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  1. #1
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    What is messed up when the speaker icon red "X" doesn't go away?

    When my Win 7 64-bit Home Premium system boots normally, the speaker icon with have a red "X" over it briefly, then the "X" disappears, as it should.

    But when some sort of crash happens, upon re-booting, sometimes that red "X" stays, and various startup programs also fail to start correctly.

    So far, a system restore from a restore point from before the crash fixes the problem, but I'd like to know what has actually gone wrong, and if there is a way to just fix the actual problem.

    Somehow I haven't found a good discussion about what leads up to the speaker icon appearing, and what has to happen for the "X" to disappear.

    Can someone kindly point me to where they've found such information?

  2. #2
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    The only reason I've seen for a red X through the Speaker is that there is a problem with the sound. My wife's work computer is like that all the time because the thin-client pc doesn't have a sound card. My best guess is that there is a problem with the sound card not being available when the system checks it, or an issue with the sound software.
    I'd try reseating the sound card (assuming it's a separate card and not part of the motherboard), and maybe checking for updates for the audio drivers/software.
    Possibly also caused by compatibility issues if you upgraded from a 32bit OS to a 64bit.

    Good luck!

  3. #3
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    The system is a Dell with sound built into the motherboard, and came with Win7 64-bit HP installed already.

    I am not using sound when the crash happens, and most of the discussions I've seen revolve around the sound not working, which is not the actual problem. The red X not disappearing is a sign that something is wrong with the system, that also prevents other programs from working.

    In the "old days" (NT4 era) I would use the Last Known Good item upon re-booting, or maybe re-build the page file, in case it got corrupted.

    This problem happens rarely, and going back to a restore point, which I now save daily, fixes it.
    And once back up, I'm in a hurry to get back to what I was doing.
    I'd like to know what got fixed, so that maybe I could do just that, instead.

  4. #4
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    After the crash and the initial reboot, what happens if you just reboot the computer normally, again?
    Rui
    -------
    R4

  5. #5
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    I've seen where a malicious add-on has caused that and running AdwCleaner may find something.

    After it has scanned, you can uncheck anything that you don't want deleted and then click on Report which will show any files it finds shouldn't be there.

    Closing the Report file and clicking on Clean will delete those.

    This can also be a driver problem and a visit to Dell support site or the driver manufacturer's site and downloading the latest or re-downloading the driver should stop the red cross from appearing.

    You can find the make and model of the sound driver in Device Manager/Sound, video and game controllers.

    If it continues to display on start up, then boot up into the computer as to select Last Known Good Configuration but select Repair your Computer to navigate to the Recovery Environment and select Startup Repair to see if that finds anything wrong, or reports that it is unable to effect an auto repair.

  6. #6
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    I should add that that these crashes are where something got out of control, and I had to power cycle the machine to regain control.

    Some times I rebuilt the page file out of habit, since it might have been corrupted, but that didn't seem to help, so I just re-boot now, to try my luck, in case it does boot OK. But, if not, then LKG can't be used, and i have to use the last restore point, which i now save daily.

  7. #7
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    A bad driver can freeze up a machine - how have you got on with either of my suggestions ?

    Edit

    You can also run Dell Diagnostics to see if it picks up anything https://www.dell.com/support/Diagnostics/us/en/19/
    Last edited by Sudo15; 2014-04-12 at 10:42.

  8. #8
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    Once booted back into Windows, if I see the red X, letting Windows try to repair the problem always fails.
    Going back to a restore point always fixes it, which is why I've gotten lazy.
    I have lots of diagnostic programs, and viruses are not the problem.

    I have had faulty drivers cause crashes, so am very careful what drivers get updated, using something like the same caution the the Patch Watch column here uses. (Which is why I got the idea of asking my problem here, as every newsletter has those wonderful examples of Lounge posts solving a variety of problems.)

    The problem happens very rarely, and when it does, I'm usually in a hurry to get up and running again, having had to boot into Safe Mode to be able to get back to the restore point.

    When I have taken time to turn on my other computer (an older Dell running XP) to do searches for the problem, I haven't found any advice that actually helps. I was wondering if anyone here has had the same problem, and has found a more pinpointed solution.

  9. #9
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    When you have to boot into Safe Mode for a restore point to be successful, it's usually because of interference from an AV program and it may be worth uninstalling your current one and installing something else for a while.

    As you know which restore point you normally need to use, go back to it then Scan for affected programs to see if anything pops up.

    Have you checked Event Viewer and Reliability history to see if anything has been recorded as failing ?
    Last edited by Sudo15; 2014-04-12 at 16:30.

  10. #10
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    All the "usual suspects" aren't guilty, which makes it harder to pin down the real ones.

  11. #11
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    Intermittent faults are always the hardest to nail down because of what can seem like an indeterminate cause.

    Are you doing anything particular when this occurs as there could be a pattern to it.

    Other than that, I'm leaning towards programs that auto update and while I don't know which other auto updating programs you have installed if any, changing your AV program for a trial period or even uninstalling/reinstalling it may produce an answer.

  12. #12
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    Hello, your situation has been happening to my Windows 7 Premium in the last year but the way I fix it is pop up the Speaker icon and click the mute button and the click it again which has resulted in the red X disappearing right away with any more needed....... Quick and Easy...... It hasn't showed up since late Febuary...
    Hopefully that can solve the situation of yours and others.......

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by JOERICEIII View Post
    the way I fix it is pop up the Speaker icon and click the mute button and the click it again which has resulted in the red X disappearing right away with any more needed....... Quick and Easy......
    Exactly my occasional problem...and same solution I use...

  14. #14
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    That's what I'll try if there is a next time.

    (Though I am still curious what is happening "under the hood.")

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