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No sound from Sony laptop

Posted on 2009-04-18
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Last Modified: 2013-11-17
My Sony VAIO (Model VGN-AR790U) has lost sound.  This occurred about two
weeks ago (I have been too busy to so anything about it until now).  
Recently I acquired a Logitech Z-5500 speaker system to use with the
notebook computer.  After installation the external system worked very
well.  (I had to get a new optical cable to make it possible to use the
optical interface.)

A little more than a week ago I was listening to a local FM station via
the net and left the system running while I went away for a couple of
hours.  When I returned, the only sounds coming from the speakers were (1)
something like white noise (I thought at first it was applause),
alternating with (2) something that sounded roughly like kettledrums.  
These two sounds alternated every few seconds.  After reloading the Vista
operating system the audio experienced the same problem.  A day or so
later, the audio was behaving normally, but later failed, apparently
permanently.  

I get sound from neither the Logitech external speaker system or the
notebook's internal speakers,

The Sony customer service chat-room analyst had me download the driver
(REDAUD-139114000-US.EXE) and codec (STDAUD-14134600-US.EXE) software from
their site and install both programs.  I did this twice: the second time
(at the behest of the Sony analyst) in Protected Mode.  Still no sound.  

All the volume controls I have been able to find are "up", and muting is
not in effect, either in the computer or the Logitech device control
panel.  The Device Manager reports the Realtek High Definition Audio
controller and Sigma Tel High Definition Audio CODEC as "working
properly".  The Audio page from the Control Panel, however, reports as
follows:

Realtek Digital Output (Optical)
Realtek High Definition Audio
Working

Speakers / Headphones
Sigma Tel High Definition Audio CODEC
Working

Digital Output Device
Sigma Tel High Definition Audio CODEC
Not plugged in.

I ran the Sony Quick Diagnostics program and it found nothing
non-functional.

Is the sound card fried? What am I overlooking?

-- Tim Swanson
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Comment
Question by:tcswans
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16 Comments
 
LVL 26

Expert Comment

by:PCBONEZ
ID: 24176679
Download Knoppix which is a live CD and burn a copy.
(Runs from CD drive, don't have to install it.)
Change boot order to boot from CD and boot into Knoppix.
If sound now works your problem is drivers.
If sound still doesn't work you most likely have a dead sound chip or some related problem.
0
 

Author Comment

by:tcswans
ID: 24176734
It may take some time to get this done, since I am very busy at the moment. Sorry. I may be able to work on it Monday. You'd think there would be a resident diagnostic program that could tell you whether the sound chip is working! Thanks.
Tim
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Author Comment

by:tcswans
ID: 24177044
PCBONEZ --

Which site do recommend I download Knoppix from? I haven't ever burned a CD ROM before, so if I try this right now I might have a couple m,more questions for you, if you're still interested!...

Tim Swanson
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LVL 26

Expert Comment

by:PCBONEZ
ID: 24177316
http://knopper.net/knoppix-mirrors/index-en.html

Do you have a CD burner and a burning program?
0
 
LVL 26

Expert Comment

by:PCBONEZ
ID: 24177320
Those should all be ISO images.
Read about ISO images in the 'help' for your burning program.
0
 

Author Comment

by:tcswans
ID: 24177645
Thanks, PCBONEZ
0
 

Author Comment

by:tcswans
ID: 24177656
PVBONEZ --
Does the medium have to be CD? Can it be a DVD+R or DVD-R?
-- Tim
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LVL 26

Expert Comment

by:PCBONEZ
ID: 24177894
I'm not sure if this link will work but it is to a DVD ISO.

ftp://ftp.uni-kl.de/pub/linux/knoppix-dvd/

This one is the actual file to burn [unless you speak German]
KNOPPIX_V5.3.1DVD-2008-03-26-EN.iso
0
 

Author Comment

by:tcswans
ID: 24187085
PCBONEZ --
thanks for your help so far. I've downloaded (I think) the necessary files from the site you recommended in the previous answer. Since I'm a complete novice in this area (Linux, burning CDs) it will take a little time for me to the KNOPPIX up. What product do you recommend for the DVD burning? Is Nero good? Which version. Thanks. (Sorry to be a pain in the derrière.)
Tim
0
 
LVL 26

Expert Comment

by:PCBONEZ
ID: 24200516
Personally I use Nero but that's mostly out of habit.
There are many others that are just as good.

There are even a slew of free ones that should do fine for an ISO.
Burning an ISO is not too tough for a program as far as burning goes.
http://www.google.com/#hl=en&q=dvd+burn+xp+pro&aq=0&oq=DVD+burn+XP&fp=_rpp-4zAm3I
0
 

Author Comment

by:tcswans
ID: 24211002
PCBONEZ --
I've finally got Knoppix up and running. I get some (not much) sound from the VAIO speakers, but nothing from the optically attached attached Logitech speaker system. Can you give me some directions as to how to explore what Knoppix is doing in this area and how to control it? Is there something like the Windows Control Panel?
0
 

Author Comment

by:tcswans
ID: 24211128
PCBONEZ --
I've finally got Knoppix up and running. I get some (not much) sound from the VAIO speakers, but nothing from the optically attached attached Logitech speaker system. Can you give me some directions as to how to explore what Knoppix is doing in this area and how to control it? Is there something like the Windows Control Panel?
I found the Control Center. What do I need to do to turn on the external Logitech speaker system?
-- Tim
0
 
LVL 26

Assisted Solution

by:PCBONEZ
PCBONEZ earned 1000 total points
ID: 24211462
If the optical port is enabled [it should be] then the Logitech Z-5500 should just work.

I think given they aren't in both Windows and Linux that the Logitech Z-5500 have gone south.
Do you have some other device you can try them with to double verify that?

.
0
 

Author Comment

by:tcswans
ID: 24214966
PCBONEZ --
Thanks. Yes, I'll try to connect the Logitech to my old Thinkpad. I'll get back soon.
-- Tim
0
 

Accepted Solution

by:
tcswans earned 0 total points
ID: 24225104
PCBONEZ --
The Logitech Z-5500 works fine with my old ThinkPad. It think it is now apparent that the problem is non-functioning audio hardware in the VAIO.
I thank you for your expert guidance in debugging this problem.
-- Tim
0
 

Author Comment

by:tcswans
ID: 24225200
Problem solved: it is hardware. Thank you.
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