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  1. #1
    5 Star Lounger jujuraf's Avatar
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    cannot play sounds

    Hi all,
    I am troubleshooting my sister's PC remotely (she lives in MI and I'm in CA) so bear with me here.... She has Win2k (SP1) and cannot hear any sounds at all. <img src=/S/bummer.gif border=0 alt=bummer width=15 height=15> I had her go into Control Panel / 'Sounds and Multimedia' to see her settings.

    1. The 'play' button is grayed out on this menu. Why is that? This means she can't even play/test any of the sounds listed.
    2. The checkbox at the bottom of the menu, 'show volume control on taskbar' is checked but it too is grayed out. She has no speaker icon on her taskbar so the checkbox is lying.

    In Control Panel / Add-Remove Hardware, I had her do the diagnostics for the various sound drivers and they all checked out ok (but I do know that those diags are mostly useless).

    When she tries to play any video or sound file, RealOne reports an error such as "your sound card is in use" (I don't have the exact message) and it can't play the file. I had her un-install RealOne, reboot and then go see if she can manually play sounds in Control Panel/Sounds menu. NO, same problem - grayed out 'play' button and grayed out 'volume control' checkbox for taskbar. I was trying to see if RealOne was the culprit and the reason why she couldn't manually play sounds.

    There must be some conflict going on whereby some program has taken over the sound and RealOne thinks it's busy. Why can't she play sounds manually via Control Panel? <img src=/S/confused.gif border=0 alt=confused width=15 height=20> I've cruised through the registry but nothing obvious showed up.

    It is possible the sound card is bad but that doesn't explain why the Control Panel menu shows grayed out menu items.

    Thnx, Deb <img src=/S/notmyfault.gif border=0 alt=notmyfault width=15 height=15>

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    Re: cannot play sounds

    Did this happen all of the sudden to an existing system, or has something traumatic (like a reinstallation of windows) occured recently?

    My guess is that the sound card drivers are either not installed or are incorrect. Can you determine what kind of card it is from the device manager?

  3. #3
    5 Star Lounger jujuraf's Avatar
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    Re: cannot play sounds

    No reinstall occured. My sister isn't computer saavy hence she turns to me for tech support. I have told her never to install anything w/o asking me first. She shipped her PC to me last year for its yearly reformating/re-install OS (my drastic solution to crappy MS software as it seems to degrade over time even w/no changes) and all was working fine.

    As to what sound car it is, I don't know. The device manager lists quite a few but who knows which one goes with the actual card. The computer is an old eMachine (I think 533Mz) and the only upgrade has been memory and a CD-RW.

    I still think it's some s/w conflict as I had that same stupid RealOne error message myself (saying the sound card is in use) and somehow it went away. I personally hate all sounds on my computer, keep it all mute but she likes it.

    Thnx, Deb <img src=/S/brickwall.gif border=0 alt=brickwall width=25 height=15>

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    Re: cannot play sounds

    If you're convinced it's a software issue, then you should be going through the software loaded up during a current windows session and removing them one by one using Task Manager. If that doesn't isolate the program, you should then go through the process from fresh boots, removing programs one by one and rebooting to see if you regain sound card ability. In order to do this in W98 is was a matter of running msconfig; in W2K, you should review <!post=this post,98345>this post<!/post> for resources and go from there.

    This is obviously above your sister's head, and will be very difficult to explain how to do over the phone with her. I would recommend a remote access tool like GoToMyPC, which is really easy to set up and use, and will cost less for a month than your long distance call to her to troubleshoot this issue. (Disclosure: I am a web affiliate of GoToMyPC, but unless you go to my website and click on the link there, I don't make anything from the link I posted here. Moreover, I'm just a big fan of their product.) Since it runs as a service, you'll be able to restart her computer remotely and then log back in without any intervention from your sister.

    Hope that helps! <img src=/S/smile.gif border=0 alt=smile width=15 height=15>

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    4 Star Lounger pccoyle's Avatar
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    Re: cannot play sounds

    ONe possibility is that the card interrupt is being taken over by another process. I seem to recall that W2K automatically allocates the same interrupt to all devices, and then relies on the s'w to work through the issues.
    You can set up devices to have a manually allocated interrupt so perhaps doing this for the sound card may provide a clue. HTH
    Paul Coyle
    Approach love and cooking with reckless abandon

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    5 Star Lounger jujuraf's Avatar
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    Re: cannot play sounds

    Thanks for the ideas. Actually I do know about GoToMyPC but found out it won't work with dial up connections and that's all she has (no DSL or Cable). I have used pcAnywhere though and that works with dial up/modem. I haven't tried it yet with her computer although I did install it on her computer when I had it last year (just in case I needed to log in remotely).

    These problems are almost impossible to troubleshoot remotely especially if I have to explain to her what to do it's esepcially agonizing. Something I can check in 2 seconds takes 30 minutes to tell her via AIM (since we chat on AIM while her phone line is busy with Internet and she doesn't have a 2nd phone line).

    Thnx, Deb

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    5 Star Lounger jujuraf's Avatar
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    Re: cannot play sounds

    If i were to reinstall the sound driver, how do I know which one to un-install from all the ones listed? I can't physically get to her computer so can't just open the box. I see in my own Win2k system under Add/Remove Hardware a list of 3 items 'analog deivces 1816'. These are the only 3 with speaker symbols so I assume they're the ones for the sound card. Right or Wrong?

    Since this is an eMachine box (old one) I went to their site looking for drivers they don't list her model (too old I guess). I don't know why she's so insistent on hearing sounds, I find them really irritating *ha*

    I'll try connecting to her via pcAnywhere later tonight since she only has dial-up. <img src=/S/doctor.gif border=0 alt=doctor width=25 height=33>

    Thanks all,
    Deb

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    Re: cannot play sounds

    Go to Control Panel | System Devices and check out the listing there. There may be a few devices listed, but one description should be enough that you can search out drivers. If you have troubles with this, post back a screen shot of the System Devices display and we'll try to help.

    And the reason your sister is so insistent on hearing sounds: because she has a sister giving her free advice and hours of her time. <img src=/S/smile.gif border=0 alt=smile width=15 height=15>

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    Re: cannot play sounds

    You may want to check out TightVNC at http://www.tightvnc.com. Allows you take over the desktop. Works pretty well on slow connections. And best of all it is free for non-commercial use. Less than 1 mb download too.

    Joe
    Joe

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    Re: cannot play sounds

    Hi,

    Though I'd tag onto the end of this old thread because I have had the exact same problem for months. Mine's a Dell Dimension XPS with a Soundblaster Live! card. It all used to work fine, but one day the speaker icon disappeared from the task bar and I had all the "greyed-out" symptoms described earlier -- although Device Manager says this device is working properly. What's really weird is that if I put an audio CD in, it plays fine. But no system sounds will work, and I can't play MP3s, WAVs etc. from web pages.

    If I go into Device Manager and remove the sound card, then reboot the PC, Windows detects new hardware, the speaker icon reappears and it works -- until the next time I reboot, when it disappears again. This is so irritating -- every time I want sounds, I have to reboot (which takes about 3 mins, but that's a different issue!).

    Any suggestions??

    vetonicay

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    Re: cannot play sounds

    To check the status of your sound card:
    Click Start, point to Settings, and then click Control Panel.

    Double-click System.

    Click the Device Manager tab.

    Click the PLUS SIGN (+) next to Sound, video and game controllers to expand the branch.

    Under the Sound, video and game controllers branch, click your sound card, and then click Properties.

    On the General tab, make sure that the Device Status message is "this device is working properly."

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    Re: cannot play sounds

    Under device manager, {Sounds,Video,Game Controllers} does it show Audio Codecs, Audio Drivers(WDM) And Leagacy Audio Drivers? I ran into that problem once and had to reload The WDM Drivers from the System CD. After I did that the speaker showed back up in the systems tray and sound worked again. Read this Microsoft WDM And This Microsoft Sound Problems Try this last one first.

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    Re: cannot play sounds

    Well, here is my two cents. I recently had a similar issue where I could not play CDA files (see Post 236344 ). To make a long story short, it turned out to be a system issue. I had to reinstall the W2K operating system. Talk about a frustrating two weeks....

    John

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    Re: cannot play sounds

    That's very interesting ... Yes, I do have Audio codecs and Legacy Audio drivers listed, as well as the SB driver (WDM), Game Port, Legacy Video Drivers. All of them claim to be working properly, even when they are not.

    I don't quite follow MS's stuff about WDM though. Should I remove all of the audio devices in Device Manager, and then reinstall from the CD? I would be really delighted if this solved the problem!

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    Re: cannot play sounds

    >>I had to reinstall the W2K operating system<<

    :-( That's exactly what I'm trying to avoid doing, if at all possible!

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