ES1946 Driver

July 21, 2011 at 13:50:39
Specs: Windows 7
I recently had to do a Windows reinstall (WFW311) on my dos gaming box, and am having a bit of an issue with the sound card. I couldn't find the original driver I used, so I did a google search for the model number on the card, ES1946S, and came across a few results, and after trying numerous drivers I keep having the same issue. The driver installs fine, and shows up under "Drivers" in the control panel, but the setup button is disabled, sounds are disabled (greyed out), and the Wave Mapper and MIDI Mapper control panel items don't appear. The card worked fine earlier, so I'm sure it's a driver issue, I just can't figure out whats causing it. The card is detected in the machine, as shown by Compaq's PNP program, and the dos driver seems to load fine on boot, it's just the windows side.

This is what the chip says:
ESS Solo-1E
ES1946S H060

Any ideas, or am I just missing something?


See More: ES1946 Driver

Report •

July 21, 2011 at 14:36:31
What are the settings for the card? Usually the settings are Port=220 IRQ=5 DMA=1; this is what sound blaster compatibles use. MIDI can vary, but in most soundblaster setups it is port 330.

Another idea would be to look for a package for the es1868f driver and try that. The 1868f is a versatile driver in the ESS family and might just work.

Another idea is to try another slot. If there is a bus conflict from using the current slot, that could be the cause. But since it is a Compaq, I think most of their stuff is integrated. If it is freestanding, I would try that. If a card is not sitting properly, it can show up on a PNP list, but not work.

It could be a bad card. Cards don't live forever and can die like any other component. Lots of seemingly harmless stuff can do them in. So a test on another machine if available can save your sanity.

I wish I could offer more troubleshooting tips, but I have only come across the ESS 1868F - of which I have 2.

Report •

July 23, 2011 at 11:26:21
You might also try using the "SoundBlaster compatible" driver that comes with Win 3.x. I've tried that in the past and it works for many cars as they are usually SoundBlaster compatible.

@MisterGopher, something tells me the card is probably fine but not configured correctly. The fact that everything is greyed out is what makes me think the card is fine and just not configured properly. I suspect this. Usually if a card dies the control panel will still show everything as being fine when it's really not. I've never had cards die, the only thing I've come across is bad hard drives. Even the old PSU units seem to outlive their 2000-era counterparts.

iMac G5 1.8GHz "Hero" PowerPC
2 x 1GB DDR PC3200 SDRAM
160GB WDC WD1600JD-40GBB2
Mac OS X Leopard Version 10.5.8

Report •

July 24, 2011 at 14:19:30
Yeah, cards don't usually die out on their own, I know that. But exposed to magnetism, heat or physically damaging the contacts can cause them to fault.

I have never had a sound card die I must admit, but I have had a NIC crap out. It was a nightmare to figure out. Mainly because it was working only intermittently; which leads you completely up every wrong path. You think of connections, faulty software, the ISP, the router, the this, the that - everything except the card itself. For some reason, the card didn't even enter into the equation. So you can understand because of that horrible experience of wasted time, why I might make it a point to check the hardware.

Report •

Related Solutions

July 28, 2011 at 14:05:37
I found a working driver @ DriverGuide finally! :D

Report •

Ask Question