Sound in windows XP (pro, 32-bit, laptop) suddenly, inexplicably stopped last week (on 10-22

By coatli
Oct 31, 2015
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  1. Hi there,

    I would be so grateful for some help regarding this strange issue:

    my sound in windows XP suddenly stopped about a week ago, for no apparent reason!

    I went through all my volume controls, muted and unmuted master sound many times,

    rebooted a few times, unplugged and replugged...

    then tried my device manager sound settings, but could find nothing that said it wasn't already working properly. ..

    ...and I have been scouring the internet for any info for hints on how to get it back, as well as all throughout my PC's settings, help pages, etc...

    there have been so many different suggestions by people to others with similar problems, so I made my best guess from the options I saw--

    that I should try to update my realtek driver.

    however, my device manager claims I already have the most updated version,

    nor I have found any other item in my sound device settings that said to be needing updated.

    I went to a few websites to try to find an update anyway, thinking maybe I could re-install the latest...

    but I was thoroughly confused by everything I found,

    even when I went to the Realtek Corp site and tried to find my appropriate driver there.

    according to my device manager, I currently have driver version:, of driver date: 9/5/2007, Realtek HD audio output, by: Realtek Semiconductor corp.

    but at the realtek site, I found now listings of any such drivers. I could only find versions such as "R 2.79 realtek HD codecs".

    on one site ( I did find versions similar to mine, which even seemed like later versions, oddly enough when my own PC refused to update my drivers telling me it was unable to, as I already had the latest version--

    which made me even more wary to download any as it was not from the original manufacturer's site...

    (and anyway, I already have windows update enabled)

    (of course, I have no idea whether updating my driver, if even a option, would even fix the sound!)

    okay then, I tried solving my problem via system restore, going to before 10-22, (the date when my sound was last working, and when I suspect I may have been hit with a possible malware ('prompt downloader', which may have latched itself on to my PC(?) or firefox browser(?), and maybe even put on the the 'loot find' app to my PC, not sure)--

    but I only got an error message from system restore--after going thru the whole process--

    telling me it could not restore for me... but it gave no explanation why!)

    so then, I went to :

    ***WHY DID MY WINDOWS XP laptop's sound stop working?

    and found a solution that some members found fixed their issue:

    " Start -> control panel -> Device Manager -> sound,video and game controllers

    click on the sound,video and game controllers :....Realtek High definition Audio"

    right click on it and Disable it > yes > yes > it will restart the pc or laptop

    then when ur pc starts again it will popup a window asking u to solve the problem with the sound

    just go through it and its done."

    Well, I tried that, but alas, it did not even restart my PC,

    and neither did nothing to ask me to solve the problem when I manually restarted.

    I also tried going through my PC's innate troubleshooter a couple times, but it only led me through series of steps and ended by telling me I would have to search for a solution online!

    also, when I tried the option to run the MicrosoftFixit.AudioPlayback.RNP.Run, it notified me that it successfuly applied the necessary fixes, but that it did not manage to fix my problem, which was that my realtek driver was not set as the default. (Even though I set it a couple times to be the default, and it shows that it is indeed the default in my device manager!

    (I guess for some strange reason it only says (?) it is,or else my PC does not know that it is the default for some reason(?)...)

    another thing I've tried is DirectSound test, of which the results read:

    Failure at step 19 (User verification of software): HRESULT = 0x00000000 (error code):

    update or re-install Direct 9.0c.

    Please help if you would be so kind-- I am so thoroughly at a loss by now!

    (I am very low-tech, and I struggle with all my brain power just to get things to work at a minimal level--

    so if you might tell me in a simplified way, what can you suggest I try, and what specific steps should I take?)

    Many thanks in advance!:)
  2. bazz2004

    bazz2004 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,213   +200

    The laptop was probably expensive when you bought it a long time ago. I'd say that it's time to look at replacing it. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised at what you will get for your money today.
  3. coatli

    coatli TS Rookie Topic Starter

    hi bazz,
    I am not ready to replace my laptop at this time.
    I would very much appreciate some help for getting my sound up and running again!
    (its sound was fine a week ago, so something apparently happened to disrupt that,and it seems likely a knowledgeable person could give me a little guidance.)
  4. bazz2004

    bazz2004 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,213   +200

    You seem savvy enough and have been doing the right things. Have you tried plugging in headphones and trying to get those to work? I doubt the drivers have anything to do with it. My guess is that it's a setting that you've missed or a hardware fault. Nothing lasts forever and if it's a hardware issue the repair bill would make your eyes water.

    Find Control Panel and open Sounds, Speech and Audio Devices. Spend time in there exploring the various settings making sure that the laptop speakers are set as the default device and not muted.
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2015
  5. coatli

    coatli TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks bazz!
    wow, I had thought I went thru everything, but I guess I hadn't gone to the sounds&audio devices yet.
    What I found there has me mystified: under volume tab, it says "no audio device". Its speaker settings are grayed out, so there's no option for me to change anything.
  6. bazz2004

    bazz2004 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,213   +200

    Start, My Computer, View system information, Device Manager. Scroll down and open Sound video and game controllers. See if any devices are flagged up as having problems.
  7. coatli

    coatli TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Yes, I did all that you suggested-- and unfortunately, even though one device was flagged, and then I addressed the issue and took care of it by following all the guidance,
    my sound still isn't functioning!
    even after several reboots.
    well then,,,
    maybe it is a hardware issue(?), but if so, wouldn't there be a notification given by my system? or at least some way for me to find an indication of such somewhere in my system?
  8. bazz2004

    bazz2004 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,213   +200

    If the audio has died it is no longer there as far as the laptop is concerned. Two signs are that you have spent lots of time changing the settings and your ears tell you that the speakers aren't working. If it was a desktop you could easily get inside to check and change components. An old laptop that's not working properly is a very different proposition. If the headphones are not working either reconsider whether or not to scrap it or take it to a workshop. Expect a charge for them to just to look at it though.
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2015
  9. coatli

    coatli TS Rookie Topic Starter


    thank you all for your help :)

    well I have great news--

    I am blown away... ultra-elated to say I finally found my solution!

    I spent hundreds of hours over two months troubleshooting my laptop's sudden sound disappearance,

    and suddenly just now I stumbled upon the answer in one of my hundreds of closely-related options navigating through my maze of system controls!

    here's how I finally found it:

    sound & audio / audio tab (not volume, not sounds)/ sound playback/ realtek HD audio output/ volume/

    master volume/ options/ properties/ select all volume controls, click ok,

    THEN return to master volume, go to options/ advanced controls and make sure all volume sliders are

    enabled (I had to uncheck, set, then re-check each one....
    and when I tackled the wave option, eureka! my sound returned!

    I hope this helps others out there who have also been tearing their hair out trying to get theirs to work! :)
  10. bazz2004

    bazz2004 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,213   +200

  11. bazz2004

    bazz2004 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,213   +200

    Great stuff and if it goes again you'll be able to find your post on Techspot as a memory refresher. ;) Thanks for letting us have an update. Issues like this one can take an awful lot of resolving. There as so many settings to tinker with in Windows.

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