Known sound issues in Halo: Combat Evolved

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Symptoms

Microsoft Halo: Combat Evolved uses a self-contained set of codices to play back both video and sound. Halo does not install any codices nor does it use any codices from the Microsoft Windows system directories. A codec (compression/decompression) is a tool that allows the correct playback of sound and video. This article only addresses sound codices.

Note The plural of codec is codices.

If you are experiencing an issue that is not listed in this article, you may have to remove and reinstall the game to obtain fresh versions of the Halo codices.

When you play Halo, you may experience one or more of the following symptoms with sounds in the game:
  • Sounds may not be played.
  • Sounds may be played quietly.
  • Sounds may be distorted.

Cause

This behavior may occur if one or more of the following conditions are true:
  • The sound driver for your sound card is outdated.
  • Your sound card does not support the required hardware features that you must have to play sounds in the game.
  • The game is not correctly configured to play sounds.

Resolution

To resolve the behaviors that are listed in the "Symptoms" section of this article, use one or more of the following methods in the order that they appear.

Method 1: Check the speaker connections and volume

Make sure that you connect your speakers correctly to your computer and that you turn up the volume on the speakers and in Windows.

Method 2: Configure the sound settings in the game

To configure the sound settings in the game, see the "More information" section of this article. Typically, when you lower a setting or when you turn off a setting, it may increase performance of the game but may reduce the quality of sound.

Method 3: Update the sound driver for your sound card

To update your sound driver, contact the manufacturer of your sound card.

For information about how to contact your sound card manufacturer, visit the following Microsoft Web site:
http://support.microsoft.com/gp/vendors
Microsoft provides third-party contact information to help you find technical support. This contact information may change without notice. Microsoft does not guarantee the accuracy of this third-party contact information.

Workaround

The steps in this article have been written for Microsoft Windows XP unless otherwise noted.

General audio issues

Make sure that your speaker mode is set to match the type of speaker output on your computer. Your speaker mode may not match the type of speaker output on your computer if you switch back and forth between listening to headphones and listening to 4.1/5.1 speakers.

Note Because there are several versions of Microsoft Windows, the following steps may be different on your computer. If they are, see your product documentation to complete these steps.

If your speaker mode is not correct, 3D sounds may be heard incorrectly or not at all. To set your speaker mode, follow these steps:
  1. Click Start, and then click Control Panel.
  2. Click Sounds, Speech and Audio Devices, and then click Sounds and Audio Devices.
  3. In the Speaker Settings pane, click Advanced.
  4. In the Speaker Setup drop-down menu, click the speaker setup that matches your current speaker setup.
  5. Click OK, and then click OK again.
Check with your sound board manufacturer for the latest Microsoft DirectX-compatible drivers.

If you use Microsoft Windows 98 Second Edition or Microsoft Windows Millennium Edition (Me), make sure that you have all the most recent Microsoft Windows Updates. If you do not have the most recent Windows Updates, you may experience problems with sound during game play. For more information about Windows Updates, visit the following Microsoft Web site:
http://www.update.microsoft.com/microsoftupdate/v6/default.aspx

Specific hardware issues

Aureal Vortex cards

When you try to use this sound card with Halo, the audio may not function correctly, or the audio may not function at all. To resolve this issue, turn off Hardware Acceleration. To do this, follow these steps:
  1. Click Start, and then click Control Panel.
  2. Click Sounds, Speech and Audio Devices, and then click Sounds and Audio Devices.
  3. Click the Audio tab.
  4. In the Sound playback pane, click Advanced.
  5. Click the Performance tab, and then drag the Hardware Acceleration slider bar to None.
  6. Click Apply, and then exit each of the dialog boxes in Control Panel.

Hercules Game Theater XP sound card in Windows 98 Second Edition

When you try to use this sound card with a Windows 98 Second Edition-based computer, you may experience stuttering and sound distortion.

To work around this issue, turn on direct memory access (DMA) in your integrated device electronics (IDE) controller in Windows 98 Second Edition and Windows Millennium Edition (Me). When you turn on DMA on your computer, you improve the game performance and stability. To turn on DMA, follow these steps:
  1. Quit all programs that are running on your computer.
  2. Click Start, point to Settings, and then click Control Panel.
  3. Double-click System, and then click the Device Manager tab.
  4. Expand Disk Drives.
  5. Click IDE/Disk (hard disk), and then click Properties.
  6. Click the Settings tab, and then click to select the DMA check box.
  7. Click OK, and then click OK again.
  8. Restart your computer.
Note When you turn on DMA, you increase the access speed to the CD-ROM drive and to the hard disk. Some drivers do not support DMA access. If the DMA check box remains selected after you restart your computer, DMA access is supported.

Hercules Game Theater XP sound card in Microsoft Windows XP Professional

When you try to use this sound card on a Windows XP Professional-based computer the audio may not function correctly. For example, grenade sound effects may play too low. To resolve this issue, download and install the most recent DirectX-compatible drivers for your sound card.

Realtek ALC650 sound card in Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition

When you try to use this sound card on a Windows XP Home-based computer, Halo may not function correctly. Typically, this issue occurs when you have Environmental Audio Extensions (EAX) sound turned on in the game.

Montego II Quadzilla sound card in Windows 2000

When you try to use this sound card on a Windows 2000-based computer, the audio may not function correctly during game play. To resolve this issue, download and install the most recent drivers for this sound card. For more information about installing drivers for this sound card, visit the following Turtle Beach Web site:
http://turtlebeach.com

AC97 VIA-8235

While you are playing, the game may quit and go back to the desktop. To resolve this issue, download the latest sound drivers. If the issue continues to occur, upgrade your sound card.

More information

You can adjust a range of sound options in Halo. The following table describes these features and the potential results of adjusting them.

Collapse this tableExpand this table
SoundDescriptionSetting
Master VolumeSets the master volume level.Ranges from 0 to 10, with 0 being mute and 10 being the loudest.
The default is 10.
Effect Volume Sets the volume level of the game sound effects.Ranges from 0 to 10, with 0 being mute and 10 being the loudest.
The default is 10.
Music Volume Sets the music volume.Ranges from 0 to 10, with 0 being mute and 10 being the loudest.
The default is 8.
Hardware AccelerationThe user can adjust the sounds so that they will be processed either by the hardware buffers on the sound card or by the software buffers in DirectX. If hardware buffers are available they may provide better performance and higher sound quality. Yes - use the hardware buffers.
No – do not use the hardware buffers.
The default is determined by the computer’s sound hardware.
Sound Quality The user can adjust the type and quality of sound playback.High provides the best quality for a fast CPU. High adds 3D positioning to the sounds so that a sound to the left of your character will primarily come from the left speaker. Normal balances quality and performance and adds Doppler effects. Doppler effects cause sounds to increase in pitch as they come closer, like the whistle on a train. Low provides the best quality for a slower CPU. The default is determined by the computer’s sound hardware.
Environmental Sound Enables the effect of having the sounds in the game bounce or echo off of surrounding surfaces. This adds depth to the sounds but can require a great deal of processing power on the soundcard. On – Turns environmental sounds on.
Off – Turns environmental sounds off.
Sound Variety The user can adjust the number of different sounds that will be played during the course of the game.High provides the best quality for a fast CPU. Medium balances quality and performance. Low provides the best quality for a slow computer.

The third-party products that this article discusses are manufactured by companies that are independent of Microsoft. Microsoft makes no warranty, implied or otherwise, regarding the performance or reliability of these products.


Related Information:

Troubleshooter: No audio in Windows 

Music and sound help with Windows 7

Properties

Article ID: 829477 - Last Review: June 20, 2014 - Revision: 7.0
Applies to
  • Microsoft Halo: Combat Evolved for PC
Keywords: 
kbsound kbdownload kbprb KB829477

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