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I have HP Z400 workstation with an internal speaker and runs Windows 7 Professional x64.
Initially I was using windows default audio driver and the internal speaker and rear audio jack were working fine. But, front panel audio jack was not working.
So, I downloaded the audio drivers from HP website and installed them. But now windows can not detect any audio devices.
If I uninstall Realtek drivers, the behavior returns to normal.
But, I need front audio jack to work. Any solutions?

I dowloaded drivers from here.

I tried the first two options there.(I think audio drivers are the same for both options)

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

The problem was solved by downloading the latest realtek HD audio drivers from third-party website.
The drivers available on HP website don't seem to work as they should.

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Please read below as detailed here: Ensure you have speakers and/or headphones plugged into the green audio port on the back of the chassis, as well as the front headphone port on the front of the chassis.

On the Realtek control panel, click the Mixer tab.

Click the Toolbox icon (it looks like a wench) .

On the Playback section, select the Enable playback multi-streaming checkbox and click OK to return to the Mixer tab of the Realtek control panel.

On the Playback section of the Mixer tab, Select Realtek HD Audio output from the drop-down list.

Start the audio playback application that you would like to use with the rear panel output.

On the Realtek control panel, click the Mixer tab.

On the Playback section of the Mixer tab, Select Realtek HD Audio 2nd output from the drop-down list.

Start the other audio playback application. This application will stream the audio to the front panel output. NOTE: The internal speaker will be disabled if multi-streaming audio is enabled.

If that does not work, while the drivers are installed please try changing the default audio playback device. You can do that by clicking on the speaker icon in your notification tray, then clicking mixer, then click the icon above the master sound slider. There you should be able to change the default audio playback device.

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i have already read that. and that is for simultaneous audio output from front and rear audio ports. in my case, windows is not aware that front port even exists! its shows just 2 output devices(internal speakers and rear jack) in control panel. – tumchaaditya Jun 18 '12 at 8:18

The problem sounds like an AC/97 panel and pins using HD audio driver. Here is the fix I found.

  • Go to realtek HD manager (the red speaker icon in your hidden icons near the clock), right click the red speaker, then left click audio device. Realtek audio manager should pop up.
  • there should be a folder icon just above the Analog front and back panel port images - left click.
  • Connector setting menu should pop up. tick "Disable front panel jack detection".
  • a tab should appear now on the HD manager menu "HD Audio 2nd output" with a pic of headphones.
  • Right click this tab - set as default. you will now see that the front panel port images are no longer dim green and pink, but the active full color versions.
  • enjoy the sound in your headset from the front panel jacks.

To go back to speakers, you will have to return to HD manager, right click speaker tab and click set as default. It's a PIA, but you now have access to your front panel audio.

Why does this happen? From all my goggling, it seems that HD audio requires a more advanced front panel that has the ability to detect the there is Something "plugged in" or "unplugged". Case makers, especially some of the great, but more economical case manufactures still incorporate the AC97 front panel format while nearly all sound drivers utilize realtek HA audio. Since HD audio is the looker/finder of the audio ports/hardware, windows doesn't seem to have anything to do with it and without the ability for the front panel to tell realtek, "Hey, My owner just plugged in a headset in the front panel, so put some noise through please....." because realtek rely's on input from the panel, realtek simply shows you that there is no front panel jacks....Until you shut of "Front panel detection".

I hope this helps anyone that is stuck. I think that the Comp Case manufacturers should supply new front panels to be compliant with the HD audio format as that is the way it is these days. That would be doing it right.

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The problem was solved by sourcing the drivers from softpedia. Thanks for the answer though. It might be of use in some other scenario.. – tumchaaditya Aug 7 '12 at 3:42

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