Update your Dell SigmaTel audio driver

Update 19-May-2008: In the comments, E.P. notes that Dell today released a new Sigmatel driver package, R182475. This one is identified as v. and once again claims to be only for OptiPlex 740 models. The dialog box lists the same models as those shown below. I’ve successfully installed it on two different Dell systems now.

By and large, Dell’s driver repository works pretty well. But on at least one score lately, it’s been failing, and I’m not sure why.

Last week, Microsoft pushed out a new IDT audio driver via Windows Update. IDT is the company that bought SigmaTel, which makes a lot of the audio chips used on motherboard-based PC sound solutions. So if you have a SigmaTel audio system, that IDT driver should have been for you.

Except it didn’t work. On the one and only system where I installed that update here, it wiped out my audio completely. And a lot of Dell customers had the same experience, based on the uproar in the Dell Community message boards.

The solution, as it turned out, was simply to install the correct driver. But finding that driver was harder than I expected. For some reason, Dell is not linking its master SigmaTel driver file to the many PC models that use this chip. For example, when I went to look for an updated audio driver for my XPS 420, I was offered driver version, released in June 2007. But I knew better and used version, released in February 2008. I’m sure it’s the right one, based on this installation screen that came up at the beginning of the setup process:


The driver package I was offered, using Dell’s numbering scheme, is R157052. The driver I downloaded is R173209. It is a unified 32- and 64-bit driver package and in fact, it even applies to my Inspiron 530. How do I know that? Because when I look at the advanced system details report for the Inspiron 530 I see that it is a DXP061 model, which is listed in the Dimension section of the screen above. (Follow these instructions to see what model number you have.)

This driver also allows you to install Vista Service Pack 1 on a Dell system that would otherwise be blocked by the older SigmaTel driver. So, if you have any of the following Dell models, go get the R173209 update (or the more recent R182475 driver listed in the update at the top of this post):

5100, 5100C, 9100, C521, DC051, DM051, DM061, DV051
DXC051, DXC061, DXP051, DXP061, E521
XPS 420, XPS 710, XPS 720, DXG061

210L, 740

380, 290, 490, 690

63 thoughts on “Update your Dell SigmaTel audio driver

  1. I’ve had to do this alot of times, especially when installing 64bit OS’s on Dell Systems and there is no 64bit option for that particular laptop.

    Just this week I was updating the drivers for some D505 laptops I have and if I just went buy what Dell provided on the D505 page then I would have been using very old drives. Instead I just search their entire site, found the latest drivers from a different laptop model and used those.

    I also noticed that the D505 video driver was the same one for the Dimension 3000 so I was able to use that one as well.

    To go even further the video drivers for the D505/Dimension 3000 provided with Windows Vista are the latest drivers for this chipset. I was able to copy these out of Vista, put them in the XP driver installer and install them on XP/Vista due to them being XPDDM drivers and not WDDM drivers.

  2. ED, I ran into this as well, but just used system restore when my audio was lost.
    So, the trick is to install the new update from IDT and then find drivers for the sound again and install those?

    I had this happen on my Dell e1405 laptop and a homebrew desktop with Intel motherboard.

  3. A new driver has just been posted today May 19 for certain Dell desktop computers (SIGMATEL_STAC-92XX-C-Major-H_A06_R182475.exe):


    This one has version 6.10.5866 of the Sigmatel 92XX HD Audio drivers.

    [Broken ink edited – thanks, E. P.! – Ed]

  4. No problem Ed. However, the R182475 package is for Dell “desktop” computers such as Optiplex 740, XPS 420, Dimension E521, etc. and may NOT work for Dell “laptop” computers.

    Also important to note that these IDT/Sigmatel HD Audio drivers are NOT generic and will only work on certain Sigmatel/IDT audio hardware on certain computers.

    And read this IDT knowledge base document about Vista SP1 not being offered from Windows Update due to outdated audio drivers, Ed:
    part of the KB document says “IDT can NOT provide driver download support for end users.” That sure makes things harder for Vista users to obtain the right IDT/Sigmatel driver updates for their computers.

    Also, check out MS KB article 948343:
    It was revised on May 5, 2008 to mention the following:

    – For x86-based computers: Sthda.cat – published 12/17/07 or earlier
    – For x64-based computers: Sthda64.cat – published 12/17/07 or earlier
    – For x86-based computers: Stwrt.cat – published 12/17/07 or earlier
    – For x64-based computers: Stwrt64.cat – published 12/17/07 or earlier

    Exceptions for IDT/SigmaTel drivers were made on certain models of Dell, HP, and Sony computers because these drivers were updated to address this issue before the 12/17/07 publish date.

    Here are some more Sigmatel driver updates from Dell:

    For Dell Inspiron 1420/1520/1521/1720/1721, Latitude XT, Vostro Notebook 1400/1500/1700 & XPS M1330/1730 laptops use the R167846.exe file which has Sigmatel HD Audio drivers v6.10.5609:

    For several Dell Latitude, Dell Precision Mobile Workstation laptops use the R171788.exe file:
    this package has Sigmatel HD Audio drivers 6.10.5614. This one worked on my mother’s Dell Inspiron E1405 laptop. The DirectX diagnostic tool reported the Dell E1405 laptop as system model “MXC061”

    And finally take note that these drivers will work with IDT/Sigmatel audio devices with certain “hardware id” numbers. You can check in the STWRT.INF and STWRT.INI files what Hardware IDs the drivers use.

    To determine the “hardware id” no. of your IDT/Sigmatel audio device, open the System control panel, click on Device Manager, expand the “Sound, video and game controllers” section, double-click on “Sigmatel High Definition Audio Codec” to view its Properties, click on the Details tab, and change the Property from “Device Description” to “Hardware IDs”

    well Ed, it’s little info like “Hardware IDs” that has been proven to be valuable information in using the right audio driver for your computer. enjoy!

  5. One thing annoying the heck out of me with these Sigmatel drivers is that recently I upgraded to Vista from XP on my old Inspiron 6400. Everything works fine till the sound. Music plays find but say if I am running a game full screen with music playing, then I alt-tab, there will be a slowdown in the music with a whole bunch of nasty crackling sounds going on. Eventually things seem to ‘pick up’ and everything returns to normal. The thing is, this crackling problem seems to also impair gaming performance. Have tested it across a few games already and compared to XP, there is a noticeable decrease in performance (I dual-boot).

    Really wish something could be done as all drivers I’ve found have failed to solve the problem. The only alternative is to let Vista install it’s default sound drivers. That takes away the crackling component pretty much but causes music to sound way lower in audio quality.

  6. Dan,

    I have the same issues with the crackling sound and it’s really making me angry. I tried the Microsoft drivers as well but they weren’t any better. Let me know if you figure anything else out. All my music and games sound like crap on my brand new XPS 420.

  7. Dan and Matt,

    Please post the version numbers for the following drivers installed on your XPS 420:

    Network adapter
    Display adapter

    Also, are you using your SATA drive in IDE mode or AHCI mode? You can tell by looking in Device Manager. If you see a category for IDE/ATAPI controllers, look up the driver version number for ICH9 2 port Serial ATA Storage Controller and post it here. If you have no such category, look under Storage Controller. Do you see an entry for Intel ICH8R\ICH9R SATA Raid Controller? If so, list its driver number.

  8. Not too sure if this is correct but yeah,

    Sound: SigmaTel High Def Audio Codec – I tried to install the latest driver you linked to but it does not seem to be installable on my Inspiron 6400.

    Network Adapter: I don’t use the Intel Pro/Wireless 3945ABG – Instead I use a cable. Better gaming performance online and all. Broadcom 440x –

    Display Adapter: ATI Mobility Radeon X1400. 8.360.0.0 Last time I checked, ATI hasn’t released new mobility drivers for this card on Vista so I’m using the default driver given by Dell.

    I don’t have that ICH9 2 Port fella, but I have a ICH7-M Family Serial ATA Storage Controller. Driver version is 6.0.6000.16584

    Hope it helps. Just remember mine is a dated laptop.

  9. Dan, the first three of those drivers are all up to date (you can get more recent versions, but don’t try yet).

    However, based on the last driver version it appears you have not yet installed Vista SP1. True?

  10. Ed,

    Here are my driver versions.

    Sound: SigmaTel High Def Audio Codec

    Network Adapter: Dell Wireless 1505 802.11n WLAN mini-card

    Display Adapter: NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GT

    Under Storage Controllers I see Intel(R) ICH8R/ICH9R SATA RAID Controller

    Thanks, Matt.

  11. Ed, it seems to be working good so far after updating those drivers. Thanks! Interesting how network and storage drivers cause stuttering.

  12. Yeah that’s right, I haven’t gotten around to installing SP1 yet. I usually prefer to install it after a fresh reformat but haven’t had the time (Or enough HD space to backup) to get it underway. I could update it straight over but I have had some rather bad upgrading experiences in the past heh.

    But do you think a SP1 upgrade would potentially solve the problem?

  13. What about those of us running XP or XPMCE? Not to sound like a jerk but I don’t trust Vista …. Will these drivers work for an XP/XPMCE system?

    It should be noted that Dell installed the SigmaTel Drivers and hardware ….. After being told to use an Audigy Advanced MB. THAT utility was installed but it looks to me like they never put in the actual hardware.

  14. Sean, you’ll need to visit Dell’s support pages to find out about XP drivers. The driver models are different, so Vista drivers won’t work on your XP machine. This post and comment thread is about Vista.

  15. i have a dell inspiron 1501….i was trying to get music to play from my soundcard but couldnt. which is a sigmatel…can someone please help me…i was told to download R171789.exe and i did, but it said it was the wrong one….

  16. Hey Ed, I decided to upgrade to SP1. Everything installed smoothly and such. So far I believe it has fixed up that sound problem I’ve been having. I’m not 100% certain but things are looking rather bright. I’ll continue testing things around. If it comes back I’ll make another post as an update 🙂 Thanks!

  17. Glad I ran across your page. Just an FYI – the audio driver you mention – v. – also works for Dell XPS 410/Dimension 9200 desktops. I was originally trying to come up with an answer as to why Windows Media Player kept skipping in the last 20 seconds of a song. So far the new audio driver seems to have fixed my issue – I can use my enhancements instead of disabling them (how I got WMP to work w/o skipping). Dell’s last audio driver for SigmaTel for my computer model & vista was pubished back around 6/07 or so. However, I used one of the above links and installed the driver. Voila – now it seems to be working well. Thanks again. This has been a wonderful help. 🙂

  18. I’m experiencing sound stuttering under Vista 32 with my new XPS 1520. Unfortunately this driver fails to install on my system. 😦
    Dunno what to to next.

  19. Boo, the only thing I can change the PCI latency on is the Dell Firewire bus :(, which doesn’t make a difference. Argh…

  20. Oh sorry! I’ll check the driver version when I get home. I really want to get this fixed, argh…

    Also contacted Dell support, they gave me instructions on how to reboot the computer into self-test mode (turn it off, hold Fn key, turn it on), which I’ll do when I get home too.

  21. I updated the driver… however I’m using the computer in ATA mode now (changed in BIOS), I just did a reinstall of Vista. I don’t even have the NVIDIA display drivers installed, but still I can see some 8000-16000µs spikes in DPC Latency Checker. 😦

    Any more ideas? (not using SP1 now)

  22. I have this HW Id’s


    and Vista Ultimate installed. I’m triying to find the drivers but seem that is impossible to do.

    Someone have an idea where to find it!

    I’m going to be crazy!

    Thank’s in advance

  23. Lanfranco, that appears to be a C-Media device. Their support for Windows Vista is next to nonexistent. Is this onboard audio on a motherboard? You might need to get an add-in card to replace it.

  24. Is a Sigmatel Audio built-in my Laptop Sony VAIO VGN-SZ1VP. Is not a Desktop PC.

    I don’t know what to do!



    Please let other users know how to solve this problem if they are experiencing it.

    1) Go to the device manager (start, run, devmgmt.msc)
    2) Expand Network adapters (click on the plus sign)
    3) Click the advanced tab.
    4) Click “Disable Bands”
    5) To the right, in the box named “Value”, select “Disable 802.11a”
    6) Press ok.
    7) Wait for it to finish.
    8) Close the device manager.
    9) Problem solved.

    I’m using the driver for my Wireless card (12/10/2007 by Broadcom).

    Not experiencing any choppy audio anymore. Phew.

  26. My thanks to Ed and this blog.

    As a Dell XPS 410 owner with Vista Ultimate 32, SP1 did not appear as an option on Windows Update due to the presence of an outdated Sigmatel audio driver. This blog identified the correct update on the Dell website (R182475) and made it clear that it would function on the XPS 410 even though Dell does not list that model for this driver. Following my update of the audio driver, SP1 immediately appeared as an option in Windows Update and was successfully installed.

    Thank you again for helping to maintain the utility and value of my PC, despite the inadequacies of the manufacturer’s support site.

  27. i recently had to restore windows on my comp and am struggling to d/l all the driver updates. my question is, is this appropriate for the XPS 210?

  28. hi tom. the answer is maybe, assuming you are using Vista SP1 as you were not specific enough on saying what version of Windows you have. Run the R182475 Sigmatel v6.10.5866.0 package on your Dell XPS 210 desktop computer and see if it works.

    To answer Nina’s question the R171789.exe Sigmatel audio package is for WinXP only, NOT for Vista. Plus she did not say whether she has WinXP or Vista installed on her Dell Inspiron 1501 laptop.

    You could try the R171786.exe package which includes the Array Mic driver from R167846 & Sigmatel audio 6.10.5614.0 from R171788. R171786 was released June 13, 2008.


    I now have the Sigmatel Audio 6.10.5614.0 driver & Array Mic Driver from R171786 on my mom’s Dell Inspiron E1405 laptop with Vista Home Basic Edition and they worked great.

  29. The microphone array listing is not available on my recording panel within sounds. I have a Dell 1520. Can anyone help me activate my microphone..


  30. Alan, why don’t you contact Dell support? Use the chat line, not the phone. In my experience, they’re very good at resolving problems like this.

  31. Hello Ed Bott and many thanks for what seemd the final solution to my “Stereo Mix” lack. That’s incredible but R182475 Sigmatel v6.10.5866 Did not solve my problem. I obviously have, in recording devices window, the show disabled and disconnected devices checked.

    I still can’t see any “wave-out” like option, what can i do? I have, like you, a Dell XPS 420.

    Thank you ;/

  32. Hey I have a Dimension E521 are there any updates more updates then the one posted above. Because do to the audio driver Call of duty 4 crashes. Anyone got a idea?

  33. Thanks ever so much for this article, and in particular for the May 19 update: the R182475 download was the only one that allowed my Dell Precision 690 to finally receive Microsoft’s blessing for Vista SP1.

  34. Hi Ed, I have been facing a lot of audio issues with my new Dell stu 1735 . My array mic has a static.

  35. Hey Ed,

    This has been an enlightening forum.

    Bought D530 Latitude laptop from Dell with XP home.
    Beefed up Hard drive to 7200 rpm, 3 gig Ram, T7500 Duo Core at 2.2 GHZ.

    Contacted chat support because of audio drop outs, cracks, pops etc and they had me do diagnostics out the butt which said there was no problem– then they had me wipe the drive and re-install XP. That was a fun time… with no success.

    Back to chat and they said send the unit back for a new motherboard. They changed the speakers…even though my tests were mostly through headphones.

    I get the unit back and nothing is fixed. So they have me send it back to get the new motherboard. Unit comes back and nothing is changed (except my new speakers and now motherboard.) But the audio drop outs are there.

    Yet another Tech (on phone) has me re-run all of the diagnostics etc and then puts me on hold for 1/2 hour. Comes back and says the driver for the sound card is the problem and they have no solution AND that they’ve known about this issue with SIGMA TEL for a long time.
    He then kindly suggests that I go buy an external sound card.

    I figure I can pitch a bitch and send it back and upgrade to and XPS but here it says even more expensive laptops have the same Sound card and issue.

    If you have continued to read this far, I thank you!

    Does anyone have any ideas about what driver I could use to fix this? Is there such a thing as aftermarket drivers that can work?

    Thanks for listening…


  36. Hi Ed,

    I’m another one who can’t get the “Stereo Mix” out of my Dell Inspiron 1720. I have been able to install the 5614 drivers, but the 5886 will not install.

    Do you know of any other way I can get this problem resolved? I still can’t believe that this is disabled by default. I’t fairly common these days for people to want to record “what you hear” and it’s simply not available.


  37. hello

    i’ve installed Windows XP SP3 on my DXC051 but i do not have sound on my computer.
    I’ve tried all the drivers for sigmatel but nothing happened. and when i tried to run this last sigmaTel driver, i says that it’s not the correct audio driver for this system.

    please help me and email me


  38. I insist, that’s incredible how they’re doing that on Dell with their SIGMATEL STAC 92XX C-Major HD Audio. Tried everything, the “latest” version they have on their site (, A04) is absolutely capped. That really sucks, that’s incredible how, paradoxically, as we advance in time, we go back in functionality with the guys in Dell. We may be back to the stone age in some years.

    Tried downloading LG’s notebook drivers, the 95mb one would **** everything (even sound playback), and the other ones simply do nothing.

    As i said, as a home user, i’m really tired of these. I don’t see it logical paying more than 1000€ to people who wants you being unable to do something everybody can except Dell clients.

  39. Do any of these driver updates contain a ‘WAV Out’ or ‘Stereo Mix’ as a /recording source? /

  40. hi folks i got a virus on my dell 3100 i wiped the drive and reinstalled windows xp proffesional but my audio drivers is not responding. help please

  41. Hey Ed,
    Need Help. I have a Dell Dimensions E521 and I can not install the drivers for the Sigma Tel High Definitions Audio CODEC (64 Bit Windows). I have tried to install the R182475 and when it starts to install an error message comes up “error 18 can not install drivers. I have tried to install all different drivers and nothing seems to work. I purchased driver dective to help update the drivers and I can’t get anything to work.

    Any help is appreciated!!!!!!!!

    Thanks, Mark

  42. Hi,

    I have a Dell Inspiron 1501 Laptop. After I reformat the laptop with Window XP SP2, I go back to dell.com and locate the R171789 audio driver provided and tried to install it. During installation, when it comes to “configurating your new software installation”, it stops suddenly. I have tried that many times, but it won’t work at all. Now, there is no way I can play my music! Can any expert please help? Thanks in advance!

  43. I bought an XPS 420 with Vista Ultimate near the beginning of the year and had no problems with the sound until I stupidly decided to update my drivers. Now I cannot get it working again. I’ve even tried the Dell driver CD that it came with – no luck. Here’s my HW ID:


    Any help would be great!

  44. A FG,

    Go into Device Manager and uninstall the drivers that are currently installed for this device. You should get a check box that offers to remove the driver files. Say yes.

    Now restart your computer. Does the system re-detect and install the correct driver?

  45. Long story and plenty of stupidity later, the R182475 drivers linked at the top worked fine. It appears the surround cable ended up on the main speaker jack somehow. There’s no way my wife would go somewhere as dusty as the back of my computer, so it’s a mystery. Thanks for the help!

  46. Hi Ed.

    New Sigmatel STAC 92XX HD Audio v6.10.0.5866 driver for Dell XPS M1530 laptop in the R190517 package for Vista 32bit/64bit editions (released October 21):

    Hardware IDs supported by the R190517 Sigmatel hd audio driver-

    Long list but the “102801D8” ID was on the list and the driver worked on the Inspiron E1405 laptop.

    Sigmatel v6.10.0.6017 Vista audio driver for Dell XPS/Dimension 430 desktop computer [R190321] released October 21:

    Sigmatel v6.10.0.5866 Vista 64bit only audio driver for Dell XPS M1330 laptop [R186858] released October 22:

  47. HI so glad I found this web sight!!!!!!! I have an Inspiron 1420 and installed 64 bit and my sound stoped working… I saw a link to a dell web sight which had 64 sigmatel 64 bit sound drivers… thank you so much… I have asked for help on yaahoo answers, dell tech chat, and many others nothing …. Now I have olny one more question??? after installing the 64 bit sigmatel driver it is deffently not as loud as it was before I installed 64 bit.. Also is their a free sight that will scan my computer for me and up date my drivers to 64 bit??? seeing is how i don’t think all my drivers were updated with vistas updates… And if my sound is just goung to be this low can i install sigmstel 32 sound drivers and it be as loud as it was before??? Also can I have all my drivers expect my sound driver 32 bit (( like if i were to install 32bit sound driver and have the rest 64bit)) can you have both 32 and 64 bit drivers with a 64 bit or do they all have to be the same???

  48. sir
    i really found alot information from this side. i also have a problem .i have dell 505 with sigmatel c major audio sound card.it is working but now when i install a usb tv capture then i could nt listen sound from my labtop.i m so worry about it.when i cheeked tv card setting i found a error that no input for sound .please help me to solve this problem

  49. Hi Ed,
    I’m really grateful for your blog! I have a question about the new drivers R182475.
    I was wondering if the new SigmaTel drivers will FINALLY unlock the sound cards full duplex capabilities. Currently, I cannot record and play at the same time. Searching many forums later, it seems Dell disables them because of fear that people will record live internet music streams. This is also why people cant use their mic and hear their voice in the speakers at the same time for karaoke fun. Will the new drivers fix this? I hear people are editing registries to fix this. Thanks sooooo much for your advice! (Chris above mentioned the new drivers also worked on his Dimension 9200, so Im hoping this will be the same for my 9200).

  50. Correction
    Line 7:
    This is also why people cant use their mic TO RECORD and hear their voice in the speakers at the same time for karaoke fun.

  51. Ed,

    I’d really appreciate some help on this, since you’re clearly an expert, and especially since I can’t find ANY forum where this problem has been detailed (even though there is clearly a multitude of problems with SigmaTel and Creative). It’s pretty simple: after I updated my SigmaTel driver to R171789, my Audigy Advanced MB software won’t work. I get an error that it cannot detect supported hardware. I tried installing an earlier version of the SigmaTel driver and no luck. SO, either I can use the Audigy applications…without sound, or have sound with no Audigy applications. Can’t Dell let my E1405 have both?

    Thanks for your help.

  52. I have loss of sound also on a Dell Inspiron 5150 and XP Home SP2.
    I loose sound after closing lid to enter standby. A reboot always fixes the problem until I close lid and enter standby. If standby is disabled the problem does not occur.

    Have checked all the usual places like device manager and sound settings in control panel – everything appears normal. Earphones always work.

    Have installed latest sound drivers (Sigma Tel) from Dell with no change

    Dxdiag generates the following:
    Sound Tab 1: DirectSound test results: Failure at step 19 (User verification of software): HRESULT = 0x00000000 (error code) – this is only after resuming from standby mode. If tested before entering standby, no errors are reported and no problems are reported.

    System was restored to a known good point to no avail. This point was immediately prior to letting windows update install 12 critical updates. Have installed latest sound drivers (Sigma Tel) from Dell with no change.

    Have deleted sound device from within device manager then reboot with new install. Everything works fine until resuming from standby mode. Also have latest BIOS from Dell. There are no tweaks for sound in BIOS.

  53. Ed,
    After installing the R182475 (v. Sigmatel drivers on my Dell XPS 420 I have both the speaker icon and the Sigmatel icon in the system tray (just as it was in earlier driver versions). Right clicking on the Sigmatel Icon displays 3 choices: “Enable jack Monitoring”, “Open Audio Control Panel”, and “About”.

    Toggling “Enable jack Monitoring” checks and unchecks this item but has no effect on behavior that I can see.

    Clicking on “Open Audio Control Panel” has no effect whatsoever. No new window opens or process is added to the task manager process list. Any ideas on why I have never been able to open the audio control panel using any Sigmatel diver version?

    I am still struggling to enable Line-in monitoring during recording but have had no success, even after performing all the registry hacks I have found for this topic.

    Thanks for your help.

  54. Hi, with my sigmatel audio driver on my Dell insprion laptop,the sound of the laptop is still low when you inrease from the sound icon and the settings as well.

  55. Can someone help me find latest driver for xps 710 the one above are not compatible when they should be, I have problem playing fallout 3 because my latest audio driver is from 2006 :/ my email wiesiu88@gmail.com


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