How to Install Mixer Devices in Windows XP

By John Smith

Updated February 10, 2017

Sometimes when using Microsoft’s Windows XP operating system, the sound will stop working. You won’t hear anything coming out of the speakers, and when you try to bring up the volume control, it refuses to open. The computer will then give you the following error message: "There are no active mixer devices available." If you have been told to install a particular device and you don’t know what the computer is referring to, it turns out the complication is with a piece of software that is supposed to run in conjunction with your sound card. For some reason, Windows Audio Service gets turned off, and the solution is simply to get the computer running this program again.

Click the Start button in the lower-left corner of your computer screen. On the Start menu, select Run. A command screen should pop up.

In the command line, type the following: “services.msc” and press Enter. The services window should now appear with programs listed in alphabetical order.

Look down the page, and select “Windows Audio” and press Enter.

In the new window, you will see an option for “Startup Type.” Be sure this is set to Automatic.

Under “Startup Type,” you will see the line “Service Status.” Click the Start button.

Restart the computer, and the sound should be working again.

If this did not fix the problem, there might be another program turned off that also needs to be running. The following programs may need to be started to allow the Windows Audio Service to function properly: Plug and Play, Windows Audio Endpoint Builder, DCOM Server Process Launcher, Remote Procedure Call (RPC), and Multimedia Class Scheduler. Go back and first make sure all of these programs are also running. To do this, repeat the steps listed for the Windows Audio Service for all the programs mentioned, and then restart the computer.


There is always the chance that you have a virus. Keep your antivirus program updated, and run a system check.