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Did I break my speakers/sound card?

Posted on 2014-03-18
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Last Modified: 2014-03-18
So I had speakers plugged into the back of my computer and everything worked fine.

I bought headphones, but didn't have a headphone jack.  So I tried to plug my speakers into the other 4 holes to see if any of them worked, and they didn't.

Plugged back into the original and now they don't work in it either.

Am I fried?  Do you think it's the sound card on my motherboard or my speakers?

After the fact, I figured out I had a headphone jack on the front of the computer, but we'll just forget about that part.
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Question by:hrolsons
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by:Paul MacDonald
Paul MacDonald earned 125 total points
ID: 39937320
I'm going to proceed on the presumption this is a Windows machine we're talking about.

Many modern motherboards can dynamically assign their sound outputs to any of the various ports on the back of the computer.  Typically this entails sensing when something is plugged in, and then asking what that thing was.  In other words, your sound card may think your speakers are actually plugged into a different port and is sending the audio signal there.  Try un/re-plugging in your speakers and seeing if a dialog pop up asking you anything about the action you just took.

Alternately, your sound settings may have configured themselves to disable your speakers.  Right-click on the speakers icon in the system tray and select "Playback Devices", then make sure your speakers are enabled and set as default.
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by:Eirman
Eirman earned 25 total points
ID: 39937394
Are your headphones working?
Try your headphones in the green socket at the rear

Is it possible that the volume is muted?

If you were unlucky enough to blow your onboard sound, this type of cheap device will get you up and running again (I have one and it works really well).
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/USB-External-3D-7-1-Channel-Audio-PC-Laptop-Sound-Card-Adapter-White-UK-/290988322541?pt=UK_Computing_ComputerComponents_SoundCards&hash=item43c0416eed

Sound Colour Guide ...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sound_card

It's highly unlikely that your speakers are damaged.
Test them in a MP3 player or phone.
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Author Comment

by:hrolsons
ID: 39937545
Speakers work on my iPhone.

Unplugged and plugged back in and it asked what I plugged in and I said rear speakers.  Mute is off.  I see the green sound indicator going up and down.  Still no sound.

Tried rebooting as well.
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garycase earned 350 total points
ID: 39937560
".. Unplugged and plugged back in and it asked what I plugged in and I said rear speakers. " ==>  Although you plugged them in to the rear of the computer, you plugged in FRONT speakers :-)    [Or, if it's a choice, Stereo speakers]     Do it again and answer the question correctly and they should work fine !!
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LVL 34

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by:Paul MacDonald
Paul MacDonald earned 125 total points
ID: 39937711
Yes, as noted, rear speakers are surround sound speakers.  Choose front or stereo speakers and you should be fine.
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