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HP Notebook PCs - No Sound from the Speakers (Windows 7)

This document applies to HP Notebook PCs with Windows 7.
The steps in this document describe how to troubleshoot and fix the problem when there is no sound coming from the speakers.
Step 1: Using the Microsoft Sound Troubleshooter in Windows 7
To automatically fix many types of sound problems, use the Microsoft Sound Troubleshooter.
  1. Click Start , and then click Control Panel.
  2. Under System and Security, click Find and fix problems.
    Figure : Opening the troubleshooter
    Control Panel with Find and fix problems selected
  3. The Troubleshoot computer problems page opens. Under Hardware and Sound, click Troubleshoot audio playback.
    Figure : Troubleshooting audio playback
    Troubleshooting audio playback selected
  4. The Playing audio troubleshooting page displays. Click Next to continue.
    Figure : Playing Audio troubleshooter
    Playing Audio troubleshooter
  5. Wait while the troubleshooter checks the computer for problems.
    Figure : Checking for audio problems
    Checking for audio problems progress bar
  6. If multiple audio devices are connected, select the device you want to troubleshoot, such as speakers, and then click Next.
    Figure : Selecting a device to troubleshoot
    Selecting a device to troubleshoot
  7. Wait while the troubleshooter detects problems and makes changes.
    Figure : Detecting problems
    Detecting problems showing progress bar
  8. When the troubleshooter is done, the Troubleshooting has completed page displays listing any problems found and what changes were made to the computer. Click Close.
    For detailed information about the troubleshooting, click View detailed information.
    Figure : Troubleshooting completed
    Troubleshooting completed
Step 2: Check computer headphone connectors when troubleshooting sound
Two types of headphone connectors are available on HP computers. One supports only sound to the headphones, and the other supports sound to the headphones and the use of a microphone. The connectors are marked with symbols next them.
  • Connectors on the computer marked with a headset only,, support output sound only and work with a standard three-pin headphone or a four-pin headphone for sound.
    Figure : Standard three-pin plug
    Standard three-pin jack
  • Connectors on the computer marked with a headset with a microphone,, support sound and the use of a microphone when used with a headset with a four-pin plug and a microphone.
    Figure : Four-pin plug
    Four-pin jack
    To hear sound, either plug may be used with either connector. Using a four-pin plug that is capable of supporting a microphone in a three-pin connector allows sound to be heard, but the microphone does not work because the computer's three-pin connector does not support a microphone.
Step 3: Checking the volume and mute settings when troubleshooting sound
The volume setting for one or more sound devices might be disabled or set too low. There are separate sound controls for the hardware devices (speakers / headsets) and the individual applications (Windows sound / QuickPlay / Windows Media Player). For example, if the speaker is turned on, but the application is muted, you will not hear any sound. You should open the sound volume mixer and check the different settings.
If the volume for an application, such as Windows Media Player, was adjusted using the volume buttons or slider controls on the computer case, the system will use that volume setting, even if the master volume control is adjusted to a higher setting.
To check the volume and mute settings, follow the steps below.
  1. Click the sound icon in the task bar, and then select Mixer. All of the active sound applications display.
    Figure : Volume Mixer
    Volume mixer
  2. Make sure the volume is not muted by looking at the Mute buttons below the volume slider. If the button displays a small red circle, the volume is muted.
    If the volume is muted, click the Mute button to enable sound. The red circle on the speaker icon disappears when sound is no longer muted.
    Sound muted
    Sound not muted
  3. After verifying that the sound is not muted, drag the volume adjuster up until it is at 75%.
  4. To test, click the volume slider bar. If you hear a ding sound from all speakers, you are finished troubleshooting.
    Figure : Testing volume
    Testing volume
    If you still do not hear any sound, continue with the next step to set the speakers as default and test.
If the computer has a feature where you can slide your finger along a graduated strip above the keypad to change the volume, the capacitive touch mute button can become stuck in the muted position and prevent the playback of sound. To resolve this specific issue, download and install the latest BIOS for your particular computer model.
Step 4: Setting default speakers in Windows 7
  1. If headphones are connected and you are not using them as your main speakers, disconnect the headphones now. Connecting headphones to the computer mutes other speakers.
  2. Click Start , and type Sound into the Search field.
  3. In the search results, click Sound under the Programs list.
  4. In the Sound window, select your Playback Device and click the Set Default button.
    Figure : Selecting the default device (your audio devices might be different)
    Selecting Speakers as the default device
  5. With the default Playback Device selected, click the Configure button.
  6. Click your type of speaker setup in Audio channels.
    Figure : Typical speaker setup for notebooks
    Typical speaker setup on a notebook
  7. Click the Test button to send sound to each speaker, or click an individual speaker to send sound to it.
  8. If sound is heard correctly from each speaker, you are finished.
    If sound is missing from all or one of the speakers, or if the configuration type was changed, continue with speaker setup by clicking Next. Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the speaker setup.
    Play a sound. If sound problems persist, continue to the next section and check for BIOS updates.
Step 5: Troubleshooting the mute button and slider bar
If you are experiencing issues with the mute button and/or the slide bar located above the keyboard keys, do the following:
  1. Verify that you have the latest BIOS installed and if not, see Updating the BIOS for instructions on updating the BIOS.
  2. If your BIOS is up-to-date or if the issue still exists after updating the BIOS, contact an HP support agent for additional assistance.
Step 6: Troubleshooting a high-definition audio device
A high-definition audio device on a notebook computer may no longer work after restarting Windows 7 or resuming from hibernation/sleep. The device can be a sound device or a modem. You also see an "X" character appear on the speaker icon in the notification area.
To resolve this issue, re-scan the device in Device Manager by performing the following:
  1. Click Start , and type Device Manager into the Search field, and then click Device Manager in the search results.
  2. In the Device Manager window, highlight and right-click Sound, video and game controllers.
  3. Choose Scan for hardware changes.
The high-definition audio device will detect hardware changes and the "X" character should no longer appear on the speaker icon.
Step 7: Restoring the audio driver in Windows 7
Sound files and settings that become changed can cause sound problems. Restore the audio driver to reset audio settings for the sound hardware and reinitialize the sound configuration in Windows.
If the computer was upgraded to Windows Vista before being upgraded to Windows 7, you might not be able to use all the features of an integrated audio device that is compliant with Audio Codex '97 (AC '97) specifications. To resolve this, update the audio driver. See Step 8: Updating the audio driver.
Use the driver recovery process to restore audio drivers for the original sound hardware using the following steps:
  1. Click Start , click All Programs, click Recovery Manager, and then click Recovery Manager again.
    Figure : Recovery Manager
     Recovery Manager
  2. Click Hardware Driver Reinstallation.
  3. On the Hardware Driver Reinstallation welcome screen, click Next.
  4. Select the audio driver to reinstall, and then click Next.
    Figure : Select the driver to reinstall
    Hardware Driver Reinstallation window
    If the driver you want to reinstall is not listed, select The driver is not in the list, and then click Next. Helpful information will advise you how to install drivers using the Windows Device Manager. Follow the onscreen instructions.
  5. The Recovery Manager begins reinstalling the chosen driver. After the driver installation is complete, click Finish to restart the computer.
  6. After restarting the computer, test for sound. If there is still no sound, continue to Step 8: Updating the audio driver.
If you are unable to reinstall the driver using Recovery Manager, roll back to the previously installed driver using the following steps:
  1. Click Start , and type Device Manager into the Search field, and then click Device Manager in the search results.
    Figure : Opening Device Manager
     Start menu showing Device Manager text in search field and Device Manager icon in search results
  2. In the Device Manager window, click Sound, video and game controllers.
  3. Right-click the name of the audio device and select Properties.
    Figure : Device Manager audio device properties
     Device Manager, audio device properties
  4. Click the Driver tab.
  5. Click Roll Back Driver.
    Figure : Audio Properties
     SoundMAx Sound Property Window with Roll Back Driver button highlighted
  6. Click Yes to roll back to the previous driver.
  7. Test for sound.
If there is still no sound, continue to the next step to update the audio driver.
Step 8: Updating the audio driver in Windows 7
An updated audio driver might resolve the problem if the computer is experiencing sound problems after upgrading the operating system to Windows 7, or the computer is experiencing sound problems in a particular software program.
Perform one of the following tasks depending on your preferred update method.
Step 9: Checking Device Manager to troubleshoot sound in Windows 7
If you cannot hear sound, check Device Manager to determine the state of the sound hardware.
  1. Click Start , and type Device Manager into the Search field, and then click Device Manager in the Programs list.
    The Device Manager window opens.
  2. Double-click Sound, video and game controllers.
  3. Do the following, depending on what displays:
    • If a sound device is not listed, the sound hardware is not being detected by Windows. See Step 10: Testing for sound hardware failure in Windows 7.
    • If a sound device is listed with a down arrow, the device is disabled. Right-click the sound device name and select Enable to re-enable the device. Go to the next step if problems continue after enabling the device.
      Figure : Enabling a disabled sound device
      Enabling a disabled sound device, Enable selected
    • If a sound device is listed, right-click the device name and select Properties to view more helpful troubleshooting information in the Device Status window. If Device Status shows that the device is working correctly, the problem is probably related to sound settings, the speakers, or the cables.
Step 10: Testing for sound hardware failure in Windows 7
Play a sound. If sound problems continue, test the sound hardware using HP Support Assistant. For more information, see Testing for Hardware Failures (Windows 7).








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