Chapter 10. Sounds Like Trouble

It saved five dollars a machine. The TRS-80, Radio Shack's pioneer microcomputer of the late 1970s, didn't have a speaker. After all, computers didn't need to make sound, right? Five bucks is five bucks! But foresight wasn't big with the bean counters at Radio Shack. They didn't anticipate, for example, that their first run of microcomputers (what PCs were called before IBM bellied up to the bar) would sell out in less than a month. So how could they possibly know that in the first decade of the 21st century, computers and sound would be inseparable?

Today computers and sound are so close in relation that they could never get married. (Not outside Kentucky, anyway.) First, computers could beep. Then they could play silly, tinny songs. Then came CDs, and then MP3 audio files, and then portable music players, and, finally, the perfection of the digital jukebox. Beyond that, computers make noise, they talk, they sing. Sometimes you just want them to shut up! But when the silence they make is unexpected, you can turn to the information in this chapter to get your PC to bleep again.

  • Tip

    As with most immediate boo-boos, try restarting Windows to see whether that gets the sound back.

  • Don't forget the System Restore command! When you hear (or don't hear) sound trouble, immediately attempt a System Restore to go back to a louder time.

  • If your problem is with playing a specific audio file, consider that the file may be corrupted — or you may not have the proper ...

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