No Sound on Computer How to Fix It

Authored by Dave Mallisk in Computer Hardware 
Published on 08-20-2009

If you have no computer sound, this article can help you find and fix the problem. No sound on your computer can be one of the most frustrating problems, especially for people who use computer sound only occasionally. For example, if someone interrupts you as you begin adjusting your computer’s sound controls, you might accidently mute the sound as you hurriedly exit the sound-control window. After the interruption, you might not try using sound again for several days. By the time you discover there is no sound on your computer, you might have forgotten that you had been starting to adjust the sound controls several days earlier.

Troubleshooting No Computer Sound

To troubleshoot no sound on your computer according to details in the sections below, use the following general procedure:

  1. Check for an incorrect setting.
  2. Check for an incorrect connection.
  3. Check for a software failure.
  4. Check for a hardware failure.

Incorrect Setting

If you have no sound on your computer, look first for the simplest of all possible problems, an incorrect setting. It is too easy to change a setting, and then forget you have done so. Fortunately, an incorrect setting is an easy problem to find and fix. Simply make sure that you have neither turned down the volume nor muted the sound. A typical computer has one hardware sound control, and multiple software sound controls:

  • The hardware sound control is the volume knob on the right-side speaker.
  • Software sound controls include volume sliders, mute buttons, and other adjustments that you manipulate through your mouse. The system sound controls affect your entire computer. Application sound controls affect only their own applications.

Incorrect Connection

If you have no computer sound, you might have made an incorrect connection. If you accidently leave headphones plugged in, you have no speaker sound. If you have moved your computer, you might not have reconnected every sound cable correctly:

  • Plug the speakers’ power supply AC cable into an AC outlet.
  • Plug the power supply DC output cable into the right-side speaker.
  • Plug the speakers’ light-green audio cable plug into your computer’s light-green speakers-output jack. (In low light, you might have trouble distinguishing the light-blue microphone input from the light-green audio-output jack.)

Software Failure

A corrupted software program can cause no sound on your computer:

  • If your computer’s sound driver fails, there is absolutely no sound on your computer. To reload your sound driver, see your computer’s help information.
  • If a sound application (such as a media player) fails, only that application loses sound. Reinstall the application.

Hardware Failure

A hardware failure can cause no computer sound:

  • If you suspect failed speakers, you can test them by connecting them temporarily to another computer.
  • If you can hear neither a CD nor DVD through a DVDRW drive, you need to make sure it is connected correctly inside your computer. If it is connected correctly, and still does not work, you need to replace it.
  • If you suspect failed sound components, you can install a new sound card. Your computer’s sound components are built into either its motherboard or a separate sound card (module) that plugs into the motherboard. If you suspect that your motherboard’s sound components have have failed, you need not replace your motherboard. You need only install a sound card, and then connect its audio output to your speakers. Of course, if a sound card fails, simply replace it with another sound card.

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