Realtek HD Audio and SP2


Rojo Habe

After installing SP2 I noticed that Windows had replaced my Realtek HD Audio
driver with its own older version. It also now appears twice in the Device
Manager; I can remove one of them with no ill effects but it is redetected
at next boot and reinstalled.

So I removed both of them, installed the latest Realtek driver and rebooted.
Now I still have two instances - one (called Realtek High Definition Audio)
with the Realtek driver and the other (simply called High Definition Audio
Device) with the Microsoft drivers. If I force the Microsoft one to use the
Realtek drivers it crashes horribly with a BSoD (so I won't be doing that

Once again I can remove the Microsoft one with no ill effects but it's
redetected and installed again on the next boot.

Something in my memory tells me I always had two entries under 'Sound, Video
and game controllers' but the second one wasn't called "High Definition
Audio Device" and the Driver Provider was Realtek, not Microsoft. Trouble
is, I can't remember what it was called, or what it was for.

Anybody help? I could always do a System Restore to pre-SP2 and find out
that way but it's probably worth finding out here first whether I'm worrying
about nothing or not. It seems I've got two components of the same chip
with drivers from different releases.


When you install the RealTek HD Drivers you have to run the Installer
as many times as it takes to revert back to the Standard MS driver
and then one more time to get the new driver installed. So if someone
has been using Windows Updates or System Maker driver updates
they may have to run the RealTek driver 4 or 5 times before the new
driver is used. When I first ran one on my Laptop it went backward
5 times before the new driver showed up.

I have not seen any other driver with this behavior.

Rojo Habe

Thanks to you both for your comments. I'll keep running the installer and
see what happens. Trouble is, as soon as you reboot, Windows goes right
ahead and installs the Microsoft drivers again without asking, which puts me
back to square one!

I never use Windows Update to get driver updates; unfortunately Service Pack
2 comes with what Microsoft think are the best drivers and foil our best
efforts. I seem to remember the same thing happened with SP1 but it was a
lot easier to rectify (I only had to run the Realtek installer twice).


Do not delete your drivers in Device Manager.

Go to and download and run the HD driver as often as it
takes to replace the MS one. MS driver has 06 date I believe.

Rojo Habe

Aha! Now I get it.

If I view devices by connection I find that the second entry (with the
Microsoft drivers) is on the PCI Express bus rather than just the PCI bus.
This probably means it's nothing to do with Realtek and I think it's for
HDMI functionality on my Radeon 4850. I believe when I installed the
Catalyst drivers I was asked if I wanted this and said no. Seems Windows
SP2 has decided I want it after all.

I'll go get the latest Catalyst drivers. That should sort it if I'm right.

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