I’ve posted about Creative’s little, shall we say, quirk whereby the digital output on the Creative X-Fi Digital I/O module never works when Windows starts even though the little check box is, indeed, checked.
Well, I just stumbled upon this little exe (3.5k!) that you can just drop into your Startup folder and will fix the digital output every time Windows starts.
Remember, that dropping a program into the Startup folder creates a link to the program and doesn’t copy the program itself. If you want to copy the program instead, drag it using the right-mouse button.
I don’t know who wrote this. I got it from a link in a forum post by a user named Blaise at 25/4/07 9:05:05 AM. I scanned it using AVG Anti-Virus which reported it as clean. I have run it myself and not hit any problems and my machine is still spyware / virus clean.
However, you download and run the program at your own risk. If you discover a problem with it, please let me know, so I can remove this link.
This is the sort of tiny little glitch that Creative should be able to sort out and issue an update for but their history of bad drivers issued tardily continues. You do wonder how many people work for Creative in the driver / software department. Surely it isn’t a one person show.
Let’s end on a positive note
The Creative X-fi sound-card is the best sounding card I’ve ever owned. The HDA Xplosion is close in default trim (it has user-replaceable op-amps, how brilliantly techy is that?) but suffered from a significant audio delay issue which made watching video (my gaming PC is also a fully-featured PVR) annoying. (Important HDA tip: buy it direct from HDA, it’s a lot cheaper than buying it from a UK online store.)
I am extremely happy with the sound quality of the X-fi. The X-fi Crystalizer effect also works remarkably well and makes everything sound better without any hint of digital processing that usually accompanies such features. In the games which support it (not many, sadly), it also has a positive effect on frame rate which is always welcome.
In short, though the software and driver support is unsatisfactory the card is great.