Gateway 7215GX Sound Problem 'FIX'

Friday, September 07th, 2007
Last Updated:
Thursday, January 14th, 2010

Disclaimer: Accessing the information on this page means you agree to the Sites Terms of Service

I spent two days, trying to figure out how to get the sound to work on a Gateway 7215GX. I tried searching for 7215gx drivers, 7215gx sound drivers, 7215gx audio drivers, gateway 7200 series drivers and all sorts of combination's, only to see the very crappy gateway driver pages showing up, along with a few here-and-there posts about other people having the same problem.

It all started when I agreed to look at a friends laptop which was blue screening after an update took place. I'm at the point that I don't really like to spend the time to troubleshoot a computer because I can easily spend 6 hours to 'fix' it, or spend 6 hours to just reload windows. I choose to reload windows... What I didn't know is that I would end up pulling my hair out (almost literally, but not quite) trying to find drivers for the video and sound. I ran across a post that mentioned the E-machine M2350 was similar to the gateway 7215GX, so I figured I would give those drivers a shot. The video worked out great. Gateway shows it as some, M520 / 7000 video driver, but the E-machine website correctly posted it as the ATI 320M. So, the video issue was fixed.

I am so used to hearing the windows start up and shutdown chime that I didn't even bother to pay attention to the fact that it wasn't chiming... I just assumed that the drivers windows found during the fresh install, would work. I soon realized that I had a problem on my hands. I went back to the E-machine website and downloaded the SoundMAX driver for the m2350, but the setup didn't pickup the driver... I exhaustively searched all over the place and found all kinds of different drivers to try. No luck... I finally ran a program that stated the the chip was an Analog Devices AD1981B(L) @ ULi/ALi M5451 AC-Link Controller Audio Device Don't bother with ALi drivers... none of them seemed to work... even though XP stated the card as an ALi card... I did some research on the AD1981B and came up with Analog Devices website, the makers of the SoundMAX driver / software suite. They themselves do not host drivers (at least I couldn't find any) so I decided to go back to the roots... E-machines M2350 driver page. I decided to try out the SoundMAX driver once again, but with a different approach... Much to my surprise, the 'new' method worked like a charm!

How to fix the Gateway 7215GX Sound Driver

  1. Go to the E-Machines Driver page for the M2350
  2. Find the SoundMAX Driver and download it
  3. Extract the SoundMAX Driver, somewhere on your computer
  4. Open system properties (Windows Key + pause/break) [or] (right click My Computer -> Properties)
  5. Click on Hardware -> Device Manager
  6. Go down to your sound drivers and locate the ALi Audio Accelerator WDM Driver, double click or right click and properties on that driver.
  7. Click on the Driver tab, then Update Driver
  8. Choose No when asked to connect to the Windows Update, (next)
  9. Put the dot next to Install from a list or specific location (Advanced) (next)
  10. Choose Don't Search. I will choose the driver to install. then (next)
  11. Click Have Disk
  12. Click Browse and go to the place you extracted the drivers. Dig into the Smaxwdm\W2k_xp folder and click open
  13. Click 'OK' on the 'Install From Disk' window
  14. You should see the 'SoundMAX Integrated Digital Audio' WHQL driver showing up. Click (next)
  15. This is the crucial part!! A box will pop-up saying that windows cannot verify it's compatability. Click Yes to continue.
  16. The driver files will be copied and you should be prompted to restart the computer. Once you restart, you should have sound!

What is the moral of this scenario??

Don't buy a Gateway!!

Post Comment


Dude, you saved me! I looked everywhere for that driver, and I was so stoked when I found your page. I even have the exact same same model as you, 7215GX. Fix works exactly as advertised. Phil you are a god.

Glad to hear that I was able to help you out! It's nice to know that some of my older posts are still being circulated and used out there :)

Yeah, that 7215GX kicked my butt... I was so relieved when I finally figured out a fix for it... Brings back memories!

wow man that fix for the audio worked 100%
thanx alot man you Rock Phill!

THANK YOU !!!!!Now i'm having problems with the video..Ati itp 320 any ideas i downloaded it from emachines same as the sound driver..

I don't remember having any major issues with the video drivers... Those, you might be able to download from Gateway's actual support site:

Thank You! I followed your instructions and the sound and video work great! Unfortunately, I had to put in the time chasing my tail on these drivers before finding your post - Ahhhhhh!
Thanks so much for the info - I literally thought I was losing my mind.

I used the sound driver off the e machine m2350 the sound max
and followed your instructions. It works, thanks.

Your hair and mine, and we'll weave a rug.

I tried to get the sound working on this 7210GX for 3 days with no luck. Following your procedure I had it working in 5 minutes.

Thank you so much!

Thank you soooooooooooo much,I was working on a customers computer and couldn't find this driver anywhere! Its greatly appreciated and I thank you for taking the time to post the solution to this problem! I cant thank you enough....if theres anything I may be able to help with let me know!!

No problem! I remember wanting to pull my hair out over that issue... I'm glad I didn't though : )

hi.thanks for posting the solution.unfortunately,whenever i try to open the file, i keep on getting error that driver is not compatible.....could you please help me out asap.thanks

When the error pops up about it not being compatible, did you hit "yes" to install it anyway? That is the tricky part that kept throwing me for a loop...