There seems to be so much chaos when it's time of audio stuff.
First, directsound wasn't removed in windows vista. Just the Hardware Abstraction Layer was scraped, in favor of a pure software renderer.
Creative, in all its goodness, always pushed for hardware offloading to access EAX extensions, since theoretically if you were looking for a proper accelerator... there were only theirs (and it's better I don't start to complain about their mob policies and all..)
I mean, in fairness EAX 2 was included directly in directx 8 (so yes, technically every onboard chip should support it.. on XP) but I guess the OP wanted to know something more about windows ≥Vista
Basically the solutions are these
Personally, if I had to choose, I would go with Asus's GX unhesitatingly, since I could manage to get results even in a damn extreme case
But I understand the question was aimed to integrated devices only... 3Dsoundback and ALchemy are the only workarounds then.
However as you saw, it's not so easy. In particular I remember that time I tried to use both of them with F.E.A.R.
The game just didn't care of the hacked dlls... It continued to load original windows dsound, as if the game was able to detect the tamper (the problem seems similar to that you have here)
This until I updated ALchemy to the last official version that probably has some new (and faster) hijack mechanism.
It's the newest (and probably last) version after all (just an year old), seas and mountains of improvements had to have been made in the meantime ( universal version and realtek's workaround are dates back more than 6 years ago)
Anyway official means that it will still successfully install, but it won't launch without X-Fi hardware.
You can try to bypass the limitation with X-Fi modded custom drivers. Or alternatively just check the attached .7z if you do not want 150MB of crap (I just harvested as many versions of the tool I could).
I know: AV softwares flag them all (and I tried to give an explanation in the readme). I can't claim I'm 100% sure they are safe, since I did no reverse engineering
Though I can guarantee they are the same SoloR and Alexa originally did, so if you were going to trust some random driver tweaker, these will be the same
Just run the .bat files and ALchemy will then start to launch. You can delete the files afterwards.
Just for pleasure.. I took the liberty to attach my custom support.cab that I used to try ALchemy.. on windows XP 😵
dll didn't get loaded though 🙁
<moderator removed license activator download>