Dimension 2400 soundmax integrated audio - no sound - Audio - Desktop - Dell Community

Dimension 2400 soundmax integrated audio - no sound


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Dimension 2400 soundmax integrated audio - no sound

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There is no sound (not even system sounds) on my Dimension 2400.  I have downloaded most recent drivers, uninstalled and reinstalled the sound card to no avail.  Device manager indicates the device is working properly.  I have even disabled soundmax and installed a usb sound card but no success with that either.  I know my speakers work as I thought that may be the problem so I switched speakers with another computer on which the speakers worked.  Any suggestions would be appreciated.


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  • Was there a time that the sound worked?  Do you recall installing or uninstalling anything around the time that the sound quit working?

    The most common reason that the sound quits working on the D2400 is that someone has checked the Mute box on the volume control.  Other reasons for the sound to stop working is that the onboard sound has been disabled in the System Setup (reached by pressing F2 during the self test following start or re-start of the computer), that the speaker setup is incorrect, or that the sound service has failed to start.

    Does sound work through headphones that have been plugged into the headphone jack on the front of the computer?

    Dell Forum member since 2005

  • Thanks for the response. 

    #1 - I do not recall when the sound stopped working; this computer is used mostly by the grandkids.  Occasionally there is some sound, yesterday for example, one of the grandkids had sound for a while when playing Roblox.  then it stopped again. 

    #2  I can not get sound through the headphone jack on the front of the computer.

    #3  I did the uninstall-reinstall and driver update today after the USB sound card failed to solve the problem.  I would speculate that your suggestion that the onboard sound was disabled is correct as the sound icon does not appear in the systray.  I have verifie that mute is not turned on using control panel - sounds.  The box "place icon in task bar" is checked; but as I said - no sound icon in systray. 

    I would appreciate suggestions as to how to try to figure out how to check and/or undo the "disable" thing - it could be that one of the grandkids disabled the startup of the sound.  I am sort of an intermediate compter user and don't mess with the "F2 setup" without adult supervision.

    Thanks for your time.

  • Let's go through the control panel settings for audio.  After each step, check to see if you have sound.

    Go to the control panel, click Sounds, Speech, and Audio Devices, and then click Sounds and Audio Devices on the lower part of the window.  On Device Audio, click Advanced and see which sources have checks in the Mute box.  The only devices that are usually muted are the microphone and line in.  Any other boxes should be clear, and if they are not, click on them to remove the check mark.  Check to see if this has helped your sound, and if not, continue.

    Next, go to the Speaker Settings and make sure you have selected the appropriate configuration for your set-up.  Most of use simply have Desktop Stereo Speakers, and unless you have something else, make certain that is the setting you have.  If it is already on Desktop Stereo Speakers, make a change to Stereo Headphones and back again.  There is also a Speaker Volume setting, but I've never used this and have always left it at the default setting.  You might try clicking on the Restore Defaults icon to see if that helps, however.  You could also try changing the level sliders to see if there is a change.  If you don't have any result you might want to go back and set the default to avoid surprises later.  Still no audio?  Continue.

    At the top of the Audio control window you might have noticed the tabs.  Click on the tab for Audio and make sure that the Default Playback Device says SoundMAX Digital Audio.  This should also be the default device for sound recording.  The Midi device shows Microsoft GS Wavetable on my machine, but this should not affect your other sound settings.  If this window already shows these settings, or if you still have no sound after changing to these settings, continue.

    Click on the Voice tab.  The default for both Voice Playback and Recording is also SoundMAX.  It isn't obvious to me why this should have an effect on the other sounds made by the computer, but the experience of another forum member showed that sometimes an incorrect setting here can have effects in other places.

    Please let us know how this has worked out.  If you still have no sound there are other places that will need to be examined.



    Dell Forum member since 2005

  • Thanks for your inputs.  I have followed all of the suggested steps - still no sound, not even system sounds.   Device manager still reports that the sound card is working properly, but no audio output.

    Thanks for helping to try to figure this out.

  • Ok, I guess it's back to the Control Panel.  Click on Performance and Maintenance, Administrative Tools, Services.  Scroll to the lower part of the list that appears to Windows Audio.  It's Status should be "Started".  If it isn't "Started", double click on Windows Audio.  In the middle of the new window you should see a box titled Startup Type.  This should be Automatic, and if it isn't, make it that.  Click the Apply button if it becomes active, click OK, and exit out of the windows clicking OK if the button is available.  Restart the computer and see if you now have sound.

    Dell Forum member since 2005

  • A check of the Services confirmed that the status of the service was set to STARTED, and the startup type AUTOMATIC.  I stopped the services and restarted it but no success with that either.  Still no sound.

    In further looking into the bowels of Device Manager, under SYSTEM DEVICES, the SYSTEM SPEAKER indicates "no drivers installed for this device".  The Dimension 2400 with no sound is running Windows XP professional SP3 (build 2600).  I have 2 other computers also running WinXP-SP3 (same build) and on both of those the system speakers have the same "no drivers installed for this device" so that's probably not the problem.

    What really confuses me is that in an attempt to get sound I disabled soundmax, installed a USB audio adapter that has a speaker-plub (plug speaker into adapter), enabled the adapter, and no sound with the USB audio device either.   It seems to me that there is some setting somewhere on this computer that is disabling sound but what that may be is truly a mystery.





  • I'm afraid that the speaker you are looking at is the small one on the main board that usually emits the beeps you hear on start-up.  No driver is required for that one.

    Ok, one last check.  Restart the computer and press F2 during the self test (the period you are looking at the Dell logo on the screen) and go to system setup.  Use the arrow keys to move the cursor to Integrated (OnBoard) devices.  Pressing the Return key should allow you to enter the menu, and the Onboard Audio should be first on the list.  Make sure it says "On".  If it does, press escape to exit system setup, and when you get to the menu that says Exit Saving Changes, use the arrow key to drop down one choice to Exit Without Saving Changes.

    If it is off, use the left/right arrows to turn it On and use the Exit Saving Changes option, allowing the computer to restart.


    Dell Forum member since 2005

  • Bios settings were set to "ON".  Still no sound from either speakers or headset.  Not even any system sounds when the computer boots or shuts down.   No sound icon in taskbar.

    This is quite confusing. 


  • So everything looks as it should.  I am assuming that you disconnected the USB sound device when you found it did not work.  Do you have anything in the Device Manager that belongs to that device?  If you do, remove it from the list in Device Manager to uninstall it.  Next, go to Add/Remove Programs and remove any driver or other file that was installed to support it.  Restart and see if you have sound.

    If still no sound, go back to the Device Manager and remove the SoundMax device.  Once you have done this Windows should attempt to reinstall it.  Post back with the results.

    Edit:  Forgot to tell you to restart the computer after you remove SoundMAX from the list of devices.  Do that and see if you have sound after the restart.

    Dell Forum member since 2005

  • Nothing showing up in Device Manager or Add/Remove programs for the USB Sound card.  I recall deleting all that stuff after I figured out it wouldn't work but went to double check that it's gone.

    Prior to removing soundmax in Device Manager  I checked System Information Startup programs and found that SoundmaxPnD was included in startup programs; showed location as c:\program files \analog devices\core\smax4pnp.exe so that was not the problem.

    I then deleted Soundmax in Device manager and restarted computer.

    Install new hardward wizzard did a "found new hardware" for a Multi Media Audio Controller - and advised "wizard cannot find necessary software" - never got to Soundmax.

    I have all of the original CD's that came with the computer - those being:

    #1 Reinstallation CD XP-Pro w/SP1

    #2 Applications already installed - contents
           Multimedia software

    #3 Drivers & Utilities - contents
        Device Drivers
        Diagnostics & Utilities
       Computer documenation
            Internet Software

    #4 WinDvd

    I'd guess what I want is on #2 with Multimedia software but wanted to check before I did something stupid!

    Thanks for your patience!


  • Actually I believe we should begin with #3, Device Drivers.  Place the CD in the drive and allow it to autorun.  If you have already installed the application at some point you will go directly to the screen that allows you to choose what you want to do, otherwise it will ask to install; let it install and bring up the screen.

    Once you have the Resource CD screen, click on your computer system from a list that should appear on the left to select your computer model.  Follow that with a click on Drivers from the menu that is at the top of the screen.  You should wind up with checkmarks beside the driver files the application believes you need.  I think the best thing to do would be to refresh all of them.  The first driver installed must be the Intel Chipset driver.  Click (or perhaps double click) on the file name.  A screen should appear asking to open or save the file; you should select Open.  The file should autoextract and copy the file elements to C:\Dell\Drivers\(R something without the parens).  As soon as it's done you should see an installation wizard asking if you want to install.  Select install and when you are sure it's complete, restart the computer.

    Dell recommends the remaining drivers be installed as follows:  Video, Network, Sound, and Modem.  If you have added a PCI card for any of these devices, please do not use the drivers from the Resource CD.  Add-on PCI cards should have come with a CD having the specific drivers for the card.  Also, the modem (assuming you have one; not all machines do) generally has its own CD and is not included on the Resource CD.  Follow the same process as you did when installing the chipset driver, restarting the machine when the installation has completed.  You may find that you need to eject the Resource CD and insert it again to bring up the Drivers screen, but you can also use the Run feature from the start menu to select the Autorun file in the Resource CD directory.

    The most recent versions of the drivers can be found on the Dell support page, but for the present I would like to stick with the driver on the Resource CD.  The reason for this is an experience I had with my Dimension 2400.  For some odd reason the sound was disabled when I added my eVGA FX 5200 video card.  I first tried the most current driver from the support page without result.  Using the Resource CD, however, the sound came up as soon as I installed that old driver and rebooted the computer.  For future use, however, you can find the most current versions at this page:  Dimension 2400 Drivers.

    EDIT:  I neglected to mention that the Resource CD is bootable, so when you restart the machine with the CD in the drive you may get a message asking you to strike a key to boot from the CD.  Just ignore that for now; it will count down to zero and boot from the hard drive on its own.

    Dell Forum member since 2005

  • Soundmax appears in "Add/Remove Programs".  Should I uninstall Soundmax before I re-install the drivers?

    I will wait to hear back from you regarding whether I should uninstall Soundmax first.  Don't need that computer right now as the Dimension 2400 is only in use for grandkids who will return in hordes on Saturday.

    Thanks much for your patience and help.  MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!


  • I don't believe that to be absolutely essential since you will be re-installing the files in the same place they should have been in the first place.  Also, if the files were correctly installed, Windows should have found them when you removed SoundMAX from the Device Manager list and restarted the computer.  That tells me that the device isn't really installed despite what other things have been saying.

    Having said all of that, however, removing the SoundMAX files with Add/Remove is a simple step, and removing them might help ensure that the re-installation goes smoothly.  I say go ahead and remove them.

    EDIT:  By the way, you are very welcome.  Merry Christmas to you, also.

    Dell Forum member since 2005

  •  I first uninstalled SoundMAX in "ad remove programs" then followed all of the above steps.  Still no sound and no sound icon in systray.  Not even that comforting windows sound when the computer boots.

    Prior to uninstalling Soundmax in Device Manager, there was a notation in System Information Software environment - Startup showing SoundmaxPnP.exe in Startup.  Currently no instance of soundmax in System Information-Software Environment-Startup. I think that program was just for customized sounds - something I don't need so probably not a problem.

    A hard disk search revealed no file starting with "soundm" other than SoundMAX.bmp in the drivers folder. 

    Soundmax is back in "Add-Remove" programs.  Shows "date last used" as 7/06 - I believe that this is the date that the former owner of this computer reinstalled the system prior to selling it.  I purchased it used about that time.  I used it a while before relegating it to grandkids but I do not recall anything about sound when I used it.  Background noise drives me crazy so I generally have the speakers off.  My guess is the problem may have started when the operating system was reinstalled by the prior owner and I just started to realize it when the grandkids couldn't get sound for their games.

    In C:\program files\Analog Devices\Soundmax  the program "install.exe" says it's for Windows 2000.  I definitely used the WIN-XP feature from the driver install disk.

    Does some additional program or setup need to be run to get SoundMAX to launch at startup?   Could that be the problem?  Windows Audio Service is started as is the plug-and-play.

    Soundmax and the network controller were sharing the same IRQ.  I disabled the network controller as I'm using a USB wireless network adapter for internet access on this computer.  That did not solve the problem either.

    This is quite mistyfing.



  • Well, you have reported that everything having to do with the sound has been enabled and unmuted.  You now need to check the hardware.  Examine the cables from the speaker system to the computer to make certain that the speaker cable has been plugged into the green colored jack.  Make sure that the speakers have been turned on and that the volume control is set to about mid-level.

    Boot the Dell Resource CD; select the diagnostic for sound and make sure that the test sounds are audible.

    Just out of curiosity, does the Device Manager still report SoundMAX as operating properly?


    Dell Forum member since 2005