Suddenly, no sound at all

in Genius Bar edited January 2014
Please indulge me here. I have a Mac but this question is regarding my son's PC. I have posted in Ars Technica once but that was long ago and Im no longer recognized and there is some glitch that prevents me from registering. I don't know where else to turn. And I know so many of you are bi-platformer whizzes so I'm hoping a kind soul will help us out. The diagnosis may actually apply to a Mac system as well as a PC.

My son?s computer suddenly stopped playing any sounds. He has a Compaq Presario 6000 (2.0 GB) running XP home edition. Suddenly there are no sounds from the system, songs, games, movies--nothing.

When trying to adjust the volume, for example, via Sounds and Audio Devices Properties it says ?No Audio Device.? And Device Volume is grayed out.

RealPlayer and Windows Media Player don?t work. On Media Player a message says, ?Cannot play file because there is a problem with your sound device.? When trying to play a song a message pops up saying,

"Cannot open the audio device. Another application may be using it".

Speakers seem to work since they pop when we unplug/plug them. He has checked for incorrect or missing sound card drivers as well as updating my current sound drivers, but still no luck.

We have no clue as to whether this is a hardware or software problem. Do sound cards just go bad from time to time? My other son, who is more computer savy than we, has tried to diagnose it but he can?t decide between hardware/software cause either. I hope I have given all the relevant info. Any ideas? Thank you in advance.

(Why am I posting instead of my sons? THey are on computer restriction due to too much Counter Strike and too little studying)


  • Reply 1 of 3
    der kopfder kopf Posts: 2,275member
    I'm guessing the PC uses on-board sound? The sound component may very well have fried (maybe whilst trying to keep up with a large demand for more POWERRRR). Who knows? If you have a PCI slot left, you could plop in a small inexpensive sound card and see how that goes.
  • Reply 2 of 3

    If you have a PCI slot left, you could plop in a small inexpensive sound card and see how that goes.

    That sounds like the best idea actually. We put a new sound on the other son's computer so it's something we can do rather easily. Sound cards aren't too expensive as I recall. Plus you have solved another problem for me--I know now what to give my son for Christmas. Thank you.
  • Reply 3 of 3
    ebbyebby Posts: 3,110member
    You can try to reinstall the sound drivers before you buy a new card. I had an ethernet card I thought was dead but I completely removed it from window, reinstalled it and bingo, it worked. Of course if that doesn't work, feel free to buy a cheap sound card.

    PS: Based on previous experiences, make sure you have both the sound card drivers and the windows disk. I couldn't tell you how many times I started a project and couldn't find the right disk. It's much more frustrating to search for a disk if your computer is telling you to it needs it than if you find the disk on your own.
Sign In or Register to comment.