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How to Troubleshoot No Sound in Windows 7

by Tyson Cliffton

If you cannot hear sound on your PC or laptop running Windows 7, you can easily troubleshoot the issue. There may be a sound card in your computer, but the software may not have been installed. Or, the sound card driver may need a Windows update.

Check Sound Card

Step 1

Click "Start" in the lower-left corner of your screen.

Step 2

Click "Control Panel." The Control Panel window will appear.

Step 3

Click "System and Security." Beneath "System," click the "+" icon to the left of "Device Manager."

Step 4

Click the "+" icon to the left of "Sound, game and video controllers." Look for a sound card in the list of devices that appears. Common sound card manufacturers include Creative, Rocketfish, and Auzentech.

Right-click your sound card device. If the word "Enable" appears in the list, click it. If you see the word "Disable," your device is already enabled. If no device appears in your list, check the specifications that came with your computer to make sure you have a sound card installed. If you do have a sound card that is not showing up in your list of devices, install the software that came with the device.

Microsoft Fix It

Step 1

Go to the Microsoft Support Fix It Web page at http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows/help/no-sound-in-Windows.

Step 2

Click "Run Now" on the upper-right side of your screen.

Click "Continue." The program will run itself on your Windows 7 machine and it will either fix or notify you of issues with your sound card.

Update Sound Card Drivers

Step 1

Open your Internet browser and visit the website of the manufacturer that made your sound card. Look for a link to the "Support" section.

Step 2

Locate or search for a link to support for your specific device. Click on it.

Step 3

Download the most recent driver update for your sound card and save it to your computer. The update will most likely be a zip file.

Step 4

Locate the file you just downloaded and right-click on it. Select "Extract to here" to extract the contents of the file to that location. Write down the location of the file you just extracted.

Step 5

Click "Start" in the lower-left corner of your computer.

Step 6

Click "Control Panel."

Step 7

Click "System and Security."

Step 8

Click "Device Manager."

Step 9

Click "Sound, video and game controllers."

Step 10

Locate your sound card and double-click on it.

Step 11

Select the "Driver" tab.

Step 12

Click "Update Driver" in the lower-right corner.

Click "Search automatically for driver software." If this search doesn't find the driver you just unzipped, click "Browse my computer for driver software." Locate and click on the driver update folder that you just unzipped and click "Next." Windows 7 will install your driver update.

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