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Dell D620/D630 SigmaTel HDA Driver Exception / Splatted


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I found the solution to the problem, why it works, when you install the audio driver via "Setup.exe", and does not work when you use directly the INF in the WDM subdir (regardless of whether you integrate it into the Windows CD or if you "just" use Device Manager to try to install the driver via the INF file and without the setup file.

I am myself shocked how stupid this problem is, SigmaTel proves to be one of the dumbest driver programmers of the world, in Germany we have a word "Pfusch" which nicely fits here.

Anyway, the driver consists of the usual SYS file, some EXE files that implement a service as well as some tools, a CPL file for the Control Panel and multiple INI file, that configure, what sound card features the notebook vendor has activated. All of these files *are* referenced in the INF file so should be installed (and are installed) to the usual directories - Windows\System32\Drivers for the sys and Windows\System32 for most of the rest stuff. Why does it not work then, i.e. what is the difference to the SETUP.EXE program?

Using a filemonitor programm you can easily see, it *additionally* copies all files of the WDM dir to a fixed path:

%PROGRAMFILES%\SigmaTel\C-Major Audio\WDM

Now check the INF again: this fixed path is actually referenced there, however it is just *used* by one key, nothing is copied via the INF file to this strange path.

Now I simply tried it out: copied the whole WDM directory to the dir above and THEN tried to install the driver using Device Manager. IT WORKED! No "cannot start" problem, no "a device is not working" error.

I wanted to verify this strange thing, because I didn't believe that any programmer can be so dumb. I uninstalled the driver, removed the above program files directory again and reinstalled the driver in Device Manager... Error. Redid the program files directory... works. I then checked SysInternals FileMon if those files there are really used by the driver when you install the INF file, and yes, they really do.

So for unattended installations in XP integrations and/or later deployment of the driver simply fill %PROGRAMFILES%\SigmaTel\C-Major Audio\WDM with the files via a batch file that you start before driver installation and everything should work fine.

Now if you see a SigmaTel programmer sometime anywhere, please give him a slap and advice him to get a different job... something that doesn't have to do with coding or maybe computers at all ;)...

Oh: if someone could verify this really dumb thing... it really sounds so dumb that I still have some doubts that some programmer *can* be *that* stupid ;)...

Edited by Lofote
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