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HP G71-340US Notebook PC support

Resolving No Sound or Audio Problems (Windows Vista)

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This document pertains to HP Notebook computers with Windows Vista.
The steps in this document describe how to troubleshoot and fix the problem when there is no sound coming from the internal or external Notebook speakers. Several hardware or software issues may cause sound and audio problems. To begin troubleshooting, disconnect all possible external sound devices, such as digital audio, external speakers, and ear and head phones. After you restore the internal sound systems with all external devices disconnected, you can try reconnecting each device and testing the sound to isolate the problem.

Step 1: Use the Microsoft Fix it Solution

To automatically fix many types of sound problems in Windows Vista, click the Microsoft Fix it Solution:
If the sound problems continue after using the Fix it Solution, go to Step 2: Perform a simple sound system test to continue troubleshooting.

Step 2: Perform a simple sound system test

To perform a simple sound system test, follow the steps below.
  1. Double-click the sound icon in the task bar, and then select Mixer to display controls for all of the sound applications.
  2. Click Start, Control Panel, select Hardware and Sound, and then select Sound.
  3. From the Sounds tab, select any option under Program that has the sound icon next to it, such as Asterisk, and then click Test. Sound should be audible through the notebook's speakers.
If sound is not audible, go to Step 3: Check the volume and mute settings to continue troubleshooting.

Step 3: Check the volume and mute settings

If sound is not audible, it is possible that the sound control is turned down or set to mute. There are separate sound controls for the hardware devices (speakers / head sets) and the individual applications (Windows sound / QuickPlay / Windows Media Player). For example, if the speaker is turned on, but the application is muted, you will not hear any sound. You should open the sound volume mixer and check the different settings.
NOTE:If the volume for an application, such as Windows Media Player, was adjusted using the volume buttons or slider controls on the notebook case, the system will use that volume setting, even if the master volume control is adjusted to a higher setting.
To check the volume and mute settings, follow the steps below.
  1. Double-click the sound icon in the task bar, and then select Mixer. All of the active sound applications display.
    Figure 1: Volume Mixer
    Image of Volume Mixer
    If the sound icon does not appear in the taskbar, the audio drivers may need to be updated. Go to www.hp.com/support to locate the audio driver for your computer.
  2. Confirm the volume for the device in question is not set to mute. The icon at the bottom of the volume control displays the universal no symbol when a device is muted. Click the icon to toggle between mute and sound .
    NOTE:Because each sound device has its own mixer control, click the icon to enable sound for muted devices.
  3. Drag the slider bars to the highest volume settings, and then test the sound again.
NOTE:If the computer has a feature where you can slide your finger along a graduated strip above the keypad to change the volume, the capacitive touch mute button may become stuck in the muted position and prevent the playback of sound. To resolve this specific issue, download and install the latest BIOS for your particular computer model. See Step 8: Install updated firmware (BIOS) for more information.
The sound should now be restored. Adjust the volume to a comfortable setting.
If sound is not restored, go to Step 4: Test the sound devices to continue troubleshooting.

Step 4: Test the sound devices

When the external speakers are disconnected, the sound device named Speakers must be selected as the default and must be enabled.
NOTE:The notebook speakers will not work if Bluetooth Speakers or Digital Output is selected as the default sound device.
  1. Double-click the sound icon in the task bar, and then select Mixer to display controls for all of the sound applications.
  2. Click Start, type Sound into the search field, and then select Sound from the list.
    Figure 2: Playback Sound Window and Mixer Showing Multiple Sound Devices
    Image of Sound dialog box and Volume Mixer
  3. Verify that the Speakers sound device is set as the default device, and is enabled.
    NOTE:If the Speakers sound device is not listed, right-click anywhere on the Playback tab of the Sound window, and then select both the Show Disabled Devices and the Show Disconnected Devices options.
  4. If the Speakers sound option is Disabled, right-click Speakers, and then select the Enable option.
  5. Right-click Speakers and then click Test. Sound should be audible through the notebook's speakers.
  6. If sound is not audible, click Configure to verify the operation of the individual speakers.
The sound should now be restored. If the Speakers sound device is still not working properly, go to Step 5: Verify that the sound device is enabled in Device Manager to continue troubleshooting.

Step 5: Verify that the sound device is enabled in Device Manager

If there is no sound from the speakers or from the headset, follow the steps below to determine the state of the sound hardware within the Device Manager.
  1. Click Start, type device into the search field, and then select Device Manager from the list.
  2. Grant permission to continue, if prompted.
  3. Click the (+) plus sign next to Sound, video and game controllers to expand the list of sound devices installed on the computer (there may only be one).
  4. Determine if the sound device in question is enabled or disabled.
    • If a down arrow displays on the volume icon , the sound device is disabled.
    • If a down arrow does not display on the volume icon , the sound device is enabled.
  5. If the sound device is disabled, right-click the name of the sound device, and then click Enable.
    Retest the sound. If problems persist, continue troubleshooting.
  6. Right-click the name of the device, select Properties, and then view the message in the Device status field. The Device status field contains either:
    • a message with more troubleshooting information for your particular device.
      or
    • a message indicating that the device is working properly. If this message displays, the problem is most likely related to sound settings, the speakers, or the audio cables and connections for external speakers.
The sound should now be restored. If the sound device is still not working properly, go to Step 6: Restore the original audio driver to continue troubleshooting.

Step 6: Restore the original audio driver

Sound problems can occur when sound files and settings are changed. This can result in the controls in the sound mixer being grayed out. To resolve this issue, you should restore the original audio driver for the device.
Restoring the original audio driver quickly resets audio settings for the sound hardware and causes Windows to reinitialize the sound configuration. The Driver Recovery process in the HP Recovery Manager restores audio drivers for the sound hardware that came pre-installed on the computer.
NOTE:If the computer was upgraded to Windows Vista from Windows XP, go to Step 7: Install an updated audio drivers . Do not install the original XP audio drivers.Also, if sound is not audible through an HDMI connection, go to Step 7: Install an updated audio drivers .
To reinstall the original audio driver using HP Recovery Manager, follow the steps below.
  1. Click Start, type recovery into the search field, and then select Recovery Manager from the list.
  2. Grant permission to continue, if prompted. The HP Recovery Manager opens.
  3. On the Welcome to the Recovery Manager window, click the Advanced options button.
  4. On the Advanced options window, select Hardware driver re-installation, and then click Next.
  5. On the Welcome to hardware driver re-installer window, click Next.
  6. On the Select a driver to reinstall window, select the audio or sound driver to reinstall, and then click Next.
  7. Wait while HP Recovery Manager reinstalls the original audio driver, and then click Finish.
The computer will restart. If it does not restart automatically, restart the computer. Test for sound after the computer restarts.
The sound should now be restored. If the sound device is still not working properly, go to Step 7: Install an updated audio driver to continue troubleshooting.

Step 7: Install an updated audio driver

If sound problems persist after restoring the original audio sound driver or installing a particular software application, install an updated audio driver.
To install an updated audio driver, follow the steps below.
  1. Confirm that the computer is connected to the internet.
  2. Click Start, type device into the search field, and then select Device Manager from the list.
  3. Grant permission to continue, if prompted.
  4. Click the + (plus) sign next to Sound, video and game controllers in the Device Manager window.
    Figure 3: Sound Device in Device Manager
    Image of Sound Device in Device Manager
  5. Right-click the name of the audio device listed under Sound, video and game controllers, and then click Update Driver Software.
  6. Click Search automatically for updated driver software, when prompted.
  7. Windows checks for and installs any updated drivers. Restart the computer for the settings to take effect.
  8. Return to Step 2: Perform a simple sound system test to test the sound.
Sound should now be audible through the device. If the sound problems persist, or if no drivers were found and installed, go to Step 8: Install updated firmware (BIOS) .

Step 8: Install updated firmware (BIOS)

The BIOS is a program that allows the operating system to start when the computer is turned on. Updating the BIOS can resolve compatibility conflicts that may exist between different hardware components on the computer.
Please see the Using HP Update Tools to Update HP Software, Drivers, and BIOS (Windows Vista) support document for more information about updating the BIOS.
After updating the BIOS, return to Step 2: Perform a simple sound system test to test the sound.
If the sound problems persist, go to Step 9: Perform a Windows System Restore to continue troubleshooting.

Step 9: Perform a Windows System Restore

If the sound once worked, but has since stopped working, use the Windows System restore utility to attempt to correct the problem. Windows Vista monitors critical system settings and automatically creates restore points on a regular basis.
NOTE:The Windows System Restore utility restores system files to a specific point in time, called a restore point. Any software application or utility that is installed after the restore point is created will not work and must be reinstalled.
Please see the Using Microsoft System Restore (Windows Vista) support document for more information about System Restore.
After performing a Windows System Restore, return to Step 2: Perform a simple sound system test to test the sound.

Troubleshooting specific problems

If you continue to experience problems after restoring sound to the Notebook computer internal speakers, select a problem below to address specific issues.
Some optical drives, such as CD or DVD drives, do not use digital playback for all audio. If digital playback is enabled, sound will not be audible when playing audio discs. Disabling and re-enabling the digital sound drivers for the optical drive resets the device. Resetting the optical drive is similar to clearing the cache on the computer by restarting it.
NOTE:If the sound problems occur when you are playing a CD or DVD using a program such as QuickPlay, DVDPlay, or MuVee software, update the QuickPlay, DVDPlay, or MuVee software to the latest version. Within the application, select Help and follow the instructions for updating or upgrading the product.
To disable and re-enable the optical drive, follow the steps below.
  1. Click Start, type device into the search field, and then select Device Manager from the list.
  2. Grant permission to continue, if prompted.
  3. Click the plus (+) sign next to DVD/CD-ROM drives.
  4. Right-click the name of the optical drive, select Properties to open the Device Properties window, and then click the Driver tab.
  5. Click Disable, Yes to accept the change, and then OK.
  6. Click Enable, OK, and then close the Device Manager window.
Sound should now be audible through the device. If sound is still not audible through the device, perform another of the testing methods described in this document.
Use these steps to increase sound volume:
  1. It is important to know what type of speakers is compatible with your computer. You might be using the wrong type of speakers for your computer.
    Check your computer audio connections and speaker type and replace the speakers if they are the wrong type.
    • Non-powered speakers must be connected to an amplified sound connector on the computer (usually a blue or orange speaker-out connector). Non-powered speakers are also called passive speakers. When non-powered speakers are used with a line-out connector on the computer, the volume will be much lower/softer than normal.
    • Powered speakers use a power adapter or batteries to amplify the volume. They can connect into a line-out connector on the computer.
      Figure 4: Example of powered speakers and line-out connector (your connector may look slightly different)
      Image of powered external speakers and line-out connector
  2. If you are using speakers in a monitor and you are experiencing low volume from all Windows programs, go into the monitor's setup menu and confirm the volume is turned up for the monitor. Use the buttons that are attached to the monitor to enter the on-screen menu and look for menu settings that pertain to sound. For more detailed instructions on how to adjust the volume setting for your particular monitor, please refer to the manufacturer's documentation for the monitor.
  3. If sound volume is low, but only in one software application, try to find and adjust sound settings for the software program that is producing low volume. For example, if the volume sounds good in Windows, but is too low when playing a DVD movie, open the software that you are using to play the DVD movie and increase the audio volume using the controls that are available.
  4. Once you have completed these steps, go to Step 3: Check the volume and mute settings to adjust the volume on the computer.
If you are experiencing issues with the mute button and/or the slide bar located at the rear of the keyboard, do the following:
  1. Verify that you have the latest BIOS installed. If not, go to Step 8: Install updated firmware (BIOS) for instructions on updating the BIOS.
  2. If your BIOS is up-to-date or if the issue still exists after updating the BIOS, contact an HP support agent for additional assistance.
A high-definition audio device on a notebook computer may no longer work after restarting Windows Vista or resuming from hibernation/sleep. The device may be a sound device or a modem. You also may see an "X" character appear on the speaker icon in the notification area.
To resolve this issue, please re-scan the device in Device Manager by performing the following:
  • Click Start, enter device in the search field, and then select Device Manager from the list.
  • Highlight and right-click Sound, video and game controllers.
  • Choose Scan for hardware changes.
The computer may not be able to deliver the required performance for video playback depending on the resolution and frame rate for the video. Also, the selected Windows Vista power management scheme might be reducing computer performance.
To resolve this problem, set the active power plan to Balanced or High Performance, using these steps:
  1. Click Start , enter power in the search field, and then select Power Options from the list.
    Figure 5: Power Options
    Image of Hardware and Sound control panel screen showing location of power options selection
  2. If prompted, enter the administrator password or confirmation.
  3. Under Select a power plan, click High performance or click Balanced.
    Figure 6: High performance
    Image of power options screen showing location of  High Performance power plan selection
  4. Close the Control Panel window.