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Windows 7: Issues with sound and playback

14 Aug 2011   #1

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
Issues with sound and playback

About a week ago, I had a problem with sound on my computer. It started off when Windows Media player would not play files on my playlist (This is not a codec problem, I have CCCP installed). It would say: "cannot play the file because there is a problem with your sound device." It would go through the songs in my playlist, marking them with an "X", until the sound works again and it is able to play the song.

The problem got even worse when system sounds would stop playing. Videos on YouTube did not work. So I think the sound problem is universal.

Also, the song playing on Windows Media Player would sometimes "skip," around 20 seconds before the song ended. I looked on the Microsoft page and the recommendations were to reinstall the sound driver.

I updated and installed the sound driver several times, and it still did not fix anything.

My laptop model is Sager np5165, I don't have a dedicated sound card, and I'm running 64x Windows 7.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Aug 2011   #2

Windows 7 Pro x64 (1), Win7 Pro X64 (2)

Just for the sake of trying to narrow the problem down and gather additional information, have you tried playing these problem files using a media player other than Windows Media Player? In other words, it might or might not be a codec issue, or it might be an audio driver issue.

The error message about 'cannot play because of an error with your sound device" certainly suggests an audio driver problem, not a codec problem. Since System Sounds also stopped working that would again strongly suggest it's a basic audio driver problem.

Incidentally, I still am of the opinion that installation of outside codec packs (e.g. Shark, Klite, CCCP, etc.) are unnecessary and potentially harmful to Win7. I certainly have learned NOT to install them on my own Win7 as they impacted Windows Media Center, Windows Media Player, and my ability to successfully run the Windows Experience Index (which is required in order to install TV capability in Windows Media Center, and the failure of WEI required a full reinstall WITHOUT OUTSIDE CODEC PACKS in order to solve the problem). But that's another matter.

However I'm still suggesting that you at least try and see if (a) Winamp and (b) VideoLAN VLC, can play these problem files. I would think they would fail as well if this is a driver issue, but it still would be a worthwhile experiment.

The Sager Notebook support site for the NP5165 shows that there was an audio driver update back in May 2011. Have you downloaded and installed this update?

The specification for the audio on this computer only describes it as "high definition audio device", and the driver description is "THX TruStudio Pro AP for Windows 7", so this doesn't sound like a standard common Realtek sound chip but rather something a bit more "exotic".

Anyway, did you apply these audio driver updates (from your comments above, I think the answer is probably "yes")?

Have you called Sager for support?

Was there anything you did a week ago that might have caused this? Any new software installed?

Do you have a System Restore point you can back up to? How about a System Image you can restore from before a week ago when the problem started?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Aug 2011   #3

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

I have both drivers installed and updated. I have tried VLC player, and I have the same problems with "skipping."

One thing I did:
I went to "Sound" in the control panel, selected the "Speakers" playback device, clicked "Properties," went to the "Advanced" tab, and changed the "Default Format" from 24bit, 48000hz to 16bit. 48000hz. The problem with "skipping" remains, but my audio device has stopped "failing" to work.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

24 Aug 2011   #4

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

I found out what caused it. Apparently it is some gadget on my desktop that detects sound and shows the level of the sound playing.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Issues with sound and playback

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