Disclaimer: There is a related question, describing missing in-game sound. This is about the game crashing on start up and starting only with the -nosound flag (obviously deactivating sound output).

When Bioshock is started on Windows 7 (Steam version), it shows a splash screen with the Bioshock logo and then crashes. If one passes the -nosound flag to the game it manages to start and play music in the menu, but (obviously) does not play any sounds in-game.

Various internet-sites propose different tweaks but none work.

2 Answers 2


After digging a long while, reading tons of non-working suggestions, I found a very strange post suggesting to plug in a mic to fix the problem. To my surprise, this is the only working solution.

I plugged in my iPod earpods (which include a mic) and the game starts perfectly and plays sound. I suspect any cable/headphone/speaker will do. Just plug it in into the mic jack.


I vaguely recall that the original Bioshock supported EAX, so if you have your Creative console in entertainment mode (64 channels) instead of game mode (128 channels) it could be the cause of the crash.

This is of course assuming that configured Bioshock with ALchemy and have an Creative sound card.

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