For the life of me, I cannot get my audio to work

By svm_niemand
Jul 21, 2008
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  1. Here's the situation:

    A friend gave me her old Gateway m350vwn laptop so that I could fix it up for her. It originally was loaded with a bunch of spyware/adware and viruses, and on top of that, her sound did not work.

    I thought that formatting it and reinstalling Windows would be the way to go, so that's what I did. I assumed that the audio issue would be fixed. But it isn't.

    Things I've already done:

    • Installed Sigmatel C-Major audio drivers from Gateway's website
    • Googled for more audio drivers when that one didn't work
    • None worked, poked around with settings
    • Realizing that nothing was muted or changed in any significant way, I checked Device Manager. Nothing was amiss.
    • Updated the BIOS
    • Looked in BIOS to see if onboard sound was disabled; it wasn't, there wasn't even an option to disable it
    • opened dxdiag and tested the sound there. No errors/issues. Couldn't hear anything.
    • Slammed laptop lid closed

    Using Windows XP Pro SP3.

    Worst case scenario is that the onboard sound is just dead. But this doesn't make sense to me. Windows recognizes it and pretends there's nothing wrong. If I uninstall the device, Windows recognizes it right away after I scan for hardware changes. I can install the driver. Things look like they're playing, but no sound resonates from the speakers or headphone jack.

    So what do you think? Dead speakers? But why would the headphone jack also be dead? I can't hear anything if I plug in my headphones either.

    Something that's also noteworthy: when the computer shuts down, I hear a brief pop/crackle right before it turns off. If that makes sense.

    Oh, and I booted to an Ubuntu live CD just because I had it, to test if it was just Windows that couldn't detect sound... no sound there either. I don't know why it would work from the live CD anyway, but, you never know, I guess. I'm kinda clueless at this point, and willing to try anything short of replacing the mobo.

    I've looked at alternatives if the onboard audio is indeed shot to hell. I found a USB audio controller that looks a bit like a flash drive; would that be plausible?

    Thanks in advance for any ideas or information.
  2. CCT

    CCT Newcomer, in training Posts: 3,556

  3. svm_niemand

    svm_niemand Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    CCT,

    You mean, before every other driver? I've installed every needed driver on that page right after installing Windows, but not necessarily in any order.

    Edit: I just turned the volume all the way up and stuck my ear next to the speaker. It crackles as if the speaker is indeed shot - or at least that's what it sounds like. But why would the headphones then not work also?
  4. CCT

    CCT Newcomer, in training Posts: 3,556

    My list of checks:

    Checks:

    Check the motherboard bios to ensure sound is enabled.

    Check Start, All Programs, Accessories, Entertainment, Volume Control to ensure no 'mute' box is ticked and volume sliders are at maximum.

    Check Start, Control Panel, System, Hardware, Device Manager for any yellow alert markings.

    Check Start, Control Panel, Administrative Tools, Services for the Windows Audio entry and ensure it isa set to automatic and is started.

    Check Start, Control Panel, Sounds and Audio Devices, Speaker Volume to ensure speakers volume is maximum and then check Advanced to ensure speaker setup is right.

    Check Start, Control Panel, Sounds and Audio Devices, Audio - make sure a default device is entered for Sound Playback and for Midi Music Playback.

    Check Start, Control Panel, Sounds and Audio Devices, Hardware - click on the cd/dvd and make sure it is enabled then look at properties - properties to make sure the cd/dvd isn't muted and the sound volume is at maximum.

    Check Start, Control Panel, Sounds and Audio Devices, Hardware - there should be an Audio Codecs entry and an entry for the Audio Controller.


    The audio codecs can be further explored by clicking properties - properties. A number of codecs may be displayed. It may be useful to select the Microsoft codecs

    one at a time and click properties and re-number them 1-5 such that they are the default codes. Make a note of the original sequence of priority so you can return to the original later if you want to.

    The audio controller can be further explored by clicking properties. Make sure the device is enabled.
  5. svm_niemand

    svm_niemand Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    CCT,

    I followed those steps before but just in case, I went through them again. And I messed around with the order of codecs for about 20 minutes, no change :( thanks though.

    Any other suggestions?
  6. CCT

    CCT Newcomer, in training Posts: 3,556

    And you followed the gateway download and installation instructions?
  7. svm_niemand

    svm_niemand Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    CCT,

    Yep, I followed them exactly.
  8. CCT

    CCT Newcomer, in training Posts: 3,556

    'Worst case scenario is that the onboard sound is just dead. But this doesn't make sense to me. Windows recognizes it and pretends there's nothing wrong.'

    I have an onboard NIC that is just like that - seen, supposed to be OK, is BAD!

    Sounds (forgive the pun) like your sound chip is done.
  9. svm_niemand

    svm_niemand Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    That sucks. :blackeye:

    Oh well. Thanks for your help. The computer does have an expansion slot for cards that she sometimes uses for a wireless internet card - do they make sound cards for that?

    I was also looking at this: http://www.uxcell.com/usb-sound-audio-sound-controller-adapter-gray-p-2967.html

    It looks cheap but it'll do what she needs...I'm just not sure if it functions on its own or is just a booster for sound that is already a part of the laptop or not :/
  10. CCT

    CCT Newcomer, in training Posts: 3,556

    That's out of my league - I don't know. Start a new thread asking for add-on sound card help. Describe the comp etc again.


    gl
  11. tweakboy

    tweakboy TechSpot Maniac Posts: 518

    The laptop speakers are dead. The sound is not dead, the speaker in the laptop is dead.

    If you need a audio card for that PC , I guess usb would be the way to go,,, gl,
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