Some Nerdy Stuff

October 25, 2009

No audio in Windows 7 due to incorrect default settings.

Filed under: Uncategorized — aaronls @ 8:55 am

I have an older motherboard with a RealTek ALC882 chipset providing audio support.  I installed the “High Definition Audio Codecs (Software)” from http://www.realtek.com/downloads/, then rebooted, but still had no audio.  Clicking on the speaker icon in the systray and selecting Mixer brings up the volume controls which also showed the decibal meters jumping as I played sound, but I could hear nothing.   My soundcard/chipset, like many others, supports a technology that allows the driver to detect when speakers, headphones, or input devices have been plugged into jacks on the computer.  The problem was that the speakers that were plugged in were being defaulted to rear speakers instead of front speakers.

There are two things that one should try to resolve this issue.

First, right click the speaker icon in the systray, and select Playback devices.  Your computer may have several output devices listed here, which may be because you have some jacks supporting analog audio(most common; listed as Speakers), perhaps additional S/PDIF jacks supporting digital audio(in my case listed as Realtek Digital Output), and sometimes an HDMI output if your graphics card support an HDMI connection because HDMI can carry an audio signal as well on the same cable( list as ATI HDMI Output).  In my case I am only concerned with the Speakers playback device.  I made sure there was a green check mark on the icon for the Speakers indicating they are the default playback device (if not, rightclick and select Set as Default Device).  I then left clicked the Speakers to select them and click the Configure button at the bottom left. This takes you through a wizard for configuring the output.  Try to select the settings that your speakers support, and if this doesn’t correct your audio then click the Configure button again and try different settings in the wizard.  In my case I have a left and right speaker and a subwoofer, so I selected 5.1 Surround, then on the next screen deselected Center and Rear pair since I do not have those speakers.

Should this not work, you can also unplug and plugin the speakers to see if your audio driver detects the speakers being plugged in and asks you what kind of speakers they are.  In my case this was the source of the problem, as the RealTek driver was detecting them as a Rear pair instead of a Front pair.  When it prompted me I simply slected Front and this solved the problem immediately.

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