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After weeks of frustration I seem to have the solution to a X-Fi issue in Windows 8.1. There would be no sound each time after a reboot or after cold start. I’d have to go into Configuration Panel, go to Hardware and deactivate / reactivate the Soundblaster and reboot to get the speakers to play. Bottom line: the SB software / card thinks a headphones is connected. Solution: go to the SB Configuration Panel, go to Headphones settings and disable “autodetection of headphones” AND disable “mute speakers automatically”. Reboot. Done.