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The Easy Troubleshooting Guide For Sound Card Driver Issues

The evolution of technology has given us an almost unforgettable computing experience. Now not only are our computers used for work or educational purposes, they have worked their way into our daily lives, becoming more of an all-in-one system that encompasses all our lifestyle needs.

More and more computers out there are becoming virtual home entertainment systems, decked out with the latest advancements in graphic and audio capabilities that make our computers seem like our very own cinema or gaming centre.

However, for all the praise that the humble home computer has received, it is far from the perfect machine.

Have you ever had your computer speakers suddenly be rendered mute, without you actually doing anything to your volume properties? It wasn’t caused by poltergeists, nor was your computer possessed in any way. Instead, there is an absolutely sensible and practical reason why your computer had suddenly lost its voice.

While this occurrence may be rare in newer machines, a computer may inexplicably lose its audio capabilities, and while some instances can be attributed to a hardware failure (busted speakers, faulty wiring, etc), there may be an internal, and perhaps non-physical cause to the loss of sound.

This cause is actually one of the more common reasons for most hardware issues. What you need to understand first of all is how computers and peripheral hardware communicate. Communication between computers and peripherals are facilitated by something called drivers. These drivers are in fact chunks of code and bits of computing language that computers and other hardware use to communicate instructions to one another.

Drivers - The Computer Language Interpreter

Every hardware is subject to this special set of language, and the sound card is not exempt. So, if this specific piece of code is somehow corrupted or missing, then you can expect no communication between your computer and your sound card.

Hence, all you would hear is silence as your computer is unable to relay the proper instructions to your sound card, and your sound card would not have received the instructions or even able to decipher them to begin with.

Normally, most computers come equipped with the standard Realtek AC97 sound card, but even if you did have another brand of sound card installed, you would be prone to the same problems. If your sound card drivers are corrupt or missing, then it will just be a piece of non-functioning equipment.

So what can you do to resolve this annoying problem? Well, the troubleshooting solution is not as hard as you might have thought. The first thing you can do is to try and rollback the drivers, which basically means reinstalling and restoring your sound card drivers to its previous state before the corruption occurred. You can do this by going into the device manager from your control panel and systems option.

Alternatively, you can hop online to your sound card manufacturer’s website and download the latest version of drivers that may be available to you, or you can try and find a credible third party site which may have the latest sets of driver downloads you can install on your own.

So you see, resolving sound card driver issues is as easy as clicking a few buttons and going online on the Internet. If your computer ever becomes mute, try these tips and ascertain that the problem lies with your drivers. If it isn’t, then consult your local computer technician if you suspect it may be more of a hardware issue.

How To Check Device Manager For Driver Problems Yourself

The follwing will detail how you can check to see if you have some sort of driver problem on your system. The first stpe is to locate your device manager. You can access this in Vista by right clicking on "My Computer", then clicking on "Device Manager" (XP users click "Hardware" then the "evice Manager" tab).

Device manager

Next, locate "Sound video & game controllers" and click on the + sign:

Locate Sound, video and game controllers

That will bring up all the devices on your system for those categories:

Notice that there is no yellow triangle next to "Realtek High Definition Audio". That means the hardware and drivers are ok (most likely). Note that this could be a false positive, but most of the time it is accurate.

Notice the section above that says "L6DP". That device is showing a yellow triangle, which means there is some sort of driver problem with that device.

Next you could simply visit the sound card manufacturer's website and look for their support section. In this section you'll most likely see where you can locate your driver and download it.

Automatically Update Your Sound Card Driver

An alternative is to download and install an automatic driver updater, which will download and install the proper driver for you automatically. This method is optional, but many prefer it because it's just so much easier, and also safer. The wrong driver could seriously cripple your system, so make sure you install the right one or you could be in for some serious trouble.

We hope this guide will help you resolve your sound issues.

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