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Brand new Inspiron 15 7000 running Windows 10.

Start up Windows with the headphones already plugged into the audio jack, and sound is correctly played through the headphones. Unplug the headphone from the jack, and sound comes through the built-in speakers. But now plug the headphones back in, and sound continues from the built-in speakers (and not the headphones).

If you startup Windows with the headphones unplugged, sound is never played through the headphones.

According to this article on Dell Support, the "solution" is to re-install the drivers. I tried this but this did not resolve the issue (headphones only work if Windows is booted with them plugged in).

In the registry the following are set:

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run]
"WavesSvc"="\"C:\\Windows\\System32\\DriverStore\\FileRepository\\wavesapo9de.inf_amd64_f0ed9cf2b4f48fab\\WavesSvc64.exe\" -Jack"
"RtkAudUService"="\"C:\\Windows\\System32\\RtkAudUService64.exe\" -background"

Could this be a hardware problem? Is there anything to check in the BIOS?

Update

Have completed uninstalled and then re-installed Realtek audio drivers but without resolving the problem (headphones only work if they were plugged in when the PC is booted).

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    I really appreciate this post. The provided article you give did work for me, after dealing with this issue for quite some time. Interestingly enough, now when I plug my headphones in, I don't get the "Which device did you just plug in?" popup, the audio immediately switches to my headphones.
    – Tyler N
    Nov 23, 2020 at 17:10

2 Answers 2

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The laptop was plugged into an external monitor using HDMI. Known monitors that show this problem include:

  • Dell U2419H
  • LG M2362DP

This answer should apply to any HDMI monitor.

When the HDMI monitor is plugged in, a DELL U2419H playback device was installed, probably by the monitor device driver. This is unhelpful because the monitor does not even have in-built speakers!

When the headphones were plugged in, playback switched automatically to the Dell monitor and consequently no sound was heard.

When the headphones were unplugged, playback switched back to the in-built Realtek speakers and sound was heard as normal.

The solution is to disable the DELL U2419H playback device (or other HDMI monitor) as follows:

  • Right-click the Volume icon in the Taskbar and select Sound. Alternatively, Windows Settings > System > Sound > Sound Control Panel.
  • Select the Playback section
  • Right-click the monitor playback device(s), in my case DELL U2419H, and select Disable
  • Right-click in the list and select Show Disabled Devices and Show Disconnected Devices to be reminded of devices no longer available for selection
  • Reboot the PC
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Have you installed DellSupport assistant? With this software you can automatically check all drivers update. Windows 10 is updated to the latest version? Check also BIOS update, sometimes updating it may resolve the problem.

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  • Thanks Ulerich. I used Dell SupportAssist (and later the Dell website with the laptop serial number) to identify the Realtek Audio driver.Other drivers were identified as requiring updating, but the audio driver was not identified as being out-of-state. Nevertheless, I uninstalled the old drivers and a fresh copy anyway. Laptop is brand new and Windows Update is configured, so assume it's all up-to-date. Feels like a laptop hardware problem, and from a Google search a common one with these Dell laptops.
    – AlainD
    Nov 14, 2020 at 17:04
  • If you have found that it is a common problem and also an hardware problem I advise you to send the product under warranty to the manufacturer. You have to be very clear to the manufactuer, because sometimes these problems are not solved because they just reinstall Windows and send it back the Notebook to you with the same problem.
    – Ulerich
    Nov 14, 2020 at 18:33
  • The laptop is definitely not going back to the manufacturer! It need to be used now.
    – AlainD
    Nov 14, 2020 at 19:06
  • I understand that in this moment is a primary device, but if it is an hardware problem you can't do anything else.
    – Ulerich
    Nov 14, 2020 at 22:07
  • For anyone finding this answer, DellSupport is not helpful. This is a software issue, possibly with Windows itself, and not a hardware issue. See the accepted answer.
    – AlainD
    Apr 12, 2021 at 8:13

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