Windows XP - My system has sound (audio) problems
Note: Gateway has sold many different speaker systems. Be sure to check the Product pages for instructions related to your specific speaker set.
Test the computer after each step until a resolution is found.
- Restart the computer.
- Check Device Manager to verify the following:
- No audio or media devices are listed under Other Devices.
- If a card was just added, it may display - Unknown Device
- Refer to the Readme file for the removal and installation of device drivers for the device
- No red x on a device (device is disabled).
- If a device is disabled in Device Manager, enable the device.
- No black exclamation with a yellow background (splat) marking the device (device is in an unknown state).
- Refer to the readme file for the removal and installation of device drivers for the device.
- No duplicate audio devices exist.
- If duplicate devices exist, refer to the readme file for the removal and installation of device drivers for the device.
Note: By looking at the Readme file for the device driver, the correct procedures for uninstalling and reinstalling the driver are explained.
- If the Audio Driver was recently updated, complete a Driver Roll Back.
- Uninstall and reinstall the driver. Refer to the readme file for the removal and installation of device drivers for the device.
Note: Before removing a driver, make sure you have one of these ways to re-install the driver.
- Recovery partition
- Recovery media (Drivers-Applications CD(s)
- Access to the internet
Note: There are five methods to install a driver.
Drivers & Downloads
- Experiencing distorted audio with audio CDs
This happens when the transfer mode of the optical drive is set the PIO mode. To fix this problem, complete the following procedure.
- Click Start, then click Control Panel.
- In Control Panel, click Performance and Maintenance, and then click the System icon.
- In the System Properties window, click the Hardware tab.
- On the Hardware tab, click Device Manager.
- In Device Manager, click the plus sign (+) next to IDE ATA/ATAPI Controllers, and then double-click the entry for the controller on which the optical drive is located.
- In the Properties window, click the Advanced Settings tab.
- Click the Transfer mode drop-down box. Device 0 is the master, and Device 1 is the slave. The options are PIO Only and DMA if available. Select DMA if available for both Device 0 and Device 1. Click OK.
- In the System Settings Change dialog box, click Yes to restart the computer.
- If you have external speakers, make sure that they have power and are turned on. This is indicated by a light on the front of the speakers.
Note: Some speakers have an AC adapter plugged into an AC power outlet. Lower-powered speakers are plugged into a USB jack for power.
- If the system has an add-in sound card, make sure the speakers are connected to the add-in sound card and not to the integrated audio jacks. Most audio cables and jacks are marked and color-coded. If the sytem does not have color coding or labels, refer to the Product pages.
- If applicable, make sure the cables are connected correctly between the speakers and subwoofer.
- Verify that all volume controls for the software and hardware are set to approximately mid-range levels or higher.
- From the Start menu, click Control Panel.
- In Control Panel, click Sounds, Speech and Audio Devices, and then click Sounds and Audio Devices.
- In the Sounds and Audio Devices Properties dialog box, on the Volume tab, under Device Volume, make sure:
- Volume slider bar is set to mid-level or higher. If slider bar is set at Low, use the mouse to click the slider and move it towards High.
- Make sure there is not a check in Mute. If there is, click the box to remove the check.
- In the Device Volume section, click the Advanced button.
- Make sure other devices have not been muted. It is okay if Line In and Microphone are muted, unless you are using Line In or the microphone jack.
- Set volume controls for other audio devices and applications to mid-level or higher. If slider bar is set at Low, use the mouse to click the slider and move it towards High.
- Close the Volume Control box.
- While still on the Volume tab, in the Speaker settings section.
Note: Setting the left speaker or right speaker to high changes the volume settings to high even if the left or right speaker is set at Low.
- Click on the Speaker Volume... button.
- Verify Left and Right volume levels are equally set at mid-level or higher.
- Click OK.
- Next, still under Speaker settings, click Advanced.
- On Speakers tab, under Speaker setup, make sure correct selection is made using the drop-down arrow to select the correct setting.
- Click OK.
- Click the Audio tab and verify the correct sound device is listed under Sound Playback.
- If it is not, use the drop-down box to select the correct sound device.
- Click OK, Sounds and Audio Devices Properties closes.
- Exit Control Panel.
- Make sure the correct sound card output, analog or digital (if applicable), is in use for the connected speakers. Refer to the Product Pages for the specific sound card associated with the system, and (if applicable) instructions for setting analog/digital output.
- If hardware was recently added, turn off the computer, then remove the added hardware.
Note: Please use proper Electrostatic Discharge procedures when removing the hardware.
- If the system has an add-in sound card, make sure the integrated audio is disabled in the BIOS.
Following are typical steps for checking the setting. Actual screens may vary from one BIOS setup to another.
- Restart the system.
- At the Gateway splash screen, start pressing the F2 key.
- Inside the BIOS, along the top menu line, look for Advanced, Audio, Peripherals, etc.
- Use the arrow keys to select a screen (This instruction uses Advanced).
- When the Items appear below, select Peripheral Configuration.
- Look for Audio and scroll down to select the item.
- Press the ENTER key for the submenu to appear.
- Use the arrow keys to select Disable or Enable.
Note: If the system only has integrated audio, verify that the sound is enabled in the BIOS Setup Utility.
- Try replacing the speakers with a set of headphones or a different set of speakers. Check for sound through the headphones or other speakers.
- If the speakers are analog speakers, test them using a portable CD player.
- Open the System Configuration Utility and verify that the Windows audio service is running.
- If the system has an add-in sound card, physically remove and reinstall the sound card.
Note: Please use proper Electrostatic Discharge procedures when removing the sound card.
- Check the motherboard.
- If the front audio ports on a desktop are not functioning correctly, reference the motherboard Product pages for correct cable and jumper placement.
- If audio previously worked, and the preceding steps have not resolved the problem, use System Restore to restore to the most recent restore point before the problem stated.
If following the above procedures did not resolve your problem, please contact Gateway through one of
the following methods: