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HP Commercial Desktop PCs - No Sound from the Speakers in Windows 7

This document applies to HP Commercial Desktop PCs with Windows 7.

The steps in this document describe how to troubleshoot and fix the problem when there is no sound coming from the speakers. For more information on a given step, click the heading or the accompanying plus (+) sign to expand the information.

Step 1: Use the HP Sound Troubleshooter

Use the HP Sound Troubleshooter to automatically fix many types of sound problems.

NOTE: If the HP Sound Troubleshoother is not available on the computer, see Step 2: Use the Microsoft Sound Troubleshooter .
  1. Click Start , click PC Help & Tools, and then click Sound Troubleshooter.

    Figure 1: Opening the HP Sound Troubleshooter

    Opening the Sound Troubleshooter
  2. If a User Account Control window is displayed, click Yes to continue. The HP Sound Troubleshooter opens.

  3. Click Next to continue.

    Figure 2: HP Sound Troubleshooter

    HP Sound Troubleshooter
  4. Wait while the troubleshooter checks the computer for problems.

    Figure 3: Checking for sound problems

    Checking for sound problems
  5. Select the audio connection device, such as speakers, and then click Next to continue.
    NOTE: Depending on the configuration of the computer, additional devices might be listed.

    and wait while the troubleshooter works.

    Figure 4: Selecting a device to troubleshoot

    Selecting a device to troubleshoot
  6. When the Sound Interactive Test page is displayed, click a speaker to test the sound.

    • If you hear sound, click Pass. Troubleshooting is complete.

    • If you do not hear sound, click Fail.

      When the Driver Update page is displayed, select Go to HP.com to check for an updated driver (Recommended), and then click Next. The troubleshooter continues to work.

    Figure 5: Testing for sound

  7. When the troubleshooter is done, the Troubleshooting has completed page is displayed listing any problems found and the changes made to the computer.

    NOTE: For more information about the troubleshooting, click View detailed information.

    Click Close.

    Figure 6: Troubleshooting completed

    Troubleshooting completed

If the sound problems continue after using the HP Sound Troubleshooter, continue with the steps in this document.

Step 2: Use the Microsoft Sound Troubleshooter

Use the Microsoft Sound Troubleshooter to automatically fix many types of sound problems.

  1. Click Start , and then click Control Panel.

  2. Under System and Security, click Find and fix problems.

    Figure 7: Opening the troubleshooter

    Opening the troubleshooter
  3. The Troubleshoot computer problems page opens. Under Hardware and Sound, click Troubleshoot audio playback.

    Figure 8: Troubleshooting audio playback

    Troubleshooting audio playback
  4. The Playing audio troubleshooting page is displayed. Click Next to continue.

    Figure 9: Playing Audio troubleshooter

    Playing Audio troubleshooter
  5. Wait while the troubleshooter checks the computer for problems.

    Figure 10: Checking for audio problems

    Checking for audio problems
  6. If the volume is muted or is too low, the Increase audio device volume window is displayed. Click Open Volume Mixer, increase the volume, and then click Next to continue.

    Figure 11: Increase audio device volume

    Increase audio device volume
  7. Select the audio connection device, such as speakers, and then click Next.

    Figure 12: Selecting a device to troubleshoot

    Selecting a device to troubleshoot
  8. Wait while the troubleshooter detects problems and makes changes.

    Figure 13: Detecting problems

    Detecting problems
  9. When the troubleshooter is done, the Troubleshooting has completed page displays listing any problems found and what changes were made to the computer.

    NOTE: For detailed information about the troubleshooting, click View detailed information.

    Click Close.

    Figure 14: Troubleshooting completed

    Troubleshooting completed

Step 3: Check power, volume, and mute settings

Make sure the speakers are powered on. If the speakers have a power light, make sure the light is on. If the power light is not on, perform the following:
  • If the speakers use a power cord, make sure the power cord is properly connected to both the speakers and the electrical outlet.

  • If the speakers use batteries, change the batteries.

If the speakers are powered on but there is no sound, the volume setting for one or more sound devices might be muted or set too low. Adjust the audio output device volume using one of the following:

  • Volume control knob for your speakers or monitor

  • Windows volume controls

  • Volume controls in sound software

If any of these volume controls are muted or set too low, the entire sound experience is affected. Perform the following to adjust volumes to correct levels:

  1. Adjust the volume to halfway between the minimum and maximum volume.

    • Powered speakers: Adjust the volume control knob to halfway between the minimum and maximum volume.

      Figure 15: Example of the volume control knob for speakers

      Example of a volume control knob for speakers
    • Speakers built inton the monitor: Make sure sound is enabled for the monitor and volume is adjusted to halfway between the minimum and maximum volume. Adjust the sound settings for the monitor by using the buttons on the monitor and/or the on-screen menu. To find more specific information about using and adjusting your monitor speaker settings, see the support documentation that came with your monitor.

      Figure 16: Example of the volume and menu buttons on a monitor

      Example of the volume and menu buttons on a monitor
  2. Click Start , and then click Control Panel.

  3. Click Hardware and Sound. Under Sound, click Adjust system volume. The Volume Mixer window opens.

    Figure 17: Volume Mixer

    Volume Mixer
  4. Make sure the volume is not muted by looking at the square Mute buttons below the volume slider. If the button displays a small red circle, the volume is muted.

    If the volume is muted, click the Mute button to enable sound. The red circle on the speaker icon disappears when sound is no longer muted.

    Sound muted
    Sound not muted
  5. After verifying that the sound is not muted, drag the volume adjuster up until it is at 75%.

  6. Test the volume by clicking the volume slider bar.

    • If sound is heard from all speakers, troubleshooting is complete.

    • If sound is missing from one or all of the speakers, continue with the next step.

    Figure 18: Testing volume

    Testing volume

Step 4: Set default audio output and test

The default audio output might be set to a different device. Perform the following to set the default audio output:

  1. Disconnect any stereo headphones. Stereo headphones attached to the computer can mute all other system speakers.

  2. Determine the type of audio output:

    Examples of connection types
    Speakers
    If you are using typical computer speakers or headphones (analog sound devices), make sure Speakers is selected. This is the most common sound setup for a desktop computer environment and includes many types of headphones, desktop speakers, 5.1 and 7.1 sound systems. Many monitors with built-in speakers also support a speaker connection using a separate audio cable connected from the computer to the monitor (not an HDMI connection).
    Digital Output
    If you want to send all sound from the computer to digital speakers or a stereo digital device, make sure the playback device labeled with Digital Output is selected.
    HDMI
    If your computer has an HDMI connection and you are trying to use the speakers in a TV or monitor, make sure the playback device labeled with HDMI is selected.
  3. Click Start , and type Sound into the Search box.

  4. In the search results, click Sound under the Control Panel list.

  5. On the Playback tab, select the audio output device. If this is the primary audio output device, click Set Default.

    Figure 19: Setting the default playback device

    Setting the default playback device
  6. Click Configure.

    Figure 20: Configuring the playback device

    Configuring the playback device
  7. Select the type of speaker setup in Audio channels.

    Figure 21: Speaker Setup window with 5.1 Surround (five speakers and a subwoofer) selected

    Speaker Setup window with 5.1 Surround (five speakers and a subwoofer) selected
  8. Click Test to send sound to each speaker, or click an individual speaker to send sound to it.

    • If sound is heard from all speakers, troubleshooting is complete.

    • If sound is missing from one or all of the speakers, or if the configuration type was changed, continue with speaker setup by clicking Next. Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the speaker setup, and test for sound again. If sound is still missing from one or all of the speakers, continue to the next step.

Step 5: Check speaker connections

Perform the following to make sure you have the speaker cables connected to the correct sound connectors:

  1. From the Windows Sound window, select Speakers, and then click Properties.

    Figure 22: Opening the Speaker Properties

    Opening the Speaker Properties
  2. The Speakers Properties window contains a list of color-coded connectors that corresponds to each speaker. Use this information to determine location of the connection on the computer.

    Figure 23: Speakers Properties window for 7:1 Surround setup

    Speakers Properties window

    This example shows an image for a 7.1 Surround setup where:

    • L R (green, Line Out) is for the front left and right speaker pair (the green connector, usually labeled Line out).

    • RL RR (black) is for the rear-left and rear-right speaker pair.

    • C Sub (orange) is for the center or subwoofer speaker.

    • SL SR (gray), is for side left and side right speakers.

  3. Make sure each speaker cable is connected to its corresponding connector on the back of the computer. The colors shown in the Speakers Properties window match the connector color on the computer.

  4. If you have 5.1 or greater speakers, connect the speaker cables to the speaker hardware (usually on the subwoofer). Then match the speaker cable to the connectors on the computer using the colors shown in the Speakers Property window.

    If any speaker cable connection changed, check for sound again using the steps in Step 4: Set default audio output and test .

  5. Test for sound.

    • If sound is heard from all speakers, troubleshooting is complete.

    • If sound is missing from one or all of the speakers, continue to the next step.

Step 6: Check for sound from the headphones

Perform the following to check for sound output using headphones:

  1. Unplug all audio cables from the back of the computer.

  2. Plug headphones directly into the speaker out connector on the back of the computer. The speaker out connector might have a symbol of a speaker or a circle with an arrow pointing out, or it might be labeled as OUT.

  3. Test for sound using the Windows Volume Mixer. Double-click the volume icon in the taskbar, and then click the volume control slider. Each click of the master volume slider should result in an audible beep sound through the headphones.

    • If sound is heard through the headphones, the sound hardware on the computer is working, and the issue is probably related to the speakers or speaker cables. Disconnect the headphones and reconnect the speakers.

      When done, test again for sound using the volume control slider. If sound still does not work correctly after reconnecting the speakers, try replacing the speaker cable (if possible), or the speaker fuse and test again.

    • If sound is not heard through the headphones, make sure that you are connecting the headphones into the correct connector, and try again. If there is still no sound, continue to the next step.

    Figure 24: Testing volume

    Testing volume

    Figure 25: Computer with 3 rear audio connectors

    1 - Microphone connector or center/subwoofer out
    2 - Front speaker connector (to front powered speakers or headphones)
    3 - Line-in or rear speaker out

    Figure 26: Computer with 6 rear audio connectors

    1 - Side speaker out
    2 - Rear speaker out
    3 - Center and subwoofer out
    4 - Microphone
    5 - Line-out (to front powered speakers or headphones)
    6 - Line-in

Step 7: Roll back the audio driver

Changing sound files or settings can cause sound problems. Roll back the audio driver to the previous version to reset audio settings for the sound hardware and to reinitialize the sound configuration in Windows.

NOTE: If the computer was upgraded to Windows Vista before being upgraded to Windows 7, all of the features of an integrated audio device that is compliant with Audio Codex '97 (AC '97) specifications might not be available. To resolve this, see Step 8: Update the audio driver .

Perform the following to roll back the audio driver to the previously version:

  1. Click Start , and type Device Manager into the Search field. Click Device Manager. Device Manager opens.

    Figure 27: Opening Device Manager

    Opening Device Manager through search
  2. Double-click Sound, video and game controllers.

  3. Right-click the name of the audio device and select Properties.

    Figure 28: Device Manager audio device properties

    Image of Device Manager, audio device properties
  4. Click the Driver tab.

  5. Click Roll Back Driver.

    Figure 29: Roll Back Driver selection in Device Manager

    Roll Back Driver selection in Device Manager
  6. Click Yes to roll back to the previous driver.

  7. Test for sound.

    • If sound is heard from all speakers, troubleshooting is complete.

    • If sound is missing from one or all of the speakers, continue to the next step.

Step 8: Update the audio driver from the HP Web site

An updated audio driver might resolve sound problems if the operating system was upgraded to Windows 7, or if the computer is experiencing sound problems in a particular software program. Perform the following to update the audio driver:

  1. Connect to the Internet, and then go to the HP Software download page .

  2. Enter the model number of the computer, such as Pavilion p6230f or TouchSmart 9100.

  3. Select the version of Windows the computer is using.

  4. Click the Driver - Audio link.

  5. If an update is available from HP, follow the instructions on the download page to download and install the driver, and then test for sound.

    If an update is not available or sound is missing from one or all of the speakers after the update, continue to the next step.

Step 9: Update the audio driver using Device Manager

Update the audio driver using Device Manager as follows:

  1. Connect to the Internet.

  2. Click Start , and type Device Manager into the Search field. Click Device Manager. Device Manager opens.
  3. Double-click Sound, video and game controllers.

  4. Right-click the name of the audio device listed under Sound, video and game controllers.

  5. Select Update Driver Software.

    Figure 30: Update Driver Software selection in Device Manager

    Update Driver Software selection in Device Manager
  6. Click Search automatically for updated driver software.

    Figure 31: How do you want to search for driver software

    How do you want to search for driver software
  7. Windows checks for and installs any updated drivers found. The Window displays whether the computer already has the latest available driver or if Windows was able to successfully update the audio driver.

    Figure 32: Windows has successfully updated your driver software

    Windows has successfully updated your driver software
  8. If a window opens that asks you to restart the computer, restart the computer.

  9. If you cannot find an audio driver from HP, download and install an updated audio driver package from the audio technology provider.

    The computer probably uses Realtek Audio Codec or Creative Audigy software. Download and install audio drivers from one of the following sites:

  10. Test for sound.

    • If sound is heard from all speakers, troubleshooting is complete.

    • If sound is missing from one or all of the speakers or no drivers could be found and installed, continue to the next step.

Step 10: Enable the audio driver using Device Manager

Perform the following to determine the state of the sound hardware using Device Manager:

  1. Click Start , and type Device Manager into the Search field. Click Device Manager. Device Manager opens.
  2. Double-click Sound, video and game controllers.

  3. Do the following, depending on what is displayed:

    • A sound device is not listed and the computer uses a sound card: Reseat the sound card into the motherboard slot. If sound is missing from one or all of the speakers, continue to the next step.

    • A sound device is not listed and the computer uses on-board sound: The sound hardware might need to be enabled in the BIOS. See Step 11: Configure On-board Audio in the BIOS to verify the sound settings in the BIOS and match the setting to the hardware configuration of the computer.

    • A sound device is listed with a down arrow: The device is disabled. Right-click the sound device name and select Enable to re-enable the device. If sound is missing from one or all of the speakers after enabling the device, continue to the next step.

      Figure 33: Enabling a disabled sound device

      Enabling a disabled sound device
    • A sound device is listed: Right-click the device name and select Properties to view additional information in the Device Status window. If the Device Status window shows that the device is working properly, the problem is probably related to sound settings, the speakers, or the cables.

Step 11: Configure On-board Audio in the BIOS

Some computers come with sound on the motherboard (on-board audio), some come with a sound card, and some come with both on-board sound (disabled) and a sound card.

The On-board Audio setting in the BIOS must be set to match the particular audio hardware configuration. Perform one of the following depending on whether you want to reset all BIOS to their factory defaults or only adjust the On-board Audio setting:

Reset the BIOS configuration

Perform the following to reset all BIOS settings to the factory defaults:

WARNING: These steps reset the On-board Audio setting in the BIOS to Automatic and resets all other BIOS settings to factory defaults for most HP Commercial Desktop PCs. If you want to keep the current BIOS configuration, or if sound is still missing from one or all of the speakers after resetting the On-board Audio to the default setting, see Change the on-board sound setting in the BIOS .
  1. To enter the BIOS, turn on the computer and press the F10 key repeatedly until a BIOS Setup screen opens.

  2. In the BIOS Setup screen, press the F5 key.

  3. Select Yes or OK by pressing the Enter key.

    Press the F10 key. Select Yes or OK to save the defaults by pressing the Enter key.

  4. Start the computer and test for sound.

    • If sound is heard from all speakers, troubleshooting is complete.

    • If sound is missing from one or all of the speakers, continue to the next step.

Change the On-board Audio setting in the BIOS

Perform the following to make sure the On-board Audio setting in the BIOS matches the setting required by the sound hardware configuration.

  1. Examine the back of the computer and use one of the following three configuration examples to determine the sound configuration and the required BIOS sound setting. Read all three items before making a choice.

    • On-board audio: If the sound connectors for the speakers and microphones are located next to the parallel, serial, or USB ports, the computer has On-board Audio. The On-board Audio setting in the BIOS should be Enabled.

      Figure 34: On-board audio configuration

      On-board Audio configuration
    • Sound card: If the sound connectors for the speakers and microphone are located away from the parallel, serial, or USB ports, the computer has a sound card. If the BIOS has an On-board Audio setting available, the On-board Audio setting in the BIOS should be Disabled. If the BIOS does not have an On-board Audio setting, do not change the BIOS setting., skip to Step 8: Removing sound drivers in Safe Mode.

      Figure 35: Sound card configuration

      Sound card configuration
    • Both on-board audio and sound card: If the computer has sound connectors in both locations, the On-board Audio setting in the BIOS should be Disabled.

  2. To enter the BIOS, turn on the computer and begin pressing the F10 key repeatedly until a BIOS Setup screen is displayed.

  3. Use the Left and Right Arrow keys to select the Advanced tab.

  4. Find and select the advanced menu items that correspond to audio. This might be one of the following:

    • Onboard Audio
    • Onboard Audio Options
    • I/O Device Configuration
    • On-board Sound
    • Audio
    • Audio Codec

    Figure 36: Example of Onboard Audio menu

    Example of Onboard Audio menu
  5. Select either Enabled or Disabled depending on the computer configuration, and press Enter.

    Figure 37: Onboard Audio Enabled

    Onboard Audio Enabled
  6. Press F10 and then press Enter to save and exit. The computer restarts and Windows opens.

  7. Test for sound.

    • If sound is heard from all speakers, troubleshooting is complete.

    • If sound is missing from one or all of the speakers, turn off the computer, and then continue to the next step.

  8. After the computer shuts, unplug the computer power cable and press the power button for 20 seconds. This removes all of the power from the computer.

  9. Plug in the power cable.

  10. To enter the BIOS, turn on the computer and begin pressing the F10 key repeatedly until a BIOS Setup screen is displayed.

  11. Reset the BIOS to the default settings:

    1. Press F5.

    2. Select Yes.

    3. Press F10 to save the default BIOS settings.

  12. Wait for Windows to open, and then Test for sound.

    • If sound is heard from all speakers, troubleshooting is complete.

    • If sound is missing from one or all of the speakers, turn off the computer, and then continue to the next step.

Step 12: Inspect the speaker hardware and replace the fuse

Many powered speakers, especially speaker systems with subwoofers, have fuses. If there is no sound coming from the speaker, remove and replace the fuse. Perform the following to replace the fuse:

  1. Turn off power to the subwoofer and unplug power to the speakers.

  2. Remove the fuse cover and then the fuse, and look through the glass cylinder. If the wire inside is separated, has dark spots, or burn marks, replace the fuse. If the fuse looks good, swap the fuse with another fuse.

    To prevent damage to the speakers and to prevent fuses from blowing in the future, keep the following items in mind when using the computer:

    • Turn off the speaker volume control before applying power to the speakers.

    • Avoid raising the speaker volume more than halfway between the minimum and maximum volume.

  3. Buy and install the new fuse, replace the fuse cap, reconnect the power, turn the speakers on.

  4. Test for sound. If sound is missing from one or all of the speakers, test the sound hardware using HP Hardware Diagnostic software. For more information, see:

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