Using AC97 audio with Windows 7
Like thousands of other IT pros out there, I'm testing Windows 7 out on my laptop – since I don't want to mess around with my main PC, it's running on some older kit. The problem with that is that there aren't many Vista drivers around for the hardware – why would there be, it's not even supposed to be able to run Vista?! It does, however, run Windows 7 very admirably (just one of the many improvements).
The only problem was the sound card, the only drivers available from Dell for the onboard sound were for XP, which crash in both Vista and 7. The sound card is compatible with Intel's generic AC97, so it didn't take long to find a Vista compatible AC97 driver from RealTek which will run any AC97 hardware, regardless of the actual manufacturer.