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No Sound or Audio is Heard in Microsoft Windows XP, Win98, and ME

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Description

This document applies to Microsoft Windows 98, Me, and XP.
This document offers solutions for fixing problems that you may be experiencing with sound. There are several reasons that you may not hear sound coming from your notebook PC.

Simple sound system test

To test the system for changes in the sound, perform the steps below:
  1. Click Start and click Control Panel.
  2. Select the Control Panel icon for sound devices.
    • In Category View, click Sounds, Speech, and Audio Devices.
    • In Classic View, click Sounds and Audio Devices.
  3. On the Sounds tab, under Program events, select any event, such as Asterisk, and then under Sounds, select any sound, such as Chord.
  4. Click the Play button . You should be able to hear sound coming through the speakers or headphones.

Method 1: Verify the speaker connections

When you are using external speakers or headphones, perform the following activities to verify that the sound cables are properly connected from the speaker to your notebook PC. Cable connectors and plug assignments are normally color-coded to help you connect everything properly. If there are no external speakers, skip this method and go to Method 2: Check volume and mute settings .
  1. Disconnect the speaker cable from the PC.
  2. Insert the jack for the headphones directly into the “speaker out” connector on the PC. The connector may be identified by either a symbol of a speaker or a pair of headphones .
  3. Do a test of the sound on the computer as explained elsewhere.
    • If sound is not restored with the headphones, go to Method 2: Check volume and mute settings .
    • If sound is restored when the headphones are inserted into the speaker out connection but the speakers do not work, try the following steps:
      1. If the speakers are powered, verify an external power source such as an AC adapter is connected and working.
      2. Visually check the condition of the speaker wires. If possible, for testing purposes, replace the speaker wires.
      3. Visually check that the jacks are fully inserted into the speaker connectors.
    • If the sound from the speakers is not restored and you are using the original notebook speakers, go to a different method listed in this document for a probable solution.
    • If the sound from the speakers is not restored and you are using speakers that are not the original speaker, check with the manufacturer of your speakers for a possible solution.

Method 2: Check volume and mute settings

The most common cause for no sound is the accidental muting of the sound system. To determine if the sound is muted and to check the settings, perform the steps below.
  1. Double-click the Speaker icon on the task bar (bottom right area of display screen) to open the Volume Control window.
    If there is no speaker icon, press the Windows key & the R key on the keyboard, type the sndvol32 command, and press the Enter key.
  2. Remove all check marks from the Mute check boxes at the bottom of the Volume Control window.
  3. Use the cursor to raise the slider bars to the highest volume settings, then test the sound again.
  4. If sound is restored, adjust the volume to a comfortable volume setting.

Method 3: Perform a Windows System Restore

If the sound system did work in the past but has now stopped, the Windows System Restore feature may help correct the problem. Windows XP monitors critical system settings and automatically creates restore points on a regular basis.
NOTE:Because the Windows XP System Restore Utility restores system files to an earlier checkpoint (time) any application program or utility installed after that point in time will not work and will need to be reinstalled. For detailed information on using the Microsoft System Restore, see HP Notebook PCs - Using the Microsoft System Restore Feature .
To restore the system settings to earlier proper operating conditions, perform the steps below.
  1. Click Start, click Help & Support, and then click System Restore.
  2. Follow the instructions presented to restore your computer settings to an earlier time.
  3. As the final step, the computer will restart and the sound should begin working again.

Method 4: Delete and reinstall the original sound drivers

If a sound driver is corrupted or missing, or the restore utility menu option is not available, the PC can be returned to factory condition by deleting and then reinstalling the default drivers. There are two distinct activities to this method: delete the drivers, and reinstall the drivers.
NOTE:In most instances, just performing the reinstall activity will restore the sound. However, if the driver problem still exists after the reinstallation, delete the existing drivers and perform the reinstall again. For sound system problems, HP recommends that the existing drivers be deleted before reinstalling the original drivers.
Based on the operating system that you are using, perform the following activities to restore the sound drivers.

Win 98 & ME - Delete sound drivers

For Windows 98 and Windows Me, to delete the PC sound drivers in Safe Mode, perform the steps below.
  1. Turn on the computer and press the F8 key repeatedly, until a menu appears.
  2. Select Safe Mode and press Enter. The Windows desktop displays Safe Mode in all four corners of the screen.
  3. To open Device Manager, click Start, and then click Control Panel.
  4. Click a sound device name other than Audio Codecs and Legacy Audio Drivers.
  5. Press Delete on the keyboard. Click OK on any warning windows that appear.
  6. Continue removing sound devices until Audio Codecs and Legacy Audio Drivers are the only devices remaining.
After the sound device drivers are deleted, take one of the following actions:

Windows 98 & Windows Me - Allow Windows to restore the default drivers

The following information is helpful if the PC is restarted after deleting the drivers. On restart, the system will detect the hardware devices and attempt to install the required default drivers.
If prompted for the location of specific driver files, browse the following path names until the files are found:
  • C:\Windows\inf
  • C:\Windows\options\cabs
  • C:\Windows\system

Windows 98 & Windows Me - Reinstall default sound drivers in Safe Mode

For Windows 98 and Windows Me, to reinstall the PC sound drivers in the Safe Mode, perform the steps below.
  1. If the PC is not running in Safe Mode, follow the instructions above to start the PC in Safe Mode.
  2. Click Start, then click Help to open the Help and Support window.
  3. Under Welcome to the HP Knowledge Center, click Restore My Presario.
  4. Click HP Quick Restore. The HP Quick Restore window appears.
  5. Click the multi-colored cube to choose Selective Restore.
  6. Select the sound driver to install, then click OK.
  7. When the installation of the sound driver is complete, allow the computer to restart in normal mode, and the sound should begin working.

Windows XP - Delete default sound drivers

In Windows XP, it is not necessary to enter Safe Mode to delete drivers.
  1. Click Start, and then click Control Panel to open Device Manager.
  2. Click a sound device name other than Audio Codecs and Legacy Audio Drivers.
  3. Press the Delete key. Click OK on any warning windows that appear.
  4. Continue removing sound devices until Audio Codecs and Legacy Audio Drivers are the only devices remaining.
After the sound device drivers are deleted, do one of the following:

Windows XP - Allow Windows to restore the default drivers

The following information is helpful if the PC is restarted after deleting the drivers. On restart, the system will detect the hardware devices and attempt to install the required default drivers.
  • If prompted for the location of specific driver files, browse the following path names until the files are found:
    • C:\Windows\inf
    • C:\Windows\options\cabs
    • C:\Windows\system
    • C:\Windows\system32
  • If prompted for information referencing Digital Signature Verification, click Continue Anyway.

Method 5: Install the latest sound driver

If you are connected to the internet, download and install the latest sound driver using one of the following procedures.
Read the instructions on the downloaded pages carefully before installing.
If there are no updated drivers, continue to Method 6: Disable digital audio playback.

Method 6: Disable digital audio playback

Many optical drives do not use digital playback. If the digital playback is enabled, no sound will be heard when playing audio disks. Use one of the following procedures to disable this digital playback feature.
Based on the operating system that you are using, do the following activities to disable the digital sound drivers during playback.

Windows XP & Windows Me - Disable digital sound driver

In Windows XP and Windows Me, to disable the sound drivers for the CD sound for the CD drive, do the following activities.
  1. Click Start.
  2. Right-click My Computer, and then click Properties.
  3. Click Hardware, then Device Manager.
  4. Click the plus sign (+) next to optical drive.
    For Windows Me, select CD-ROM, or for Windows XP, select DVD/CD-ROM.
  5. Double click the name of the optical drive and select the Properties tab.
  6. Select the Properties tab and remove the check mark for the Enable digital CD audio for the CD-ROM device option.
  7. Click OK to accept the change and close the Device Manger windows.
If you still have no sound, continue to the next method.

Windows 98 - Disable digital sound driver

In Windows 98, to disable the sound drivers for the CD sound for the CD drive, perform the steps below.
  1. Click Start, then Control Panel, and then Multimedia.
  2. On the Multimedia panel, click the CD Music tab and remove the check mark next to the Enable digital CD sound for this CD-ROM device option.
  3. Click OK to accept the change and close the Device Manger windows.
  4. Restart the computer to restart the sound system.
If you still have no sound, continue to another method.

Method 7: Install updated firmware (BIOS)

Instructions on obtaining the latest BIOS software for the PC can be found at Locating HP Software, Driver and BIOS Updates .
Perform the following steps to automatically download and install the latest version of the BIOS software, which may help resolve your sound problem.
  1. Click Start, then Help and Support.
  2. On the Help and Support panel, click Update Software and Drivers, then Check for HP Software Updates, and follow the instructions to locate and download the latest version of the BIOS software.
  3. After the BIOS is updated, allow the PC to restart completely before performing any other tasks.

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