This has been kicking my butt all weekend and it would be my luck that this would be a simple fix that may have been overlooked. Friday night my friend asked me to take a look at her laptop. It would not play sound from the speakers but if you would plug in some headphones it would be fine. The first thing I do is open sound in the control panel to take a look after I confirm in the system tray that the sound is not muted and there is some volume. This laptop a Compaq CQ50-139WM has a Conexant High Definition SmartAudio 221 for a sound card and for what ever reason a High Definition Audio Device via HDMI as well. The funny thing is that this specific model doesn't even have an HDMI port. Speakers was of course set as the default. So I check properties and in the levels tabs the speakers and PC speaker is set to 100 so there is sound.
I play a song from Itunes and no sound and like I mentioned no sound is coming from the speakers but once I plug in the speakers I can hear some Skynyrd playing. The next thing I do is check to see if there is a driver update for the laptop. The last driver update for this laptop through HP was back in June of 2008 and through system update I can update a newer driver from 10/2/2008. So I decide to completely uninstall the driver and install it from safe mode. Once the driver was installed I rebooted windows and no luck what so ever, still no sound. I then decide to try a clean boot to see if it was a non-microsoft service or application causing this issue. Once I try the clean boot I am still in the same position, no sound what so ever. Getting frustrated I decided to try a Knoppix Linux Boot CD to see if I can easily determine if the speaker problem is hardware or software. Once the CD loaded up I could hear a artificial computer voice coming from the speakers.
I restarted the computer and was back in Vista, I check to see if there is anything from Conexant in the control panel and sure enough they placed a SmartAudio application in there. I check there and of course there is nothing out of the ordinary, everything is still set to default. I check the event viewer and the only errors I see in abundance if Bonjour, so I'm back to square one.
I am at my end with this thing and I have invested more time on trying to restore sound to the speakers than was necessary and last night I recommended a clean install since it might just be quicker. Before I do that I thought it might be worth to get a 3rd, 4th, Etc. opinion on the issue.
To recap I:
Checked the audio properties from the system tray and also the control panel to make sure the proper audio device is selected, not disabled and there is volume going to it.
Tried uninstalling and reinstalling drivers from both HP and Windows Updates.
Another person tried a system restore point without success.
Ran Knoppix live to determine if the issue was hardware or software- determined it was software by Knoppix.
Clean boot of Vista to run only Microsoft apps and services still no luck.
Issue the same if I tried to play sound through WMP, Itunes, IE, etc.
And of course when I plug in headphones sound plays.
The system is
Compaq/HP Presario CQ50-139WM
Intel Celeron 575 @ 2 Ghz
The sound card is a Conexant High Definition Smart Audio 221 Driver Date 10/2/2008 version 126.96.36.199
Windows Vista Basic SP1