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HP Notebook PCs - Resolving No Sound or Audio Problems (Windows Vista)
This document pertains to HP Notebook computers with Windows Vista.
The steps in this document describe how to troubleshoot and fix the problem when there is no sound coming from the internal or external Notebook speakers. Several hardware or software issues may cause sound and audio problems. To begin troubleshooting, disconnect all possible external sound devices, such as digital audio, external speakers, and ear and head phones. After you restore the internal sound systems with all external devices disconnected, you can try reconnecting each device and testing the sound to isolate the problem.
Step 1: Use the Microsoft Fix it Solution
To automatically fix many types of sound problems in Windows Vista, click the Microsoft Fix it Solution:
If the sound problems continue after using the Fix it Solution, go to Step 2: Perform a simple sound system test to continue troubleshooting.
Step 2: Perform a simple sound system test
To perform a simple sound system test, follow the steps below.
If sound is not audible, go to Step 3: Check the volume and mute settings to continue troubleshooting.
Step 3: Check the volume and mute settings
If sound is not audible, it is possible that the sound control is turned down or set to mute. There are separate sound controls for the hardware devices (speakers / head sets) and the individual applications (Windows sound / QuickPlay / Windows Media Player). For example, if the speaker is turned on, but the application is muted, you will not hear any sound. You should open the sound volume mixer and check the different settings.
NOTE: If the volume for an application, such as Windows Media Player, was adjusted using the volume buttons or slider controls on the notebook case, the system will use that volume setting, even if the master volume control is adjusted to a higher setting.
To check the volume and mute settings, follow the steps below.
NOTE: If the computer has a feature where you can slide your finger along a graduated strip above the keypad to change the volume, the capacitive touch mute button may become stuck in the muted position and prevent the playback of sound. To resolve this specific issue, download and install the latest BIOS for your particular computer model. See Step 8: Install updated firmware (BIOS) for more information.
The sound should now be restored. Adjust the volume to a comfortable setting.
If sound is not restored, go to Step 4: Test the sound devices to continue troubleshooting.
Step 4: Test the sound devices
When the external speakers are disconnected, the sound device named Speakers must be selected as the and must be .
NOTE: The notebook speakers will not work if Bluetooth Speakers or Digital Output is selected as the default sound device.
The sound should now be restored. If the Speakers sound device is still not working properly, go to Step 5: Verify that the sound device is enabled in Device Manager to continue troubleshooting.
Step 5: Verify that the sound device is enabled in Device Manager
If there is no sound from the speakers or from the headset, follow the steps below to determine the state of the sound hardware within the Device Manager.
The sound should now be restored. If the sound device is still not working properly, go to Step 6: Restore the original audio driver to continue troubleshooting.
Step 6: Restore the original audio driver
Sound problems can occur when sound files and settings are changed. This can result in the controls in the sound mixer being grayed out. To resolve this issue, you should restore the original audio driver for the device.
Restoring the original audio driver quickly resets audio settings for the sound hardware and causes Windows to reinitialize the sound configuration. The Driver Recovery process in the HP Recovery Manager restores audio drivers for the sound hardware that came pre-installed on the computer.
To reinstall the original audio driver using HP Recovery Manager, follow the steps below.
The computer will restart. If it does not restart automatically, restart the computer. Test for sound after the computer restarts.
The sound should now be restored. If the sound device is still not working properly, go to Step 7: Install an updated audio driver to continue troubleshooting.
Step 7: Install an updated audio driver
If sound problems persist after restoring the original audio sound driver or installing a particular software application, install an updated audio driver.
To install an updated audio driver, follow the steps below.
Sound should now be audible through the device. If the sound problems persist, or if no drivers were found and installed, go to Step 8: Install updated firmware (BIOS) .
Step 8: Install updated firmware (BIOS)
The BIOS is a program that allows the operating system to start when the computer is turned on. Updating the BIOS can resolve compatibility conflicts that may exist between different hardware components on the computer.
Please see the Using HP Update Tools to Update HP Software, Drivers, and BIOS (Windows Vista) support document for more information about updating the BIOS.
After updating the BIOS, return to Step 2: Perform a simple sound system test to test the sound.
If the sound problems persist, go to Step 9: Perform a Windows System Restore to continue troubleshooting.
Step 9: Perform a Windows System Restore
If the sound once worked, but has since stopped working, use the Windows System restore utility to attempt to correct the problem. Windows Vista monitors critical system settings and automatically creates restore points on a regular basis.
NOTE: The Windows System Restore utility restores system files to a specific point in time, called a restore point. Any software application or utility that is installed after the restore point is created will not work and must be reinstalled.
Please see the Using Microsoft System Restore (Windows Vista) support document for more information about System Restore.
After performing a Windows System Restore, return to Step 2: Perform a simple sound system test to test the sound.
Troubleshooting specific problems
If you continue to experience problems after restoring sound to the Notebook computer internal speakers, select a problem below to address specific issues.
CD or DVD digital audio playback not working
Some optical drives, such as CD or DVD drives, do not use digital playback for all audio. If digital playback is enabled, sound will not be audible when playing audio discs. Disabling and re-enabling the digital sound drivers for the optical drive resets the device. Resetting the optical drive is similar to clearing the cache on the computer by restarting it.
NOTE: If the sound problems occur when you are playing a CD or DVD using a program such as QuickPlay, DVDPlay, or MuVee software, update the QuickPlay, DVDPlay, or MuVee software to the latest version. Within the application, select Help and follow the instructions for updating or upgrading the product.
To disable and re-enable the optical drive, follow the steps below.
Sound should now be audible through the device. If sound is still not audible through the device, perform another of the testing methods described in this document.
Low volume problems
Use these steps to increase sound volume:
Mute button and slider bar issues
If you are experiencing issues with the mute button and/or the slide bar located at the rear of the keyboard, do the following:
High-definition audio device not working
A high-definition audio device on a notebook computer may no longer work after restarting Windows Vista or resuming from hibernation/sleep. The device may be a sound device or a modem. You also may see an "X" character appear on the speaker icon in the notification area.
To resolve this issue, please re-scan the device in Device Manager by performing the following:
Audio not synchronized with video playback (for high-definition video, DVD, and other audio formats)
The computer may not be able to deliver the required performance for video playback depending on the resolution and frame rate for the video. Also, the selected Windows Vista power management scheme might be reducing computer performance.
To resolve this problem, set the active power plan to Balanced or High Performance, using these steps: