Jul 8, 2015

Windows 10 Build 10162: Audio issue detailed

After some in-depth analysis, I've found that the registry data actually does not get corrupt, but it is not updated and synchronized as it should.

When you change an audio configuration in Windows, it is applied to both the driver and the audio engine.

The bug affects this process: the driver configuration is updated but the audio engine is not.

However, if you change the bit depth keeping the same sample rate, the configuration is properly updated.

I wrote a small utility dubbed "Audio Format Utility" as a proof of concept.

It reads the stream format data from all audio render (output) devices present in your system and displays both Driver and (Audio) Engine values.

You can clearly see the configuration mismatches when audio playback is not working.

Changed from 5.1 to Stereo, no audio:

Changed from 24-bit, 44100 Hz to 24-bit, 192000 Hz, no audio:

Changed from 24-bit, 192000 Hz (above) to 16-bit, 192000 Hz. Audio output now works.

I've said before and repeat here.

Personally, I think Microsoft is screwing up this release.

It's all about making money with the Windows Store and release the unfinished OS as fast as possible.

So close to RTM, Windows 10 suffers from such annoying silly bug in its audio subsystem.

Edit: the issue was fixed in build 10166 and 10240.

Download Audio Format Utility (AudioFrmtU.zip)
CRC32: 927E2237
SHA-1: 825875D4CE90C631E6A4F41CE33DA1A38A2444FE
Mirror: Google Drive

SB X-Fi Series Support Pack 3.4

This software/driver pack is unofficial, not supported by Creative Labs.
Use it at your own risk.

Supports the following Sound Blaster X-Fi cards (based on the CA20Kx DSPs):

- Creative SB X-Fi PCI (except Xtreme Audio)
- Creative SB X-Fi PCI OEM SB077x (Dell, HP, Lenovo, Fujitsu etc)
- Creative SB X-Fi Titanium PCI-E
- Creative SB X-Fi Titanium PCI-E OEM (HP / Fujitsu)
- Creative SB X-Fi Titanium HD PCI-E
- Auzentech X-Fi Prelude 7.1
- Auzentech X-Fi Forte 7.1
- Auzentech X-Fi HomeTheater HD
- Gigabyte SB X-Fi Titanium PCI-E onboard
- Onkyo Wavio SE-300PCIE (R2)

For X-Fi Xtreme Audio PCI, click here.
For X-Fi Xtreme Audio PCI Express, a compatible pack will be released soon.

Operating Systems supported (32-bit and 64-bit editions):

- Windows 10
- Windows 8.1
- Windows 8
- Windows 7
- Windows Vista
- Windows XP

Items that will be installed, depending on the detected card: 

- Creative SB X-Fi / SB077x series driver 2.30.0004
- Creative SB X-Fi Titanium series driver 2.40.0008.0
- Creative SB X-Fi Titanium HD driver 3.00.2015
- Creative SB X-Fi Titanium OEM HP/Fujitsu 2.16.0001.63 WHQL
- Auzentech X-Fi Prelude driver 2.14.0001.28 RefCD5
- Auzentech X-Fi Forte driver 2.20.0000.34
- Auzentech X-Fi HomeTheater HD driver 2.20.0000.34
- Gigabyte SB X-Fi Titanium driver 2.16.0004.46 WHQL
- Onkyo Wavio SE-300PCIE (R2) driver 2.16.0004.42

- ALchemy 1.45.06
- Audio Control Panel 3.01.03
- AutoMode Switcher 1.01.07
- Console Launcher 2.61.55
- DDL and DTS Connect License Activation 2.00.03 (*)
- Dolby Digital Live Pack 3.03.08 (*)
- DTS Connect Pack 1.05.00 (*)
- MediaSource DVD-Audio Player 2.00.78 (32-bit Windows only)
- Remote Control System 5.00.34 (**)
- SoundFont Bank Manager 3.21.02
- THX Console 3.50.08
- Volume Panel 2.21.16

(*) Purchase and activation required for all SB X-Fi PCI and SB077x (OEM), SB X-Fi Titanium OEM HP SB0963 (Subsys_2A83103C) and Onkyo Wavio SE-300PCIE (R2). More info at http://buy.soundblaster.com.

(**) Only available for SB X-Fi PCI models, except SB0730, SB073A, SB0760 e SB077x OEM.

Fixes and improvements:

- 3.4: Official Windows 8.1 drivers for Auzentech X-Fi Forte and Auzentech X-Fi HomeTheater HD.

- 3.3 bug fix: Fixed settings not being saved for cards with official Windows 8.1 Support.

- 3.3 bug fix: Apps don't need to be RunAsAdmin anymore on Windows 10, but you still need to shutdown your system for the settings to be saved.

- 3.2 small bug fix: Only for Auzentech X-Fi Prelude and SB X-Fi Titanium OEM HP/Fujitsu cards, OpenAL redistributable was not being updated

- Fixed Windows 10 driver installation issues

- Improved setup script and install process

- Installation is now future proof

- Installation now customizable, select what you want to install.

- Updated applications and shared components.

- New integrated Post Driver Install Helper tweaks the driver without tampering certificate.

- Setup now properly detects multiple devices and aborts if more than one device is found.

- Setup now fully supports multi product installation.

- 64-bit ASIO / OpenAL support for Auzentech Prelude and 64-bit OpenAL support for all other cards (as they already support 64-bit ASIO with their official drivers).

Release Notes:


Configure all settings and shutdown Windows so that your settings will be saved.

This does not work if you disable Fast startup permanently or temporarily (by holding the Shift key while shutting down).


In order to support all of the original features of the SB X-Fi PCI cards (except the OEM SB077x models), the included driver operates in WDM mode, which may not work in some hardware configurations, specially those based on the NVIDIA nForce chipsets.

An UAA mode Support Pack will be available later.


This feature is available on all SB X-Fi PCI models, except SB0730, SB073A, SB0760 and SB077x OEM.


Filename: XFI_SupportPack_3_4.exe
File size: 118 MB 
CRC32 hash: 7FE8E485
SHA-1 hash: 4D47977F3C086A2E8F5A1A464801A19F85F83C28

New pack is out.

All files are property of Creative Technology Ltd, unless otherwise noted.

Jul 7, 2015

Windows 10 Build 10162: Working around the audio issue

Personally, I think Microsoft is screwing up this release.

It's all about making money with the Windows Store and release the unfinished OS as fast as possible.

So close to RTM, Windows 10 suffers from an annoying regression bug in its audio subsystem.

Yep, it IS a bug, and it is not related to the SMALL changes in the audio subsystem.

The default audio stream format registry data is corrupted when:

  • Speakers configuration is changed;
  • Default format is changed to a different sample rate;
  • Some audio enhancements are enabled (rarely).

As the format becomes invalid no audio is played back and Windows reports a "Failed to play test tone" error in Speakers test.

To workaround this, just play with the bit depth.

Everytime time you change the Speakers configuration or the Sample Rate (regardless of the bit depth), change the default format to a different bit depth while keeping the same sample rate.

If the current bit depth is 24-bit, change it to 16-bit, then change it back to 24-bit. Make it sure the sample rate is always the same. The other way round is also valid (16-bit -> 24-bit -> 16-bit).

When you do this, the default audio stream registry data is corrected.

If the audio is working you can change the bit depth with no harm.

Example 1 - Current format is 16-bit, 48000 Hz and you want to change it to 24-bit, 96000 Hz.

  • change to 24-bit, 96000 Hz, click on apply.
  • change to 16-bit, 96000 Hz, click on apply.
  • change to 24-bit, 96000 Hz, click on apply.

Example 2 - Illustrated guide for those not tech savvy.

  • Realtek HD Audio driver's default format is 24-bit, 44100 Hz.
  • Open the Playback devices.
  • Double-click the Speakers device (Realtek High Definition Audio).
  • Click on Advanced tab.

  • Change it to 16-bit, 44100 Hz (CD Quality):

  • Apply the change:

  • Now restore the default format back to the desired format:

  • Apply the change and click the Test button. Now it works!

Edit: the issue was fixed in build 10166 and 10240.