Sound Card and USB headset


M

Mike Walsh

My sister's sound card suddenly stopped working. Nothing is muted and reinstalling the sound card did not fix the problem. She tried a different set of speakers and they did not work. She also has a USB headset that she has used with Skype (which she has since uninstalled), but when she tries to play a WAV file or a CD there is no sound from the speakers or headset.
When a CD or WAV file is played should it normally play through both the speaker and the headset? Do I need to set the headset as the default device? I am not sure, but I suspect that the sound chip is on the motherboard. If I can get her (she live 1,000 miles away) to disable the sound card in the BIOS will that make it use the USB headset for all sound?
 
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K

kony

My sister's sound card suddenly stopped working.
Nothing is muted and reinstalling the sound card did not
fix the problem.

Have her think back to what might've been changed on the
system just prior to the onset of the problem, if anything.

How exactly did you reinstall the sound card? Do you mean
just the driver? If the system has been physically moved,
or if it's possible someone had tripped over a speaker cord,
it might be necessary to unplug and open the system then
reseat the sound cord. Does she have pets? Sometimes they
like to chew on cords. You mentioned below different
speakers were tried but we don't know for certain if that
also means the cord going to the sound card was also
swapped.

Generally I would suggest to first Google search for what
sound chip is on the motherboard and download the latest
sound driver. You might also Google for any possible issues
that could arise if Windows had updated itself and caused a
problem, perhaps uninstalling that patch if one is the
culprit, might help.

You might have her run "DXDIAG" at the Start (menu) "Run"
box, then on the DirextX Diagnostic Tool window that opens,
see what is listed on the sound tab. Sometimes just
installing or reinstalling DirectX may help. For windows XP
or 2K (maybe Win98 and ME too, I forget about those) that
would be Direct X version 9c, available from Microsoft's
website.

She tried a different set of speakers and they did not
work. She also has a USB headset that she has used with
Skype (which she has since uninstalled), but when she
tries to play a WAV file or a CD there is no sound from
the speakers or headset.

Was she formerly able to hear the WAV file or CD through the
heatset without making any further changes to windows
sounds, multimedia settings or elsewhere with software?

Is it possible that the uninstallation of skype had also
uninstalled the USB headset driver?

Have her look in (hmm, what OS is this she's using??)
Windows(?), Control Panel, Sounds & Multimedia on the Audio
Tab. There may be a Sound Playback and Sound Recording pair
of drop-down menu choices. The preferred device can be set
here for playback, whether it be the motherboard audio or
the USB headset. If there is no device to choose from and
the drop-down box is empty and greyed out, that is also
important to remember, as it signifies windows doesn't see
any audio device it can use.
When a CD or WAV file is played should it normally play
through both the speaker and the headset?

No, it would play back through the Preferred Device as
mentioned in my last paragraph.
Do I need to set the headset as the default device?

To use it, yes, but it is unclear at this time that it won't
be possible to get the motherboard audio working again. We
don't know what went wrong, and in worst case a replacement
sound card could be bought and installed, many basic cards
equivalent to the onboard audio can be had for about $15
delivered, maybe even less through ebay or another alternate
source.


I am not sure, but I suspect that the sound chip is on the
motherboard.

What motherboard make and model is this?
If I can get her (she live 1,000 miles away)
to disable the sound card in the BIOS will that make it
use the USB headset for all sound?

It's possible that disabling it would do that, depending on
what is wrong. If you were to install a new sound card that
should also be a cause to disable the sound in the bios.

I'm not sure I'm seeing the solution in just getting the USB
headset to work, won't she want to use her speakers too? I
suppose getting the USB headset to work would at least
confirm that a certain portion of windows audio subsystem is
working enough to do that.

You might also have her look in Windows' Event Viewer. The
easiest way to get there is Start (menu) -> Run (box) ->
(type) "Eventvwr.msc", then look through any of the recently
listed items in the right side log pane to see if they seem
related to audio.
 
M

Mike Walsh

kony said:
Have her think back to what might've been changed on the
system just prior to the onset of the problem, if anything.

She says she did not change anything.
How exactly did you reinstall the sound card? Do you mean
just the driver?

I had her go into device manager and remove the sound card. When she rebooted it found the card and installed drivers. Device manager says the card is working properly, but I am beginning to think that maybe the card has malfunctioned.
If the system has been physically moved,
or if it's possible someone had tripped over a speaker cord,
it might be necessary to unplug and open the system then
reseat the sound cord.

She is not the right person to open up the computer. Maybe I can get someone else to reseat the card, if it has a separate sound card
Does she have pets? Sometimes they
like to chew on cords.

She does not have pets, but she does have grandchildren.
You mentioned below different
speakers were tried but we don't know for certain if that
also means the cord going to the sound card was also
swapped.

I will have to ask her if she changed the cables or just the speakers.
Generally I would suggest to first Google search for what
sound chip is on the motherboard and download the latest
sound driver. You might also Google for any possible issues
that could arise if Windows had updated itself and caused a
problem, perhaps uninstalling that patch if one is the
culprit, might help.

I set her a URL to download SP2 so she can reinstall it. That should replace any DLLs that later updates installed.
You might have her run "DXDIAG" at the Start (menu) "Run"
box, then on the DirextX Diagnostic Tool window that opens,
see what is listed on the sound tab. Sometimes just
installing or reinstalling DirectX may help. For windows XP
or 2K (maybe Win98 and ME too, I forget about those) that
would be Direct X version 9c, available from Microsoft's
website.


Was she formerly able to hear the WAV file or CD through the
heatset without making any further changes to windows
sounds, multimedia settings or elsewhere with software?

She did not use the headset for anything but Skype.
Is it possible that the uninstallation of skype had also
uninstalled the USB headset driver?

I could tell her to reinstall Skype to see if the headset still works.
Have her look in (hmm, what OS is this she's using??)
Windows(?), Control Panel, Sounds & Multimedia on the Audio
Tab. There may be a Sound Playback and Sound Recording pair
of drop-down menu choices. The preferred device can be set
here for playback, whether it be the motherboard audio or
the USB headset. If there is no device to choose from and
the drop-down box is empty and greyed out, that is also
important to remember, as it signifies windows doesn't see
any audio device it can use.

She is running Windows XP service pack 2.
I will have her check this. If the sound card and USB device are both there I will tell her to try the USB headset.
No, it would play back through the Preferred Device as
mentioned in my last paragraph.


To use it, yes, but it is unclear at this time that it won't
be possible to get the motherboard audio working again. We
don't know what went wrong, and in worst case a replacement
sound card could be bought and installed, many basic cards
equivalent to the onboard audio can be had for about $15
delivered, maybe even less through ebay or another alternate
source.


What motherboard make and model is this?

I will have to research this. All I am sure of is that it is a Compaq.
It's possible that disabling it would do that, depending on
what is wrong. If you were to install a new sound card that
should also be a cause to disable the sound in the bios.

I'm not sure I'm seeing the solution in just getting the USB
headset to work, won't she want to use her speakers too? I
suppose getting the USB headset to work would at least
confirm that a certain portion of windows audio subsystem is
working enough to do that.

You might also have her look in Windows' Event Viewer. The
easiest way to get there is Start (menu) -> Run (box) ->
(type) "Eventvwr.msc", then look through any of the recently
listed items in the right side log pane to see if they seem
related to audio.

Thanks for the tips.
If I can't get the sound card to work she might be able to use the headset so that she will at least have some sound. She does not want to do anything too drastic now because she uses this PC to do tax work and she does not want anything to disrupt that. This problem might not be fully resolve until I go up there this summer.
 
S

sandy58

My sister's sound card suddenly stopped working. Nothing is muted and reinstalling the sound card did not fix the problem. She tried a different set of speakers and they did not work. She also has a USB headset that she has used with Skype (which she has since uninstalled), but when she tries to play a WAV file or a CD there is no sound from the speakers or headset.
When a CD or WAV file is played should it normally play through both the speaker and the headset? Do I need to set the headset as the default device? I am not sure, but I suspect that the sound chip is on the motherboard. If I can get her (she live 1,000 miles away) to disable the sound card in the BIOS will that make it use the USB headset for all sound?

Mike, you could always try "remote help" as in Remote Desktop
Connection.
Start>All Progs>Accessories>Communications>Remote Desktop Connection
 
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M

Mike Walsh

sandy58 said:
Mike, you could always try "remote help" as in Remote Desktop
Connection.
Start>All Progs>Accessories>Communications>Remote Desktop Connection

I have never attempted that. Can I connect if neither PC has a static IP address?
 

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