That's indeed something you have to look into when you have AC'97 front audio connections, but I presume that Gateway has HD audio, are you sure that you have selected stereo or 5.1/7.1 right?... Else I would say it's some faulty frontpannel connectors, but you say that before reinstalling all was fine... odd...
However, just before I updated this driver today with the driver I have now, there is an option where you can check "Disable front panel auto detection." Regardless of whether or not I had that checked or unchecked, it wouldn't work right, however if I didn't have front panel detection disabled, I'd randomly have and not have sound in my regular speakers.
Well, this computer does have HD audio, at least the back panel does anyway. I tried searching for this problem before coming here and from what I can gather (though the sources don't really seem all that reputable), even if you have HD audio, the front panel headphone and/or microphone jacks will be AC'97?
I did check and make sure that in both the Windows settings and the Realtek Sound Manager settings, I had Stereo selected, as I don't actually have a 5.1/7.1 speaker set up. I also opened the Windows playback devices, right-clicked on speakers and went to properties, and under jack information, it lists the back panel jacks (L/R, Rear L/R, Center/Sub, Side L/R), but it doesn't have the front panel headphone jack listed. Obviously I am missing codecs for the front jack.
Now, I went to the Realtek website and I went under the tab for the AC'97 codecs from the download page and it has you check a box to agree to some legal mess and then click a button to go to the download page, however after clicking it, it comes up with a blank page that says something like "Object moved to -> here" (where here is a link, which when you click it, takes you to a page like what you were previously on, and going through the process again takes you to that same page). However, just now, I went back to their website again, and clicked the downloads tab and right on the front, under "Hot Downloads" it had AC'97 codecs listed and I clicked that and was able to finally get the download from Realtek.
I've installed these, and I'm restarting now, I will update this reply as soon as my computer boots back up and I can see if it works. *fingers crossed*
Alright, so, after installing those AC'97 codecs... I still have the same problem. If I go back to speaker properties, it still doesn't list the front headphone jack in the jacks section, and if I open the Realtek manager, I don't have "disable front panel jack detection" checked and I plug headphones in, the sound still comes out of the speakers and not out of the headphones, and if I have that option checked, then it comes both out of the speakers normally, and out of the headphones at the same time, but only the right one of the headphones. >_<
EDIT: I clicked on the information button in my Realtek Audio Manager and the codec version is ALC888S - from the documentation I read on the Realtek website, the coded I need is ALC850 to ALC861, which are the only ones that support AC'97 front headphone jacks? Anyway, I looked ALL over the Realtek website and I can't find a download for that specific codec at all, so I did a Google search for the codec and I'm really unsure of how reputable these sites are but, I downloaded one and I'm going to try that now.
And of course, none of the ones I downloaded would work.
Anyway, from what I read, I need the ALC850 or ALC861 codec. Those are the only ones on the Realtek website's documentation that are for 7.1 HD audio with AC'97 front panel headphone. The problem is, there's nowhere on the Realtek website to download those. The downloads on there have the ALC888S codec, which doesn't support the AC'97 front headphone jack.
So, I'm at a loss as to what to do. I guess I'm going to contact Realtek about this issue and see if I can actually get some help from them. I don't have much hopes for this though as usually when I try to contact a product manufacturer for support, even through the proper support channels, I never get help, and it seems like every time I do, I actually know more about their products than their support staff does...
Edited by anathematized1, 18 June 2011 - 02:18 AM.