Computer lost sound?

Why would my computer suddenly stop producing sound? I checked to see if some automatic Windows update made it incompatable with some “Driver” (whatever the hell that is) and didn’t find the answer there.

Any ideas of other things I should try?

Stupid, obvious suggestions, but here they are anyway:

-When you double-click the volume control icon in the taskbar, the volume control panel opens up - is the mute box checked? Is the volume slider above zero?

-Do the speakers have a volume control on them? Is it turned down all the way? Do they have an on/off switch and/or a power light?

-Is the speaker cable plugged into the right hole? (sometimes people plug it back in the wrong place if they accidentally knock it out) - usually it’s the one with a pale green circle around it, but on older machines it might be marked with a speaker symbol or words.

If it’s none of that, it could still be a hardware malfunction - maybe as simple as a damaged cable.

Also, I have actually seen Windows Update render PCs silent on several occasions by installing inappropriate soundcard drivers - it’s possible to roll back the drivers or use System Restore to revert back to the point before the update, but it’s difficult to describe how to diagnose whether Windows Update is the cause of the silence.

**Mangetout **beat me to it.

Also check that the wave slider is not muted or turned way down. It’s not always the master volume control that gets messed with.

This happened to my computer recently as well, and it had me bugged, and I’m still not sure why it happened. I finally got it to stop (see below), but here’s my checklist:

1.) make sure speaker wires are connected. (Important if you have cats!)

2.) Make sure you haven’t hit the Mute button, if you have one (Again, necessary if you have cats. Or are clumsy)

3.) Make sure the volume control on your monitor or speaker is set above zero.

4.) If you’ve used YouTube or other playback site, make sure that it’s volume slider is set above zero.

5.) I checked all the above, and my sound was still off. It came back on when I stuck a DVD movie in the system and used one of the available routines (like Media Player) to watch the DVD. Sudden;ly the sound came on. I still don’t know why.

One other thing to check: if you’re using an integrated sound card (it’s 2007 now, isn’t everyone?), pop into the BIOS and double check that the onboard sound is enabled. If the feature is disabled in the BIOS, Windows will sometimes make very bad driver decisions during any intervening updates, so sometimes re-enabling the sound card in the BIOS is just the first step, followed by some driver wrangling.

Just discovered (in this thread) that there is an easy way to tell if Windows Update has recently installed new soundcard drivers. - Go to the Windows update site and click on ‘review your update history’. If there’s a sound driver update listed at around about the time/date you first noticed the loss of sound, post back to this thread and I’ll describe how to roll back the driver to the previous version, and stop the update happening again.