Speakers and Headphones don't work HELP!!

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Speakers and Headphones don't work HELP!!

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I don't know what happened but My Speakers suddenly stopped working, it's not muted and when I tried to play music on media player this message came up, "Windows Media Player cannot play the file because there is a problem with your sound device. There might not be a sound device installed on your computer, it might be in use by another program, or it might not be functioning properly." Someone help!!! I have an Inspiron 6000.

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  •  

    Here are some things to check.

    > System Restore
    First try using System Restore to get the Registry back to a time before the problem first occurred. In XP, go to

    Start>All Programs>Accessories>System Tools>System Restore
    and tick 'Restore my computer to an earlier time'.

     

    > Try running the audio tests in Dell Diagnostics. These interactive audio tests are designed to narrow down the problem to either the software or hardware. The tests are independent of Windows and drivers, meaning it doesn't matter if those are working correctly or not. To run Dell Diagnostics

    1. Restart the computer and tap the f12 key as soon as it starts to boot up .
    2. Select 'Diagnostic' from the boot menu. The computer will run its pre-boot assessment tests (PSA) before Dell Diagnostics starts. During the PSA you will hear some tones through the system speaker but this does not adequately test the audio hardware. Dell Diagnostics plays an instrumental piece of music complete with drums, so if you only hear some tones then you have only run the PSA.
    3. Dell Diagnostics should open after the PSA tests, or you should see an option to open it. If you have ever reformatted your entire hard drive then Dell Diagnostics will no longer be there as an option. In that case run it from the Drivers and Utilities (Resource) CD if you have one.
    4. Select 'Custom', then the audio tests. (At this point - after you have opened Dell Diagnostic custom - if you can't find the option to select the audio tests that is a symptom of a failed audio chip.)
    5. The tests will run. Alternate between using headphones and listening to speakers in case only one signal path is working.
    The tests will play some audio and ask you whether you heard it.
    6. If you don't hear the music during the test it definitely means there is a hardware failure somewhere in the system. In this case Dell will repair the computer if it is still under warranty.
    7.If you do hear the audio during the test but not when you boot back into Windows, that almost always means the hardware is okay but there is a problem with the audio driver or with Windows.
    8. Error codes: If you answer 'no' to any question that the test asks you, the test generates an error code that can tell a Dell technician that you answered 'no' to that question. The test does not know the exact component that has gone bad. Before answering 'no' to a question, make note of the circumstances at that point so you will know in general what the error code means.

     

    > Audio Driver -- reinstall
    Often the driver is the cause of problems. It might be not installed, incompletely installed, or corrupted. Often there is no way to tell if the driver is defective except by uninstalling and reinstalling it and then trying to use your audio again. Go to Control Panel/System/Hardware/Device Manager. Find the Sigmatel audio driver under Sound Controllers, right click on it, and then click Uninstall. Restart the computer. Windows should automatically detect your device and display a wizard that helps you reinstall the driver.

    > Audio Driver -- download a driver

    If that doesn't help then try this, Delete the audio driver files from your computer to ensure a clean new driver installation. Go to your hard drive
     c:\Dell\Drivers\R...and delete any folders whose 'R' names correspond to a Sigmatel driver. The Sigmatel folders will be the ones that have a subfolder named "WDM". There could be none, one, or more.

    Next download and install a new audio driver from the Inspiron 6000 driver downloads page. When you open that page first check the operating system dropdown box and make sure that your OS is selected. Next expand the 'Audio' category and download the driver named Sigmatel.

     

    > Try running the audio tests in Dell Diagnostics. These interactive audio tests are designed to narrow down the problem to either the software or hardware. The tests are independent of Windows and drivers, meaning it doesn't matter if those are working correctly or not. To run Dell Diagnostics

    1. Restart the computer and tap the f12 key as soon as it starts to boot up .
    2. Select 'Diagnostic' from the boot menu. The computer will run its pre-boot assessment tests (PSA) before Dell Diagnostics starts. During the PSA you will hear some tones through the system speaker but this does not adequately test the audio hardware. Dell Diagnostics plays an instrumental piece of music complete with drums, so if you only hear some tones then you have only run the PSA.
    3. Dell Diagnostics should open after the PSA tests, or you should see an option to open it. If you have ever reformatted your entire hard drive then Dell Diagnostics will no longer be there as an option. In that case run it from the Drivers and Utilities (Resource) CD if you have one.
    4. Select 'Custom', then the audio tests. (At this point - after you have opened Dell Diagnostic custom - if you can't find the option to select the audio tests that is a symptom of a failed audio chip.)
    5. The tests will run. Alternate between using headphones and listening to speakers in case only one signal path is working.
    The tests will play some audio and ask you whether you heard it.
    6. If you don't hear the music during the test it definitely means there is a hardware failure somewhere in the system. In this case Dell will repair the computer if it is still under warranty.
    7.If you do hear the audio during the test but not when you boot back into Windows, that almost always means the hardware is okay but there is a problem with the audio driver or with Windows.
    8. Error codes: If you answer 'no' to any question that the test asks you, the test generates an error code that can tell a Dell technician that you answered 'no' to that question. The test does not know the exact component that has gone bad. Before answering 'no' to a question, make note of the circumstances at that point so you will know in general what the error code means.

     

    Jim Coates -- senior forum member