08-14-2009 08:57 AM - edited 08-14-2009 09:49 AM
12-STEP PROGRAM: CONEXANT AUDIO 'RECOVERY' (to latest version)
To borbelyua (and those with Conexant SmartAudio 'withdrawal' issues under Win XP 32-bit),
From what you're saying, here's the likely cause of your problem and hopefully, a solution for many:
1) It was not overwrite-installing the new driver (v126.96.36.199 XP / v188.8.131.52 Vista), released on 08/06, that took out your ThinkPad's audio; it was the prior version (v184.108.40.206 XP / v220.127.116.11 Vista), from 05/29/09--the one that
a) did not install, as distributed, for anyone,
b) rendered unattended damage when run robotically by ThinkVantage System Update,
c) destroyed the working release (v18.104.22.168 XP / v22.214.171.124 Vista) from 04/13, and
d) led to global outrage and the creation of this thread and others.
We know this is so because the new (08/06) release had not appeared on System Update when you lost sound. (The new one is not apparently in place even now.)
2) As a result, your Conexant driver installation is corrupted and the behavior of your machine is as expected. Many, many folks are in this state, or worse.
With things Conexant (and quite a few others), overwrite-installing a known good driver on top of a broken one may not fix the setup. And as we've also seen, mere removal of the offender may not be enough.
Here's what to do to recover (in this order):
Make sure you're operating with Admin privileges, then
1) Shut down any anti-virus or software firewall apps
2) Uninstall Winamp (and other like apps) with its own uninstaller (or, if necessary, with Add or Remove Programs)
4) Go to Add or Remove Programs and uninstall the Conexant SmartAudio driver listed there
6) In Windows Explorer, navigate to [C: or your system drive]\Program Files\Conexant. Rename the Conexant folder (if it's still there) to "Conexant.old" (no quotes). This will force folder re-creation upon installation and prevent file and version commingling, while preserving the original file-set
--Member EricThorniley comments on the commingling issue earlier in this thread:
7) In Windows Explorer, navigate to C:\drivers\WIN\AUDIO. Rename the AUDIO folder to "AUDIO.old" (no quotes); this is the extract-repository folder and installer launch-pad
8) Using your browser, go to Lenovo's driver site and download and save to your Desktop (or any preferred location) the new Conexant package from 08/06/09. Here's the link:
9) Double-click on the file you have just downloaded (6ea111ww.exe). It will unpack the contents to C:\drivers\AUDIO. (Do not change the default extract location; just let it proceed.)
10) Close any open apps. In Windows Explorer, navigate to C:\drivers\AUDIO and double click on Setup.exe; installation will commence and will take a few minutes
11) When the installation is complete, reboot
12) You should now have a working Conexant SmartAudio/SmartAudio II driver installation as described elsewhere in this thread. (Reinstall Winamp and similar apps at this time if you wish. And once you're sure it all works, you may delete the two folders you had renamed ".old".)
These procedures should restore audio and the two Conexant applets for 90+% of users who were rudely disrupted or silenced by the defective driver between 05/29-08/05/09. If you still have problems, either you could not/did not follow these guidelines or are hostage to other issues, such as audio-multimedia drivers/apps that are in the way; corrupted or missing basic Windows OS audio components (including the required Microsoft Hotfix, KB888111); bad registry keys; or hardware problems (rare).
Residual issues should be fixable without a R&R routine, but sleuthing may be required. For further troubleshooting support, please post system quirks, observations and comments after performing the steps in this guide.
Note: The procedures for recovering from Conexant driver issues under Vista 32-bit should be similar to those for Win XP, but navigation, filenames and locations, and versions can differ. For 64-bit systems, additional considerations may appear.
Hope these steps are useful.
08-14-2009 04:10 PM
08-14-2009 07:43 PM - edited 08-14-2009 07:45 PM
Did you uninstall Winamp, as indicated in the tutorial, before installing SmartAudio?
What Conexant file versions are in the specified locations as per this earlier post:
OK, if you have only one icon in Control Panel, this would be SmartAudio II (the BLACK icon), right? You seem to be missing the RED icon, which is SmAudio.exe.
To download and install the simple Conexant driver, SmAudio.exe, go to:
And here's the readme file for this version:
This is the Conexant driver package v126.96.36.199 (Vista) / v188.8.131.52 (XP) from 12/03/08. It installs SmAudio.exe only and I believe it was the last version of Conexant SmAudio.exe offered before the first SmartAudio II package appeared in April.
Put this in and see what you get.
For others, here's a tip:
Even though, alas, Lenovo seems not to maintain a public ftp site, authentic older versions of many drivers and utilities (and related readme files) can be obtained and downloaded from Lenovo/IBM if you know the filename. These filenames can often be derived from current readme files, or smoked out and snagged from forum post searches, or third-party driver sites (from which you might be reluctant to download the file itself).
Just append the correct filename to this string (see above example):
08-14-2009 08:24 PM - edited 09-04-2009 08:51 PM
Thanks very much for the heads up on Vista audio services (who knew?!) and the link to Nick White's (Vista Team Blog) "White Paper."
Will read it (22 pages!) and get back to you...
Certainly agree that multi-stream has limited upside. It's more a matter of technical interest given that such a feature could have been supported in XP, albeit via a different method.
08-15-2009 01:32 AM
>>Did you uninstall Winamp, as indicated in the tutorial, before installing SmartAudio?
>>OK, if you have only one icon in Control Panel, this would be SmartAudio II (the BLACK icon), right? You seem to be missing the RED icon, which is SmAudio.exe.
Yes, then run yhis black icon nothing happens.
After install v184.108.40.206, I have red icon, but sound not present.
09-07-2009 09:58 AM
I've installed the conexant release from 8/6/09 on my T400 with XP 32-bit. Things seem to be running ok, with the more-than-occassional quirk from the SAII applet (freezing equalizer graphics, etc). My 'phantom speakers' stopped working a while ago, but seem to be working again now.
I wanted to make sure that I do indeed have a working installation, and that I'm not missing out on anything. I have the black icon in my control panel, and my version number in add/remove programs seems correct. Am I up to date with everything, or are there patches and such I should be installing as well?
09-07-2009 11:25 PM
What version of the Conexant SmartAudio II driver was installed previously, and did you put in the last one or was it part of the factory image? No patches needed, but suggest you read the next post and plan to uninstall/reinstall your driver. You probably allowed the new one to overwrite-install and this can result in quirky behavior. You should not have any issues at all.
If any problems, report back.
09-07-2009 11:31 PM - edited 09-08-2009 12:30 PM
Installation File Manifest and Wrap-Up for New Conexant Driver, v220.127.116.11 (Vista) / v18.104.22.168 (XP), Released 08/06/09:
(Based on a ThinkPad T400/T500 installation running Win XP/SP2+; Win Vista will differ)
To install the new Conexant package, follow the guidelines in this post:
The following key-files manifest applies to the ThinkPad T400/T500 (and likely, the other related models, with the exception of the T400s) running WinXP/SP2+ (32-bit):
1) Add or Remove Programs -> Click on Conexant 20561 SmartAudio HD -> "Click here for support information:"
2) Start -> Settings -> Control Panel -> System -> Hardware -> Device Manager -> Sound, video and game controllers -> Conexant 20561 SmartAudio HD (Double-click (or right-click and scroll down to Properties)) -> Driver tab:
Driver v22.214.171.124 6/1/2009
Driver Details button (also within Driver tab):
Conexant File v126.96.36.199 N/A C:\Program Files\CONEXANT\CNXT_AUDIO_HDA\UIU32a.exe
Conexant File v188.8.131.52 N/A C:\WINDOWS\system32\drivers\CHAUD32.sys
("built by: WinDDK")
Conexant File v184.108.40.206 N/A C:\WINDOWS\system32\UCI32A41.dll
No change is made to the basic audio driver, SmAudio.exe (SmartAudio). This remains at v220.127.116.11.
If you have lost, damaged or uninstalled the basic driver, replace it before installing SmartAudio II. It can be downloaded from links in this post:
Start -> Settings -> Control Panel -> (RED) SmartAudio icon -> Settings tab
Codec Model CX20561
Audio Driver Version 18.104.22.168
SmartAudio Version 22.214.171.124 07/01/08 (release date from Windows Explorer -> Properties)
(As installed, SmAudio.exe lives in [System Drive:]\Program Files\Conexant\SmartAudio\.)
If you want the SmartAudio applet icon to be placed in the System Tray upon boot-up, go to Start -> Settings -> Control Panel and launch the RED icon (labeled "SmartAudio"). Click on the Settings tab and check the box marked "Display SmartAudio icon in the task bar."
4) SmartAudio II
To date, Lenovo has offered three versions of Conexant's enhanced-function driver. In this release of the package, revisions are made to the advanced-features audio driver, SmartAudio.exe (also known as SmartAudio II). This applet becomes v126.96.36.199 from v188.8.131.52 in the prior package with the broken installer. The first version of SmartAudio.exe (released 04/13/09 in package v184.108.40.206 (XP) / v220.127.116.11 (Vista) was v18.104.22.168.
(As installed, SmartAudio.exe lives in [System Drive:]\Program Files\Conexant\SAII\.)
If you want the SmartAudio II applet icon placed in the System Tray upon boot-up, go to Start -> Settings -> Control Panel and launch the BLACK icon (alas, it's also labeled "SmartAudio"). Click on the small triangle in the upper-right corner of the control center and then “Settings.” Check the box marked "Run In System Tray."
This applet should report the following information. (Click on the small triangle in the upper-right corner of the control center and then “About”):
SmartAudio II Console
Start -> Settings -> Control Panel -> (Black) SmartAudio icon -> Click on triangle, Upper Rt -> About
Codec Model CX20561
Audio Driver Version 22.214.171.124
HD Audio API Version 126.96.36.199
SmartAudio Version 188.8.131.52
This version of Conexant’s SmartAudio driver fixes a few bugs (briefly discussed in the readme.txt file available here):
Most importantly, this release installs properly and is stable in use. Still, manual installation, performed after removing any previous version, is strongly recommended.
Note that there is some evidence that this version of the Conexant driver pushes the system’s wave-audio gain well beyond the levels of earlier releases. To determine whether a system is experiencing such behavior, listen carefully to the Windows start-up sounds. Are .wav sounds distorted even when the ThinkPad’s master audio volume control is set to a modest level (say, to #8-10)? If so, double-click on the speaker icon in the System Tray and lower the Wave sound slider control to about the third hash-mark from the bottom. This mixer-output setting should prevent wave sounds from overmodulating when the ThinkPad’s speakers are in use.
To conclude, ThinkPad sound, while functional, provides no industry leadership. Although no worse than that of competitive machines, "ThinkPad Theatre" is, sadly, lo-fi. As has been commented in this thread, development of future machine generations represents the opportunity to upgrade the ThinkPad audio experience by at least an order of magnitude (and profit from demand for an optional, precision audio-subsystem). We challenge Lenovo to make this happen.
09-08-2009 12:02 PM
This all seems to work pretty well for me, except the part about the basic smart audio driver (the red one). When I install it first, and then install SAII as an upgrade, I no longer see the original red SA driver in the control panel. When I install basic SA *after* SAII, I see the red icon, but the driver revision number reported by the RED SA is old - version 5-point-something. Any ideas? Do I get access to anything with the old driver that I don't get with SAII?
09-09-2009 12:45 PM - edited 09-09-2009 12:49 PM
Where are you looking to establish the version of SmAudio.exe and what exactly is reported?
To verify installation of the basic Conexant driver (RED icon should appear in Control Panel when installed):
Browse to [System Drive:]\Program Files\Conexant\SmartAudio\.
Highlight the file SmAudio.exe.
Right-click, scroll down to, and click on, "Properties."
Click on the "Version" tab at the top of the screen. The panel will display a "File version" number for the item labeled "SmartAudio."
What version is indicated? The version number displayed should be either 184.108.40.206 or an earlier release, 220.127.116.11. (Differences are unclear; both work.)
SmAudio.exe and SmartAudio.exe (SmartAudio II) should be able to coexist with no issues.
As to your question, "Do I get access to anything with the old driver that I don't get with SAII?"
No, but our 3-month Conexant odyssey isn't really about sound anyway. It's about understanding file-management and system- and installation-behavior. While far more challenging than reliance on an "agent' like ThinkVantage System Update (TVSU), we've seen that "convenience" sometimes has a dark side. Taming a recalcitrant driver is a chance to sharpen file-management and troubleshooting skills and to influence Lenovo to design better products.