Why won't the sound on my computer work?

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A sound card lets PC users enjoy music, games and YouTube videos. If sound stops coming out of the PC, the user needs to track down the cause to get things working again. The most common PC audio problems are also the easiest to fix.

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Check for the Simple Stuff

Cords frequently come loose, especially in houses with pets. Make sure the cord for the PC speakers is plugged into the sound card and that the switch had not been turned off accidentally.

Sound Card Driver

The user can determine if a sound driver for his sound card is loaded by clicking on the start menu, entering the control panel and clicking the system icon. Select the hardware tab from the dialogue box and scroll down to audio devices. Select your audio device and see if the driver is installed. If the user has an Internet connection, he can have Windows search for an updated driver for the device. Installing the driver directly from the sound card installation CD often works better.

IRQ Conflict

If two devices use the same IRQ on the computer, neither one works properly. (IRQ stands for interrupt request and is used in Assembly and machine language to manipulate PC devices. Executable programs run machine code.) The IRQ must be changed for both devices to work. Windows does not let the user change IRQ settings by default, but users can adjust them within the device manager. Click on resources and turn off the automatic option. Change one of the conflicting devices to an unused IRQ.

Sound Only Out of One Speaker

Provided the speaker has not stopped working, this problem can often be fixed by checking the volume settings and adjusting them accordingly.

Component Services

If a Windows user does not have sound service, the user may not have the appropriate Windows service turned on. Click on the start menu. Click on administrative tools. Select component services from the pull down menu. Enable the Windows Media and Audio services if they are not already enabled.

Bad Sound Card

If the sound card itself is bad, the user must replace it with a working PC audio device.

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