Sound Gone

Posted on 2006-05-08
Last Modified: 2010-05-18
Hi experts,
I had a weird problem this morning. The machine is a DELL  Optiplex, Windows XP  SP2 , on board integrated audio  Intel AC'97 from Microsoft.
The sound was gone when I logged on. I checked the Control panel and the controls were grayed out and the applet said "No audio device".
Device manager shows all audio devices to be OK all were listed as "This device is working properly".
I reinstalled the audio driver from DELL's web site and the sound was back.
Then I restarted and yes, again no sound. And so on... for a long time.

Any idea of what is going on?

Probably I should mention the fact that at the same morning 3 more computers experienced the very same problem.
Could it be a Windows update that was installed the previous night?
All 4 PC's are DELLs .

Any insight ?
I appreciate your time.
Question by:RICuser
    LVL 69

    Accepted Solution

    I would say you are on the right track.  Try rolling back the updates and locking out automatic updates and see if things return to normal.
    LVL 14

    Expert Comment

    what model optiplex & is it new?  have you tried removing all audio devices from your device manager (start - run - devmgmt.msc) then rebooting?  do you have dell's driver cd that came with you pc (not the drivers you downloaded from thier website)?

    if it's an older system, it is possible the onboard sound is failing & in which case i'd recommend buying a new pci sound crd
    if it's new you should have dell's tech support

    Author Comment

    PC is DELL Optiplex GX 240 ~ 2-3 years old. Xp Professional SP2

    Yes, I reinstalled the drivers from the original CD and it works,  I get the sound back - but -only until I reboot.
    I tried uninstalling all the drivers from the device manager and rebooting . After reboot it found the right original drivers but still - "No Audio Device " in Control panel.

    I did OS installation  repair with the original OS CD  - no results .
    I did chkdsk /r from the recovery console - just in case - no results.
    I run the DELL hardware diagnostics  on the sound card and all of the tests passed OK - but still no sound.
    I tried system restore - could not complete the restore - maybe there 's something into that?
    Idid deep virus scan in Safe Mode -   took 4 hours - no virus found.

    What am I missing?

    LVL 69

    Expert Comment

    Perhaps the wrong drivers are getting reinstalled - you have one case where it worked.  Remove all other drivers that might be hidden: in device manager, click View/Show all hidden devices, and delete all audio drivers, then install from the original OS CD.
    LVL 14

    Expert Comment

    also try after removing the device from the devmgr, manually removing the device driver .inf & .sys files located in below locations, & then reboot & try reinstalling the sound device.  it should not find the drivers on your pc so it will need the cd.

    LVL 14

    Assisted Solution

    also try upgrading microsoft's directx found here

    as well as all windows updates
    note you can find out what updates were installed after going to the windowupdate website - left side under Options "Review update history" - this will let you know if you had an update recently that may have caused your problem therefore making it easier to find which one to remove

    Author Comment

    Well, after two days of troubleshooting we found the fix .
    (Wonder how did this one escape from our sight.)
    I willl post the fix so anyone with the same problem can try it:

    In Windows services ( services.msc) "Windows Audio" Service  was disabled .
    Once we enabled it ( make it start automatically, too) the sound was back right away!
    I still think that it has to do with Windows automatic updates  - to disable the service - otherwise I can not explain
    the fact that same thing happened to  5 different machines at the same time.

    Thanks for your input .
    What do we do about the points rewarded?
    Can an Administrator post a suggestion?


    Author Comment


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