Realtek Audio Driver Messed up my Speakers

Toshiba / Satellite pro a120
July 30, 2010 at 10:40:48
Specs: Windows XP
I accidentally uninstalled my audio driver - Realtek but I'm not sure which one I originally had. When I restarted my system it detected that it had unsupported hardward and a setup wizard popped up to reinstall a driver. I selected automatically search for the correct driver and it installed the Realtek HD device.

My issue is that I have external speakers that connect through my headphone input which I use instead of the laptop speakers. However now when I plug these in the sound plays through both my laptop speakers AND the heaphone connection to my external speakers.

When I originally re-installed the driver then the speakers were plugged in to the headphones. So I tried uninstalling the Realtek driver and reinstalling with the speakers entirely unplugged but the problem is still not fixed.

My laptop is a Toshiba Satellite Pro A120 and I have a Windows XP operating system.

Thank you in advance to anyone that can help! I am soo desperate!

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July 30, 2010 at 11:13:51
Your problem of both the built in speakers and the amplified speakers plugged into the headphones jack outputting sound at the same time is probably NOT caused by any software problem.

The headphones jack on laptops has a mechanical switch inside of it. It's supposed to disable the sound from going to the speakers built into the laptop whenever you plug a plug (on a cord) into the headphones jack.
If you have plugged into the headphones jack a lot, it's common for that mechanical switch to malfunction. You could try plugging a plug into the headphones jack, wiggling it, then pulling it out, that may make that switch work correctly, but the only real solution is to replace the headphones jack - that's an item frequently replaced by laptop repair places.

"....Realtek but I'm not sure which one I originally had."

The correct sound "drivers" are in the software downloads for your model, available on the Toshiba web site.

"When I restarted my system it detected that it had unsupported hardward and a setup wizard popped up to reinstall a driver. I selected automatically search for the correct driver and it installed the Realtek HD device"

If Windows XP finds the correct drivers automatically when you allow it to search, then you didn't actually un-install the sound software permanently - that's fine - your sound software should work correctly in that case, if it was installed correctly previously.
(It's extremely unlikely the sound software is built into XP itself, unless the computer or the sound adapter chip or chipset was first made before about 2001 when XP was first released. Your brand system has the correct sound software already installed when you first get it, and if the original brand name system software installation is still intact, or if it has been re-loaded properly using the Recovery disk or disks for your model. )


If you actually DID un-install the "drivers", you DO NOT install the sound drivers that way.

Sound "drivers" downloads or sound "drivers" installations from a CD always have associated software that must be installed properly as well as the actual drivers. If you install ONLY the drivers, the sound software has NOT been installed properly.

Unless the instructions for installing a device tell you otherwise.......
(this ALWAYS applies to sound adapter software, and video adapter software...)
You DO NOT install drivers for a device while booting into Windows, if the software for the device has not been installed yet - when Windows detects a generic device or New Hardware while booting, you allow it to search for drivers, it doesn't find any, and it wants you to show it the location of the drivers - CANCEL that, continue on to the desktop, and install the software for the device using the proper installation from a CD or the proper installation file that you downloaded from the web.

If you DID install drivers that way,

(The following also applies if you want to re-install the sound software)

- go to Control Panel - Classic View - Add/Remove Programs and Un-install the software you installed, reboot, DO NOT install drivers while booting.

- go to Device Manager.
(e.g. RIGHT click on My Computer - Properties - Hardware - Device Manager)
If the sound adapter is still listed, RIGHT click on it and Un-install it.
If that was there, and you un-installed it, Reboot at least once.
DO NOT install drivers while booting.

Install the sound software properly by running the proper download you got from the web, or if you have the CD that came with the sound card, or the CD that came with the computer that has the Drivers on it, run the sound software installation from the installation program on that.

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August 24, 2010 at 14:02:36
Actually I have finally managed to sort this problem thanks to one of my techie friends whom I met up with at the weekend and he offered me some advice.

The problem was that the version of Realtek HD Driver that my laptop automatically installed after I had accidentally uninstalled it was not the correct one for my laptop make and model. I went to the Toshiba uk help and support website where I downloaded a nifty little program that determined which exact make/model/OS my laptop was and then returned the correct driver version I required.

A lot of responses I have found about this seem to jump straight to the jack being the problem but for me I knew it wasn't this since it was too much of a coincidence to have broken exactly when I uninstalled the driver. So my advice to others of little laptop knowledge, like myself, out there is to keep trying other things and don't give up!

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