Creative Audigy ZS Platinum Pro Drivers for Vista (x32/x64)

Issue: Creative Audigy ZS Platinum Pro Drivers for Vista (x32/x64)vista_logo

A few years back now, I got my Creative Labs – Sound Blaster Audigy ZS Platinum Pro sound card – a mouthful of a name and a bloody decent sound card – tons of connectors, EAX for games, midi for my guitar ‘v-amp’ and another remote control for the drawer. In the days before Vista, the sound card has some buggy, albeit updated and working drivers so that you could actually use all the functionality.

Along came Vista in a puff of bloatware, DX10 promises and driver confusion but on the upside a new way of handling audio was introduced. Audio processing (stack) has been moved from the Kernel to the User Mode which should in theory allow for drivers / failures etc. to be recoverable – protecting the operating systems from the evils of sound card / driver abuses. Fantastic, except Creative Labs, instead of developing and releasing new drivers for their Audigy line of cards they did the following:-

  • Fixed up their X-Fi drivers (newer cards) and pushed them as the Vista solutionaudigy zs platinum pro
  • Took ages to re-work and release Audigy drivers
  • Released buggy Vista Drivers for Audigy sound cards

Along came the legendry Daniel Kawakami (daniel_k) – who looked at the Vista drivers in assembly and noticed that functionality had INTENTIONALLY been removed for Audigy cards and also functions that were sold as exclusive to the X-Fi could in fact be enabled in Vista for Audigy cards. Creative were obviously crippling their older model sound cards in Vista to encourage people to buy their NEW cards. Daniel had a better idea – re-write Creative’s drivers for the Audigy series and release to the public. They can be found here

Far from seeing Daniel as helpful, Creative threatened to sue him and removed all links / posting on their forums.. that was until the massive Creative user base was up in arms. Before long Creative was forced to backtrack and only insisted that Daniel not accept donations for his work, given that it had Creative software components.

Solution: I installed Daniel K’s drivers into Vista and found that the functionality ‘lost’ by moving to Vista had been restored. I once again had EAX, digital connectors, DTS, equalizer settings etc. Please note – if you decide to use these unofficial drivers – they are not supported by Creative. They should only be installed once ALL Creative software has been removed from your system. If you aren’t sure you have removed it all – you can use this program to check – Guru3D driver sweeper, which shows which components are currently installed.

I’m totally chuffed there are people out there like Daniel K – who provide the community with a solution to problems a company like Creative has actually created for their customers to try to make more money. I have also resolved to never buy another Creative hardware device again!

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