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Windows - PCI multimedia audio device (controller missing)

The sound in a computer will not work if the PCI multimedia audio device controller is not installed properly. Windows operating system-based computer systems may display error messages such as 'bad direct sound driver' if the PCI audio devices drivers are not installed. To solve the issue, the device drivers for the PCI multimedia audio device controller have to be reinstalled. If the sound card hardware device is not inserted in the slot properly, the sound card will not be recognized. If it is an onboard sound, it is set in the BIOS, and the setting for the AC97 Audio Controller must be enabled before the device drivers are installed.


This problem is usually characterised by an absence of sound under Windows and some yellow exclamation mark icon in Device Manager.

The system can also sometimes prompt you with the following errors:

"Directsound output V2.2.6 error"    
Bad direct sound driver, please install proper drivers or select another device in configuration.    
Error code: 88780078 


No mixer device is available

No audio device is installed


To remedy this, simply reinstall the drivers for the audio device. The easiest is to go to this: link and download the drivers available.

If you do not know the exact model of the sound card, just use a program like SIW, Everest or AIDA32 to give you all of the features.

If no sound card is recognized, check if:
  • The sound card is fully inserted in the slot.
  • If it is onboard sound, it is enabled in the BIOS (Set "AC 97 Audio Controller" status to "Enable")
  • Once the audio device name is known (sound card), simply download the corresponding driver, otherwise it is possible to do an automatic search for drivers. It is also possible to do so by updating XP to check out if it recognizes the sound device.
  • You can also go to the manufacturer's website to get the latest drivers.
  • Finally, reinstall the latest version of DirectX!


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