Wednesday, October 15, 2008

SoundMAX HD Audio hack - Dell OptiPlex 755

I was recently trying to record some internet radio at work using Audacity. I say trying because it would not capture the audio despite my mucking with every possible setting. There was simply no option to record "What you hear" or "Stereo Mix". These were options I was accustomed to seeing on my home machine so why were they missing? Was my work PC somehow locked down?

Countless Google searches later I came across a posting in a tech forum where someone figured out that the feature was actually still available -- it's just disabled. Most audio drivers are built to do everything. It's less expensive to have a do-it-all driver with features disabled in a config file than to design a driver from scratch with limited features. As a result, many of the commodity PCs with onboard audio have their "Stereo Mix" feature disabled. They assume you are going to steal audio streams; how nice of them.

We can change the situation. We just need to edit a config file and reboot. The process is generally the same for any AnalogDevices-based audio chipset...

1. Go to your PC manufacturers web site and download the audio driver that shipped with your machine.

2. Be careful to get the correct driver for your current OS. For example, your PC may have shipped from the manufacturer with Windows XP but maybe now it has Windows Vista. Get the correct one.

3. Save this driver and unzip the contents somewhere you'll remember.

4. Go to the folder where you unzipped the driver contents. Drill down to C:\...i386\SMAXWDM\W2K_XP or whatever the path is for your driver.

5. Look for a file called ADIHDAUD.inf and make a backup copy of it. I called mine "" so I know that it is the original file. This is insurance in case we make a mistake in our upcoming edits.

6. Open ADIHDAUD.inf in Notepad. Time to make some changes.

7. On line 303 I made a change
before: HKR,AD1983\\Disable, OutR, 1, 01
after : HKR,AD1983\\Disable, OutR, 1, 00

8. On line 304 I made a change
before: HKR,AD1983\\Disable, MonR, 1, 01
after : HKR,AD1983\\Disable, MonR, 1, 00

9. On line 352 I made a change
before: HKR,AD1984\\Disable, MonR, 1, 01
after : HKR,AD1984\\Disable, MonR, 1, 00

10. By changing that 01 to a 00 you are now going to have an install that includes the Stereo Mix feature.

11. Click Save (not Save As) to keep the edits we just made. ADIHDAUD.inf should now be updated

12. Uninstall the current SoundMAX Audio driver. When you reboot Windows will say that it found new hardware (sound card) and try to start the driver install process. Just click Cancel.

13. Install the driver you downloaded and unzipped from step 3. It's usually a setup.exe file

14. Reboot to make sure the modified install worked


Anonymous said...

please can you do a walkthrough on the SoundMAX Audio Driver v6.10.1.6480 for 32bit Windows Vista, asi can not record sterio mix. please, thankyou

James Filau said...

Go to this page and click on your PC brand name or motherboard mfr.

Search the respective site for the driver. As a test I checked the Asus motherboards link and I found the driver on their site.

The steps I posted should still apply but I must admit that I have not tried it on a Vista machine yet. Good luck.

Anonymous said...

This worked great on a Dell Optiplex 320. Line 352 was not in the inf file though. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

thanks a lot! It worked great- I couldn't find line 352 though :)

Anonymous said...

I appreciate your help! I actually had to combine your post with another to get my solution. I tagged you as a reference. It's available at Fix Dell SoundMax to Record Streaming Audio (ie what you hear) in Vista.

wasagabiker said...

This worked great for me on a Dell OptiPlex 745. Now I can put streams on a cd and listen in the car.

James Filau said...

Cool, I'm glad the post was useful.

Anonymous said...

I tried all these steps, but it didn't work. I have a Dell Optiplex 755 with the SoundMAX HD Audio onboard card with WinXp Pro SP3.

I changed line 351 HKR,AD1984...Out R,1,01 and changed the 01 to 00. This made the slider for the "Stereo Mix" appear, but I still could not record sound from my computer. I tried using Sound Forge and Audacity to record it with no luck.

The directions were a little confusing when step 13 says "install driver you downloaded" I would think it would be install driver you edited.

I have been working on this for a while, but I feel that I am close.

Thanks for the info!

James Filau said...

Anonymous June 3, 2009 5:23 PM: Try the steps hyperlinked in Ben's comments. He incorporated more details that may be of help to you. Good luck!

Anonymous said...

Hi mth042,

Ben has instructions for Vista. I have tried several different .inf changes and registry changes pertaining to the MonR and OutR.

I'm thinking that it might be a hardware issue at this point.

Thanks for the reply.

Anonymous said...

looks like dell may have fixed the issue. I downloaded the latest drivers for the soundmax hd card and it had stereo mix already enabled

David Reimer said...

Over 1 1/2 years later, and this post is still VERY helpful. Slightly different line numbers in my case, but the instructions were excellent, and fixed this annoying issue on my Dell Optiplex 745. Many thanks!

Anonymous said...

Thanks - worked for a Dell Precision T3400.
The audio driver for the sound chip (integrated on motherboard, Analog Devices) provided on the Dell web page for this computer is years old - from 2007. Nevertheless, I downloaded it, and after making the changes in the inf file (somewhat different line numbers) and installing according to instructions, the Stereo Mix tab appeared. Great!

Anonymous said...


Yup! Owner of Optiplex 745

same problem as everyone else

NO on-board recorder with SoundMax

On Windows 7 Ultimate. I downloaded


for Vista 32bit.

Same results as "David Reimer"

"Over 1 1/2 years later, and this post is still VERY helpful. Slightly different line numbers in my case, but the instructions were excellent, and fixed this annoying issue on my Dell Optiplex 745. Many thanks!"

Thank you for this helpful hint=)

Anonymous said...

Hey, Thanks a lot for this great help. I spend hours to find a solution to the problem. Eventually your suggestion did put me out of the trouble..Thanks a lot. It is people like you who takes the civilization forward so far the technological development is concerned.

Anonymous said...

What’s the file to edit for Windows 7? There is no ADIHdAud.inf file for Windows 7.

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Anonymous said...


You're a god :-)

Anonymous said...

Success with OptiPlex 745 running win 7 32bit after some struggling experimentation.

After following your instructions modifying the inf file, I uninstalled Soundmax from Add/Remove programs and had to reboot as instructed.

I ran the installation program but said no to replacing any files since they were already there, especially the modified file.

Thanks again. You are a true benefactor!