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December 28, 2008

Resolving Audio Problems With PC's, Or "Help - I Can't Hear Anything!"

Just as we were about to put the boys to bed tonight, I decided to show a video to my older son on my notebook. Well, what do you know but the sound did not work. When I informed my husband that I needed to troubleshoot, he knew that he would be putting the boys to bed tonight. I am lucky to have a husband who supports his wife's troubleshooting obsession. We share a love of geekiness between us, except he (Neil Blecherman) is a green geek.

Just in case other moms or dads have a "sudden" audio problem that stops them from hearing any sounds from their computer (for those with built-in speakers) - here are some troubleshooting hints:

1. CHECK YOUR AUDIO DRIVER: It is important for the first step to be determining the actual sound problem. Most computers have a "speaker" icon on the toolbar. Right click to see if the speakers are working. You can also check the audio by looking at control panel>device manager>sound video & games controllers. You should be able to "click" on the sound controller. If you don't see it, that may be an important hint.

With my problem it actually said "device not installed" when I knew I had an audio driver installed (I had been hearing sound beforehand).

2. INSTALL A NEW AUDIO DRIVER: After you have decided that the problem is related to the audio driver, then it either is corrupt or "uninstalled" for some reason. To solve this, go to the support website for your computer and follow these steps:
a. Go to "computer" on your sidebar and then right click and choose "properties". This will show you the correct model number for your desktop or PC which is important.
b. At the computer manufacturer's support website (my notebook is made by HP, so I went to the HP Customer Care website). Type the model number and search for "audio driver". Find the right driver for your computer and re-install.

I reinstalled my audio driver - and suddenly I can hear sound again from my PC!! Yeah!!

Vista Users (I am one of them..) - I found the following information (CLICK HERE) on the HP Website about resolving audio problems. I am sure each computer manufacturer website has similar information on resolving audio problems.

Please share any other audio problem stories with me. I would be really interested to hear from any APPLE users - this post only covers Windows PC's.


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Some simpler troubleshooting tips (I've been called to troubleshoot most of these):

1. Make sure you aren't muted and the volume is actually turned up enough.

2. Sometimes a video you expect to have audio doesn't. Try something else that should have sound. Single click the speaker icon and change the volume, you should hear a beep - not the crummy old 80's tinny sounding computer beep, but one that comes from your speakers.

3. Some computers have separate "hard-wired" volumes/mutes, so in addition to checking windows settings, check your computer's volume too.

4. Make sure you don't have headphones plugged in, because they'll likely turn off your speakers.

5. If you have external speakers plugged in, make sure they are turned on/up/etc.

6. Make sure you actually have speakers for your computer.

Its really good to see this blog, u have nice information about audio devices. Images here are also good. I will like too see this blog again.

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