Comments about Upgrade with a new Windows Version
When installing a new Windows version, there are sometimes complications when
detecting the audio hardware, which might result in our PCI / PCIe audio interfaces
not or only partially working. A common example would be the upgrade from Windows
7 or Windows 8.1 to Windows 10, yet even upgrading from Windows Vista to Windows
7, some common issues should be checked.
There are two possibilites to install a new version of Windows:
- A complete new installation, without taking over data and drivers.
- An upgrade installation, where Windows is attempting to take over all data
As long as you have the possibility to choose, it is recommended to choose
the first option. In this article, we are providing
some comments to make sure our audio interfaces work without issues when making
a fresh Windows installation.
However, in most cases you will prefer the second option in order to avoid
loosing data and to keep all installed software applications. This article describes
what you should check and might encounter when you are using one of our PCI
/ PCIe interfaces in such a scenario.
Upgrade of Windows
After you familarized yourself with the steps, you can perform the actual upgrade
to the new Windows version.
Installation of the chipset / system drivers
After the Windows installation, visit the website of your PC manufacturer and/or
the website for the mainboard that is installed in your PC and find there the
latest chipset and system drivers for your computer and mainboard for the Windows
version you have installed. In many cases this will be one combined download
package with all drivers included, however in some cases it can be separate
driver and download packages that are each required. Each manufacturer of the
used components provides information about it. These drivers are required, including
drivers for an onboard audio hardware if available (which
does not need to be disabled).
Background: the mainboard in your computer contains several components such
as a PCI/PCIe controller that communicates between the CPU and the PCI/PCIe
accessories. Also a USB controller that communicates with USB devices is integrated.
As your ESI product, these components also need drivers for Windows to make
use of them. Yet alone due to performance and compatibility reasons, it is required
that these drivers are matching for the Windows version you are using. Microsoft
includes basic drivers for many components with Windows, however the manufacturers
of those are updating these drivers regularily.
More than half of all problems we get reported in our tech support after new
Windows installations are caused by missing or outdated chipset drivers. Without
the chipset drivers you can run into performance problems (like drop outs when
recording or playing audio), the system could be a bit slow and in some cases
it might even be impossible to install additional drivers such as the ones offered
Check Device Manager
To verify everything is OK, it is recommended to look into the device manager
(Control Panel > System > Device Manager). You should not see any
unknown devices there and no devices that are shown with a question or exclamation
mark (with the exception of a possible PCI / PCIe audio interface from us when
you did not remove it from your PC before installing Windows). If there are
any unknown devices, it is required hat you install the drivers for it first,
before you install the driver for your ESI product.
If your ESI product is not listed there, it could indicate a problem with the
chipset drivers (see above) or the hardware is not recognized as a component
in your system, which usually means that it mechanically is not installed properly
in the mainboard slot or that it might have been removed temporarily during
the Windows upgrade.
Download of the latest driver
Make sure that you are using the latest driver for your ESI product. Go to
the download area on our site and
choose the product and your Windows version. Check if there is actually a driver
for your Windows version, even though in many cases it is actually possible
to install drivers from previous Windows versions (i.e. many of our Windows
8.1 compatible drivers work without issues also under Windows 10). If you are
not sure, check our Knowledge Base for
information about your product and the Windows version and / or contact
our technical support.
Installation of the hardware und driver
After the download, the ZIP file has to be unzipped.
The ZIP file contains usually an installation program that has to be launched.
Then follow the instructions on screen. The program prepares your system for
the installation of the driver, which will happen later (at least when rebooting
If you install a driver version without an installation program, the download
page, our Knowledge Base or the printed manual for your product will contain
Please note that even when Windows took over an existing driver from the previous
Windows installation, we strongly recommend to install the latest version.
What needs to be done, when the hardware is not detected?
In most cases, after the installation (see above) and a reboot (see below),
the audio hardware is available for usage. If that does not happen, check these
- It is sometimes possible that a simple reboot of the system is required,
Windows will then detect the hardware and install the drivers automatically.
- You can force Windows to detect the new hardware in the Device Manager
by uninstalling / deleting the corresponding enties and then reboot the system.
- Alternatively, you can use the Update Driver function (right mouse
click on the entry in Device Manager). If Windows then asks you to
select a device, always select the entry with the term Controller,
never with Audio in it.
- When steps 2 and 3 are not helping, remove the entries in Device Manager,
then start the installation program for the driver again and after that reboot
- If step 4 does not work, it might be needed that the hardware has to be
removed from the PC. Launch the installation program for the driver again
and once completed, shut your PC. Remove the hardware and start the PC. Once
the system has booted, shut it down again and turn it off. Then you install
the hardware into the PC again (if available you can also use a different
PCI or PCIe slot). Now the driver will finally be installed.
- If this also does not work, make sure one more time that the chipset drivers
are up to date (see above) and then repeat steps 1 - 5.
If none of this helps, contact
our technical support. There might be a hardware problem then.
After the installation of the driver it is always rcommended to reboot your
system manually, even if Windows does not prompt you to do it.
It can in some cases be a good idea to change thhe default audio device for
playback under Windows, as explained in this article.