Soundblaster driver issues, No sound after Windows 10 feature update.

  1. Posts : 3
    Windows 10 Pro 64

    Soundblaster driver issues, No sound after Windows 10 feature update.

    Hi All

    This is the first post I have made and hope it helps because I have had this problems for over 2 years. My Sound Blaster Z would produce no sound after Windows 10 creators and anniversary updates. I Deferred updates for 2 years but when 1709 was pushed it circumvented my deferment so I decided to give it a try before the customary Rollback of the OS to 16**.

    ***UPDATE*** Issues seem to continue with 18** feature updates. Please try to instal drivers for Soundblaster cards in SAFE MODE. This was advice from Creative and has worked for other. I am yet to try this but will have to in the future I am sure. If you do use SAFE MODE successfully please reply to post stating so for the benefit of others. If using the method below do NOT use 2017 drivers.

    To enter safe mode go to RUN and type MSCONFIG. Hit enter and select safe boot then restart PC. Alternatively got to menu and select restart whilst holding down shift. Both options work fine.

    Below is a detail process for clearing your system of Creative files and starting fresh. This works everytime for me so it will work if you are still having problems with no sound after a cold boot/start. ***END UPDATE***
    So my problem consisted of Sound Blaster Z either producing no sound with no sound signal visible in volume mixer which was often accompanied by slow video streaming or none at all. I would then reinstall drivers and would get the green bars in volume mixer but still no sound and very slow video streaming, again with no sound.

    Now when 1709 completed I had sound for the first time AFTER a shutdown and cold boot. This was without any Sound blaster software installed. The problem reoccurred when I installed the Sound Blaster Z drivers again and all the above problems reoccurred. So... now to the fix.

    First turn off windows fast boot which you can read how to do HERE. Now go into your Bios and deactivate onboard sound so that the only option for you will be the sound card. Find out how to do this by reading your Mother Board Manual or Google your boards name for videos or guides on how to do it. Onboard audio can cause conflicts with sound cards. In my case it would cause windows start up sounds to cut out or be choppy. I only discovered this AFTER disabling onboard sound in my bios. Save and exit after making the change to your bios and allow system to reboot.

    I then uninstalled all drivers and removed all creative folders and registry keys I could find. You can do this before the bios changes, it doesn't really matter but this step MUST be done before trying to install sound blaster Z drivers.
    1) C:\Program Files (x86)\Creative
    2)Have "Show Hidden folders" on to find this file easily ** C:\ProgramData\Creative
    3)C:\Users\YOUR COMPUTER NAME\AppData\Local\Creative

    Open RUN and type "regedit" and delete the Creative Tech keys.

    1) Computer\HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Creative Tech
    2) Computer\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Creative Tech

    Then restart. I also use CCleaner but you don't need to.

    Now let windows install its own driver for the Sound card. You should have sound but no control over sound blaster Z setting such as EQ as the control panel is NOT installed by windows 10 automatically. Once this process is finished install the Drivers from HERE. Some people at the time of this post were saying that SBZ_CD_L13_1_01_08 was more stable but I am using SBZ_CD_L13_1_01_10. Follow the installation instructions and go to custom and install the Controller driver and Sound drivers ONLY. They are the top 2 options. Clicking the other options produces a drop down menu and an option to not install that specific item which is shown as a red X.

    Restart system as instructed at the end of the installation process. Sound should now function properly. IF you have a problem (I have had none following the above steps) go to Device Manager - Sound, video and game controllers - Sound Blaster Audio Controller and ROLLBACK. The rollback option will only be there if you let windows install the drivers as instructed earlier. Doing this allows the control panel to be installed but gives the option to roll back the driver if you have a recurrence of the problem.

    Sorry for the long explanation but I hope it helps someone. As I said before it took me 2 years to find a fix.

    Windows 10 Windows 10 creator update creators no audio no sound not working can't hear sound blaster z creative June July 2017 Creative Sound Blaster Z 1704 1709 1809 1803 Creators update Fall Update.
      My Computer

  2. Posts : 30,167
    Windows 11 Pro x64 Version 23H2

    Thanks for posting this. I will keep for future reference.
      My Computer

  3. Posts : 4
    Windows 10

    I there I would like to confirm and say thanks that it does work. I removed the all reg files and drivers from PC. I also went a step further and cleaned C from the recent upgrade to Windows 10, by running cleanmgr. As others reported in another thread that clearing the upgrade windows folder can refresh the driver repository of old files from the previous version of windows.
    Afterwards I downloaded the latest Soundblaster ZX driver. And only installed the Control and Sound Driver. Then after reboot audio returned to my headphones and mic, plus my 5.1 sound system works under SPDIF.I am running windows 10 1809, I will pass this on to anyone else that is having the same issues. Cheers mate.
      My Computers

  4. Posts : 1,937
    Windows 7 Home Premium x64

    see if that workaround still applies to the upcoming 1903 release. might be needed for the older "sound blaster z" series

    creative has recently released updated sound blaster x-fi drivers that are compatible with 1903/19H1. can't say the same thing for the "sound blaster z"
      My Computers

  5. Posts : 285
    win 7 8 10

    could you post a link to drivers I couldnt find on creative site
      My Computer

  6. Posts : 22
    Windows 10 Pro 64bit

    This just saved me launching a KatanaX soundbar out the window and buying new speakers. Thanks a lot
      My Computer

  7. Posts : 1,937
    Windows 7 Home Premium x64

    pigpenz said:
    could you post a link to drivers I couldnt find on creative site
    ah Creative Labs has finally posted updated drivers for the Sound Blaster Z series in late October 2019.
    they should work for both "Z" and "Zx" series

    for the "ZxR" series, go here, which were released near the end of September 2019.

    these new drivers for Z, Zx & ZxR are compatible with Win10 v1903/v1909

    better late than never for Creative I suppose
      My Computers

  8. Posts : 1
    Windows 10


    I registered a new account just to thank you @Kuniyosh

    I was losing my mind! The guys at Creative were of no help.
    I can confirm this issue is well and alive in 2023 and this is a working solution.
      My Computer


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