I’ve been having audio headaches with my desktop since upgrading my motherboard and processor a year ago. In a nutshell, my PC would suddenly turn deathly quiet. Raising or lowering the volume control in the taskbar would create no sound (I’m using Windows 7). If I went to Windows Media Player a message would pop up saying that the audio service was not running. Other audio programs also stopped working. The only remedy was to go to Services.msc to restart the Windows Audio service, but as you can guess this was quickly becoming a real pain in the buttocks. At that time I was using an older version of WLM (Windows Live Messenger) Build 14.x.xxxx.xxxx.
One glorious day I found out by accident that WLM was causing this audio anomaly in my system. During one session when my computer was in its quiet mode, I happened to sign off from WLM and move the volume mixer. Eureka! I heard sound! However, my happiness was short-lived because as long as I was signed on to WLM, my computer would be repossessed by the audio glitch and resign itself to reticence whenever it felt like doing so. This was beginning to irritate me mucho!
When the new Windows Live Messenger appeared together with the Windows Live Essentials suite, I hoped my audio problems would be solved. Guess what—nope. The audio problem continued to plague my desktop system. Ugh, what did I do to deserve this? My Dell lappy was running the newest WLM build together with Windows 7, and it never had this predicament.
Time for a little brainstorming. The next suspect was my VIA audio drivers. OK, let me grab the latest ones from the VIA website. I did the uninstallation of the old drivers and installed the newest drivers. I was crossing all my fingers and toes. My system behaved itself for a while—and then it went mute again.
If you’re wondering why I’m making such a big fuss out of this, here’s the reason. When I’m away from my desktop and someone IMs me, the new instant message sound is the only way I’d know. Sometimes I would miss messages because of this annoying problem. When I signed off from WLM the problem would go away, only to return at whim whenever I signed back on.
Ugh! It couldn’t be the newest VIA drivers. But—I also had the VIA HD Audio Deck running on Windows startup (I use this applet mainly to adjust the equalizer for my speakers) Hmmm, could this guy be the culprit? Only one way to find out. I disabled the said applet from starting up using Mike Lin’s excellent Startup CPL program. Guess what—it worked!!
Now I’m not faulting VIA’s HD Audio Deck, neither am I blaming WLM. However, there was obviously some audio issues when both these programs were on at the same time. I can live without the equalizer, but I can’t live without WLM—muahaha!!
Epilogue: I did search the web when I was tearing my hair out but couldn’t find any solutions online. Hope this will help anyone having similar issues.