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Troubleshoot Sound Problems

This page deals with audio problems that are not related to CD/DVD equipment. If your sound problem is associated with CD or DVD devices then see this link.

If your audio device is USB-based then try the USB page. Also try the Windows Media Player page if this page or the CD/DVD and USB pages don't help.

You experience frequent disruptions and long delays in the audio stream when you use a USB 2.0 audio device in Windows XP

When you try to play audio on a Microsoft Windows XP-based computer, you experience frequent disruptions and long delays in the audio stream. This symptom occurs if the following conditions are true:
  • You use a universal serial bus (USB) 2.0 audio device to play audio.
  • The USB 2.0 audio device uses high-speed isochronous transfers to play audio.
  • You are using a Microsoft Windows XP-based computer.
  • The audio device driver uses large data transfers.
You Lose Audio Playback After You Upgrade to Windows XP

After you upgrade your computer to Microsoft Windows XP, the computer may seem to play sounds, but you do not hear any audio playback. For example, the Seek button may progress across the window underneath a sound clip in Windows Media Player, and the visualization may appear as expected, but the speakers emit no sound.
You are prompted for the location of the audio driver files when you reinstall an audio driver in Windows XP

When you use Device Manager to remove and then reinstall an audio driver on a computer that is running Microsoft Windows XP, you may be prompted for the location of the audio driver files.
You cannot control the volume to external devices that are playing digital audio in Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005

You use a digital audio decoder to play digital audio on a Microsoft Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005-based computer that is connected to either of the following external devices:
  • An AV receiver that is connected to the computer by the Sony/Philips Digital Interface (S/PDIF) input.
  • A set of digital speakers.
You find that you cannot control volume levels to the external devices by using the volume controls in the Media Center Edition user interface (UI). For example, when you press the MUTE button on the remote, the volume does not mute. When you press the volume control buttons that have the plus sign and the minus sign, the volume remains the same. Although the mute UI displays on the screen, the volume does not adjust.
You may not always be able to hear the audio when you watch Live TV in Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005

When you watch Live TV in Microsoft Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005, you may not always be able to hear the audio.
The audio volume level does not change significantly if you change the audio volume level on a Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005-based computer

If you try to increase the audio volume level on your Microsoft Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005-based computer, the audio volume level does not increase correctly in the 1 to16 volume level range. Instead, the audio volume level increases slightly from audio volume level 1 to audio volume level 16, and then increases significantly in the 17 to 25 audio volume level range. This symptom occurs if the following conditions are true:
  • You are using a Creative Labs Audigy sound card.
  • Your Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005 installation is not an upgrade installation.
Creative SoundBlaster Audigy Audio may cause an error message

After you install a Creative Audigy sound card and software, you may receive any of the following error messages:

Ctplay2.exe has encountered a problem and needs to close. We are sorry for the inconvenience.

Eacontrol.exe has encountered a problem and needs to close. We are sorry for the inconvenience.

SoundBlaster card needs to be installed.

Audio That Is Redirected When Using Terminal Services May Sound Garbled

If you use audio redirection when you are using remote desktop connection, the sound may periodically become garbled or scratchy, but at other times may sound fine.
No Audio Playback with Turtle Beach Santa Cruz Sound Card After You Upgrade to XP

If the Turtle Beach Santa Cruz sound card is installed in your computer, the sound card may not work correctly after you upgrade your computer to Windows XP. For example, you may not hear any audio playback from the computer's speakers or headphones.
The Intel High Definition audio functionality unexpectedly quits working in Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 1 or Windows XP Professional x64 Edition

If the following conditions are true, the computer Intel High Definition audio functionality unexpectedly quits working:
  • The computer is running either Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 1 (SP1) or Microsoft Windows XP Professional x64 Edition.
  • The computer has an Intel High Definition audio device.
Intermittent and Unpredictable Results Occur After You Update the Audio Driver for Sound Blaster Live!

After you update the audio driver for the Creative Sound Blaster Live! midi synthesizer, you may receive intermittent and unpredictable results when you use Creative Sound Blaster Live! with Windows XP.
Sony IEEE 1394 Audio Device Does Not Work When You Try to Play Back Full-Duplex Transmission

When you use a Sony Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) 1394 audio device to play back full-duplex transmission or to perform a sound test that checks full-duplex transmission, the audio playback or the test program may stop.
USB audio/video devices do not resume from standby on some portable computers

On some portable computer systems, the system stops responding when resuming from standby.

This problem occurs on portable computer systems whose installed audio/video (A/V) streaming devices use universal serial bus (USB) connectors.
Windows XP Lists CNR SoundMAX Audio Extension Card as an Unknown PCI Device

After you install a communication and network riser (CNR) SoundMAX audio extension card, Windows XP does not recognize the card. Device Manager lists the card as an unknown PCI device.
There Is No Audio Playback After You Install the Sound Blaster Live! Sound Card

On a Windows XP-based computer, if you are using a Creative Labs Sound Blaster Live! sound card, the computer may seem to play sounds but you do not hear any audio playback.
A Digital Audio Interface PC Card May Not Function Properly

A digital audio interface PC card may not play audio files.
The audio signal from the television channel keeps playing after the broadcast recording stops

After your computer wakes up to record a television broadcast, and the computer finishes recording the broadcast, the audio signal from the television channel continues to play through your computer speakers. The audio signal from the television channel continues to play through your computer speakers after the video signal from the television channel is turned off. To turn off the sound from the television channel, you have to restart the computer, and you have to reset your television tuner card.
Game Port Does Not Work After Upgrade on Some HP Computers with Via AC97 Audio Controller

On some Hewlett-Packard computers that have a built-in audio/game controller, the game port may not function after you upgrade the computer to Windows XP. Device Manager may report a conflict between two identical game port devices. The relevant built-in audio/game controller is a Via AC97 Audio Controller.
Recorded TV may be corrupted or may have no audio when you use the "Good" recording quality option

When recording Live TV with the Recording Quality option set to Good, some recordings may not have audio or some recordings may be corrupted and not play audio or video.

Note: This article applies to Microsoft Windows XP Media Center Edition 2004
Some Motherboards with Dual-Processor VIA Chipsets May Have Noisy Playback After You Record Audio

On some dual-processor computers that have VIA chipsets, if you record audio by means of the microphone input, the playback may contain static sounds.
Your computer crashes when you run a program that uses sound if your system uses a Realtek AC'97 Audio device with Windows XP

Your computer may crash unexpectedly while it is running a program, such as a game, that uses sound.
Audio-Enabled Program May Transfer Its Sound to Other User Profiles When the Fast User Switching Feature Is Used

If a user leaves an audio-enabled program running, and then a subsequent user profile is accessed by means of the Fast User Switching feature, the audio may be heard in the newly logged-on profile even though the program is being run under the initial-user profile.
Windows XP Incorrectly Lists C-Media CM8738 Audio Sound Card as Unknown Device

When you install Windows XP Home Edition or Windows XP Professional on a computer that has a C-Media CM8738 Audio sound card installed, Windows XP may not detect the device. Device Manager may show this sound card as an "Unknown Multimedia Device."
Audio File Sound Skips During Image Transitions

When you add an MP3 music file to a Windows Movie Maker project, you may find that the sound skips or hesitates during image transitions.
Audio mixer levels are reset to defaults at restart

When you restart your Windows XP-based or your Windows 2000-based system, the volume levels on your audio mixer may be reset to their default settings.
HID Audio Control Keys Do Not Work After Resuming from Hibernation in Windows XP

After your computer resumes from hibernation, the Human Interface Device (HID) audio control keys on an attached Universal Serial Bus (USB) keyboard may not work. This problem does not occur if you move the mouse or press other keys on the keyboard after the computer resumes from hibernation before you press the audio control key (such as a volume control key).
Sound may play slowly or music may not play continuously in Windows XP or Windows 2000

On a Microsoft Windows XP- or Microsoft Windows 2000-based computer that uses IntelĀ® HyperThreading Technology or Enhanced SpeedStepĀ® Technology, you may experience any one or more of the following symptoms:
  • When you play audio, the audio may not play continuously.
  • When you play MIDI-based music, the music may play at a slow tempo.
  • The computer may not correctly enter the C3 power-saving state. This may affect the duration of battery power.
Explorer May Hang During the Detection of Audio Devices

When Windows XP is detecting Plug and Play audio hardware, Explorer may become unresponsive or appear to stop responding (hang). This condition can also occur when physical removal or manual driver uninstallation is initiated.
USB-Based Sound May Be Distorted During Heavy File System Input/Output

When you connect audio speakers to the universal serial bus (USB) port on your computer, digital audio playback may be choppy or distorted during playback. This problem is more common during heavy file input/output (I/O) operations, such as when you copy files from a CD-ROM to a hard disk.
You cannot play audio files that are stored in the Shared Music folder by using the My Music feature in Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005

When you store audio files in the Shared Music folder on your computer, you cannot play the files from the My Music feature that is on the main menu in Microsoft Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005.
Cannot Run DirectX Diagnostic Tool Sound Test on a Computer with a VIA AC'97 Audio Controller (WDM)

When you run the Microsoft DirectX Diagnostic tool (Dxdiag.exe) sound test on a computer that has a VIA AC'97 Audio Controller (Windows Driver Model), the test may not run properly, and you may receive the following informational message:

Your Sound Card does not support hardware buffering. Sound will only playback from software buffers.
Speaker Distortion and Noise with USB Speakers at a High Volume

When you play an audio file through your USB speakers, you may hear distortion such as a popping or crackling noise. This symptom may occur about every minute when your USB speakers are at a high volume.
XWave Mach One Sound Card Is Not Compatible with Windows XP

After you install Microsoft Windows XP on a computer that has a Labway XWave Mach One sound card, the computer may not have any audio playback.
The Acoustic Echo Cancellation Technology May Not Work with Various Sound Cards

This article describes the Acoustic Echo Cancellation (AEC) technology and how it may not work with various sound cards.
List of sound and game port drivers that are included in Windows XP

This article lists the sound drivers and the game port drivers that are included in Microsoft Windows XP.
A "STOP: 0x1000008E In Emupia2k.sys" Error Message Appears After You Upgrade from Windows 2000

On a computer that has a Creative Technology Audigy sound card installed, you may receive the following error message on a blue screen after you upgrade the computer from Microsoft Windows 2000 to Windows XP:

STOP: 0x1000008E (c0000005, f80ef98c, f02f3b94, 00000000)
In EMUPIA2K.SYS KERNEL_MODE_EXCEPTION_NOT_HANDLED_M


The four parameters in the parentheses may vary, depending on the configuration of your computer.