Win7 - Sound has disappeared

Posted on 2012-08-13
Last Modified: 2012-11-24
Earlier today I took the time to take my computer apart to vacuum and clean it. When i put it back together and turned it on everything seemed fine - except for the missing sound.
For some reason my sound had disappeared and ofcourse my first thought was that I had put some jack in the wrong place. So i checked it, double checked it and checked it again but nothing was plugged in wrong - so i moved to test my speakers and they too worked flawlessly.
I proceeded to search google and i quickly find sites mentioning a sound-bug in Win7 where just this sort of thing have happened for no particular reason. Sadly thought none of those sites had an actual solution to the problem so now I'm trying here.

My computer's sound is connected through the back of the PC with "Line In", "Line Out" and "Mic". Normally It's plugged into line out (i believe), as I run all my sound by my stereo through an aux cable. I've triple checked that all my cables are correctly plugged in and that I have no faulty hardware. Further more - although there is no sound comming from my speakers the volume mixer still records that music is being played - the volume bar bobs up n' down.
I've doublechecked that I have nothing muted or otherwise turned off although I can't say for sure that i didn't accidently push some key combination to make windows mute itself!?? I don't even know if thats possible...

Normally sound issues are rather simple to deal with, but in this case I've resorted to write EE as i need some solid advice. I have a headset (one of them fancy surroundsound ones /sigh) that seem to add up to 5 xtra line in/line out-like channels making it hell to get even skype to work right at times...

I'm at a loss as to what caused the break, and even more so when it comes to fixing it.
I would, if i had a working boot model, just reinstall my Win7 but at the moment that's not really and option, and since all my music is isolated to my PC it's starting to get a bit quiet.

Any links, help or advice will be greatly appreciated.
Question by:Jahirah
    LVL 31

    Expert Comment

    You probably already have checked this but just to be sure:

    If you go to Start->Control Panel->Sound->Playback Devices, do you have the correct device specified as the "Default Device"? In some cases, Windows changes things around when you plug/unplug things and it sometimes differentiates the front audio jacks and the rear audio jacks as separate devices, or the SPDIF / Digital Audio / HDMI devices are erroneously selected as the default audio device.
    LVL 11

    Expert Comment

    You mean you blew the dust out? Vacuuming creates static and may have damaged something...
    LVL 4

    Author Comment

    Well, going there i can see i have 8 channels to choose from, where 2 of the 8  are marked with a green checked sign.
    Both of them are called:
    - Digital Audio (S/PDIF)
      2-High High Definition Audio Device
    The only diffrence is that one is classed Default Device and the other Default Communication Device - whatever that diffrence means....

    When i play music, i see it bobbing up 'm down on the Default Device channel.
    Tbh im not sure why there are 2 marked - if one is for speakers and the other is for headphones.
    Before this happened my computer would take care of the switching forth n' back between headset n' speaker everytime i'd plug in or pull out the headphones.
    LVL 4

    Author Comment

    Nah, i didn't "blow" it out. I vacuumed - u know ..... the tight places i used compressed air to clean. Apart from the sound, everything is working perfectly so I doubt I've damaged my soundcard without also damaging my motherboard :)
    LVL 4

    Author Comment

    Frosty - I'm not sure what I just did but i must have gotten exactly threatning enough for a computer to get nervous. Now I can play music in the headset.... The speakers are still silent though. The settings are still as mentioned above.
    LVL 4

    Accepted Solution

    I'm in IT but also I have my own home recording studio, so I'm pretty knowledgeable of sound devices.

    First off, you want to plug your speaker system into Line In. Line out is meant to transfer sound to another device, not a speaker, but like if you wanted to transfer over to another computer vaguely speaking.

    Default Sound device is the device that will produce the sound. Default communication device will be where sound goes to for skype for example. It's nice for if you use headphones for skype or something like that.

    Make sure your sound card is pushed in all the way if you have one.

    Maybe right click in the white space on the sound devices and click show disconnected devices to make sure your sound device is not disabled for some reason.

    Make sure the sound device is set as default, if you see something with high def, or sdif, these ARE NOT your sound devices. It may show sound is working through it, but again this is only used for toslink digital cables which AUX is not.

    Overall make sure your mute is off, make sure your default sound device is not one of those digital ones, make sure it's plugged into line in. report back if this doesn't do it.
    LVL 4

    Author Comment

    I tried working my way step by step through your advice but I'm still having problems.
    I've made you two pictures to better illustrate the issue i can't get around.

    This one is when the headset is plugged in. Like this i have sound in my headset.

    This one is when I disconnect my headset. At this point I have no sound at all, not even a windows error message...

    I'm not really sure which one of my channels I should even select as default tbh, thats prolly the most confusing part :/
    LVL 4

    Expert Comment

    When you have your AUX plugged in and your headphones out as you demonstrated you should be using the one that is circled below (I'm pretty positive anyways):

    Right now your default device is the spdif. Right click the circled device, and make it your default. But I guess we have to get the speakers going first.

    As you can tell it's currently saying it's not plugged in. This is because it's either malfunctioned, drivers not installed, or if you have a sound card in a PCI port for example, you got to make sure it's in there tight, if not just re-seat it, blow in the socket to make sure it's clear of dust.

    Because again right now it's saying it's not plugged in. Again make sure it's plugged into the line in.
    LVL 4

    Author Comment

    Thanks for getting back to me Pancake ;P I'm glued to the screen, and have been ever since my thread went online ;P

    I went through my cabinet again - everything is checked out, and sits firmly where it's suppose to. It may very well be the drivers, as I -in an angry fit, deleted all my sound drivers, expecting windows to be able to replace them with something less faulty.
    Windows did replace them, but not with the origional i had - and i think i may know why the Speakers channel remains as not plugged in.
    The headset I have is the reason I have so many channels to choose from, and when i removed some of the sound drivers i may inadvertently have removed something that the sound needs to function properly too.
    The problem now is that I can't remember the name of my headset, and all i have to go on is Media-Tech (doh).

    I've been looking through my entire pc using SiSoft Sandra to try and figure out what the headset is called - that or the onboard soundcard. So far no luck.
    I do however know that I've deleted a small adjustment app that worked with the headset - one that grants access to moderate channels and the surroundsound effect.
    LVL 4

    Expert Comment

    If your having problems locating the sound drivers for your motherboard, because you don't know the name of your can use Crucials System Scanner located here:

    It's actually meant to detect memory, but I use it all the time for finding the name of motherboards.

    This way once you find the name of the motherboard, you can simply Google the product page, and re-download your sound drivers.

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