HP Pavilion and Compaq Presario systems, those sold in 2004 that came with an AMD Athlon XP processor, may have an audio issue with the integrated Realtek/VIA audio controller when using certain programs or applications.

The problems include:

  • Popping or clicking sound while playing audio
  • Windows Media Player playing audio about 1 second in advance at the beginning

The motherboard these systems uses is a ASUS A7V8X-LA, It can be identified by the large “A7V8X” text between the PCI slots. The sound hardware on these boards is branded as Realtek, but uses a VIA controller. Windows Device Manager displays the sound hardware as Realtek AC’97 Audio for VIA (R) Audio Controller.

Updating the drivers for the sound hardware doesn’t fix the problem. In order to fix the problem, you will need to use a driver version older then what you currently have installed. A good example of the phrase “newer is not always better”.

You will need to obtain version of the Realtek AC’97 Audio for VIA (R) Audio Controller driver. Luckily, you maybe able to find it if you are using the OEM copy of Windows XP that came preloaded with the system.

Go to the HP folder located in the C: directory. The folder is hidden by default, so you would either have to show hidden files or simply type C:\HP in the address bar. Once there, you should see a folder labeled drivers. Open the drivers folder and you should find a folder labeled audio_Realtek_5.10.00.5570. Open that folder and and check for files. If files are present, uninstall the current Realtek AC97 Audio for VIA (R) Controller driver and right-click on Alcxwdm.inf and select install. Once the drivers have been installed, reboot the computer and see if the above problems are solved.

If you find a version older than the one mentioned here, you should be OK, but I don’t recommend using a version higher than because it may not solve the above problems.