First, did you mute your audio devices by mistake?
Look at the small horn icon in toolbar at the right-bottom, if there is a dash in a red circle, which means you have muted your audio devices. You just need to click this horn, click on a small frame next to Mute to cancel the Mute and adjust the slider till get a desirable volume.
Second, is the audio driver installed appropriately?
When the horn in the toolbar disappears, goes gray, has a red “X” on it or can not change its properties, in most cases it is due to a missing or broken audio driver. You will find out an exclamation point or an interrogation point next to your audio device in the Device Manager, the next, delete it and reset up a new audio driver.
Right-click My Computer, select Properties then the Hardware tab and open Device Manager, double-click Sound, video and game controllers to extend it. Look for an exclamation point or an interrogation point next to your audio device.
Additionally, if you set up the audio driver that came with system, it may lead to incompatibility problem. When you install the driver, you should select manufacturer driver rather than Windows default driver.
Third, is there any incompatibility problem between sound card and DirectX?
If the computer has no sound after installing an up-to-date DirectX tool, you need to update your audio driver; if it doesn’t work, unload the new DirectX and reset up the original one. Sometimes when you update your DirectX to the latest version, there is sound when you start up the computer, playing MP3 in Winamp…but you can not hear sound out in games.
You can click Start, select run and input “dxdiag”, click OK to open the DirectX Diagnostic Tool and choose Sound. Beside the Hardware Sound Acceleration Level, adjust the slider to the left-most side to set it as No acceleration, save all information and Exist.
Fourth, are the sound card installation and related connections correct?
Some computer cases or sound cards have been manufactured not so well or installed unsteadily, which may result in poor connection between the golden finger and the expansion slot. This is a common issue for independent audio card. You can pull out and reinsert your sound card, or amend it with a tool like pliers.
Fifth, are the BIOS settings or Motherboard Jumper settings exact?
Enter BIOS, examine carefully if the related settings are correct, particularly the IRQ and PNP settings, ensure all IRQ settings are adjusted as “PCI/ISA PNP”. When we use an on-board audio, we should confirm that whether devices like AC97 Audio have been enabled, and refer to motherboard manual or its sign to check whether the jumper setting is accurate.
Sixth, does the built-in sound card conflict with the external sound card?
Before we set up an external audio card, remember to disable related integrated audio items in the BIOS or shield the on-board audio adapter through motherboard jumper.
If the on-board audio is unable to be screened, you can first install the integrated audio driver, and then disable all audio devices listing under Sound, video and game controllers in the Manager Device, finally set up an independent audio driver. You also can switch to use each sound card by this method.
Seventh, is there any conflict or incompatibility between sound card and other hardware?
The audio card often would have compatibility problems with devices like Modems with phonetic features, for that you can try the sound card in another slot, after that reset up the audio devices.
Besides, you should check whether the sound card conflicts with other external cards. The PCI sound card and other PCI cards might have IRQ conflicts because they all in the PCI slots, you can try to change their seats in the PCI slots or modulate the resources they are using.