Pt 1: HP Desktops- Resolving Sound Problems in Windows Vista - Kevin & Randy

Uploaded by howto4u on 03.10.2008

>Intro music
Kevin : Hi. I’m Kevin, and this is Randy. Randy : Howdy.
Kevin : We work for the HP Customer Care Web Support Team, and we look at our customer
comments and forum posts, and we try to listen to whatever our customers are telling us.
We’re seeing that customers are experiencing sound issues with Window Vista. We’re seeing
where customers are telling us that they have no sound, that they have very low volume coming
from the speakers, or that they may be getting “No Audio Device is Installed or Detected”
error messages. So we decided to create a video to try to help step through this process
of troubleshooting and finding out what’s wrong; and getting your sound back to where
it’s in working condition for you. Resolving Sound Problems for HP desktop computers
with Windows Vista Kevin : Like most troubleshooting, you’ve
got to start with the basics. What is your hardware? And then look at your software.
So we’re going to start with getting to know the PC connections, and what type of
speakers you have. Because your speaker types and the way you connect them has everything
to do with getting the type of sound that you expect.
Step one: Know Your Connections From Speakers to the PC
Randy : I’ll start with the speakers. Today’s speakers are powered, meaning they require
a separate power supply via, in this case, a power cord. Some have batteries. Some are
USB. But the most common have just a regular old power cord that plugs into a power outlet
in the wall. The other types of speakers are passive. These are the older types. So you
may have gone out and bought a new PC, and opened the box to find that there weren’t
speakers in there. So you go to the closet, pull these out, plug them in, and you can
barely hear them, or can’t hear them at all. That’s because they require a separate
power signal going to them, and today’s PCs don’t do that.
Kevin : So - key difference - use powered speakers for current Vista PCs. If you’re
buying Vista, you’re going to want a powered speaker system. With your old PC that you
bought years ago, these (passive speakers) will work, but for today, just toss these,
they’re not going to help you. Randy : Another type of passive speaker is
headphones. They’re really good for testing. The reason these passive speakers work is
that they’ve got little tiny speakers and they’re close to your ear. Another type
of speaker that you’ll find today comes in monitors. They’re great for a desktop
computing environment because you’re right in front of the thing. But they do tend to
have smaller speakers. While they have their own power and they can be fairly loud, they
may not be loud enough for watching movies from the couch. With speakers, come connections,
you know, your cable types. For powered speakers, typically they have their own stereo cable
that runs out the back, and that would plug into the lime green port on the back of your
PC. Headphones also have a very similar type of connection. Since it’s not really convenient
to plug them into the back, headphones plug into the headphone jack on the front of the
PC. Kevin : And it’s green also.
Randy : Yes, it’s green also. You don’t want to confuse these other audio connections
(on the front) if you happen to have them on your PC. These are left and right stereo
connectors. Those are related to the TV tuner card and are a video input device that you
use for recording videos. This particular monitor is an HDMI monitor, so it gets its
audio signal through the HDMI cable - both audio and video - so all you have to do is
connect the HDMI cable. There are a few things that we’ll get into later with the Windows
settings. You’ll have to make a few extra adjustments in there.
Kevin : So it’s just important to know you have those speaker systems. For the rest of
this video, we’re going to be sticking with just basic left and right stereo, into the
green output port, because if you get sound there, then you have functioning sound and
something else is going on with your system. Step two: Check All Volume and Mute Settings
Randy : You’re thinking "Volume’s pretty basic – I’ve already tried that." Well,
there are many different places where volume can occur. Hardware volume – that’s your
speakers. Make sure they’re turned on. For these speakers that we’re using, a blue
light comes on telling us that it has power. Turn the volume up to about 75%. If you’re
trying to use the speakers on your monitor, there’s usually a separate adjustment. In
this case, right here. We’re going to turn this up. Oh, the audio was set at zero, so
that could have been the problem. Kevin : So make sure that wherever your audio
source is coming from, you turn it up there. OK. Our speakers are turned up. Now it’s
the PC we have to focus on. Randy : That’s right. So the next step is
Windows volume. There’s a separate volume control in Windows. So we go over here. In
your System Tray, next to the time, there’s a little volume icon. Ah, but look here, we
have a problem. Kevin : Wait a minute. Normally though, if
the speakers were working, what would we see there. There would normally just be a speaker
icon, right? Randy : Well, you would have a little volume
level adjustment screen pop up and you could go into mixer devices and adjust the volumes
and mute settings. Kevin : Make sure you don’t have it muted.
If it’s muted, you won’t hear anything, so you’ll need to remove any mute check
boxes, if that were the case. And that might be the problem, too.
Randy : Right. And we’ll get into this a little bit later, if you want to hang with
us. If one of these connections was the problem, then you may actually see a speaker icon there
without a little red circle. That means that everything’s OK as far as volume, and that
Windows is finding an audio device. Step two a: Check Window Sound Properties.
If Vista recognizes the audio device and you still don’t have sound…
Kevin : If you have a functioning volume icon at this point, but still don’t have sound,
you need to ensure that the sound properties are set properly in Windows Vista. Click Start,
and then Control Panel. And then you select Hardware and Sound, and then select Sound.
And when you come in here, depending on the speakers that you have and the system that
you have, you’ll have different default settings. For us, we’re looking to use the
speakers as default, for our troubleshooting purposes, so select that. And then check your
Properties to ensure that the levels and other settings are correct, and set all volumes
to an appropriate level. And then click OK. Randy : But for us, in this particular case,
we have no audio output devices installed. Windows is telling us there is a problem.
It cannot find and plug into the hardware. Kevin : So now we’ve got to figure out why
the PC is not recognizing an audio device. We’re plugged into the back, there is an
audio device, so why doesn’t it see it. Randy : Well, the key word there is audio
device. Step three. Check Device Manager. Update devices
as necessary. Randy : Let’s go into Device Manager. Click
Start, right-click Computer, go to Properties, click Device Manager, and we see a listing
of all the devices on the system. Under Sound, Video, and Game Controllers, we have two items.
We have the Win TV, that’s our TV tuner card – we don’t want that. And we have
Realtek High Definition Audio. That one we do want because that’s our main audio. Look
for any sort of symbols like exclamation marks, red marks, triangles - anything like that.
Kevin : So if the device is here and it’s just disabled or not working properly, then
you can right-click on it. Randy : Right. And then you have more options.
If you go to Properties, it should tell us more. "This device is disabled - code 22.
Click enable device to enable this device." So Windows is actually telling us the fix.
You may have another code. It may be code 39 or something else. But you can at least
have more information. If we can’t solve it here in this video, you can at least go
out and do more research on the Internet and find a solution for this error code in Device
Manager. But in this case, we simply want to enable the device. We can either enable
it here, or we’ll go back and right-click on the device, and select Enable. So Windows
takes a second to enable the device. Now notice down here, the volume icon no longer has that
little red circle. So supposedly we have audio. Also, while you’re in Device Manager is
a good time to get any updated drivers from Microsoft.
Kevin : Right. Randy : And an easy way to do that is to right-click
on Realtek High Definition Audio or Creative Audio, (if you have Creative), and select
update driver software. Just make sure you’re connected to the Internet when you do it.
So we’ve enabled the device and everything looks good. We can exit out of Device Manager.
Kevin : So in this scenario, if it were disabled, we would now have sound, right? So I click
on that. (Chime sound) OK, we’re hearing sound again. What if that Realtek High Definition
sound does not appear in Device Manager? Randy : Either A: you don’t have a sound
card installed, B: it’s not enabled in the BIOS, or C: you don’t have a device driver
installed. Kevin : So then what?
Randy : Well, it is were me, I would suspect the software - that there’s something wrong
with the software on the system. Windows tried to install it and there’s a problem.
Kevin : Now there’s something else wrong. Randy : Right. You’re going to have to put
the software back to the way it was.