What happened to my Windows sound?

I seem to be having nothing but trouble with this laptop lately, so here we go.

I recently reinstalled Windows after the laptop’s drive died and had to be replaced. Now the drive is fine (fingers crossed) and the Windows install is fine otherwise but, within the last four days, it has stopped loading the volume control into the taskbar (I cannot get it to the taskbar, even via a registry key) and it is having major issues playing anything. Yet, it plays some things. Here is what I’ve noticed:

  1. It refuses to play audio off of websites (no flash audio; plays audio inside mp3s/movs/mpegs via Quicktime)
  2. Refuses to play audio in winamp via pyramid-splice (gapless output; not sure how it maps to the sound driver) but plays via wave_map (IF you tell it how to map - it can’t use the default mapper) or the directsound (maps automatically)
  3. Uninstalling and reinstalling the sound drivers doesn’t help (two seperate drivers - Intel and Crystal)
  4. Windows itself cannot play sounds - ie, no menu open / window minimize / etc sounds (you cannot even ‘preview’ sounds when selecting them)

I’m completely at a loss as to what the deal is. Windows reports no problems whatsoever. I ran dxdiag and performed the directsound test and all of the software tests came back fine but it said that hardware buffering isn’t supported. Weird - I could’ve sworn it was.

I’m using Windows XP. This is a new issue and one that I’m clueless on. I’ve done absolutely nothing that would have caused it to come about (only program I’ve installed in the last four days was SmartFTP) and aside from turning the default sound theme to “no sounds” and then back to Windows default I’ve done nothing to the settings. Windows Audio service is working and none of the others seem to have anything to do with audio playback so; I’m out of luck. It’s a Dell 8200, couple years old. Works flawlessly. First problem I’ve ever had with it aside from the original hard drive dying.

Any ideas? Any at all? Thanks for any help in advance - I am so totally at a loss and I’d rather not deal with Dell’s Iraqi Bob tech support that would just swear that nothing’s wrong.

This is going to sound really, really dumb, but did you check the Windows volume settings in your system tray? I don’t know why, but sometimes (not often, but it’s happened more than once to me, and on more than one computer) random audio channels in there mysteriously toggle on their own “mute” checkbox. I swear I spent days trying to diagnose a sound problem once, and was on the verge of going to the store to buy a new sound card, when I opened the volume settings on a whim and found that “mute all” had somehow gotten toggled on.

Re-install the Audio Drivers for your laptop, get the latest version.

That’s the crazy thing about it. Been all over the mixer and muted, un-muted, re-muted, re-un-muted everything at least two or three times. Installed, uninstalled, reinstalled both the Intel driver and the Crystal (Dell’s) driver two or three times. Fiddled around with the two performance/conversion rate sliders. Etcetera etcetera etcetera. No clue.

Thanks for both of ya’lls help. I’m really hoping a WinXP reinstall is what fixes this but I’d like to shy away from that and see if I can fix it any other way first. It’s really annoying.

The only other thing I can think of is that when playing games the temperature runs kind of hot (stays at around 70c for cpu and low 60s for gpu) and that it could have damaged the internal sound card but, if it did, why can I play some sound and not others? It’s weird.

No viruses. No spyware/malware. etc.

Any help is appreciated. Thanks you two!

I once installed a wrong update in Imperialism 2 and lost all sound in that game. In that game only. It would always play three sounds after starting and then go mute. I reinstalled the game after erasing it from the registry. I reinstalled my sound drivers. Later, I did a complete O/S reinstall. No matter what I did, this sound card never again worked with Imperialism 2.

The moral of the story? Sometimes sound cards go mad. Shoot it before it starts attacking you.

Make sure every media player you have has the sound turned up.
I ran into a problem where Windows Media Player was on, but my ATI media player was muted.
It took a while to find, but that’s where I’d start checking.

Real Player, Windows Media, Video Card Media Player, Quick time Player, the Audio Card’s Control Panel applications, etc.

Check in the control panel and make sure that under Sounds and Audio Devices, you don’t have any funny settings like Mute, Check the Speaker Volume and Advanced settings to make sure you have your speakers configured correctly too.

Try a repair install, that way you don’t lose all your programs.

Telling him to do something without posting the “How” is kinda useless, no?
Care to embelish on that post a little?

Google WinXP repair install.

If I wanted to know how to do a repair install, I’d PM FIDGAF. Natch.

Nice tech support…
Work for Dell?

Since his location is Maryland and not Mumbai, obviously not!

Gez, must you spoil my fun?