I updated my audio driver a couple of weeks ago and funny enough, I didn’t even realize that I had no sound on my PC till I noticed I was hearing nothing but annoying ‘beeps’ from it. After a day or so of this, I thought ‘hmmm, that didn’t happen before I updated my sound driver’. To verify, I went to YouTube, clicked on a music video, and… SILENCE.
To ensure that it was not just a Flash-related issue (YouTube needs Adobe Flash to function) I downloaded and installed the latest Flash player. However, that didn’t help.
I rolled back the audio driver (i.e., went back to the older version) and got my sound back. However, it was a bit frustrating because I knew the audio driver I had was at least 2 years older than the one that was just out so what was wrong?
Someone suggested that I uninstall the old driver first, before installing the new one. Somehow, just installing the new audio driver does not always work. So that’s what I did and here’s how you can do it too.
Note: Steps below are done on a Windows XP machine. Steps may vary slightly if you have a different Windows OS.
- From the Start menu, click Control Panel.
- Click System.
- Click the Hardware tab.
- Find the Sound, video and game controllers category and expand it.
- Select the audio device installed on your PC, right-click it and then click Uninstall.
- Close the Device Manager and – important! – restart your PC.
Now, you can update your audio driver by repeating Steps 1-4 above, and then for Step 5, just choose the option Update Driver, instead of Uninstall.
For me, since I had the actual file for the new audio driver on my PC already, I just double-clicked its installer to install it on my machine (i.e., didn’t go through Device Manager anymore).
So there you have it. If ever you download a driver for your system and it doesn’t work right away, it doesn’t always mean the driver is faulty; perhaps you just have to completely uninstall your old driver before you install the new one.
Jules Peters is a Technical Writer at PCauthorities.com, where her mantra is ‘fix Windows errors’ with me!