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Solved No audio after system restore

June 26, 2018 at 13:04:31
Specs: several
I just did a system restore for the very first time ever.

HP laptop running Windows 10 Home.

The reason for the restore was that while using Edge, I did a
search with DuckDuckGo for "how to solder fine wires" or
something very close to that, clicked on the first hit listed,
and immediately got ransomware pretending to be a Microsoft
warning that my computer was infected with spyware. It used
a very nice sounding English woman's voice to inform me that
if I didn't call the phone number given, Microsoft would be
forced to contact my Internet provider, or something like that.

When I gathered my wits (five or six seconds, I think), I shut off
the computer by pressing the power button. Then I shut off the
modem router. However, when I turned the computer back on,
Edge immediately re-openned to the ransomware. I again shut
the computer off. Pressing the esc key during startup did not
bring up the start options menu. (The message saying to press
esc to get the menu didn't show up as it normally does.) Edge
started again, with the nice woman's voice. So this time after
shutting the power off I removed the battery for a minute and
held down the power button longer than really necessary.

Replacing the battery and starting up again, I was able to get
the start options menu by pressing esc, and I decided to do a
system restore. Today is June 26, and the automatic restore
point I was offered was dated June 22, and I didn't make any
changes to the system in that time, so it seemed like a good
way to go.

The restore took several minutes (five or ten, maybe?) When
it was done I started Edge immediately and cleared everything
including cookies and history, just in case the restore didn't
clear them.

I then restarted the computer again.

But then I noticed a red X on the speaker in the notification area.
"No audio output device is installed."

Looking in Control Panel > Programs and Features, I see that
RealTek High Definition Audio Driver was installed 2018-03-11,
which is when I re-installed Windows.

Troubleshooter says:

Issues found
Audio services not responding - Not Fixed
Restart audio services - Completed

Potential issues that were checked
One or more audio service isn't running - Issue not present

What should I do?

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis

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June 26, 2018 at 13:26:38
I'm almost certain this is the search hit I clicked on.
The ransomware showed up in the main window and in a
popup dialog, and the lovely English woman's voice began
speaking almost immediately after clicking on it:

Soldering The Thinnest Wires Ever Conceived: Headphone ...
Acrylic insulated wires stink, for sure, but when they're
stranded and micro-fine, they stink WAY more. I may use
this blog to post mainly iPhone or software related articles,
but I am an electrical engineering student, and as an EE,
I love me some good, clean hardware.

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis

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June 26, 2018 at 21:05:43
In device manager remove the Audio Device but do not remove the software if asked. Restart the machine and Windows should detect new hardware and find the current driver and use it. If this does not work, reinstall the driver or the newest version of it.

You have to be a little bit crazy to keep you from going insane.

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June 27, 2018 at 00:50:34
✔ Best Answer
Well! Isn't that interesting. I think it was the third time I restarted
Windows (after the system restore process restarted Windows)
that the red X suddenly disappeared on its own. Also, the slider
for the volume control changed from a small vertical one (which I
think is the Windows native control) to a larger horizontal one
provided by RealTek. No idea why it wasn't in use before.

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis

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Related Solutions

June 27, 2018 at 02:13:06
I think it has to do with the difference between a shutdown&restart and a full shutdown & manual restart.(looking at the time between your posts, I think you went to bed)

The hardware must have been re-detected&re-installed after the full shutdown & manual restart.

Anyways good to hear you got rid of that nasty ransom-ware/fake software selling-ware

i5-6600K[delid]@4.8GHz/4.4GHz@1.39v LLC=6 | 2x4GB Crucial-DDR4-2133CL15@14-14-14-30 1T 2800MHz@1.37v
MSI Armor RX 570 4GB@1395Mhz core@1.168v/1920MHz BiosModded

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June 27, 2018 at 06:09:32
You should run these (probably all you needed to do):

Download and "Save" the file somewhere. Go to the saved file then double click it to run the program. Run the "Scan", followed by the "Clean & Repair".

(use the "Free Download" button rather than the "Buy Now" button).
After the install go to "Settings > Protection". Under Scan Options move the "Scan for rootkits" slider over to On and Run the Threat Scan. Quarantine anything it finds.

Always pop back and let us know the outcome - thanks

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June 28, 2018 at 14:27:10
> I think it has to do with the difference between a shutdown&restart
> and a full shutdown & manual restart. (looking at the time between
> your posts, I think you went to bed)

That's a good guess, but the way I remember it is that the red X was
there, I did another reboot (I wish I could remember why, but I'm not
sure it was prompted by either the ransomware attack or the missing
audio), and I immediately saw that the red X was gone when the restart
completed a minute or so later. Two things that tend to support this are
that a reboot takes longer than a cold start, which takes only 17 seconds,
and that recently someone here said that a reboot resets some things
that power off / power on does not -- counterintuitive as that may be.

I think the part about going to bed was probably right, though...

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis

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June 28, 2018 at 15:27:14
Windows 10 has a fast start feature. When you shut down and then start up again it starts to an algorithm based on your previous usage. When you do a Restart it clears right down and starts again from scratch.

Previous Windows systems did not have this fast start feature so shut down then start up again was better for clearing the decks than Restart.

Times are changing.

Always pop back and let us know the outcome - thanks

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July 8, 2018 at 13:18:01
A possible explanation of why I got the "No audio output device is installed."
message after the system restore: I have disabled many services, including
one named "HP Comm Recovery". The only description given of that service
is "Check and recover devices". It is one of very few services that I disabled
without first having some idea what it does. Now I have a clue....

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis

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