Windows 7 Drivers for SoundMax ADI 198x Fix

If you would like to skip the long story and go straight to the instructions for the fix that worked for me – scroll down.

My brother was complaining that his computer wasn’t running as well as it used to so I recently decided to format and upgrade his Dell Optiplex GX280 to Windows 7 (32-bit). We got this computer a few years ago now and as such there was no luck in finding drivers for Windows Vista let alone Windows 7 on the Dell website. I decided to go ahead and install it anyway and find any drivers that I needed afterwards – I mean….how hard could it be?!?

The installation process was pretty simple (very quick too) and after a matter of time was presented with the Windows 7 desktop. It had managed to find generic drivers for most of the onboard equipment I needed such as the graphics adapter, network adapter, firewire etc.. (although they’re obviously not as good as the official drivers) however there was no sound. The onboard soundcard in question was a SoundMax ADI 198x family card. Apparently this wasn’t going to be easy…(but then is it ever easy?)

So I began to search on forum after forum for people in a similar situation and although a lot of suggestions were put forward for drivers to try, none worked for me!! They either said they were not compatible with the hardware or that the installer couldn’t find a particular file. One driver I found was for an Intel sound card but upon installation said that the software was incompatible with my hardware. I wasn’t going to give up so I manually selected this particular driver and effectively forced it onto the card and it worked perfectly. So….for other people with a similar problem, here is what I did :-

UPDATE – For Windows 7 64-bit Version please see below

Solution for Installing SoundMax ADI 198x Sound Driver

1. Download this zip file which contains the Intel sound driver (676 kb), extract it and note the path to this directory.

2. Goto Start and right-click on Computer and click Properties.

3. The System Properties windows should appear. Click Device Manager on the left pane.

4. Locate the sound card hardware from the list. This is likely to be found under Other Devices as a Multimedia Audio Controller. Right-click the controller and click Update Driver Software.

5. A new window should appear. Click Browse my computer for driver software. At the next window click Let me pick from a list of device drivers on my computer. Then select Show All Devices from the list and click Next to continue. At the next window click Have Disk and locate the extracted zip file directory. Find the W2K_XP Driver directory and select “smwdmCH0“.

6. A new window should appear with a list of drivers to choose from. Select the first SoundMax Integrated Digital Audio from the list and click OK. Then Click Next and Windows should start installing the driver.

7. Reboot your computer and you should be hearing sound (Hoorah!!)

The Zip file link above contains only the driver INF file and a few DLL’s. If you find this isn’t working, please try using this link which includes the entire Intel Audio Driver setup (23.7 mb). The Sound Driver can be found in “SMAXWDM\W2K_XP” in the Intel Driver folder.

I cannot guarantee that this method will work with your computer – This just happened to work for me. Please make sure you also backup before installing drivers – I am not responsible if something happens to your computer!! :P

Windows 7 64-bit Users

Since writing this post many users have commented saying the above instructions did not work with their 64-bit versions but gave details of how they were able to get the sound card working. So, with thanks to ‘Kuwaiticrud’ and ‘Scott E’, here are some basic instructions on how to get the installer. I am unable to test this myself as I do not have a 64-bit system however this should work from feedback from others.

1. Download ‘R145149.exe’ on dells support ftp site by using this direct link here or by going to http://search.dell.com and searching for the file ‘R145149.exe’. The file should be the first listing in the search results.

The driver itself is a Windows Vista 64-bit version of the driver and is compatible with OptiPlex GX280, GX520, GX620 and SX280 as well as
Dell Precision WorkStation 370, 470 and 670.

2. Double-click ‘R145149.exe’ which will run the self-extractor. Once this has finished, note the extracting location and run the installer from that directory.

‘Scott E’ noted that he did not need to do anything else for the installer to work but if you have troubles you may want to use the ‘Run As Administrator’ setting or try changing the ‘Compatibility mode’.

Again, I cannot guarantee that this method will work with your computer – This just happened to work for me. Please make sure you also backup before installing drivers – I am not responsible if something happens to your computer!! :P

If you found this info useful and you can spare it, I’d really appreciate if you could make a small donation (any amount would help!). I hope you don’t find this cheeky but it would really help towards paying for hosting so I can continue to keep it running so others can benefit from this post – thanks :)



  • D Karlsson says:

    OOOOhhhhhh Thank Y <3 <3

  • alex says:

    Hey Compadre…You Saved another soul in Mexico…I owe you a bottle of Tequila…Regards

  • Strepto says:

    Works on my dell GX280! Thank you! :) Made my day! :)

  • Akbar says:

    i’ve tried a lot of option but this one is best of all. Thanks alot its really working

  • gyanashanto says:

    Thank you for your invaluable contribution. I was desperately in need of t his one!! Thanks a hundred and thousand:)

  • Mohammed Munawar says:


    for sure you drivers are downloaded from here for DELL optiplex GX620

    have fun


    Mohammed Munawar Uddin

  • mohamed says:

    Thank you man
    that was great

    works great with me on a win8 64x system
    I downloaded the file “R145149″ from your post, then unzipped it
    and I did follow your steps , and I selected the file “smwdmCH5″
    and boom
    it works
    thank you

  • milk says:

    Both drivers you have listed do not work.

    They are showing up as encrypted from your website.

  • Mauricio Rodriguez says:

    Thanks for audio drivers….Widows 7 32 bits

    Can you help me with video drivers (Dell Optiplex GX280)???

  • devstar says:

    Worked for me Win 7 64 bit!!
    Thank v. muchly

  • ben says:

    bondy…MATE!……phew…….your a legend

  • Andres says:

    Muchas gracias! me salvaste la vida!!

  • AHMED says:

    Hi Mr.,
    Thanks a lot for your prompt help.
    Your tips was very valiable.
    I have a DELL optiplex GX 520and now my sound card is working.

  • ankit says:

    thanks dude the 64 bit windows seven version works well

  • bambang says:

    Thanks,bro. Its work fine in my intel desktop board.

  • Philippe says:

    I have try the solution advised about. none has worked for me. I have a DELL optiplex G520, Windows 7 32bits, Sound max ADI 198x.
    I made it work prety easy in the end. I have download the driver for Windows XP from DELL, then lunch in a compatibilty mode. setup could not run without(compatibilty mode XP). I have to restart computer after finished it. After reboot a message “ADI Codec Drive for Soundmax” appeared only one time. Now everything okay.
    Thanks you all I find my alternative solution by reading this blog.

  • Matthew says:

    I never write comments on websites… BUT I simply have to thank you for making this article. I’ve been wrestling with this issue for days and your solution is the only one that worked! THANKS!!

  • Johnny says:

    Applied Your fix and it worked perfectly. You have saved Me the expense of buying a brand new PC as I was able to use Your fix on an old Dell Dimension 2350, it happily runs Win 7 32-bit now. Many Thanks.

  • rick says:

    It worked like a dream. You are the master!

  • Marty says:

    Thanks for figuring this out. It’s working for me on OptiPlex GX280 on Win7 Pro x86. I don’t know if it’s something you did or something I did, but for some reason it was getting Access Denied while trying to install. When I looked at the file names using Explorer they were green. This turned out to indicate that they were encrypted. I created a “junk” folder on my desktop, copied all your files into it, then decrypted them by selecting them all, right-clicking the list, do Properties, click the Advanced button by Attributes at the bottom of the Properties window, then uncheck the Encryption box and Apply. After that the install completed and the sound works! I don’t know if it was necessary to make a copy of your files, probably not, that’s just the way I did it so that’s the way I documented it. Thanks again for the driver.

  • Rivelinho says:

    brother’re a genius I too was just like you looking and looking and come up here thanks brother has taken me a matter of time I’m happy the excellent steps thanks vibes

  • vic says:

    thanks it worked

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