Virtual Audio Cable


If distribution files are packed, first unpack the archive to an empty folder on your local hard disk. The original package is a ZIP archive and you can unpack it using Windows internal ZIP pseudo-folder support, simply "entering" into the package, selecting all files and folders, and then copying them to an empty folder. Please don't try to start installation right inside a ZIP pseudo-folder, it will not work.

Alternatively, you can unpack the package using 7-Zip, IZArc or similar unpackers.

Please take care to preserve subfolder structure of the package. It is not recommended to unpack the package to an encrypted and/or network folder and/or disk, use a plain disk/folder is possible.

Creating an empty folder to unpack the installation package, use a simply named folder that does not contain unusual characters in the path.

  • Uninstall all installed versions of VAC 4. It is very important. Previous major versions of the VAC (1.xx, 2.xx, 3.xx) will not interfere with VAC 4 and you don't need to uninstall them if you want to use several different versions.
  • Read the system default device issues section.
  • If UAC is not enabled in your Windows 6.x system, explicitly log to the Administrator account.
  • If you need more than 16 Virtual Cable devices, read the get more than 16 virtual cables section.
  • Run the setup.exe file from the package directory and follow instructions displayed.

If you have some previous major (2.xx or 3.xx) version of VAC installed, make sure you have chosen different installation folder and Start Menu folder. Different major versions of VAC can coexist on the same system but they need to be installed to different places.

If you are installing under Windows 5.x system and there is at least one WDM audio device in your system, VAC installer uses a lightweight installation mode that is silent and you will see no system warning messages. But if your system has no WDM audio devices or you are running Windows 6.x, installer performs a compatible-mode installation. In such case, the system warns you that the driver has no WHQL signature. The system also will warn that product publisher is NTONYX and ask whether you trust it. Let the system install the driver.

Under 64-bit Windows 6.x, kernel-mode drivers require a publisher's digital signature to be loaded. VAC driver is signed by a certificate issued to NTONYX, one of VAC resellers. The author cannot sign the driver personally because Microsoft introduced a strange security policy that does not allow an individual developer to obtain a publisher certificate valid for driver signing.

After successful installation, you will receive a confirmation dialog. If there were no errors, Windows restart is not required. VAC becomes functional immediately after the installation completes. If Windows cannot safely replace system files during installation, a reboot is required to make VAC active.

Performing the installation, Setup creates a log file in Windows temporary directory. This file reflects all operations performed by the installer. If installation succeeds, log file is moved to an installation directory and renamed to "install.log". Saved log file may be needed if some problems will appear further. If installation fails, Setup prompts you to keep the log file in a temporary directory. If you experience a problem with installation, please keep the file and attach it to your support request.

As a result of the successful installation, a new system-wide device named Virtual Audio Cable appears in the Sound/Multimedia device group of the Device Manager.

In Windows 5.x, the driver exposes a set of audio (waveform) ports named Virtual Cable N (N is cable number). Unlike previous versions of the VAC, In and Out ports have the same names, as usual in modern Windows versions. It is easy to distinct them because all applications place input and output device names to different lists.

In Windows 6.x, due to endpoint mechanism, Virtual Cable devices are named differently: "XXX N (Virtual Audio Cable)" where "XXX" stands for a source line name and "N" stands for a cable number. The endpoint idea is useful for real audio devices having multiple input lines but is meaningless for a Virtual Cable device that has only a single audio path. But some applications like MSN Messenger try to locate a particular source line (for example, microphone or line input) input so VAC supports them, exposing fake "inputs lines". By default, only a single source line is exposed, named "Line" (an "analog line input"). At a cable playback end, VAC also exposes the "Line" endpoint (an "analog line output"). So, by default, there will be a single input and a single output waveform audio port for each Virtual Cable.

Totally, VAC can expose up to three source lines from each cable: Microphone input ("Mic"), line input ("Line") and S/PDIF input ("S/PDIF"). See the Configuration chapter for details.

If you don't see Virtual Cable devices in audio device menus and are absolutely sure that it is not related to a known issue (for example, an inappropriate remote connection or virtualized environment), please try the manual installation.

The setup process also creates Virtual Audio Cable (if you have not modified this name) folder in your Start/Programs Menu. It contain a shortcuts to the Audio Repeater, VAC Control Panel and other useful links. If the All Users menu (Start Menu folders for all users at this computer) is available, the VAC folder created here. Otherwise, the folder is created for the currently logged user.

Now you can begin using the VAC.

Manual driver installation

Manual driver installation may be required if VAC installer was not capable to install all the driver functions automatically. In such cases, the installer reports successful installation and you see a working Virtual Audio Cable device in Device Manager but you don't see Virtual Cable devices in audio application device lists or cannot get them to function properly.

Manual installation should be performed only if VAC proprietary installer reported that the installation was successful but Virtual Cable devices are not visible or do not function. If VAC installer reports an error, don't perform a manual installation but ask for a support.

Also please make sure that there is no other known issues (for example, an inappropriate remote connection or virtualized environment).

To install VAC manually, perform the following actions:

  • Start Windows Hardware Wizard (the Add Hardware item in the Windows Control Panel).

  • Specify that the hardware is already connected.

  • In a device list, select "Add a new hardware device".

  • In a next form, choose "manually select from a list".

  • In a device type list, choose "Sound, video and game controllers".

  • In a manufacturer list form, click "Have Disk" button.

  • Browse for the folder where VAC installation files are unpacked.

  • In a device list, choose "Virtual Audio Cable".

You will be warned that the driver is unsigned. Proceed the installation.

When manual installation is finished, you should see Virtual Cable devices. If they still are not visible, please ask for a support.

Do not perform manual installation before installing VAC using its setup utility. During manual installation, only driver files are installed while VAC setup utility installs all VAC files, such as VAC Control Panel application. Manual installation can be performed after running VAC setup utility but not vice versa. If you have performed manual installation before running VAC setup utility, you must use Advanced Setup Mode to overwrite driver files and over-install the driver. Such sequence is not recommended.

Advanced setup mode

Setup utility works for an ordinary user by default. In this mode, any abnormal situation causes abortion of installation process. If you are an experienced user and can understand some abnormal situations (for example, when file to be created is actually present), you can select the "I am an advanced user" checkbox. In such case, you will be prompted if some files, devices and/or services already exists and may be overwritten. Use this feature with extreme care. In general, there are no need to overwrite anything during normal installation process. You need an advanced mode only if you have incorrectly uninstalled VAC or tried to install it over the already installed one.

When the general installation mode fails, you can try the advanced mode.

First, locate a directory and a Start Menu folder where VAC files/links are installed, and delete them. Start the setup utility and check the "I am an advanced user" item. When prompted to overwrite existing files and replace service and/or device descriptors, answer Yes/Ok.

At first phase, the installer may be unable to replace all objects needed, and installation process may abort again. In such case, reboot the system and run the installation in advanced mode again. If prompted for overwriting some files, answer Yes. At this second phase, installation must succeed. If it aborts again, request for a support.