Installing the PCI Soundcard Creative Labs X-Fi Xtreme Gamer from 2007 in Windows 11

Since 2008, I am using the this soundcard in my desktop pc. Despite Creative Labs planned to EOL the product with release of Windows 8 in 2012, i.e. even before its release, they originally planned to never fix the dolby surround bug they had in their Windows 7 drivers back in 2010 (I found the bug in 2009 and reported it to them). Despite that, they even released updates for Windows 10 build #1903 in 2019

However with the release of Windows 11, Creative Labs finally put the card to rest and since even Daniel K. gave up on it (Final updates for my Support Packs and farewell), I was lucky that upgrading Windows 10 to Windows 11 just made the soundcard keep working, however occasionally, the driver would crash and require a reboot, and even in rare occasions, a workaround was necessary (spoiler alert: it still is, I just tried it out for this post).

Thanks to the free tool DriverMax I found that there is a modified driver for X-Fi cards that even run more stable than the official Windows 8.x-10 drivers, i.e. without the occasional crashing. It finds a driver version dated 24th of January 2021 by Auzentech and signature by Riolin Limited (Auzentech was a Korean computer hardware manufacturer that specialized in high-definition audio equipment and in particular PC sound cards and which went defunct in 2014).

It turns out Riolin Limited fixed the driver’s stability issues, by removing the “What U Hear” feature, means you cannot anymore record what you hear through the soundcard. However I decided to keep using it, as I prefer a more stable driver than having more features.

If you need the “What U Hear” feature, I suggest getting the headphone DAC / USB Soundcard Creative Sound Blaster Play! 3 which does provide this feature, plus is one of the few USB soundcards still offering an analog line in port (No, Mic and Line-In are not the same!).

You may thank me later! 🙂

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