Most computer sound problems are caused by defective speakers or a corrupt audio driver. Here are some simple steps that you can take to troubleshoot a computer that has no sound.
Step 1. Verify that your computer speakers are properly connected to your computer’s sound card
Most sound cards today are built right into the computer’s motherboard and have green, pink, and blue audio jacks which are located on the back of the computer. Your speakers should be connected to the green audio jack. The pink jack is used to connect a microphone to the PC while the blue jack is typically used for audio line in. Make sure that your speakers are plugged firmly into the green audio jack.
Step 2. Test Your Computer Speakers On Another Device
If your computer still isn’t playing any sound then you’ll want to make sure that your computer speakers are working properly.
- Unplug your computer speakers from the computer’s sound card and plug the audio connector from the speakers into an iPod, portable DVD player, or another type of device with a 1/8th inch audio jack that is known to work.
- Test the speakers with the iPod, portable DVD player, etc. If you cannot hear any audio coming from the speakers then you will need to replace them in order to hear audio from your computer again. Otherwise, proceed to step 3.
Step 3. Reinstall Your Audio Driver
If your computer speakers are known to work, then we will reinstall your sound driver which will most likely resolve the problem. Of note, I have been using this technique since back in the Windows 95 days and it should be attempted even if Device Manager reports that the sound card is working properly.
- Go to Start and right click on My Computer. Left click on Properties, and click on the Hardware tab. Note, on Windows Vista and Windows 7 you may need to click on a Device Manager link on the left side of your screen.
- Find the sound, video, and game controllers section of Device Manager and click on the + icon.
- Right click on your sound card driver, this will most likely be labeled as High Definition Audio Device, Realtek, AC’97 etc… and left click Uninstall.
- Reboot the computer, your sound driver will reinstall itself automatically and you should begin to hear sound coming from your PC once again.
- If sound still isn’t playing then you will want to go to your computer manufacturer’s website and download an updated audio driver. The manufacturer will provide you with instructions on doing this, the instructions are usually very easy to follow.
This has worked for me 99% of the time out in the field. If your computer still has no sound, then you may want to hire a local computer professional as the problem could be more serious.