So, if you’ve got an S3 SonicVibes soundcard in an old machine, and you’re trying to get the sound working, how would you do it? Well, Googling for it gives you loads of links to driverguide.com (and loads of links to places which are links to driverguide.com). None of the drivers there work. They’re all (charitably) out-of-date Windows 95 drivers, or (uncharitably) a timewasting pile of shite that took up two hours this afternoon. Eventually, I came across a note that the 86C617 card is actually the same chipset as the Turtle Beach Daytona. So, off to the Turtle Beach site. They have the driver that works—grab the NT driver from there and install it. Marvellous. That’s two whole hours of downloading, testing, and rebooting that I won’t get back, but at least it’s fixed now.
Incidentally, Linux detected and worked with that soundcard with no extra effort required.