Happened again. After Installing Vista, the SoundMax card was GONE...and all kinds of audio problems afterwards.
Tried this suggestion:
"SoundMAX Integrated Digital Audio
Microsoft Windows Vista build 5308 uses Windows Update (herein called WU) to get the latest drivers for the SoundMAX chipset. These drivers stutter, hiss, snap, crackle, and pop, nonstop and do not have support for digital audio. This is an improvement over 5270 where you had to find your own drivers, AND it was impossible to get digital audio.
1. Download these drivers and extract them to a folder somewhere with WinZip.
2. Open Device Manager (Control Panel | System | Hardware | Device Manager) find the entry for the SoundMAX, and update its driver with the one in the \SMAXWDM\W2K_XP\ directory that you just extracted.
3. Restart your computer.
4. Open Control Panel | Audio Settings | SoundMAX | Properties. In the ‘Other’ tab uncheck the first entry and check the second for digital audio. If you have analog speakers, leave both unchecked.
5. If sound quality is not that great, try changing the Format settings in that last tab on the page. Try going up or down until it works out…. I have this card and was quick to replace it… Time to get a new sound card if you are still having issues
6. Vista will tell you that Windows Update has found newer drivers. Ignore it or you’ll lose the sound!"
......and guess what ? IT DIDN'T WORK EITHER !