It is not unusual for something to be going wrong in the multimedia
department. It is usually something very simple you have done
inadvertently.... or something has changed a setting while you were busy
doing something else.... So you clicked on a button or link and nothing happened, or
something did but nothing was heard....
Well I have prepared this help
page for only the reason of getting the sound back and all going well.
A basic rule with Windows is to RESTART and it is surprising what
"corrects itself". USB drivers will often reinstall and other miracles
can occur. LOL
There are a
lot of options when it comes to listening to music on a computer so I am
sorry if what I cover doesn't help. So be patient and you'll
have your audio working without going bonkers
trying to do so.
I am running two
operating systems that give me what I want. Windows XP
with Service Pack 3 and Win7. If you're running any other system
then what I say might have to be interpreted with some judgment about what
applies and what doesn't. If you want both systems, make sure you
install WinXP first, then Win7 on different partitions.
And before we go.... I
know there are smarter people out the who now a lot more than me so if
you've got negatives about what I say, please feel free to help me out
and send me an email with your ideas... I could probably put a lot more
into the text I write but I am only trying to help where other help is
not immediately available.. My motive? For someone to listen to my
music. LOL Not to be a great authority on Audio Mechanics etc.
So... Here is the basic journey...
card is installed or there is onboard sound (already part of your motherboard.)...
With Win7 the drivers are installed automatically or are easily updated
through the device manager. Because WinXP is more "hands on" than Win7,
what I am talking about is probably more applicable to a WinXp system.
So. "It is either working already
(you're getting audio) or it is
If the audio card is not installing or is old or may be damaged
through over heating or bad handling then just buy another card and save
yourself a hassle. If you are pretty sure the card is ok and you have no
sound after reseating it and installing drivers you have... maybe
by restarting the computer, then try the
1) Check that
either the headphones or the speaker cable is plugged into the correct
output audio hole. Check that the mute is not on at the volume control
icon or that the volume control is correctly set. Check that the headphone volume control on the cord (if there is
one) is not turned down or off for some reason. Sometimes the special software that came with the soundcard or
"onboard soundcard" places its own icon in the system tray.
Using that control you can set up the card as the designers intended.
One just hopes that your idea and their idea about what you want matches
Make sure the windows volume control icon
appears in the system tray...
(down on the bottom right
of the screen near where the date or calendar and date display is
located.. It may be hidden.)
2) To make the windows
volume control icon appear on WinXP :- Open your Control Panel...
(start/control panel -view in icons- you will see the icon for your
sound card's own software controllers too.) Double click Sound and
Audio Devices and you will see the checkbox to place the volume
control icon in the taskbar. When you double click
the icon (looks like a speaker), the control panel
for sound settings opens up. A lighter, single click opens just the
volume control slider.
On Win 7 click the
volume control icon at bottom right. The popup shows the active device
sliders that Win 7 has been able to detect. Sometimes you need to move
the popped up box over left to see the whole number of controls you have active.
3) To make
adjusting any of the controls relevant, you should have at least
Stereo Speakers connected to the computer; plugged into the soundcard in the OUT hole
- usually green...The pink hole is
usually the microphone IN (of course). So the blue is there usually for LINE IN.
In WinXp the sound card's software
adjustments may be able to make any hole behave in whatever manner you
want. You can connect headphones at the same time making two holes as
OUT but in win7 assigning holes is automatic and it seems to only work
on the default outputs (what you have plugged in) only. You may find you have
"a bit of fun" sorting these things
Two OUT holes
can be used simultaneously with speakers and a set of headphones in WinXP - turning
the speakers down to use the headphones in private - such as late at night
when others are asleep to enjoy a movie or favourite music without
disturbing others. Win 7 does not provide for that "luxury".
4) The LINE IN
hole set up as just that, is where you connect a lead from a music
keyboard, a tape player, a TV or something else like that so you can
record or just listen through your computer speakers. Check that the leads
in "the right hole".
4) If you've had sound working before,
the jack-plug holes are more than likely to be still set ok... and the
sound card drivers
were installed but may have been corrupted by something. (a virus, a
power surge, etc).
If the soundcard has been removed (and reinstalled of course) then drivers usually need to be reinstalled.
Sometimes windows automatically updates these and you will see this
happening on the screen, particularly with Win7. You may need to 'ok' something in the process.
re-install drivers it is best, initially, to use the disk that came
with the soundcard or motherboard. Onboard drivers WILL be on the
motherboard disk. You can update drivers then of course and you CAN do
it through the device manager which gets them from Microsoft. But it is
better to go to the soundcard hardware manufacturer for them as it takes
time for some drivers to filter down through to Microsoft. Download the drivers to
a place you will remember such as a Drivers folder as part of your
"Installations Collection", or sometimes you can install directly from
6) If you hear
any sound during any of the steps so far - your OK. If not, before we continue,
restart your computer as Windows has a mind of its own and needs to have
a reboot sometimes.
7) I like to
fiddle with the most obvious things first. Go to the Control Panel and open Sound
in Win 7 and Sound and Audio Devices in WinXP.
In WinXP, select the Sound tab and make sure the Mute is unchecked and the check box placing
volume icon in the taskbar is selected.
While you're there... If you don't want
windows sounds like clicking and beeping etc every time you do something
like open and close things... or record things, then select the sounds tab and adjust the drop
down menu called Sound Scheme to No Sounds. This helps to not have
windows sounds like keyboard typing noises included in anything you might be recording from a tape deck or
Next while you're there...
audio tab and with the dropdown menu, make sure the Sound Playback Default device is in fact
your Sound Card - OR - Onboard Sound. This can be
adjusted even while something is playing though you can't hear it... It
can suddenly work!! So watch where you have set the volume slider or
you might blast your ears off. Usually
these settings are sort of self evident as you're doing this. (giggle)
Select the Voice tab and do the
same with voice playback and voice recording... if you are going to be
wanting to use a microphone... The playback is usually set the same as
the Audio setting on the previous tab.
8) After clicking
'ok' to close the Sound and Audio Devices interface, close Control Panel and
select and open the audio software icon relating to your
soundcard and find the Audio In and Audio Out tab.
Usually it is called Audio I/O.
In modern card software panels what you are looking for is something
like a picture of a chair and
speakers etc. With the right speaker-setting showing over or under
the chair, such as 2CH (two channels) that means stereo.. if you only
have two speakers.. test the sound on the right then the left. If you
can hear sound coming from the correct side you have things plugged in
and setup correctly. If you have more than two speakers, fiddle around
as you probably know what you are doing at this point.
9) Now through-out this carry-on, if you've expected to hear something,
then "something" has got to
have been set to play, like a piece of music through a player or a movie
running. As I have said... Make sure the volume control sliders are turned up to an
audible level on the
speakers, or the windows sound icon in the taskbar or the player volume
control "opened up" or turned down enough. If you have sound then you're OK. If not we
10) At this
point after doing several things, it is good to restart the computer. As
I have eluded to - sometimes a short
nap has the computer "waking up with a fresh perspective".
If it doesn't work now then the sound
card is stuffed or not seated in the slot correctly or the holder is
dirty with dust etc. But try a different headphones or speakers or audio
lead before going that way.... Buy a can of liquid air spray for around $10 from a
computer shop and clean up a bit. The high speed air clears old dust and
grime from all parts and blows it right out of the computer box. While
there, clean off the cooling-fans and heat-sinks on various parts. Apply it to the sound
card slot and the sound card if needed, reinstall the card and the
drivers and reboot.
If no joy, then buy another sound card and install it or get it installed... Or
the on-board is stuffed or the sound is turned off on the motherboard, take the
computer to a computer shop for a new soundcard etc.... or a computer nerd you happen to know. Or
the speakers are blown.... or your power is not on. Or the computer is a
lemon. Chuck it out the bloody window.
player for music is Winamp. Especially while online. It is so well designed for this. Download
it, install it and if the sound card and channels are right it will play
music as expected. Experiment with it as it is very adjustable for the
For video and
even DVDs, Windows Media Player Classic is unbeatable - though it might
be hard to argue that with VLC player nerds... However to play a DVD
or high definition DVD in the ROM then I also recommend Power DVD v8..
Version 8 is made to give
very clear "high definition" and terrific sound production and
will play Blu Ray. If you don't want
to use the simpler Windows Media
Player Classic, this is the one, with one more alternative and
that is PotPlayer.... freeware.... Perfect for Blu Ray. I have them all installed and
chose whatever takes my fancy at the time or for the purpose.
You may have to explore
your browser options menu to get Winamp to
play the music files online, or the Windows Media Player Classic to play
the movies or videos from an online source by default. Pot player will
do it of course. Some sites are
using a Flash player that works through your browser and may give you the
option of using your own stand-alone if you prefer.
More later.... (if you
can stand it)