This is going to sound like a duplicate question but I'm struggling to solve this issue on my laptop and I swear I feel like I tried everything...

I encounter an issue with my laptop (an HP EliteBook 820 G2, Windows 7 64bit) as I have no sound anymore and the following error message on the systray sound icon:

systray icon

No Audio Output Device is installed.

The playback devices list:

playback devices

It occurred the first time a few months ago. I noticed that it appeared after some Windows updates and the restart of my laptop. At the time, I tried to reinstall my audio drivers but it didn't solve anything so I used the Restore functionality of Windows, which worked. After several trials of reinstalling Windows updates, the issue kept appearing, always after the first or second reboot of my laptop that followed some Windows updates. So each time I used the Restore function, and I avoided for some time to install the Windows updates (which I don't like).

But fast-forward a few days ago: I tried again to install all Windows updates available and the issue came back again, as expected. Except this time, I don't have a Restore image to help me get my computer configuration back in time (due to myself using the Disk Cleanup tool in between due to a good reason not relevant here - serious error). So now I'm stuck without sound and without any way to fix this!

Here's what is shown in the Device Manager after installing the (presumed) correct drivers:

device manager

This is what I've tried (in no particular order):

  • Reinstall drivers from HP site:

    Realtek High-Definition (HD) Audio Driver (American, International) Rev.B 6 Nov 2015

  • Reinstall drivers from Realtek site:

    64bits Vista, Windows7, Windows8, Windows8.1, Windows10 Driver only (Executable file)

    R2.79 2015/6/25

  • Uninstall drivers from the Device Manager, "let Windows search automatically for updated driver software". The result is:

    driver installation

    And this is what's shown after that operation in the Device Manager:

    device manager

  • Uninstall drivers from the Device Manager, "browse my computer for driver software". This is what happens:

    code 52

    So I tried the following, as advised here:

    • bcdedit -set loadoptions DDISABLE_INTEGRITY_CHECKS
    • bcdedit -set TESTSIGNING ON
    • Reboot, try again to install the drivers.
    • Got the same error "Code 52".
  • Disable audio in BIOS, reboot, enable audio in BIOS, reboot.
  • Go to hibernate mode, wake up laptop.
  • Turn off laptop, unplug, remove the battery, hold down the power key for 30 sec, re-insert the battery, go to BIOS and reset to defaults.
  • Update BIOS firmware to latest version (first via BIOS menu, then via Windows from latest BIOS available from HP site)

I tried several months ago to install Windows updates one by one in order to detect which one was causing the issue (each time using Restore to fix the issue, it was rather tedious!) but I discovered that several ones were responsible for this, and I failed since to keep a exact list.

The "Code 52" error I get when trying to manually attach the drivers to the audio card let me think that this whole issue is due to a wrong digital signature. But I can't believe that if some Windows update had modified some settings Realtek or HP didn't react since that time to update their driver... So I'm lost... Any insight would be warmly welcomed.


I just discovered that using the option "Disable Driver Signature Enforcement" before Windows startup (using F8), the sound device is working properly! So definitely a signature issue...

sound ok

  • What Realtek audio device do you have exactly? – Ramhound Jul 21 '16 at 15:06
  • @Ramhound Any idea how I can discover that? This is what's shown in msinfo32.exe after I start Windows with "Disable Driver Signature Enforcement" option (see my edit). This is from dxdiag. Doesn't seem to use Realtek drivers after all... – Otiel Jul 21 '16 at 15:26

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