My sound card stopped working, what can I do?

Sometimes a sound card will spontaneously stop working in the middle of use. The cause for this is generally a Windows registry or driver corruption. Follow the steps below to reset these.

First, download the latest available audio drivers for your device to your system and save it with your other drivers folder located at Local Disk C:\Drivers, or to your Desktop so that you can easily find them again.

Go to the Device Manager and look at your sound card's properties. On the Details tab, write down what you see listed under Hardware IDs for VEN (Vendor ID) and DEV (Device ID)

Uninstall your audio device drivers from the Programs & Features applet in the Control Panel (Add/Remove Programs in XP). Then you will need to find the following registry key:


Within the PCI folder, you need to find the subfolder that has the same VEN and DEV id as your sound card and delete the whole folder. Your device may not appear in the PCI folder. Go up one level to the ENUM folder and look for HDAUDIO there and delete this folder. The registry editor may report that you do not have sufficient permission to delete the key. At this point, you can right-click the folder and choose Permissions to grant your user account Full Control of the folder.

Restart the system and Windows will auto-detect your hardware and start the New Hardware Found Wizard. Cancel the wizard, install your freshly downloaded drivers, and restart the system when instructed. You may need to select your speakers configuration type in the audio applet or in your hardware's proprietary audio applet in the Windows Control Panel.