Idiotic Realtek audio drivers on Windows 10

On a Samsung Ativ 9+ 13.3, there is one driver embraced in absolute stupidity, and this is the Realtek audio driver. In short it is badly written software based on a funny misunderstanding of the almost equally funny EU regulations that concerns itself with the protection of your ears for your own good.

We are talking about far-east misunderstandings on the level of another EU-regulation joke demanding that any banana sold within EU must be straightlike a cucumber. Only, this is not a joke.

The aim of this blog is thus to spur Realtek to interpret EU regulations MUCH BETTER, and then do changes in their rather bulky audio driver software, removing the ridiculous features described below.

These Realtek drivers are not only super fu… annoying in daily use. It is also almost impossible to get rid of them in an uninstall, as they will automatically reinstall on ext reboot. There is a way to disable automatic Windows update that seems to be the only way. It is not a good way, but what would one not do in order to get rid of a driver that behaves like a virus?

If you have the same problem, read this theread on how to completely remove these idiotic drivers, or scroll to the bottom of this blog for a description of how to completely and permanently remove these bulky drivers.

The problem is the misplaced ear protection feature

The cause of this problem is probably an EU regulation regarding the protection of the human hearing faculty, a regulation that must have been completely misunderstood by some far east software developers of RealTek, with catastropic results for users all around the world.

Figure 1 WindowsVolume39

When a pair of desktop speakers or a pair of headphones are connected to the headphone out connector, then the speaker volume is immediately reduced to level 39 of 100 in the Windows Volume Control as shown in in figure 1





So therefore, when the user tries to re-establish his preference for proper audio levels, then the following warning is always displayed, figure 2. The user has no option but to “Allow”, then re-open the Windows Volume Control and set the correct level.

When this “procedure” has been executed a couple of thousand times, annoyance is the obvious result. It is not user friendly. Period.

The error? Of course, this is very easy to explain. Simply put, there is no way for this laptop to know what volume levels are delivered by the connected headphone. For example a High Fidelity headphone, it will normally have a very low volume level at the threshold of 39% that has been defined as the “mean” value above which there will be risk of hearing loss.

One could advice Realtek kindergarten engineers to try e.g. the Philips Fidelio X2 and then start to grasp the huge mistake.

And how about the situation when an external speaker is connected to headphone out, as most people do?

I repeat, this software is a disgrace for RealTek and should be fixed by a professional software developer asap.

Figure 2

High VOlumes can cause hearing loss Realtek bug

How to remove the Realtek audio drivers

The traditional and normal removal of drivers, from device manager, does not work with these audio drivers that behaves and cling on to your computer like a virus.

To permanently remove them:

  1. End all Realtek processes using Windows Task Manager.
  2. Uninstall the driver under Device Manager / Sound, Video and Game Controllers. Select also the “deleted driver files” if this option becomes available. (It will not help to remove the drivers this way, because the Realtek driver system do not obey standard Windows rules for driver management)
  3. DO NOT restart yet.DO NOT restart yet!
  4. Instead, enter C:\Program Files and locate the Realtek folder. In the properties of this folder, make sure SYSTEM is completely disallowed to do anything on that folder. This will prevent a reinstall after reboot since SYSTEM will be unable to change anything in the folder.
  5. Reboot.
  6. If the Speakers are missing its drivers, they now have the yellow warning sign. Click Update Drivers from properties, and make sure new drivers are selected by (1) Browse computer (2) Let me pick…
  7. DO NOT select the Realtek drivers that was not deleted even if it was specified in 2, but select the standard Windows drivers, called High Definition Audio Drivers.
  8. These drivers will work just like audio drivers on Window always work, problem free, and you will have no more problems with the bulky far-east kindergarten audio software from Realtek.
  9. Please send a polite request to Realtek and kindly ask them to look into this matter. It is a funny thing that we have been doing this for years with no reaction. Their email should be:

Links to forums discussing the Realtek embarrassment bug

After many decades as a software engineer, I must admit I cannot recall having experienced such a clumsy bug regarding a lack of understanding of what is proper and efficient user interaction. Yes, it is Microsoft that have added the feature in their API, but it is Realtek that has chosen to implement it in this unacceptable manner. The bug is discussed here:

And many more, look here:

via Hacker News


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