sound playback device not recognized.  What could be wrong?

Posted on 2011-04-21
Last Modified: 2012-05-11
Out of the blue, my sound playback isn't working. In the sound properties, it shows my sound card for recording Audio/Voice but shows nothing on my playback device. What is wrong with this picture?
Question by:Hers2keep
    LVL 8

    Accepted Solution

    You probably do not have all of the codecs or drivers installed.  Run the disk or go to the website of the manufacturer to get the latest versions.

    Author Comment

    I tried the driver update and downloaded the specific driver from Dell for the sound card.  When I try to update the new driver file it acts like its not even there.  I choose a specific location and it doesn't show up as an option for updating.  I need to find a website for the disk install cause I don't have the recovery disk.  what are my options?
    LVL 91

    Expert Comment

    any errors in device manager?

    anyhow, use my checklist :
    -in device manager, check if the card is installed without errors
    -if needed, install / uninstall the  UAA HD Audio Bus driver
    -start>run>services.msc  and check if the Windows Audio service started and set to automatic?
            then, from Device Manager>view   click "show hidden devices" , now  right click your sound devices, and select Uninstall.
            Reboot, and cancel the wizard to reinstall
            Install your latest drivers, and reboot to complete the install......
    -in the audio and sound applet>audio tab check if the sound card is selected
    -in the volume section, check if the sound is turned up enough, and NOT muted
    -in the audio and sound applet>sounds tab select the start windows sound, and check if you can play it
    -check if the speakers are connected to the proper sound output (green)
    -test the speakers on another PC
    LVL 38

    Expert Comment

    Hi Hers2keep

    What is your Operating System?

    Is this a Desktop PC or a Laptop?

    What is the Model Number and/or Service Tag of your Dell computer?

    Author Comment

    Hi BillDL, its Win XP Professional service pak 2, on a laptop.  Model is Latitude 610.  My sound card is Sigma Tel C-Major

    Author Comment

    Having trouble finding the drivers for this sigma Tel C-major sound card.  It doesnt give me a specific driver for a Dell Lat 610.  How do I know the right driver?

    Author Comment

    Ok, I found the Driver and saved it then clicked run.  I first uninstalled the devices, restarted computer, and then found the driver.  Ran it and still Audio device properties doesnt see the card in Sound playback.  It see's it on the Voice recording.
    LVL 2

    Expert Comment

    For my Dell Latitude D610 laptop that came with XP and later upgraded to Vista, I had a similar problem.
    Windows was not detecting the audio driver and after some online research got this file from dell

    After running that .exe, device manager was showing the SigmTel C-Major Audio under the Sounds, video and game controllers. the sound was working after this.

    Alternatively with your service tag of your laptop you can get to download the Audio driver from the Dell website, It should be extracted in the c:\dell\drivers folder by default. Go in there and inside the R99254 folder there should be a sub-folder named "WDM"

    In Device manager, right-click on the problematic sound device,  DO NOT choose to automatically scan but choose to browse to location were that WDM folder is. In my case it was C:\dell\drivers\R99254\WDM and make sure you check "Include Subfolders" then go to Next.

    This will take some time (3 to 5 or maybe even 8 minutes) depending on your computer but should work after that. If you still have problems with that device after this. It could be something else.

    LVL 38

    Expert Comment

    Hi Hers2keep

    So you hace a Dell latitude D610 Laptop.  You would have arrived at this download page:
    where the driver for the Sigmatel STAC 975X AC97 (version A03, dated 01/23/2007) would have been.

    You downloaded "R99254.EXE" and saved it somewhere.
    The link that page uses is as iamsam provided:

    It is a self-extracting file as iamsam has stated and, when double-clicked, will extract to the folder: C:\dell\drivers\R99254

    I believe that this should have automatically run the setup routine to install the drivers and create a new "SigmaTel C-Major Audio" Control Panel icon.  If it did not seem to run anything other than the self-extracting dialogs, then it's easy enough to run the setup routine.

    The installation instructions on this page:
    are correct.  It tells you to use the Start Menu > Run option and enter this path:
    and "follow the on-screen instructions".

    In fact, all that does is runs:
    You could just as easily open Windows Explorer, navigate to that folder, and double-click on "setup.exe".

    Looking at the setup files I believe that during the setup routine you should have been prompted to reboot the computer to complete the installation.

    What iamsam is suggesting is correct.  That process is normally reserved for drivers that do not have a setup.exe and rely on the "Add Hardware Wizard" looking in a specific folder for an *.INF file which provides the instructions.

    In this case it would be looking for the file:
    and it should show that it has found that file.

    Personally I don't think you need to go down this avenue.  Double-Clicking the setup.exe file should install the drivers for the device and it should show in Device Manager > Sound, video, and game controllers as "SigmaTel C-Major Audio" or similar.

    You did say:
    "Audio device properties doesnt see the card in Sound playback.  It see's it on the Voice recording."

    I'm not really sure what you mean, or where you are seeing this.  It sounds as though you may be looking at the multi-tabbed dialog that opens from Control Panel > Sounds and Audio Devices.

    First off, in the Volume tab, tick the box to "Place volume icon in taskbar" and click the "Apply" button.
    There may already be an icon in your system tray for the Sigmatel volume control, but you want the Windows Volume Control there too.

    Slide the "Device Volume" up full and make sure that the "Mute" box isn't ticked.
    Now click on the "Advanced" button to show the Windows Volume Control".

    If, under the "Options" menu, you see "Advanced", then click to tick that.  Go to the Options menu again and click "Properties".  The "Mixer Device" should show your sound card by name.  If not, then see if you can select it in the drop-down list.  Now select "Playback" and tick the boxes obviously intended for slider controls you need for playback.  Click OK and make sure that none of the sliders are muted or turned down.  Options > Properties > select "Recording" and tick the boxes you will need to see in the Volume Control for recording.  Click OK and make sure that "Microphone" is ticked as the selected recording device, and that none of the other sliders are muted or turned down.

    Set it back to "Recording" again as that is the most commonly accessed view of the Volume Control.

    The Windows Volume Control should now have an "Advanced" button.  Click on it and set the Bass and Treble to the middle.  UNtick "Digital Output Only".  Close the advanced dialog.  Close the Windows Volume Control.

    Control Panel > Sounds and Audio Devices > Volume tab again.
    Speaker Volume button.  Turn up left and Right to High and (optionally) tick the box to move the sliders at the same time.  OK.
    Still in the Volume tab, under speaker settings click the "Advanced" button. Set the speaker types, eg. Laptop Stereo Speakers, and in the Performance tab click the Restore Defaults.  OK.  "Apply" the changes.

    Switch now to the Control Panel > Sounds and Audio Devices > Audio tab.
    The Playback and Recording fields should both show your sound card by name.  If not, see if you can select them in the drop down list.  The MIDI section may show your sound card with a Midi function.  If not, you can set it to "Microsoft GS Wave Table SW Synth".  Tick the "Only use default devices" box.  Click "Apply".

    Now switch to the "Voice" tab.  Do the same as above, click the "Apply" button, then run the "Test hardware Wizard".

    Bear in mind that to test the Microphone you will need one plugged into the Mic In socket on the back of your laptop.  I don't know if your laptop has a built-in microphone in it.  If so, then it SHOULD still be using the integrated sound card/chip.

    There should be a rotary volume control on the side of the laptop's lid or base somewhere, and possibly also a Mute key above, below, or at the side of the keyboard.  Make sure volume is turned up and the mute key isn't pressed.

    I suggest that you now run the DirectX Diagnostics.
    Start Menu > Run > and type   DXDIAG    > click OK or press Enter.
    If the dialog that pops up has the box "Check for WHQL Digital Signatures" ticked, then UNtick it or it will take ages to load.

    Wait for the progress bar to finish and then go to the "Sound" tab.
    It should be showing the device properly by name up at the top left of that page.
    Slide the "Hardware Acceleration" up full and then click the "Test Direct Sound" button.  It will run through a series of tests in which it plays a jungle bird sound using different settings and asks you if you heard it OK.  Make sure you don't have a cat or dog around or it will go loopy.

    If any fail, then slide the "Hardware Acceleration" slider down a notch and test again.

    When done, assuming that you heard all the sounds, go to the "Music" tab.
    Here you have all the "devices" in a list at the right and a "Test Direct Music" button.  Select the top one in the list and click the button.
    It will play some crap music and show you an OK button.  Click it.
    Work your way down all of those "devices" and make sure you hear the music.  If any fail, then click the button under "Default Port Acceleration" to Enable/Disable and test again.

    Hopefully all the tests will pass.

    Now find an MP3 or other standard audio file and double-click to play it.  Hopefully you can hear it.   If not, Open up the Windows Volume Control and make sure that the relevant slider is up full.

    As far as the new "SigmaTel C-Major Audio" icon in Control panel is concerned, this type of icon normally allows you to verify (and sometimes re-map) the input sockets like Mic and Line-In.  They usually also have a graphics equaliser to set your playback to a preset like Classical, Pop, Rock, etc.  I suggest that you just leave it at <None>.  You may also have an audio test to verify the Left/Right audio channels using some wacky sounds.  Normally any of the sliders present in the sound card's own Volume control will move those in the Windows Volume Control when changed.  If you have got this far and still haven't got sound, then these controls may be independent of the Windows Volume sliders and you should verify that none are muted or slid down.

    Let us know how you get on.

    LVL 38

    Expert Comment

    Oh, and by the way, I also suggest that you update from SP2 to SP3.  Support for XP with SP2 has or is about to expire, and if you have the need to contact Dell for support it is probably the first thing they will tell you to do.

    Author Comment

    Hey helpful others, I tried to do the neccessary steps and now lost again.
    I uninstalled the audio device and drivers, downloaded the right model sound card driver. Ran the exe. and it installed properly.  I also installed intel mobile driver.  Nothing has changed.  

    Going back to when the problem happened- I noticed when this happened I would open the Sounds and Audio devices properties.  What is strange is that the Playback : Default device was my M-box hardware from digi-design and was the only thing recognized.  I uninstalled the program to see if it would help and of course nothing.  I know for sure I'm following the procedures to the letter.  I cant see why, if the drivers are right and device manager doesnt show a error icon where sound devices are displayed in the list, the soundcard isn't even recognized in Sounds and Audio device properties?
    LVL 91

    Expert Comment

    any errors in device manager?
    note it can be a faulty device also
    LVL 38

    Expert Comment

    I don't have any M-Box USB Audio Interfaces connected to my system, but I do have a Line6 TonePort UX2 device connected to my other Windows XP PC.

    I will have to fire that one up again to check things out, but if memory serves me correctly there was an issue whereby whatever audio device was set as the default from within the Line6 interface software ("Gearbox" in my case) made that the default Windows audio device.  That was the reason I set up a separate PC for recording, because it would have meant switching back and forward constantly changing things.

    The Gearbox software interface for the Line6 devices is what allows you to choose effects, virtual amplifiers, etc.  It is not the actual recording software like Abelton, Cubase, etc.  Pro Tools which comes with M-Box hardware is a combination of both, isn't it?  Perhaps just check the various settings in your audio interface software to be certain you have eliminated all of them as the cause.

    Regardless of the annoyance involved though, the built-in Sound Card AND my Line6 USB device BOTH showed in the drop-down lists against "Sound Playback" and "Sound Recording" under the "Audio" tab of Control Panel > Sounds and Audio Devices.

    Let us know if you find anything significant.
    LVL 38

    Expert Comment

    Hi Hers2keep

    I see that you have requested closure of this question by accepting your own comment which states:

    "Ok, I found the Driver and saved it then clicked run.  I first uninstalled the devices, restarted computer, and then found the driver.  Ran it and still Audio device properties doesnt see the card in Sound playback.  It see's it on the Voice recording."

    Surely the issue is not fixed by virtue of that comment?
    Don't you think that a better explanation for your closure request is appropriate?

    I am aware now that you asked another related question:
    and accepted the comment that suggested you reinstall the Intel Chipset software and then the audio drivers, but in your Comment ID: 35462786 on THIS page, you did state:
    "I uninstalled the audio device and drivers, downloaded the right model sound card driver. Ran the exe. and it installed properly.  I also installed intel mobile driver.  Nothing has changed".


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