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Creative Audigy Drivers - Installing without the CD

Those of us lucky enough to own one of Creative's Audigy sound cards know the aural pleasure that they deliver. One downside of Creative's package is the driver installation, and the fact that the original driver CD is required in order to install drivers even at a basic level. Others will find the CD installation puts a large amount of unneeded software on their otherwise nice clean system. Come join Aaron Clegg as he shows us how to solve this problem and get your Audigy up and running... without all the added useless utilities that are never used anyway.
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Aaron Clegg
Published Tue, May 14 2002 11:00 PM CDT   |   Updated Tue, Apr 7 2020 12:25 PM CDT
Manufacturer: none

Audigy Installation - Introduction

IntroductionThose of us lucky enough to own one of Creative's Audigy sound cards know the aural pleasure that they deliver. One downside of Creative's package is the driver installation, and the fact that the original driver CD is required in order to install drivers even at a basic level. Others will find the CD installation puts a large amount of unneeded software on their otherwise nice clean system. What follows is a guide on how to install the basic card drivers without the use of the original CD. This process is tested and working under Windows XP, although I see no reason why it wouldn't also work on Windows 2000.

Audigy Installation - Step 1

Part 1 - Install the wrong driverYes I know it sounds crazy, but in order to achieve our goal we will be installing the incorrect driver for the Audigy card. Start by going into device manager, and obtaining the properties for the PCI Multimedia Audio Device.
On the Driver tab, click the update driver button and select the "Install from a list or specific location" radio button, and press next.
Then click the "Don't search. I will choose the driver to install" radio button, and press next.
Select "Sound, video and game controllers, and press next. Untick the "Show compatible hardware" box, and from the list select the Creative Soundblaster Live Series driver and press next.
This will install the Audigy as a Live! series card. It will install correctly, but you won't get any sounds at all. A restart is required at this point.

Audigy Installation - Step 2

Part 2 - Install the right driverNext, we need to download the latest Audigy upgrade driver from the Creative website. These, of course, state that they are an upgrade and that they require the original CD install, but ignore that and download the file. Once downloaded, run the file to install the Audigy drivers.
A quick reboot and your Audigy card will be in working order, without any messy additional software or the use of the original CD in any way.
The only downside is you don't get to modify your EAX settings, but it will get the card working. As I mentioned earlier, I don't see there being a problem with this process on Windows 2000 either as it also has an inbuilt Live! series driver (I haven't tested it though).

Audigy Installation - Conclusion

ConclusionIt seems that the driver update for Windows XP looks for the presence of certain driver files in the \windows\system32\drivers folder, and doesn't check the file versions. Critics of late might surmise that this process works due to the Audigy being based on the same EMU chip as the Live! series, but that hasn't been proven at all. Driver file similarities are likely due to the similar API's etc that the audigy uses. In any case, this process will get your Audigy up and working with a minimum amount of fuss, without the original CD and without not-optional apps like Playcenter!

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