Knowledge Base / FAQ

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Comments about new Windows installations

If you are re-installing Windows (any version), the checklist in this document will help you to make sure that your ESI product works with the new Windows installation without problems. It helps to avoid issues that might appear with the driver installation. We assume that the ESI product you are using is compatible with the Windows version you are installing (see below), and that your computer system itself is also compatible with that Windows version. As this text is written in a more common way, the content applies to all Windows versions and all ESI products

If you use one of our PCI / PCIe audio interfaces and you are upgrading Windows on top of a previous Windows installation, please check this article.

Installing Windows

Once you are familiar with the steps, you can start with the fresh installation of Windows. If it is not too much of a hassle, it can be more simple to uninstall and remove our audio interface from your computer and only install it again later - this is a suggestion, but it is not a requirement. USB or FireWire interfaces should be disconnected and only later when installing the driver reconnected to the system.

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 by us.

This is also a requirement if you install an older Windows version or downgrade (i.e. Windows 10 to Windows 7) - the chipset and system drivers are always a requirement.

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.

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. If not, the download area, the Knowledge Base or the printed manual that came with your ESI product will contain installation instructions for the driver.

Make sure that during the installation process you are connecting the USB or FireWire interface to your computer, or that you install the PCI / PCIe audio interface before. If that has not been removed earlier, you can install the driver by removing / uninstalling the entry in the Device Manager (see above) by selecting it and then clicking on the Uninstall icon and then by letting the system search for new hardware (also an icon in the Device Manager).


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 the default audio device for playback under Windows, as explained in this article.

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