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No SOUND or AUDIO Functions

Posted on 2008-06-15
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Last Modified: 2013-11-09
Two days ago all sound and audio functions crapped on my Dell M415 Vista SP1 computer. Every check I do says the board is working fine. I have uninstalled and reinstalled drivers anyway. At boot, prior to the login, the windows sound plays fine through the speakers/ Once the system is booted there is nothing. WMP gives an error that it cannot access files. NO audio player will play the files that previously worked fine. This is all types of audio (mp3 wav internet functioning). I can play videos but there is no sound. I had installed Windows recent updates, so I even tried uninstalling those to no avail. The CD player will not play CDs (obviously because the computer recognizes nothing audio). Ran virus check twice and it turned up nothing. And yes, I checked jacks and wiring (which of course would not explain how the boot sound ALWAYS comes through fine). I also stopped EVERY boot startup program to see if that would help (NO). I am totally lost as to where to go for help or how to proceed. Can someone help me?
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Question by:pmruzicka
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Expert Comment

by:PUNKY
ID: 21789045
I would try system restore first to see if it helps.
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Author Comment

by:pmruzicka
ID: 21789071
System Restore only goes back two days on my setup, but I will go back as far as I can and try it...
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Expert Comment

by:rbudj
ID: 21789070
if you can hear the windows startup sound then there is something inside windows that is blocking sound.  Also, there is a big difference between a media player not playing a cd and you not being able to hear anything.  If the media player is not working (it actually does not read the cd) then this is something totally different to troubleshoot.  Also, just because you ran a virus check and nothing comes up does not mean anything.  Viruses can hide.  Also, what about checking for malware?  If in fact the media player is not actually broken and the only confirmed problem you are having is simply no sound, I would first check my output settings.  Control Panel > Hardware and Sound > Sound.  Make sure the correct sound device is chosen on the Playback tab.  You can even test it from here if you like by clicking Configure and Test.

If this still does not work, have you tried booting into Safe Mode and running both a virus scan and a malware/spyware scan?  Reboot the computer and press f8 to enter into Safe Mode.

If your driver is working fine, the media player is working fine, the correct output device is chosen in control panel, and the driver is working correctly, and you can hear the windows startup sound, you certainly have a problem somewhere within windows.  I would, at this point, suggest backing up your data and reformatting your machine.  
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Expert Comment

by:rbudj
ID: 21789074
The problem with system restore is that if you have a virus, viruses will exist there too.
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Author Comment

by:pmruzicka
ID: 21789401
System Restore did not work. I will try the scan  in Safe Mode....
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Expert Comment

by:roosterbooster
ID: 21789946
Have you checked to make sure that you havent muted the audio?  
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Author Comment

by:pmruzicka
ID: 21789997
No audio is muted. Checked over and over again.
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Author Comment

by:pmruzicka
ID: 21797317
At this point, I have booted to safe mode and run virus check (nothing found). After rebooting and dealing with a profile issue, I finally installed new drivers, and BEFORE I booted there was sound. After I rebooted it was back to no sound. For example, when I open WMP and try to play a file, I get the error message that "Windows Media Player cannot access the file. The file might be in use, you might not have access to the computer where the file is stored, or your proxy settings might not be correct." Why wouldn't I have access to the file suddenly? Another note here is that when I increase the volume, the speaker hiss increases in volume. So the issue is that somehow the sound is not being transferred to the sound card. How can I begin to troubleshoot this?
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Expert Comment

by:rbudj
ID: 21802088
Have you tried my suggestion and going to the control panel and testing your output settings?  Forget testing your sound with WMP.  It sounds to me like WMP has a path error.  This does not mean your sound does not work.  Test directly in control panel to see 1. if you have the correct output option set and 2. click the test button to see if you hear anything.
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Author Comment

by:pmruzicka
ID: 21802204
I am sorry. Yes, I have done this on numerous occasions at this point. And by the way, it is not just WMP, it is all media players. I do however get an error in the control panel setting that says "Failed to play test tone." The tone apparently does start to play the first time I do this, but then the error comes up, and comes immediately after the first attempt. Creative diagnostics program runs fine until I get to the test tone part where it locks up. It is as if something is blocking the playing of these files. Liek I said earlier, if I play a video, the video plays fine in WMP (altho I do get the audio error window), but there is no audio.
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Author Comment

by:pmruzicka
ID: 21841315
I guess everyone has given up on me here. Why is reformatting a machine always a solution presented? If I did that every time I had a problem, I would spend countless hours reinstalling software. There has got to be a way to analyze what is blocking the sound. I found a link that talks about creating a troubleshooting log file: AudioSrv.Evm.001, yet I can find nowhere (noone) that knows how to interpret the file. Everything I check comes back fine EXCEPT when I try a test tone to the speakers ("Failed to play test tone error."). All multimedia players that are installed fail to play sound. Videos play, no sound. ANd I still have the initial Windows sound plain and clear and loud at the login screen. I have not yet found an answer to this problem.
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Accepted Solution

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pmruzicka earned 0 total points
ID: 21895014
Finally found the problem. It has to do with the installation of Sunbelt Vipre. Working with the vendor to figure out why as I am not the only one. Uninstalling Vipre or shutting it down at the tray icon alleviates the no sound problem completely.
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