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Saturday, November 13, 2010

No sound in Windows 7


Introduction
This tutorial is designed to help you identify and fix common sound problems in Windows, including no sound coming from your speakers or headphones. This tutorial doesn't cover sound problems related to specific programs. Sound problems can be caused by cables that aren't connected properly, corrupt drivers, incompatible drivers, sound settings, missing updates, and problems with your sound card.



How to use this tutorial
For best results, complete each step before moving on to the next one. Check for sound after each step before going to the next step.

Step 1: Check hardware



Many sound problems are caused by hardware that isn't set up property. Here's some information about how to check your sound card, verify that cables are plugged in to the correct locations, make sure the hardware has power, and check the volume.

Check your sound card
Check to make sure your computer has a sound card, or sound processor, and it's working properly.

Do one of the following:
If you're running Windows 7 or Windows Vista, click the Start button , click Control Panel, click System and Security, and then, under System, click Device Manager.   If you're prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.

If you're running Windows XP, click Start, click Control Panel, double-click System, click the Hardware tab, and then click Device Manager.   If you're prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.

Double-click Sound, video and game controllers to expand that category. If a sound card is listed, you have one installed. If no sound card is listed, check the information that came with your computer to see if there's supposed to be a sound card installed. If there should be a sound card installed, you'll need to install one. For more information, see Install or remove a sound card.

Notes
If you think you have a sound card installed, but you don't see it under the Sound, video and game controllers category, expand the Other devices category and check any devices listed there.

Laptops don't usually have sound cards. Instead, they have integrated sound processors, which appear in the same category in Device Manager.

If there's a yellow question mark next to the name of the sound card in Device Manager, there might be a problem.

Right-click the name of the sound card, and then click Properties.

Click the General tab, and then look in the Device status box to identify problems with the sound card.

If there's a problem, you might need a new driver for your sound card. For more information, see "Step 3: Update drivers" in this tutorial.

Check if the cables are connected properly



Check to make sure all of the cables are plugged in to the correct locations, which might include speakers and headphones, HDMI cables, USB audio devices, and other audio devices.

Check power and volume


If you have speakers, make sure they're plugged in to a working power source and turned on.

Make sure that your speaker volume or headphone volume isn't muted or turned down too low. This is particularly important for laptops, which often have small speakers that can be hard to hear.

Windows 7 and Windows Vista
Click the Start button , click Control Panel, click Hardware and Sound, and then, under Sound, click Adjust system volume.

Move the slider up to increase the volume.

Make sure the Mute button isn't turned on. If the button looks like this:  , muting is turned off. If the button looks like this: , click it to turn off muting.

Notes
Some laptops have an external volume control. If you're using a laptop, check the external volume control to make sure it's not turned all the way down.

In some cases, you might have several volume controls to check. For example, if you're using Windows Media Player, it has its own volume control; Windows has a volume control; and your external speakers have their own volume control. If any of these volume controls are set to their lowest setting, you will not hear any sound.

Step 2: Use a troubleshooter
A troubleshooter is an automated tool that can find and automatically fix some problems with your computer. Different versions of Windows use troubleshooters in different ways.

Run the first troubleshooter to diagnose and fix common sound playback issues, and then try to play an audio file. If the problem isn't fixed, try the next troubleshooter to diagnose and fix common problems with hardware and devices.



Step 3: Update drivers

In order for Windows to recognize your sound card or sound processor, you must find and install a compatible driver. Most sound cards and sound processors require driver software to work properly. Outdated, incompatible, or corrupted sound card drivers can disrupt communication between the computer and the sound card.

If you recently upgraded from one version of Windows to another, it's possible that the current sound card driver was designed for the previous version of Windows. If you've had recent power outages, viruses, or other computer problems, it's possible that the drivers have become corrupted. Downloading and installing the latest sound card driver for your sound card can resolve these types of problems.

Here are three ways to find and install a driver:


Use Windows Update. You might need to set Windows Update to automatically download and install recommended updates. Installing any important, recommended, and optional updates can update system features and other software that might help to fix your sound problems.

Install software from the device manufacturer. For example, if your device came with a disc, that disc might contain software that installs a driver for the device.

Download and install the driver yourself. You can search for a driver on the manufacturer's website. Try this if Windows Update can't find a driver for your device and the device didn't come with software that installs a driver.

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