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Surround Sound doesn't work but headphone jack does

By MadDoctor
Jan 17, 2016
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  1. I've just inherited my brother's computer. He was a serious gamer and build/upgraded his machine. I reformatted the hard drive (way too many games to uninstall) and loaded Windows 10. I've just plugged it in and tried to play some music while loading stuff, but the speakers don't work. When I plug one of the leads into the headphone jack, I can hear it just fine. It has 16 GB mem, 8Core processor (3.61 Ghz). The surround sound jacks are on the motherboard, not separate. It's an Asus Republic of Gamers motherboard if that helps.

    According to Device Manager, there is a 'High Definition Audio Device' and "NVIDIA High Definition Audio. There are matching jacks on the sub-woofer, back of the computer and cord to connect them (green - front L/R, black - rear L/R, yellow - sub/center). It also seems to have a digital sound out (optical) that is not plugged in. (somewhere I have a TV sound bar that has an optical input. I have not tried it.)

    I've already tried Control Panel/Hardware and Sound/Manage audio devices/
    It shows multiple devices
    Speakers/2-High Definition Audio Device/Not plugged in
    Headphones/2-High Definition Audio Device/Not plugged in
    Digital Audio (S/PDIF)/2-High Definition Audio Device/Default Device
    (green bars monitoring output when playing - still no sound)
    Digital Audio (S/PDIF)/2-High Definition Audio Device/Ready
    NVIDIA HDMI Output (Port 0)/NVIDIA High Definition Audio/Not plugged in
    NVIDIA HDMI Output (Port 1)/NVIDIA High Definition Audio/Not plugged in
    NVIDIA HDMI Output (Port 2)/NVIDIA High Definition Audio/Not plugged in
    NVIDIA HDMI Output (Port 3)/NVIDIA High Definition Audio/Not plugged in

    I tried plugging in the TV's sound bar into the optical out connection and that works fine.

    For some reason, it is not recognizing the standard outputs to the speakers.
  2. Cycloid Torus

    Cycloid Torus TS Evangelist Posts: 2,639   +492

    It sounds like a wonderful system (pun intended).

    How is your Surround Sound system powered? Is it properly plugged in? Is there a switch? Can you see an LED indicating it is 'on'? Can you test your sound system on another computer?

    Drivers? You reformatted, did you download and install new chipset and sound drivers?
  3. MadDoctor

    MadDoctor TS Rookie Topic Starter

    The speakers are functional because they work when plugged into the headphone jack.

    I didn't download nor install chipset or sound drivers. I have no idea which ones to install. As I said, this is a home made computer, built by someone who has since passed on. I provided as much information as could find out.

    The sound worked when I first got the machine, but quit when I started uninstalling the games he had loaded. I tried everything I could to fix it then. That's when I reformatted, figuring that would be the easiest way to go.

    I changed the main boot drive to be the smallest one on the system, cleaning it out before doing so. It used to boot from the largest drive, which I am going to dedicate for movies etc. I've found a folder on that one called Audio having a folder called Audio_Win7-8-81-10_V6017525. There are three folders and three files in that

    I was tempted to run AsusSetup.exe but I don't know if that is even the file I want. It could be from an older configuration. I found Windows upgrade disks for XP and Vista in his collection, but not the original install. I had to buy a new copy.
  4. Cycloid Torus

    Cycloid Torus TS Evangelist Posts: 2,639   +492

    You reformatted the hard drive with Windows 10 and you (probably) need to download and install drivers from the motherboard manufacturer. When you reformat and install the new operating system, it is a 'clean install' and you might want to review http://www.howtogeek.com/224342/how-to-clean-install-windows-10/ to see if you missed any steps.

    To get the right driver downloads, I suggest you get more detailed information about your system. I use Belarc Advisor for this ( download at
    http://www.belarc.com/free_download.html ). I print it out as a reference when I work on a system.

    If this does not resolve your Surround Sound issue, then I would locate instructions for the fresh installation of your Surround Sound system - most major manufacturers provide this at their website in the product support area.

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