself – I always think the best way of learning how hardware or software works is by fixing the problems you come across by yourself – tech support is a very last resort, and anyway I can usually predict what troubleshooting measures they will ask me to take.
Place Audigy 2 driver CD (that I got with the computer) into the drive – begin installation:
“Setup has failed to detect a Creative Audigy 2 in your computer, please ensure it is installed – setup will now exit”
Bugger. The bloody thing is installed you stupid computer.
So begins the trouble shooting process. Ensuring the card – which was not touched or moved since wiping the hard drive 10 minutes ago, is properly plugged into its PCI slot. Yup sure is. Back to CD installation. No joy. Open computer again, move the card into a different PCI slot. Try CD again. No joy.
Maybe its the CD? Maybe its the drivers? Maybe I can get the latest ones? Maybe there’s something small I am missing. Windows XP should recognise this device, shouldn’t it? Oh yes, the Audigy 2 isn’t actually an Audigy 2, its a Dell Audigy 2.
In order to save money and time, Dell get Creative to make them lashes of sound cards, with a specific Dell chipset, so my card is not supported by Creative – and their drivers won’t work on my card. I tried. So off to the Dell website I go. Downloads, Drivers, Audio…no driver. A webpatch alright, if I have the sound card already installed. Well that’s the bloody problem isn’t it? I want to install the bleedin’ thing. And your crappy drivers aren’t bloody working. Surely it makes sense to offer the full drivers…but no.
The solution suggested there I had already tried, with no joy either.
So I asked fellow blogger Rymus, who has the same Dell sound card, to pass over some info about his. But it’s to no avail, I am stuck with a rather good sound card that won’t work, Dell don’t have place for me to download drivers, the CD doesn’t work, so….what now?
Your guess is as good as mine.