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DAX Driver Error on NEW Windows 10 (or 11) installation
This is about a first installation of SmartSDR on a NEW Windows 10 machine, so it is not about changed names of the DAX Audio devices after an update or upgrade of Windows.
A lot has been said and written about DAX Errors, but I couldn't find anything related to this problem.
If you get the "DAX Driver Error" message after installing SmartSDR on a CLEAN Windows 10 (or later) installation, first check the "Memory Integrity" setting under "Core Isolation". If it is enabled, disable it. The DAX drivers do not need to be reinstalled, a reboot of the machine is sufficient.
The long story:
My brand new HP Elitebook laptop is equipped with Windows 10 Pro, but this may also apply to new installations of the Home version or Windows 11 (Pro or Home).
After uninstalling the inevitable bloatware, the next task was to install SmartSDR. Everything went fine, but after starting SmartSDR the message "DAX Driver Error" appeared on the screen.
This was certainly not the first time I installed SmartSDR, it has been running flawlessly for years on multiple laptops and PCs running Windows 7, 10 and 11, both the Home and Pro versions. But it was the first time I encountered this problem. Strange, why does it run without problems on all those other machines and not on this new laptop?
In device manager the DAX drivers showed the error message:
Unable to load the device driver for this device into memory. The driver may be corrupted or missing. (Code 39)
%hs is not suitable for Windows or it contains an error. Try installing the program again using the original installation media or contact your system administrator or software vendor for assistance. Error status 0x
Even after uninstalling and reinstalling the drivers several times, following the procedure described by Tim - https://helpdesk.flexradio.com/hc/en-us/articles/204017069-How-to-Manually-Re-Install-DAX Drivers - the problem persisted.
I spent two days and one night trying to solve the problem by removing more software from HP and searching the Flexradio forum and the rest of the internet, all to no avail.
Until I ran into the "Core Isolation" - "Memory Integrity" settings. After disabling "Memory Integrity", followed by a machine reboot, miraculously the DAX devices appeared under "Audio Input and Output " in "Device Manager" , and under "Sound, video and game controllers" the DAX drivers no longer showed errors.
Conclusion: after disabling "Memory Integrity" the DAX Drivers are correctly loaded into memory. The disadvantage is that "Memory Integrity" cannot be re-enabled afterwards because incompatible drivers are now present.
Learn more about Device Security and Core Isolation here: https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/device-protection-in-windows-security-afa11526-de57-b1c5-599f-3a4c6a61c5e2
The reason it worked fine on all other machines is probably because the other machines are all a bit older and the "Core Isolation" and "Memory Integrity" settings only appear in later versions/updates of Windows.
On one of the laptops, recently migrated from Windows 10 to Windows 11, the "Core Isolation" function is not present, on another it is present but disabled. It turns out that "Memory Integrity" is turned off by default for migrations from Windows 10 to 11.
Maybe not a top priority, but it seems to me that Flexradio has a job to do here to eventually make the DAX drivers compatible (but I also realize that the drivers are probably deeply embedded in Windows and that this is not just a piece of cake ).
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