"AUDIO I/O" in preferences giving blank dropdown menu HELP!

I am trying to make a home studio.

I recently purchased a brand new computer which I installed a “Creative SB X-Fi” soundcard. The device is installed fine and my computer says it is working fine.

I have an AUX cable directly routed from the X-Fi soundcard to an M-AUDIO pre-amp that can be powered either by USB or AV power. I have it powered using AC power source. I have an MXL condensor mic pugged via XLR cable into the pre-amp.

This is my setup.

Yesterday, I had a friend come over with his pre-amp and wire it through my exact same mic and soundcard to see if the problem was coming from one of those. It worked properly with audacity and we had a great signal and could record. We had no issued with Audacity recognizing any of the hardware then.

The only thing I switched since it worked yesterday was plugging in my own pre-amp via AUX cable into my soundcard and powered it with AC power. I still have the condensor mic plugged in the pre-amp.

I opened Audacity and went to preferences and in the “Audio A/I” dropdown menu.

Under “playback device” AND “recording device” the dropdown menu is COMPLETLY blank and is not seeing ANY of the hardware on my computer, when yesterday it had no problem like this at all with my friends pre-amp.

Things you may need to know:
Yesterday with my friends pre-amp plugged in, I had the “M-audio USB driver software” installed and it everything was working fine, we had a successful recorded signal and everything.

When I changed it to MY pre-amp,I had the “M-audio USB Audio Series driver software” still installed and Audacity started having the blank dropdown menu. (not recognizing my hardware)

I uninstalled the M-audio driver software and still Audacity has a blank dropdown menu for seeing my devices.

Why all of a sudden is Audacity not seeing any hardware at all? The only difference is my pre-amp versus my friends pre-amp. (Which my pre-amp is completely compatible with my computer, I checked.)

I even reinstalled my soundcard. It made no difference.

Help please?


Nowhere in that post did you say " I plugged the USB cable in." Is that what you’re talking about when you say the “AUX Cable?” Typically, the AUX cable or socket is an extra analog audio connection in addition to “Tape, Phono, CD, Tuner, etc.”