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Speakers Don't work

Posted on 2011-10-08
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2012-05-12
I recently had to install Win XP Pro. Previously had Win Xp Media Center.

Speakers worked before, now they don't.

How do I fix?

Computer is Dell Dimension C521

Question by:Richard Korts
LVL 16

Expert Comment

ID: 36937225
Is there a Volume Control (Speaker) icon in the lower-right-hand taskbar area?  If not, you need to download and install the sound chip driver.  It is available on the DELL web site.  All the XP drivers for the Dimension C521 are here:


Author Comment

by:Richard Korts
ID: 36937326
to sjklein42:

There is a speaker icon.

I did a LOT of things (including downloading driver from Dell), just rebooted, no sound.

Isn't there some kind of sound test you can do from the Control Panel?

I couldn't find one
LVL 16

Accepted Solution

sjklein42 earned 2000 total points
ID: 36937335
The sound test I use, such as it is, is to single-click the volume control icon and change the volume.  It should beep each time you change the setting on the volume slider.

Are you sure the speakers are plugged into the right hole?  It is usually the green one.  This is #1 mistake.  Also, if you put your finger on the tip of the speaker jack (when it is unplugged, of course), do the speakers hum?  Are you sure the speakers are working?
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LVL 93

Expert Comment

ID: 36938011
See if  my sound procedure checklist helps :
-check if the device is enabled in the bios
-in device manager, check if the card is installed without errors
-look if there are driver updates available, and install them
-if needed, install / uninstall the  UAA HD Audio Bus driver    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/888111
-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

of course, if the sound device is bad - it won't work, but you can test that by running from the live Knoppix cd - you should hear the welcome sound : ftp://ftp.kernel.org/pub/dist/knoppix/KNOPPIX_V6.4.4CD-2011-01-30-EN.iso 
LVL 39

Expert Comment

ID: 36938686
Just to answer one of your questions:
"Isn't there some kind of sound test you can do from the Control Panel?"

The first thing you should really be doing is opening Control Panel and double-clicking on the "Sounds and Audio Devices" icon and checking the settings as suggested by nobus.

Also look for a Start Menu folder named "Creative", and in that look to see if there is a "Diagnostics".  If the Creative speaker icon is showing in the System Tray next to the clock, then you should be able to access the same shortcuts on a Right-Click.  If there is no diagnostics option, you will usually find shortcuts to show various sound mixer and other dialogs in which there is usually a "Test" button.  Some sound cards have "mapping" diagrams in which you need to verify that the speaker port and auxilliary port are channelled to the correct outputs.

I think you may be remembering the DirectX Diagnostics.  Start Menu > Run > and type   DXDIAG    press Enter or click OK.
Untick the "Check for WHQL Digital Signature" box at the bottom left or it will take ages to load fully.  Run all the tests under Sound and Music tabs and take note of the results.

Hopefully the troubleshooting steps by nobus and sjklein42, and the "UAA HD Audio Bus driver" (if applicable) should fix the issue though.

Author Closing Comment

by:Richard Korts
ID: 36938908

The solution WAS changing the plug the speakers were plugged into.

Previously, I was using Windows XP Media Center Edition. The speakers were plugged into the jack with a BLACK color code. Although I switched things to another tower during my attempts to get going, I made PARTICULAR note of where I was unplugging the speaker cable from, so I would put it back properly.

It must be that XP Media Edition requires a different setting. Putting it into the green color coded jack did the job.


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