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Audio device mis-configured

Audio devices most people give up with fixing these problems and call a tech...

You click on your favorite movie, it is showing in the video player but no sound??

I would say that in over 85% of the sound problems I have dealt with it is the "Wave" function is either set to minimum or muted.

Another 5% or so were the actual sound device (card or embedded) and the remaining 10% would be drivers, either the wrong ones (as in an update being run), corrupt, or just not installed.

So if you go through your checklist, that is you went to the Device Manager, right clicked on the Sound device and it is "operating correctly" that means the device has initialized on startup and the OS loaded the drivers.

All is good.

The audio device is one of the easiest program/devices to get the configuration wrong.


On systems that have multiple sound devices such as an embedded device and an add on card the Operating System will pick the embedded device as default when the Operating System is installed or when ever there is a problem with one of the devices. Check the properties page for which sound device is default, even when using an add on card and disabling the embedded device in BIOS this still happens.

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Some USB devices also get a higher priority when attached because the last hardware to be initialized when the computer starts are USB devices. If this is happening to your sound settings your options are to use the USB device, remember to change it, or disconnect the device until you need it.

This happens when a specific sound device is needed for a program, Dragon Naturally Speaking needs a headset and microphone combination that comes with the program. The headset is a USB device so when the computer starts the USB device driver loads the Operating System sets the headset and microphone as default.

Before tearing in to the computer or searching for drivers why not look at the properties of the sound?

  • From the control panel open the Sound and Audio Devices Applet.
  • On the  properties page go to the middle  "Advanced" button and click on it.
  • A new page will open.
  • Look at the list above the slide bars, see "Wave"? is it at minimum or muted?
  • If it is either then move the slider bar up to the top, or click the mute box to clear the check mark.
  • Check you sound, all good?
  • Done.

Normally I have all the sliders to maximum and control the volume with the "Device Volume" slider bar.

If you still don't have sound and have more than one sound device click the sound tab, look at the "Default device", is it the one you want to use?

With Windows Vista and newer Operating Systems you may find that the "default" hardware maybe a USB device, this would be fine if the hardware is USB but if it is embedded or an add on card you may have to uninstall the software then reinstall it to get your hardware to work. This problem is inherent with the newer Operating Systems, I notice it is more relevant with network hardware than sound.

If you still don't have sound then further troubleshooting is necessary, see this page: Audio devices.

Why have more than one sound device?

I have the normal embedded sound and I have a headset/recorder that I use for making sound recordings or when I play games, DOOM will rock my house if I use the speakers in surround sound. BIGl Smiles...

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An Audio device is not hard to configure, normally the default settings will be correct, it is those pesky special add on cards that cause all your problems... BIGl Smiles...

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