Monday, August 10, 2009

Windows Vista Sound Problem Gotcha!

This is fairly basic compared to the stuff I ususally post about however this had me stumped for over an hour - this is really a stupid stupid stupid problem that would cause many end users alot of grief including me and I'm an IT Professional! Simple problem "Dell Studio 15 notebook lost sound". Under the sound options in control panel Speakers and Headphones is missing:

Under device manager none of the sound devices are disabled. Ususally disabled devices have a little down arrow icon on the device - this is the way it has always been until Vista apparently!

Believe it or not if you disable a sound device under sound options in control panel it does not display as disabled in device manager. Additionally it does not display at all under the sound options window control panel by default either as demonstrated in the above screenshot. So how do you get it back? You have to know to right click - does this look like a typical right click microsoft interface? No!

You are then able to re-enable the device.

The main reason why I'm so annoyed however is this problem is not included in any of the windows help documentation or user trouble shooting guides for sound related problems that come with windows. The fact they made hidden sound devices so hard to find for someone not knowing what they are doing and the fact that this is not a step in the sound trouble shooting guide is not cool Microsoft.

Another reason why im so angry is Microsoft made a automated tool for resolving configuration issues with sound problems for windows vista called the Microsoft Automated Troubleshooting Services 1.0. To use it click the following link (note the page will only display correctly if your using internet explorer and windows vista NOT XP).
However this tool failed to resolve the problem. Don't you think checking that all sound devices are enabled would be one of the basic checks a trouble shooting tool would do?

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