Audio issues are one of the most common problems faced by Windows users and, because of the huge variety of differing configurations, fixing them can sometimes be quite a complex process. However, here are several basic steps that even the most novice of users should be able to follow, which can and often will fix minor audio issues:
Step 1: Check for Muting
I’ve come across this more often than you might think, where a user has muted the audio for one reason or another and then forgotten they’ve done it. Or in a multiple user situation where one of the users has muted the volume and failed to mention it to the others. Checking the volume setting is a very simple process:
Right click the speaker icon located in the System Tray and select Open Volume Mixer:
In the Volume Mixer window that opens, make sure none of the options are muted:
If one or more of the options are muted, simply move the slider up to a suitable volume.
Step 2: Restart the System
This may sound silly but you’d be surprised how many minor glitches can be solved with a simple restart. Sometimes a service my simply not start up as required or an already started service will crash for one reason or another – them thar gremlins. If still no audio after a system restart, move on to the next step.
Step 3: Uninstall & Re-install Audio Drivers
Trust me, this is nowhere near as complicated as it might sound. Uninstalling is just a matter of clicking a menu item and a restart will then see Windows automatically re-install all required drivers.
First we need to navigate to Device Manager. There are a number of ways to do this but the most common method across all operating systems is probably via Control Panel > Device Manager:
Once you have opened the Device Manager:
- Expand Sound, video, and game controllers (click on the little sideways triangle in front or double click)
- Locate the audio device – there may be more than one (do them all)
- Right-click the device, and then click Uninstall.
- When a little window pops up, check Delete the Driver Software for this device (Windows 7)
- Restart the computer
If, after following those steps, your audio still isn’t working, do not despair. Head on over to the DCT Forum, start a new thread outlining your particular issue, and one of our experts will do their very best to help you sort it out.
Speaking of sound issues I have this odd little problem. It’s not a big deal since I rarely turn my system off.
Just about every time I turn on or restart my PC, my sound icon has a red x on it and if I put my mouse cursor over it, up pops a message saying The Audio Service is not running. I tested it and sound still works by the way.
So to get rid of this X I just click on it to open the volume control, click on the little blue speaker icon to mute it, then click on it a second time.