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HP Notebook PCs - Resolving Sound Problems with External Speakers and Headsets
This document pertains to HP Notebook PCs with Windows Vista.
No sound after changing from XP to Vista or Vista to XP
The drivers for recording and playing sounds are designed for specific operating systems.
When the operating system on an HP-certified, Vista-capable computer is changed from XP to Vista, it is necessary to locate and install the current drivers for the Vista operating system.
NOTE: Not all HP notebook models are designed to operate with different operating systems. HP does not support the upgrading of older models. HP does not provide Vista drivers for older computers that are not certified by HP as Vista-capable.
See the HP Notebook PCs - List of HP Certified Vista Capable Notebook PCs support document to determine if your notebook computer can be upgraded.
When the operating system is downgraded from Vista to XP, the universal audio architecture (UAA) sound drivers must be installed. After installing UAA sound drivers, an updated driver for the component must be installed. HP nor Windows Update support UAA drivers.
NOTE: HP does not support the downgrading of HP Pavilion and Compaq Presario computers from Windows Vista to Windows XP.
See the HP Notebook PCs - Issues with Downgrading HP Pavilion and Compaq Presario PCs to Windows XP and Restoring Windows Vista support document for more detailed information.
Select one of the options below to locate the available audio drivers if you already changed the operating system and you are experiencing sound problems.
Begin by determining the actual sound problem
This document addresses sound problems with external speakers or headsets when there is sound from the built-in speakers. If there is no sound from the built-in speakers or if there is an error message, select a symptom from the list below that best describes the problem. The link that you select takes you to a section within this document or to another HP support document.
NOTE: Before troubleshooting sound problems with external speakers or headsets, disconnect all external speakers and headsets, and then perform a simple test of the Windows sound system to be sure that sound is audible from the built-in speakers.
Resolving the most common low volume problem: unpowered speakers
It is important to know the type of speakers that are compatible with your computer. Most computers that were manufactured after the year 2000 require powered speakers. When using non-powered speakers with a line-out connector on the computer, the volume is much lower/softer than usual.
Powered speakers use a power adapter or batteries to amplify the volume. They can connect into a line-out connector on the computer.
Figure 1: Example of powered speakers (your speakers may look slightly different)
Checking the headset and the external speaker connections
When using external speakers or headphones, verify that the sound cables are properly connected from the speaker to the computer. Cable connectors and plug assignments are normally color-coded to aid with connections.
To check the headset and the external speaker connections, follow the steps below.
Checking speaker configuration
If the speakers are properly connected, or if sound is not audible through the built-in speakers, verify that the proper sound and device drivers are installed and configured by following the steps below.