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I'm having problems with the audio on my laptop. As far as I can tell, there's no muting from the Windows side.

Given I typically leave it muted, it could've been "broken" for awhile now. Ironically, I found this problem out while trying to play the StackOverflow podcast...

Any thoughts?

Edit: Response to first comment. Contents of Sound, video and game controllers:
- Audio codecs
- Conexant High Definition SmartAudio 221
- Legacy Audio Drivers
- Legacy Video Capture Devices
- Media Control Devices
- Video Codecs

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Go to Start->Control Panel->System->Hardware->Device Manager . Expand your Sound, Video, and Game Controllers. Can you list all the devices/drivers/codecs under that? – xxl3ww Jul 23 '09 at 21:40
Also Start -> Run -> sndvol32 (or sndvol for vista). Is everything maxed out? – hyperslug Jul 23 '09 at 22:08
up vote 2 down vote accepted

Things I'd do in order:

  • Verify that the headphones / speakers actually work on another device (may seem obvious, but you'd be surprised how often I myself forget to check the obvious first)
  • If your sound sockets are not integrated on the motherboard (for example a front-panel header of some sort), make sure the header is actually properly plugged into the motherboard, cables sometimes come loose unnoticed when replacing / adjusting something unrelated in the case
  • Go into the bios and make sure that the integrated sound hardware is not disabled there
  • Go to the site of your motherboard manufacturer and get the latest sound drivers you can find for your motherboard; ideally completely remove the currently installed drivers, reboot and use the install you downloaded to make sure there's no old remnants anywhere
  • Carefully check all the settings in the audio dialog of the motherboard; sometimes there is a way of switching between different output modes which disables normal sound output
  • Grab an Ubuntu boot disk, boot into this from the CD and see if sound works there (if this does not work, then odds are your hardware is just plain broken)

Obviously the idea is to check the audio after each step where you actually change something.

Hope this helps.

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I haven't gone through the Ubuntu step yet but I suspect the speakers are broken. – Austin Salonen Aug 3 '09 at 15:16
Ouch... that's really a sad outcome... one suggestion; you could consider buying a pair of USB headphones to use... that way you don't need any of the sound hardware to work at all; all you need is a working USB connector... and it's portable between machines. – jerryjvl Aug 3 '09 at 23:15

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