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Microsoft Windows OS (XP/NT/Vista/Windows 7/8/9/10) Forum

XP System Sounds won't work
XP System sounds

 12:22 pm on Oct 2, 2006 (gmt 0)

Hi, the system sounds on my computer have suddenly stopped working, when I go into Control Panel/Sound, Speech and Audio Devices/Change the Sound Scheme, and select a sound, the little test sound button remains greyed out. I've tried creating a new account as suggested in an older forum but the same thing happens.
The only recent changes I've made to my set up has been to add a webcam and installed an additional hard drive as storage, this is set to slave.
Can anyone help?



 1:36 pm on Oct 2, 2006 (gmt 0)

The drive won't mess things up but the webcam software might.

If you haven't done so already, retart your computer.

Right-click "My Computer" and select "Manage" from the popup and then open the device manager. You will probably have to reinstall the audio drivers.



 3:48 pm on Oct 2, 2006 (gmt 0)

Thanks for the quick reply Kaled, do I get the driver files from the Windows XP CD?, I've tried the 'update drivers' in facility Device Manager but it just says 'no updates available'


 4:36 pm on Oct 2, 2006 (gmt 0)

Hi again, I managed to instal an updated driver for VIA AC'97 Enhanced Audio (Wave) but that wouldn't even start so I have had to roll it back to the previous driver so I'm back where I started.


 11:34 pm on Oct 2, 2006 (gmt 0)

Are you certain that you downloaded the correct audio drivers? You probably need to go to the manufacturer's website armed with the exact model number of your computer?



 7:32 am on Oct 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

Hi Kaled, the drivers were installed using the 'Update Drivers' function in device manager, I've since been on the manufactures website and think I may have found the correct drivers. I'm going to try this when I get home tonight, let you know how I get on.


 5:54 pm on Oct 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

Hi, removed drivers, re-installed originals from the disk that came with the computer, still no good. Removed drivers and installed updated ones fron VIA. Still no joy, looks like I've got a hardware problem?


 8:12 pm on Oct 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

Try disabling/removing the webcam drivers (as well as the webcam) and restart. Also, check your bios settings - make sure onboard sound is enabled and, if such an option exists, ensure that "PnP O/S" is set to "Yes".



 10:08 am on Oct 9, 2006 (gmt 0)

Thanks Kaled, I forgot to say that I had removed the webcam and all associated drivers and software, this didn't make any diference. I've just tried to get into the BIOS using the 'F' keys but the only options that appear on the start up screen are F8 Boot Menu, F12 Network Boot and TAB for Logo, is there another way to access the bios?


 12:12 pm on Oct 9, 2006 (gmt 0)

Hi again, got into setup at last using the 'Delete' key, in the BIOS setup,- 'Integrated peripherals' the onboard AC'97 Audio is set to 'Auto',
the VSB Legacy support is set to 'Disabled'. Can you suggest any other settings?


 1:21 pm on Oct 9, 2006 (gmt 0)

Ok, forget the bios - that was a longshot anyway.

What does the device manager have to say about the status of the audio card? If there is a conflict (pretty unusual these days) then it will have to be resolved.



 1:39 pm on Oct 9, 2006 (gmt 0)

here are Just a few thoughts , these aren't firm recommendations

Try unistalling all drivers for the sound card then switch the system off then on

Does the system either start reinstalling the sound card or prompt you for disks to install, if the system does not, consider

1, The sound card is slightly out of its socket

2, If the sound card is embedded, perhaps you had a mishap when fitting the new hard drive

3, you burned out the sound card while fitting your hard drive

Depending on how important the system is to you, you might consider a warrantee call or a visit to your local PC tech shop

Remember, if you don't know much about a PC's inards, there is an infinite number of ways to permanently damage you system, so be careful


 3:28 pm on Oct 9, 2006 (gmt 0)

Thanks for the advice guys. The device manager reports that the sound card is working properly. I uninstalled the drivers. switched off the computer and then restarted it, no prompts came up to install the drivers (I would have expected 'New hardware found or something like that). As it is an embedded device, as you say I may have duffed it up somehow when I put the additional hard drive in. I think I'll take it along to the local PC shop, see what they can make of it.


 5:41 pm on Oct 9, 2006 (gmt 0)

The device manager reports that the sound card is working properly.

Are you certain that the test button is still permanently grayed out in the sounds control panel applet? If the device manager reports the sound card is working, that button should now be operational. Remember that you have to highlight an event with an attached sound to enable the test button.

Of course, your computer may still be silent due to a (hardware) fault - perhaps something as simple as a bad speaker connection.



 5:48 pm on Oct 9, 2006 (gmt 0)

I had something similar happen when I installed camtasia. Every time I install it all the system sounds stop working even after I uninstalled the program.

The only way I could get the sounds back was to use the system restore option and choose a restore point before the software was installed.

If you can remember the exact date when the sounds stop, try using the system restore option for a date just before that.

If that doesn't work, it likely is a hardware problem.


 9:58 am on Oct 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

Kaled, the test button is still permanently grayed out in the sounds control panel applet even with an event highlighted. However sounds from other sources such as a CD, saved music files etc will play via Windows Media Player but the sound from some websites such as Youtube will not.

Philosopher, I tried the System Restore but it won't let me go back to August, which I know will before I installed the webcam


 11:04 am on Oct 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

the test button is still permanently grayed out in the sounds control panel applet even with an event highlighted

Just to be clear, the event must have a speaker icon next to it (and must display a .wav filename in the textbox below).

Try running the program System32\dxdiag.exe - it might yield a clue.

Since Media Player is working, it sounds like a DLL has been stomped on that calls the sound-effect rather than the problem being driver-related. I've never studied this area of Windows in depth, but check that the date-time stamp of the file System32\winmm.dll tallies with other dlls. On my system it is 4th Aug 2004 : 176,128 bytes.



 7:48 am on Oct 11, 2006 (gmt 0)

I tried the dxdiag.exe program but all tests were succesful with no problems found, I can't find the System32\winmm.dll file, can you advise the best way to find this?. Just a thought, if I instal a new sound card in a spare slot and make this the default devise, would this cure the problem?


 9:54 am on Oct 11, 2006 (gmt 0)

The complete file path will be something like


It certainly should exist - many programs would fail to start without it!

Changing soundcard may fix the problem, but is not guaranteed to do so.

Have you gone through all the options in the control panel applet?



 10:48 am on Oct 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

Well, I found the winmm.dll file, looked at the properties, these read:- Created 31/3/2003 12.00.00, modified 04/8/2004 8.56.46. All of the other .dll's have the same creation date but the modified date varies, sometimes being the same as the created date.
I've gone through all the options in Sounds and Audio applets just to make sure I'm not doing something stupid but all the settings appear to be OK.


 3:37 pm on Oct 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

I'm sorry, but I've run out of suggestions. There might be something to be found with Google or on the MS site but I have my doubts.

You could try reinstalling Windows (over the top). However, I think the only thing left is a bad regsitry value somewhere and there is a good chance that would be unaffected by reinstalling Windows.



 4:18 pm on Oct 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

Thanks for all your time and effort Kaled, I think I'll stick a new sound card in and see what happens, I'ii get back to you on that.


 3:49 pm on Oct 16, 2006 (gmt 0)

Well, installed new sound card, enabled that and disabled the on board device, no system sounds!, just have to re-instal Windows and hope that cures it.


 12:30 am on Oct 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

kaled's advice to reinstall Windows should leave most of your program settings intact but it's a good idea to back everything up first. MS has instructions about how to perform a repair install [support.microsoft.com] of Windows XP (also known as in-place upgrade or reinstallation). Let us know how things turn out.


 8:32 am on Oct 24, 2006 (gmt 0)

That's cured it, booted up from the Windows disc and chose the repair option, took a while but the system sounds are back now.
Thanks for all the help and advice.

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