Listed below are some basic
steps to help restore sound to your computer. This troubleshooting guide
assumes that your computer has no sound at all.
- If you have Windows XP or
Windows Me, use the System Restore feature to return the computer back to
a time before the issue began.
- If you added hardware or
software to your computer immediately before the issue started, remove the
added hardware or software. Be sure to turn off the computer before
removing hardware. As with any problem that arises with computers,
reversing a process that started a problem may correct the problem.
- Be sure to check the
- Are the speakers turned on and have power?
- Try unplugging
the speaker power adapter and keep it disconnected for 30 seconds or so,
then plug it back in.
- Try plugging a known
working item (such as a lamp) to check the wall outlet for power.
- Check to insure that the
Mixer Control volumes are set to 3/4 volume and are not muted. Analog or
digital can be set in the Mixer Controls, depending on the type of sound
card and speakers used.
- Make sure that all
connections to all speakers are fully seated. Usually, these plugs click
twice before the fully seat.
- Try plugging in a known
working set of head phones to ensure that the sound card is functioning.
- Try plugging in the
speakers to a known working portable CD player that will accept the same
connection. This will determine if the speakers are working.
- Go to: Start>> Control Panel>> Administrative Tools>> Component
Services>> Services. Make sure audio is enabled.
- Go to: Start>> Control Panel>> Administrative Tools>> Services>> Windows
Audio. Make sure "Windows Media" service is running. If it's not, right
click on this service and select "Start".
- Go to: Start>> Control Panel>> Sounds and Audio Device Properties. Be
sure that the "Mute" checkbox is unchecked.
Many sound problems are
resolved simply by downloading the latest version of the Windows Media Player
and/or Internet Explorer directly from Microsoft to use as a baseline test.
If you are using Microsoft
Media Player, it may be useful to check for any recent updates. To do that,
just start the Media Player, click on "Help", then click on "Check
for Player Updates..", and it will automatically download any updates.
Or, you can download the
latest Microsoft Windows Media Player for both PCs and Mac for free from:
Also, since old versions of
web browsers may have limitations or problems, check for any web browser
updates, and upgrade to the latest version of your web browser. For Microsoft
products, the current status of your software can be verified by the Windows
Update web site at:
Reset the default BIOS
You can try resetting the
sound default in the BIOS. Here's how:
Note: For most PC's
entering the BIOS will be the same. If the instructions below do not
work for your system, consult your operating manual for instructions on
entering the BIOS.
- Turn the PC on. When the Windows logo
first appears, press the F1 key repeatedly until you see the
BIOS setup screen appear.
- Press the
- Select Yes or OK, then press the Enter
key on your keyboard.
- Press the F10 key, then select Yes or
OK to save the default settings. Press Enter.
- Exit the BIOS and restart your system
checking for sound.
This document applies to
Microsoft Windows 98, ME, and XP.
There are many reasons why sound can disappear. The steps inside this document fix a wide variety of sound failures.
Perform the steps in order until you can hear sound from the speakers. This document pertains to original sound
devices that came installed on HP Pavilion computers. If a sound card was added, consult the sound card vendor's Web
site for support information and driver updates.
Step 1: Checking volume and mute settings:
The volume setting for one or more sound devices might be disabled or set too low. Use the following steps to adjust
volumes to their correct levels:
In Windows XP, click Start, and then click Control Panel.
In Windows 98 and ME, click Start, click Settings, and then click Control Panel
In Windows XP, open Sounds, Speech, and Audio Devices, and then click Sound and Audio Devices.
In Windows 98 and ME, open Sounds and Multimedia, and then click the Audio tab.
In Windows XP, click the Advanced button under Device Volume.
In Windows 98 and Me, click the Volume button under Sound Playback.
Remove all checkmarks from Mute boxes at the bottom of the Master Volume window and adjust the volume setting slide
bars to their highest positions. Close the Master Volume window and test for sound. If
there is still no sound, go to the next Step.
Step 2: Verifying the connections:
Use the following steps to verify that the sound cables are properly connected from the speaker to the computer
(cable connectors and plug assignments are normally color-coded to aid with connections).
Unplug the sound cable.
Plug headphones or one speaker directly into the speaker out connector on the back of the computer.
The speaker out connector may have a symbol of a speaker
or a circle with an arrow pointing out, or it may just say "OUT" next to it. Test for sound using the computer.
If sound does not work, go to "Step 3:
If sound is restored when the headphones or one speaker is
plugged in, replace the original sound cable with a new sound cable and test for sound. Sound should be restored
after replacing the sound cable. If sound does not come back after replacing the cable, the sound card needs to be
replaced because the speaker out connector is bad.
Step 3: Configuring on-board sound in the BIOS:
Some computers come with sound on the motherboard (on-board), and some computers use
a sound card. The on-board sound setting in the BIOS has to be set according to your particular sound
configuration. Perform the following steps to correctly configure the sound in the BIOS:
Look at the back of your computer and use one of the following three items to determine the proper sound
configuration and sound setting:
If the plugs for the speakers and microphones are located next to the parallel, serial, or USB ports, then the
computer has on-board sound. The on-board sound setting in the BIOS should be Enabled.
If the plugs for the speakers and microphone are located away from the other ports and sit in an area by
themselves, the computer has a soundcard. The on-board sound setting (if there is one) in the BIOS should be
Disabled. If the computer has sound plugs in both locations, a
soundcard has been added to the computer that already contains on-board sound. The on-board sound setting should
be Disabled. To enter the BIOS, turn on the computer and when the first screen appears, press the F1 key repeatedly until the BIOS
Setup screen opens. Use the LEFT and RIGHT ARROW keys to select the Advanced tab.
Press the DOWN ARROW key to select Onboard Audio Options and press ENTER. If Onboard Audio Options is not
available, select I/O Device Configuration and press ENTER. If Audio Codec is listed, select it and press ENTER.
Select either Enabled or Disabled depending on your
configuration and press ENTER. Press the F10 key and then press ENTER to save and exit
Start Windows and check for sound. If there is still no sound, continue to the next Step.
Step 4: Restoring the sound drivers
Use the recovery process to restore individual drivers for a sound or combination sound-modem card.
If the computer came with recovery discs (Windows 98 and Me), place the last disc of the set into the top disc
drive and follow the on-screen menus as they appear. Restart the computer after restoring the sound driver
software and test for sound. If there is still no sound, continue to the next Step.
Step 5: Installing an updated sound driver:
Go to your computer manufactures web page to search for updated sound driver software.
Read the instructions on the download pages carefully
If there are no updated sound drivers available, use Microsoft's Windows Update feature. Connect to the
Internet and try the following items until Windows Update opens:
Click Start, and then click Windows Update (if it is listed).
Click Start, click Settings, and then click Windows Update (if it is listed).
Click Start, click All Programs, and then click Windows Update (if it is listed).
Go to Microsoft's Web site and click Windows Update from the Downloads menu.
If either Web site does not contain updated drivers, continue to the next Step.
Step 6: Removing the drivers in Safe Mode:
Turn on the computer and press the F8 key repeatedly, every half of a second, until a menu appears.
Select Safe Mode and press ENTER. The Windows desktop displays Safe Mode in all four corners of the screen.
In Windows XP, click Start, and right-click My Computer.
In Windows 98 and Me, right-click the My Computer icon on the desktop.
Click Properties from the list that appears.
In Windows XP, click the Hardware tab then the Device Manager button.
In Windows 98 and Me, click the Device Manager tab.
Click the plus sign (+) next to Sound, video and game controllers.
Click a sound device name other than audio codecs and Legacy Audio Drivers, and then click Remove. In Windows
XP, the Remove button is a small picture of a computer overlaid by an X. Click OK on the warning
windows that appear. Continue removing sound devices until all devices are removed. If the device is a combination sound-modem card,
remove the items under Modem as well.
NOTE: Do not remove audio and video codecs.
Click OK in Device Manager when there are no more items to remove under Sound, video and game controllers.
Close all programs and restart Windows. Go to the next Step.
Step 7: Reinstalling the sound drivers
Windows will find new sound hardware. If a window appears stating that Windows needs help
finding a particular file, you can browse using the following pathnames until the file is found:
Click "Continue Anyway" on any Digital Signature Verification windows that
Restart the computer and test for sound. If the problem remains, then try
reseating your sound card. Also, try placing your sound card into a
different slot. If you are still having trouble up to this point, the
problem is likely that you have a faulty sound card.
I have a Dimension 4600, 1gb
RAM, Windows XP, with and ADA745 sound system. For about 1 ½ years
everything was fine, but a few months ago, half (or more) of my audio volume
disappeared. The volume is so low I can't even hear the audio on the other
side of my room. I've tried absolutely everything. I've checked the hardware
configuration, cable connections, speaker volume knob, volume control/wave
and every other conceivable volume control and nothing makes any difference
whatsoever. There's nothing I haven't checked and nothing is wrong anywhere.
Except for the low volume, the sound quality is perfect, and it doesn't
matter whether I'm playing a CD, playing a downloaded MP3, listening to
streaming audio. Nor does it matter which media player I'm using: WMP,
Winamp, MusicMatch, RealAudio - it's all the same.
The only possible clue is this: Although the volume is now low all the time,
for a period of a few months, every once in a while, totally at random, the
volume would suddenly surge way up to where it was supposed to be, and then
after only a few seconds, go back down to its usual low level. This made me
suspect a hardware problem - a bad connection or loose wire, but no amount of
fiddling with the wires and plugs has indicated this. Is it possible that
there's some gizmo or circuit inside the subwoofer that's faulty? If that
were the case, though, I'd expect there not to be any volume at all, rather
that only half or a third.
It sounds like your Volume
Potentiometer has a bunch of build-up on it. The Volume Potentiometer is a
small circuit board that the volume knob is attached too. Try carefully
taking the speaker apart, unscrew the little circuit board that the
potentiometer is attached too, and blast it with some canned compressed air.
Reassemble and test it.