Intermittent Sound Issues on Windows 8

I have an HP Envy DV7T laptop with Windows 8.0 installed.

On occasion (about 50% of the time) I have trouble getting any audio out of my speakers. This seems to be a software or driver issue. When the sound works, changing the volume gives an audible "ding," and you can see the little green bar move on the volume bar indicating  But when the sound doesn't work, changing the volume does not give an audible ding. This is how I know that it's not an application specific issue.

The only error messages I've been able to get are when trying to play audio through Windows Media Player.

Playing a file (any file) when the sound doesn't work will give me an error that "Windows Media Player encountered a problem while playing the file." Clicking the "Web Help" button takes me to this link:
http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows7/c00d11b1

Also, when I use the Windows 8 version of Windows Media Player ("Windows 8 Music") to play a file I get two error codes: 0xc00d11cd (0x8000ffff) and also 0xc00d11cd (0x4). When I google these error codes, I find a lot of solutions  (like this one) suggesting I change the DisableProtectedAudioDG registry key from 1 to 0 (or delete the key altogether). I have done this (changed it to 0) and restarted, but it had no effect.

I have checked for updated drivers, and I confirmed that I have the latest audio drivers for my laptop. I also reinstalled the audio drivers.

I also installed AC3 Filter (http://www.ac3filter.net/wiki/Projects/ac3filter). I don't really understand what this does, but one of the forums I read said to give it a try. It didn't help.

Doing some things will usually cause the sound to work. For example, I can usually go into the Sound Settings, Speaker Properties, Advanced Tab and press the "Test" button which will frequently get the sound working for a little while.

I have tried checking/unchecking the "Allow applications to take exclusive control of this device" setting, and it seems to have no effect (though sometimes it does make the sound work for a little while.)

I'm not sure what else to try. Changing various sound settings does seem to make it work for a bit, but then it will stop working for some reason.

I'd appreciate any ideas on how to diagnose / resolve this issue. Thanks!
ChrisIT ManagerAsked:
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_Commented:
hmmmm...  If you have it, check if the HDMI audio is Enabled. Disable it.

Boot to a Linux Live CD. See if it works. It might be a hardware problem.
Knoppix is good:
http://www.knopper.net/knoppix/index-en.html
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ChrisIT ManagerAuthor Commented:
There are no HDMI cables connected, and there is no HDMI audio. Because the sound works some of the time, and sounds great when it works, this really feels more like a software / driver issue. If it were a hardware issue I would expect it would not work at all, or there would be sound quality issues / clicking / popping, etc. Since none of those symptoms are present, the current behavior feels like a software / driver issue. Regardless, I don't have physical access to the machine, so booting to a Linux Live CD would be a challenge. Thanks for the response.
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McKnifeCommented:
Why not take this for a reason to upgrade to 8.1 update1? It's free.
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nobusCommented:
look in device manager when it works - and when it's not working
check if the sound devices are properly installed each time (could be bad contacts)
if they are ALWAYS installed ok, look for the speaker connection contacts
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rindiCommented:
Check for other applications that may be using the audio device at the same time, like instant messengers, and stop them when not in use.
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ChrisIT ManagerAuthor Commented:
@McKnife - The computer is running Win 8.0 Enterprise, which doesn't have an easy upgrade to 8.1, so I haven't gotten around to hassling with it.

@Nobus - I looked in the device manager, and there is no difference between when it is working and when it is not working.

@rindi - I suspect that the issue may be something like this, but I tried closing multiple possible offenders and haven't had any luck yet.

What I have found is that, when the sound doesn't work, all I have to do is run "control mmsys.cpl sounds" from the command line to load the Sounds control panel, and then the sound suddenly starts working. Strange.

This behavior makes me think (like @rindi) that some other application is keeping a handle on the audio device and is preventing other applications (and the system from using it).
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McKnifeCommented:
No easy upgrade? All the same with enterprise as with pro... or do you expect anybody uses the store to do it? You use the 8.1 ISO files that any enterprise customer may download.
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nobusCommented:
if they are ALWAYS installed ok, look for the speaker connection contacts (you may have to open the laptop)
or try another speaker from the sound output connector
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MereteCommented:
Windows 8 is limited with multimedia period.
Refs to>
audible "ding," and you can see the little green bar move on the volume bar < do you see this when playing music?
Sounds as if you have a very old problem with your windows mid sounds/events sounds if you like they are corrupted.
When our windows sounds mids get corrupted they can cause all sorts of problems with sounds itself.
run  an elevated cmd prompt and type in exactly like this>  sfc /scannow << note that there is a gap after sfc then the slash and no gap to scannow  or just copy it.
To help you watch this youtube
Windows 8 System File Checker - Troubleshoot and Optimize Windows 8 Inside Out
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R2Uge2ZFWLQ
Another thing I have seen over the years
WMP will determine if your media files have DRM if they are wma. And may not play them other than garbled rubbish,  that's why it's a good idea to have other players
Can you play your music ok?in other players?
What is your music mp3 or something else?  WMA?
Just so you know>
AC3Filter is a free DirectShow filter for real time audio decoding and processing. It can decode the audio formats AC3, DTS, and MPEG Multichannel

How many codecs or codec packs have you installed if you install the wrong codecs or too many they corrupt others and this can cause problems with your sound.

If you use a different player with your music like Winamp, It is one the best media player has inbuilt media library which has the radio stations a great playlist and plenty of features great sound.
Winamp was bought out last year and is under going changes but will be back at the end year so they say
Click on this in the link below>
winamp dpwnloadhttp://www.filehippo.com/download_winamp/

This is the skin I am using but I have another 25.
Winamp Skin Vision
If you want to skin it download and place to winamp skins in the  windows program files
Skins for winamp
http://www.deviantart.com/?qh=§ion=&global=1&q=winamp+skins
There is also Gom player and Real Player.
VLC which I have and my other player for all video and audio Media Player Classic BE
use this in the center next to the picture of MPC not anything at the top as that's nothing to so with it
Download sites:
Visit developer's site      
Download MPC-BE 1.4.2 (direct link)      (8.3MB)
Download MPC-BE 1.4.2 64-bit (direct link
http://www.videohelp.com/tools/MPC-BE
VLC and MPC both are built with  ffdshow and ac3 filter and are open source free.
Start with the sfc
then follow on with uninstalling codec packs if any and please post back what you do have.
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ChrisIT ManagerAuthor Commented:
I discovered this page which describes my situation well. Apparently the issue is caused by Windows Update KB2962407. The update was issued around July 12, 2014, which explains why this is a recent problem. Uninstalling the update seems to have resolved the issue. Since it was an intermittent issue, I'll give it a few days to see if that really did the trick.
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ChrisIT ManagerAuthor Commented:
After several days, I can confirm that uninstalling update KB2962407 resolved the sound issues.
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