How to Troubleshoot Sound on an HP Computer

by Contributor

Many HP computers come with software tools to help with troubleshooting sound. Also, if you're still using onboard sound or a sound card that came with your computer, you may need to use these tools or go to HP's website for support to solve your problem. Most sound problems are caused by missing or corrupt drivers and improperly installed hardware. Chances are you will be able get the sound working again without having to open your computer.


Click the Start button, then "All Programs" and choose "Hewlett Packard" if you want to reinstall the drivers for the sound device that came with your HP computer. "HP Pavilion PC Tools," "PC Help and Tools" or "PC Recovery Tools" will appear in the submenu, depending on which model HP computer you own. Select "HP Application Recovery" from the next submenu.


Select "Driver Installation." Find the audio driver for the sound device on your HP computer. Click Install. This will restore the audio driver to its factory configuration.


Navigate to the Hewlett-Packard website. Search for the model number of your computer. Select the link on the left that describes your model. Click "Software and driver downloads." Select your operating system. Choose the most current driver for your sound device. Select "Install now" to install the driver directly from HP's website. Select "Download" to save the driver file to your hard drive. When the download is complete, install the file to update your sound device's drivers.


Return to the search results page for your model HP computer if reinstalling the drivers failed to solve your problem. Click "Support and troubleshooting." Click "Solve a problem." Select "Sound & Microphone." Select your problem from the list. If none of the entries describes your problem accurately, select "Resolving Sound Problems in Windows 98, ME and XP" or the equivalent link that includes your operating system. Follow the instructions on the page to find out how to find the cause of your sound problem and resolve it. Check your volume levels. Remove the mute from your volume properties. Make sure that the sound card is installed properly and the cable to your speakers is fully plugged in. Also, try installing the sound card in another computer to see if it's the cause of the problem.


Play a sound file on your hard drive to see if the sound is working again. Also play some sound files from CD. If the computer still has no sound, check your speakers. Plug them into a different computer to see if they work. If they don't, replace them.


Back up all of your files if you still have no sound. Perform nondestructive recovery using your HP recovery CD or hard-drive partition. This will restore your computer to its factory configuration without erasing your user files. If the nondestructive recovery doesn't work, then run destructive recovery. Destructive recovery formats your hard drive and performs a fresh reinstallation of the operating system.


  • close Don't replace your sound card unless you're absolutely certain it's bad.
  • close If your expansion slot has gone bad, installing your sound card in another slot may solve the sound problem.


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