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I have recently upgraded a working Dell Inspiron 1420 laptop with Windows Vista to Windows 8 and subsequently Windows 8.1 (all 32-bit).

Sound was working prior to the upgrade. After the upgrade, sound no longer works. The symptoms are as follows:

  • No sound through speakers or headphones
  • On the "volume" button on the taskbar, there are no devices to adjust.
  • The Device Manager as devices as "speaker" and "spdif"
  • "Playback devices" lists no usable devices (even when requesting disabled or missing devices)

The official driver page lists drivers for 32-bit Vista. Attempting to install the appropriate device (SIGMATEL STAC 92XX C-Major HD Audio, v., A03) yields the following error, even when attempting to run in Vista compatibility mode:

  • "Device object not found"

Looking at the FAQ has some suggestions, but:

I'm running out of options. Has anyone solved this issue?

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By luck, I have come across a solution, but I do not fully understand why it works. The only clue I have is that the "device object missing" refers to the installer not being able to find any sound card at all (?).

Anyway, I downloaded and installed the a Realtek R2.73 driver despite not having this hardware on the system.

After a reboot, this seemed to create the (non-working) audio devices when looking at "Sound -> Playback devices".

Then, installing the official SigmaTel for Vista 32-bit drivers for the laptop installed as normal.

Thus, I have a solution, but I would appreciate comments as to why this worked....

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Your Realtek R2.73 link is broken. It says, "Object moved to here", but it turns out to be a link loop. Do you have an alternate verified download location for that driver? – George Stocker Apr 8 '14 at 1:43

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