How do I get my audio back?

May 26, 2018 at 00:11:39
Specs: Windows XP, P4/2G
I'm musically inclined, and have always enjoyed listening to and playing along with music files played over my M-Audio powered computer speakers. I lost my left channel sometime ago, and have compensated (badly) by simply shifting all the volume over to the right speaker, making the system "faux monaural", I guess you might call it.

Plus, I'm not getting the volume I thought I once got through these speakers, and am wondering why. Now, in practice, I only listen when it's nighttime and I have everything turned down low, just to have some music playing quietly as I drift off to sleep. It's a habit I got into back in the sixties, when so much good music was just being "invented".

I never tried using a sound card, so maybe I'll do that sometime soon, but for the moment, I'd like to see if I can fix what's broken about this existing system.

Recently, Johnw (along with a few others) helped me repair some slowness by taking me through some cleaning tools available online, simultaneously educating me in the process. Now, things are faster, but during the process I noticed that the software we used to replace some bad or missing drivers ("slim drivers") wasn't finding replacements for the sound drivers which don't seem to be working at all now.

Before we fixed the slowness, I remember that I DID have sound, but only through the left speaker. I remember looking around for a video coded package at one point, and installing what was "fed" to me through my googling. In addition to any video capacity it gave me, it also installed another audio interface called "Vinyl Deck", which seemed to be competing with my favorite audio application, Winamp. It was redundant, since both Winamp AND Vinyldeck seemed to have a bunch of "presets" for different speaker combinations or desired audio environments. They also both offer an audio equalizer, with sliders to adjust different frequency ranges.

Since I didn't need two competing audio solutions, I tried deleting the "Vinyldeck" and just using Winamp.

Now, I'm not sure if I still have some form of video playback capacity, or not, and instead of just the left speaker not working, now neither speaker works, and I get the following error message:

How do I repair my audio, firstly, then maybe the video as well.

My computer has a Shuttle MV42N motherboard, with onboard audio and video, which I've been using up until now.

Here's a link to the pdf on the mb:

Which tells me the following is the onboard audio:

AC'97 Link for Audio and Telephony CODEC
AC'97 2.2 compliant.
Spread independent PCI functions for Audio and Modem.

Thanks again for all your help.

See More: How do I get my audio back?

May 26, 2018 at 00:52:48
You should use the drivers provided on the Shuttle website, not use SlimDrivers utility or any similar third-party software.

Go here and click on "Download" just above the picture of the main board:

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May 26, 2018 at 05:53:41
I agree with phill22 about 3rd party "driver finder" programs. They are unreliable & many times contain spyware or malware. Have you ruled out the speakers as the problem? Have you tried another set of speakers or plugging headphones into the audio jack to confirm the board's left channel output is the problem? Have you tried plugging the speakers into another audio source (cell phone, TV, old walkman, etc) to confirm the speakers are OK? BTW, WinAMP is a media player from the 90's; Vinyl Deck is part of the VIA audio drivers. They are different things. Do NOT delete Vinyl Deck.

Drivers should be sought out & downloaded from either the hardware manufacturer's website or the chipset manufacturer's website. In your case, the chipset & audio drivers will be found at the VIA website:

You mentioned graphics. Are you still using the integrated S3 Savage4? Yikes! If you are, the drivers will be found at the site above. But I highly suggest you do yourself a favor & pick up an old AGP card (OK, ALL AGP cards are old, lol). It'll be the best $5 you ever spent.

Face it, you have an outdated system - socket 478, P4@400MHz FSB, DDR1 RAM, 4X AGP, IDE, WinXP. The hardware & OS are roughly 17 years old. IMO, it's time to seriously consider a newer system, at least something from within the last 5-10 years with mutli-core CPU, DDR3 RAM (at least DDR2), PCIe, SATA, & Win7. Here's an example of what about $100 will get you:

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May 26, 2018 at 15:10:12
Okay, lots here to consider and try. I'll go through the speaker diagnosis first, to determine if the speakers are good, then I'll see if I can repair or enhance what needs to be done about the drivers, and finally, maybe I'll finally install and set up the W7 multi-core computer sitting on the floor next to me. I've been stalling on that project for a couple years now, what with this and that going on in RL. It's just so hard migrating, and I'll have to see how to allocate space for both computers to run simultaneously.

And some day I'll have "that" discussion with "Hal" ("Dave, what are you doing...?"), and regain control over my life,,,lol.

By the way, I think I once considered doing some software/hardware upgrades to this computer, and found that in order to do the upgrades, I'd have to use a "flash" program, as in "flash the bios", type of thing.I read that that is risky, so I didn't do it.

message edited by WinXP_straggler

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May 26, 2018 at 21:22:28
It's pointless to invest any money into a system from that era unless you run across some extremely cheap hardware, like a $5 AGP card or $5 sound card (if it's needed). RAM is already maxed out at 2GB so there's really little else worth getting.

If this is your primary system, it shouldn't be. XP isn't secure anymore & hasn't been for at least a couple of years. Ditto for IE8. Most of the other browsers are slowly dropping support, as are the antivirus developers. Your OS is living on borrowed time. Would you consider a modern version of Linux?

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May 27, 2018 at 22:40:48
I would consider Linux, and have lurked for years with a local LUG, attended a meeting once, but I'm very slow, a perfectionist, possibly "OCD", who has to run things around in my head quite a few times before I put hands to it. This comes from my background as an electrician, where an error could have cost me my life or the lives of others.

I do enjoy learning languages, actually, and toyed around with earlier versions of Basic, Forth, Lisp, but didn't learn enough to be useful, except for running continuous loops of "Hi", or "Happy Birthday" on my kids' Atari 800XL computer screens, making up "find this" games for birthday parties, etc.

But I haven't been able, of late, to invest enough time on ONE THING to actually learn how to use Linux, though it's very much on my radar. I do realize that it's not that hard, if you start with one of the versions that has everything already set up (defeating the purpose of being creative, adventurous and brave,,lol)

Last I considered it, I was looking at something like Ubuntu, Lubuntu, Mint, Puppy,,, OR,, diving into a variant (like Slackware, as an extreme example) that would challenge me to really LEARN linux commands. I've only a smattering of DOS commands that I've become accustomed to, mainly ping and tracert.

I do like to think that I know something both clever, well written, and powerful. If I picked up on Linux, that would seem to suit all the parameters.

Plus, I do believe that it's admirable to make every attempt to free oneself, as well as others, from dependence on such things as "the Windows juggernaut", for example.

But on a deeper level, I think I'm still trying to prove to myself and to the world that I'm a smart cookie, after living a life that wasn't always up to my own standards, and giving up on college when I should have pushed through, overcome my innate biases against people in suits (it was the hippie generation, ffs), and become something matching my skills, instead of simply ending up an electrician because it paid well enough to support a family.

You have motivated me to change, and I'm pretty certain I'll be making those changes soon,,soon,,soon as I get around to it,,haha.

So, as to this thread, I may just put it to rest, as I don't feel I need any more help with the present beast of obsolescence.

Thanks again.

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May 28, 2018 at 11:57:20
"Last I considered it, I was looking at something like Ubuntu, Lubuntu, Mint, Puppy,,, OR,, diving into a variant (like Slackware, as an extreme example) that would challenge me to really LEARN linux commands..."

In this day, it's not really THAT necessary to have to learn Linux commands to be able to use the OS. Much like Windows, unless you're wanting to do something at the root levels, it's entirely possible to use Linux without ever delving into command-line.

That being said, the more modern distros that you mention (specifically Ubuntu and Mint) have larger "horsepower" requirements than the "slimmer" ones (Puppy, Bodhi, DSL).

Not following the previous threads on this "present beast of obsolescence", I'm not sure what your system specs are, and before you commit to any Linux distro, it's better to take a "live" distro for a spin before committing to an installation:

And, FWIW, I still use a system with XP Pro daily as my main system and have no problems with it. It's a matter of knowing what it's limits (hardware and software) are and being very diligent with internet security (host files, virus/malware scanners, knowing what sites NOT to visit).

"Channeling the spirit of jboy..."

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