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Repairing and Upgrading Your PC by Barbara Fritchman Thompson, Robert Bruce Thompson

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Troubleshooting Audio Problems

Most audio problems are a result of improper, defective, or misconnected cables; incorrect drivers; or resource conflicts. Audio problems that occur when you have made no changes to the system are usually caused by cable problems or operator error (such as accidentally turning the volume control down). Audio problems that occur when you install a new audio adapter (or when you add or reconfigure other system components) are usually caused by resource conflicts or driver problems.

To troubleshoot audio problems, always begin with the following steps:

  1. Shut down and restart the system. Surprisingly often, this solves the problem.

  2. Verify that all cables are connected, that the speakers have power and are switched on, that the volume control is set to an audible level, that you haven't muted audio in Windows, and so on.

  3. Determine the scope of the problem. If the problem occurs with only one program, visit the web sites for Microsoft, the software company, and the audio adapter maker to determine if there is a known problem with that program and audio adapter combination. If the problem occurs globally, continue with the following steps.

  4. Verify that the audio adapter is selected as the default playback device. If you have more than one audio adapter installed, verify that the default playback device is the audio adapter to which the speakers are connected.

  5. If your audio adapter includes a testing utility, run it to verify that all components of the audio adapter ...

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