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Solving your Vista sleep problems (really)
Once upon a time
I've posted before of my journeys into solving Vista sleep problems. Although using the latest nVidia drivers for the video card certainly eliminated a lot of lockups, the truth is that the problems on my Dell Precision Workstation 690 never really went away.
In my original post Fix: How-to solve your Vista sleep problems I touched the possibility that nVidia wasn't the only one having trouble writing decent drivers. If you have a sound card from Creative you probably know what I mean.

It struck me that sometimes upon booting or waking Vista from sleep (whenever that worked) there was no sound from the speakers. A quick look at the device manager didn't show anything unusual, and the volume mixer was looking normally too; yet no sound to be heard. This strange phenomena was resolved easily by rebooting, but still it remained in the back of my head.

There's always a side track
In the second post – Windows Vista sleep problems, revisited – I side-tracked towards the LSI SCSI/SAS/SATA controller. I don't think I can prove that the changes to the power plan actually solved much, since Vista still hanged every once in a while upon entering sleep modus.

The solution I stumbled upon
Since I was looking to replace the current speaker setup (two Solid Monitor speakers with a Solid Active Power Bass (now discontinued) from Bowers & Wilkins, which needs a decent amplifier and is thus more suited for Hi-Fi systems, I decided to go with the Logitech Z-10 Interactive Speaker System. I'll leave my impressions of the Logitech speakers for a future post, but for now let me just say that I'm quite pleased with both the sound and the lookds.

What's more important and of relevance to the Vista sleep problems, is that the Logitech speakers are connected via USB instead of audio jacks. Unless you want to use the surround capabilities of your Creative X-Fi card, you can actually replace your sound card with just these speakers. When you open up the playback devices, you'll see them listed amongst other sound hardware you have in your computer.

So, you may ask, that looks really nice, but what is the solution to the sleep problem then? Well you've just read it... remove the Creative Sound Blaster or X-Fi card from your system and replace with something else. The Logitech speakers are one possible option, but you can also use the built-in High Definition Audio Device that is present on many machines, you just need to enable it in your BIOS.

Anyway, I've never had a sleep hang since I removed the Creative card from my system and uninstalled its drivers and software (a whopping 1Gb!).

ps: You can probably apply the same fix by buying a sound card from a different manufacturer, but I'll be the first to admit that I have no experience with other companies. If you do, let us know if it fixed the Vista sleep problems so we can help others too!

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  Posted by oVan on Monday, May 21, 2007 | PermaLink | 11 comments
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