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Speakers and Soundcards

Last updated: 1/20/2004

Q. I can't hear sound from my speakers. What should I do?

A. Things to check...

  • Plug in the speakers.
  • Turn on the speakers.
  • Turn-up the volume in Windows and on the speakers.
  • Uncheck the mute checkbox in sound control panel.
  • Verify a sound should be playing. In the Control Panel, play some Windows sounds. Play a music CD.
  • Plug the speakers into the right hole on the sound card.
  • Are the speakers plugged into the sound card and not the MODEM?
  • Is the sound card installed correctly?
  • Is the power converter for the speakers plugged into a wall outlet or surge protector?
  • Is the power converter plugged into the speakers?
  • Try other speakers or a head phone?

Q. I upgraded to Windows Me and my old soundcard (In this case a SoundBlaster16) no longer works.   I have tried configuring the config.sys and autoexec.bat files for the soundcard.  How does one make old ISA soundboards work after upgrading Windows?

A.  Win Me does not use the config.sys and autoexec.bat files.  It moves any configuration data that you may put in those files to the Windows Registry.  It also does not use real-mode drives (DOS-based drivers).  I would first remove the config.sys and autoexec.bat files and go into Control Panel, System, Device Manager, look for any sound card drivers and delete them.  I would then install the SB16 Me drivers available at this link.  Other soundcard manufacturers (as well as manufacturers of other boards) may have drivers which can be downloaded from their web sites to accommodate Windows 98, 98 SE, and Me.

Ref: MS KB Article ID: Q241092, System Sounds May Not Work After Upgrading to Windows ME, Windows 98 or Windows 98 Second Edition.

Q.  Just installed a new motherboard... I get this reverberation on bootup of the Microsoft startup music right at the end of its playing. Sounds like its hanging and not finishing the wave file and does finally stop after 10 sec. Any suggestions?

A.  That sounds like (literally) like an IRQ conflict with the sound card. Pull all boards except the video and sound card and see if it clears-up. Try forcing other PCI boards using the sound IRQs (usually 5 and 10). Assign specific IRQs to the PCI slots from the CMOS setup. Download and install the VIA IRQ Mini-port driver (http://www.viatech.com/drivers/index.htm).  You might want to try enabling OS is PnP aware in the CMOS Setup.

Q. I installed an MVP3C motherboard in my PC and now my Sound card does not work.  It's a PCI card.  It worked with my Pentium motherboard.  What is wrong?

A.  First, there is the obvious... Is the board seated properly? Are the speakers plugged into the right hole on the sound card? If they are powered speakers, are they powered-up? Be sure the Windows volume control is not muted. Look at the Device Manager in the Control Panel (System) and see if you have an IRQ conflict. Remove all of the sound card drivers in the Device Manager, reboot, and see if Windows detects the board.

Copyright, Disclaimer, and Trademark Information Copyright © 1996-2006 Larry F. Byard.  All rights reserved. This material or parts thereof may not be copied, published, put on the Internet, rewritten, or redistributed without explicit, written permission from the author.