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  Sounds like an audio problem  

This gives basic troubleshooting steps for diagnosing the loss of sound from your PC.

You should start by checking all your cables. Make sure that the power supply for your speakers hasnít been dislodged from its socket, the fuse hasn't blown and that the audio cable running between your soundcard and speakers hasnít become disconnected.

If you find you get sound in some of your programs, but there are one or two that donít produce audio, the problem may lie with how they are set up to address your card. Some audio applications allow you to select the device thatís used to play back or record sound. This is common in audio-editing applications, video-editing software and music sequencers.

To solve this, youíll need to go into the softwareís Preferences or Options menu and look for a section that deals with the audio hardware or the audio input and output. Somewhere in this section there will be a dropdown box that lets you choose which device is taking care of the audio duties. Simply select your soundcard as the chosen device and the software should start to behave itself again.

If you have no joy with this, the next place to look is in the Windows Volume Control applet. You can open this by clicking on Start, All Programs, Accessories, Entertainment and then Volume Control. Youíll be presented with a row of volume control sliders. First, check that the main volume control is not turned down and that the mute box isnít ticked, then check that each of the soundcard inputs that you are using (CD player, line-in, microphone and so on) have also got their volume turned up to at least three quarters of the way and that the mute box on each one isnít ticked.

If youíre having problems recording from a source, click on the Option menu, select Properties, tick the Recording button and click OK to see the recording volume controls for your card. You need to make sure the input you want to record from has its Select box ticked and that its volume slider isnít turned down.

The standard Windows Volume Control applet is usually linked to your own soundcardís volume applet, if it comes with one. However, as your own soundcardís applet may offer control over special features of the card, itís worth checking the volume, mute and that other similar settings are also correctly configured.

Sometimes external audio devices, such as USB headsets, donít release audio control back to your soundcard when theyíve been disconnected.

You can change the default windows sound device manually via the Control Panel.  Click on Start, Control Panel, switch to classic view and then select Sounds and Audio Devices. Now click on the Audio tab and look in the Default Devices dropdown boxes. If your soundcard isnít selected, this could be the problem. Just click on each of the dropdown menus and select your card from the list of devices shown.

Next click the Voice tab and then the Test hardware... button.  If you have a microphone, this will allow you to hear your own speech.  It has been known to resolve missing sound problems by checking each device in turn.

If after having tried all these steps youíre still not getting any sound from your card, then itís likely that thereís either a serious conflict between your soundcard and another device in your computer or that the soundcard is simply dead. Either way, your best bet is to contact 1ComputerCare and see whether we can help.

USB devices

An increasing number of USB audio devices, such as USB speakers and headphones, are appearing on the market. All of these present themselves to your computer as a USB soundcard and take over from the audio hardware inside your PC.

However, sometimes the drivers for these devices can become corrupt or Windows can lose track of whether it should be using the external USB device or its own internal soundcard.

If youíre having problems with a USB audio device, then the first thing to do is to try plugging it into a different USB port. When you do this make sure you have the drivers for your device ready as Windows may ask you to reinstall them again.

If this doesnít work, you need to check that Windows is switching to your chosen device when itís plugged in. With the device connected, click on the Start menu, select Control Panel, switch to classic view and double-click on Sounds and Audio Devices. Now click on the Audio tab and select your USB device in the Audio playback Default Device dropdown box.

If your device has recording capabilities, you will also need to select it in the Audio Recording Default Device dropdown menu. Once youíre done, click OK and your problem should be solved.

Hardware problems

If youíve tried all our software fixes and none of them is working, the problem may lie with your hardware. There is, however, one other thing you can try before you give up and buy a new soundcard.

Sometimes PCI cards can simply become unseated from their sockets. The problem is quite rare, but we have seen it happen. Sometimes in a batch of cards one or two of them will have connectors or brackets that are slightly longer than perhaps they should be. Usually this isnít a problem, but sometimes it means the card has to be pressured into the PCI slot to get it to fit. These cards can sometimes slightly push themselves out of the socket.

To reseat the card, first release this screw and pull the card out of the slot. Push the card back into place making sure that itís sitting properly, both at the side where itís fastened to the chassis and at the other end. Once youíre sure itís properly in place, reattach the screw, close up your PC, reconnect the power and boot up your machine to see if it solves your problem.

Driver updates

Before you make any changes to your system's drivers, take a backup first.  The easy way is to visit http://www.innovative-sol.com/drivermax/index.htm and have DriverMax make a My Drivers folder under your Documents folder.

If the problem persists or your soundcard isnít listed in Device Manager, there may be a problem with its drivers. To check on the status of your drivers, go to the Device Manager. Click on Start, then right-click on My Computer and select Properties. Select the Hardware tab and click on the Device Manager. When the Device Manager window appears, look for the Sound, Video and Game Controllers entry and click on the plus symbol to expand it.

If your soundcard isnít listed, somehow its drivers have been lost.  A more likely scenario is that there will be a mark next to it indicating that there is a problem with the device. In either of these cases your best bet is to install the latest driver for your card. You should be able to download this from the support section of the manufacturerís website. We recommend you uninstall the old driver before installing the new one, and carefully read the instructions that come with the driver update.  If your card is made by Creative this is easiest done by running their autoupdate program at http://support.creative.com/downloads/SoftwareAutoUpdate.aspx