RealTek HD Audio and Windows7

I finally got around to rebuilding my primary desktop PC.  In addition to adding the second harddrive and creating a RAID1 configuration, I took the leap to Windows7.  Now my main desktop and my new Aspire Aspire Nettop media PC (review to come) run Windows7 on my home LAN.

After completing the upgrade, everything seemed to work out of the box fine.  Mind  you, my hardware is about 2.5yo so there shouldn't have been much issues or so I thought.  I noticed one item in device manager that was "unknown", but a Windows Update with the optional hardware updates resolved that.

Then I decided to setup my new Hauppauge HD PVR (review to come) and do some test recordings.  That's when I noticed I had no sound.  Windows7 told me there were no speakers connected, even though I did have a simple pair of Harmon Kardon's connected until I get my Logitech Surround system wired.

So I tried removing and reinstalling the hardware without success.  Then I decided to search for specific drivers for the Realtek HD Audio that is built into my Asus motherboard.  I found the manufacturer website and HD codecs here:

However multiple attempts to download files just timed out or were crawling at a few K/sec.  Eventually one finally did download.  I installed it, rebooted, and VOILA!  Sound restored.

I have also attached a link to download the 32bit Vista/Windows7 driver from my server to spare other people the pain of downloading it from overseas.

Download Windows7 32bit Realtek HD Audio Driver here.