Sound Blaster Live 5.1 (Dell OEM) and Vista

I've been reading this board and though many Sound Blaster issues are covered on it I don't think the specific issues I am having were discussed. Pardon me if they were.
I have a Dell Dimension 4600 with the SB Live 5.1 card for Dell.  After updating my computer with a clean install of Vista Home Premium Vista did not recognize my card as a Soundblaster but as a "mulitmedia device". For a day or so I had no sound until suddenly Windows Update provided a driver for the Soundblaster 5.1, installed it and I had sound again. OK, not as good as before (no mixers, etc) but stereo sound and both my speakers and my subwoofer were functioning properly.
Then, for reasons I won't get into here, I had to completely reinstall Vista again, once again a clean install. This time, after several days of no sound, Windows update did not provide any drivers. So I installed the original drivers provided by Dell and it installed the SB card and it worked, at least until I started getting BSODs and I was forced to uninstall it.
Once again back to a "multimedia device" in Device Manager I tried every which way of getting MS to install its driver again with no luck. So this afternoon I installed drivers for xp and an update patch, both downloaded from Creative and once again the SB works, though I have disabled it to avoid more blue screens.
My questions:  Can I remove the drivers without removing the Sound Blaster card as a device in Device Manager so that Vista's Windows Update will see it as a Sound Blaster card without a driver and provide the drivers as it did during the first installation? After I installed the Creative drivers I tried, though Device Manager, updating the drivers by having Windows Update search for them and the response I got from Windows Update was that I "have the latest drivers", clearly wrong.
OK, Creative is not supporting the SB Live 5.1 in Vista and I cannot use the Kx drivers because they do not support the Dell OEM Sound Blaster. Fooling Windows update seems to be the only way I can get around buying a new sound card at this point. Anyone have any suggestions?
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3 Replies

Re: Sound Blaster Live 5.1 (Dell OEM) and Vista

Vista does need "Vista specific" drivers for some devices.  If none are available it may just be incompatible.  That sound card is "old" (as computer hardware goes). 

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Re: Sound Blaster Live 5.1 (Dell OEM) and Vista

try them drivers mate, spent hours looking for some drivers last night for Vista for same sound card
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Re: Sound Blaster Live 5.1 (Dell OEM) and Vista

Hi JD495 and friends,
May I ask a question?
I also have a Dell Dimension 4600 with BIOS version: A02
I would like to upgrade to Windows Vista as well.
May I know do I need a newer version of BIOS to use Windows Vista.
Thank you very much.
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