How do audio drivers work?

Colin Brazier
Colin Brazier used Ask the Experts™
Hi experts,

Speakers thru a factory-installed sound card on a Dell Optiplex GX520 do not work with Windows 10.  USB headphones are OK - do they have separate drivers or none at all?

The system tells me the most up to date driver is installed for the audio. The test in the volume mixer does not play.

What's my next step?  I don't have another set of speakers to try.  I have another original soundcard and driver so could install that, alternatively I could find a new card that should work with Windows 10.  I just need the basics, a decent music sound, no high fidelity gaming effects etc!


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Top Expert 2016
USB headphones use their own drivers.
As a test plug the speakers into your phone and test. If test ok then plug the speakers into the correct output of the computer. Check that the speakers are the default sound device
Technical Advisor
I think your next step is to follow this article, it can help you with some troubleshooting steps from Dell support.


Thanks both, a bit embarrassing really but the speakers were plugged into the mic socket.  Ho hum, still wouldn't have worked that out without your help!

RaminTechnical Advisor

I'm glad I could help, Thanks.

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