Thursday, 7 November 2013

StarTech 7.1 USB External Sound Card for Intel NUC Driver Error on Windows 8.1

We set up our first Intel NUC only to discover that the device has no built-in sound outputs beyond the HDMI interface. For folks that do not have an HDMI based monitor with built-in speakers, basically 99% of our world, this is a big hang-up for the product ... and an added expense against competitors like the Lenovo Tiny.


We plugged the device into a USB port on our NUC running Windows 8.1 and it picked up immediately. Though, we had one catch: The headphone jack was not working.

The StarTech chat mechanism on their Web site was not functioning correctly so we called in and were greeted with a friendly and very helpful technician.

In the end we had to download the driver, extract it after unblocking the ZIP file, and set its Compatibility Mode to XP Service Pack 3.

After a reboot we were able to set the default output to headphones:


We can now listen to our Dubstep and other fun bouncy stuff without disturbing the neighbours. :)

NOTE: The StarTech technician indicated a Windows 8.1 compatible driver should be available at some point soon.

Philip Elder
Microsoft Small Business Specialists
Co-Author: SBS 2008 Blueprint Book

Chef de partie in the SMBKitchen
Find out more at

Windows Live Writer

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