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730 messes with Creative sound card driver


This system is a i5-2500k, DZ68BC (BIOS 28), Creative sound card, and 730 240 GB desktop. The PSU is 650 W Seasonic gold and the RAM is Crucial Ballistix Tactical 1333. Up until recently I had a WDC hard drive instead of the 730. After reinstalling W-7 on the 730, I noticed that every time the system went to sleep and woke up, the sound was crackly and distorted. A reboot always fixes things. Then I took an old WDC hard drive and installed W-7 for a few hours (the 730 was disconnected) as a test and there was no sound problem. Therefore the 730 is the cause. Yes, the onboard audio is disabled.

My questions are:

- Is the 730 series intended for use as Windows system drives?

- The Microsoft device driver is 6.1.7600.16385. Does Intel have a newer, better one?

- I seem to remember reading that the 730 has different sleep characteristics and that the drive isn't recommended for laptops for that reason (excessive heat is another problem). If this is true, is it possible to change its sleeping habits to that of a 530?


Valued Contributor II

Hello Paramountain,

As you suggested, the The Intel® Solid-State Drive 730 Series is optimized for high performance in client configurations. It should not have any problems with Windows, as it has been tested with Microsoft Windows* Hardware Certification Kit.

Here are a few recommendations that may help in this situation, and some aspects that may be relevant about this behavior:

- Issues resuming from sleep are often caused by software or driver issues. Please check if this happens booting from the old drive, but having the new SSD connected and working as secondary drive. The problem may be caused by the software / OS installed in the SSD, and not due to hardware compatibility.

- The latest audio driver available at Intel® Download center for the Intel® Desktop Board DZ68BC is: Realtek ALC Audio Driver for Windows 7* version Note that this should not have any effect if you are using an add-in sound card.

- You mentioned having a Creative Sound Card, if the speakers are connected to this device, please contact Creative Worldwide Support and obtain the recommended drivers from them.

- Please install and run Intel® Driver Update Utility to detect which Intel driver updates are relevant to your computer, and then install them.

- Also, the BIOS of your motherboard is out of date, an update is recommended to BIOS Version: 0042

Taking your suggestions in order:

- How can I have "the new SSD connected and working as secondary drive" if it has Windows installed on it? Then I would have two versions of Windows available to the system, probably resulting in a dual-boot of some kind. The only way I could do that would be to Secure Erase the drive and put a new partition on it, but that rather defeats the purpose, don't you think?

I don't think you read what I wrote. I had a PC running W-7 (64-bit) on a 730, but it had sound problems. Then I disconnected the 730 and temporarily installed Windows on a WDC drive and the sound problems are gone (I'm listening to it right now). The only difference between the two is the 730, ergo it is the problem.

- I have the onboard audio disabled, so installing an Intel audio driver would be pointless. I was asking for the most recent device driver for the 730 240GB SSD. I guess I will try that through Intel SSD Toolbox.

- I have the latest Creative drivers installed, but I did not state that in my original post. But if the sound card is the problem, why does it work on a hard drive?

- This is terrible advice for two reasons. First, because it is Intel policy to not update BIOS unless a specific problem is being solved (see below). And second, if you search through your own forums, you will find many people who bricked their Sandy Bridge / Ivy Bridge motherboard by updating to an Ivy Bridge BIOS. On this particular motherboard, DZ68BC, Intel never fixed the problems, it just washed its hands of the board. You could not pay me to update BIOS on this board.

Here is a quote from the download page for your suggested 42 BIOS: "Update the BIOS on your computer only if the newer BIOS version specifically solves a problem you have. We do not recommend BIOS updates for computers that do not need it."

Not to mention this one: "Warning: BIOS version 0035 includes support for 3rd Generation Intel® Core™ processors. Due to structural changes in this BIOS version, once a board has been converted to this version or later, it will no longer be possible to downgrade the BIOS to version 0028 or earlier. Attempting a BIOS downgrade to a previous version may fail – the board BIOS will remain at its current version."

It appears I was both right and wrong. I did another test. I borrowed a small, used 530 and installed W-7. The sound was less crackly, but crackly nonetheless. So the problem with this PC is actually the motherboard, that it cannot get along with an SSD system drive. I guess I'll sell the 730 on ebay.

Valued Contributor II

Hello Paramountain,

Thank you for the update provided. I would like to clarify some details about this topic:

- PC's may have 2 bootable drives connected, with this configuration, you could use the BIOS boot order, or boot menu to select the drive you want to boot from. In this case, the other drive will normally be available as a secondary (data) drive.

- SATA SSD's do not require a driver themselves since they communicate directly with the Storage controller. The storage controller requires a driver, that is often an Inbox driver built into the Operating System, however, you can check for SATA drivers at the Intel Desktop Board DZ68BC download website. The product guide for your motherboard indicates it has 2 different storage controllers (Intel® Z68 PCH and Marvell 88SE9128), so the driver and functionality would depend on the SATA port you are using.

Here are some additional troubleshooting steps you may try:

- Try using a different SATA port and cable for the SSD.

- Check the Download Center and IDUU to confirm you are using updated drivers for your Chipset and Storage controller.

- Test if the issue happens when you disconnect the Add-in Sound Card and use the Onboard audio.