Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


Location of volume mixer settings...?

  1. #1


    Exeter, UK
    Posts : 30
    Windows 8.1 Pro x64

    Location of volume mixer settings...?


    I have an ongoing annoyance, which I've had through all Windows versions from XP or maybe Vista onwards, in that although I can individually set the volume level of each program that makes any sounds, all those volume settings are wiped out and reverted to the much unwanted default level every time the Realtek High Definition Audio driver is updated. So, I'm naturally wanting to backup the settings and then restore them each time they've got reverted to default.

    So, could any nice person here tell me where those volume mixer settings are stored? -- Many thanks.

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2


    Posts : 2,130
    Windows 8.0 x64


    Edit: I just found the utility in the link below. I think I may use it myself:
    New utility to control the sound volume on Windows Vista/7/8/2008

    End of Edit

    ================================

    Perhaps someone knows. In the meantime an angle of attack could be take a snapshot of the Registry. Change the volume settings. Take another snapshot and see what changed.

    regshot | Free System Administration software downloads at SourceForge.net


      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3


    Exeter, UK
    Posts : 30
    Windows 8.1 Pro x64


    Ah, thank you indeed for that! I've just downloaded and started using SoundVolumeView, and it does appear to do what I wanted to do. I expect I'll keep to using that, as it simplifies the backing up and restoring of sound volume profiles, and allows easy changing of profile. It would still be nice to know where the basic settings are kept, but at least this little utility is a convenient workaround.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4


    Posts : 2,130
    Windows 8.0 x64


    Nir Sofer writes lots of small but very powerful and useful utilities. When I find something small I need, very often it's one of his. Lots of goodies for Windows on his site(I don't get any freebies since all his stuff is free anyway. I just like to see good programming.)
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #5


    Exeter, UK
    Posts : 30
    Windows 8.1 Pro x64


    Sorry to say, I've found SoundVolumeView to be totally useless. The reason is, the appearance of programs in the list is generally ephemeral, so a profile saved at any point does NOT include settings for what is not listed at that moment, and thus cannot restore their settings. I suppose, if the program were properly thought out, when an existing profile is saved to update it, it would merge the update with the stored copy, rather than replacing it; that might be useful, but that is not what actually happens.

    I thus still need to find just where the actual volume settings are stored, so that I can backup and restore the whole lot. I could not find any obvious relevant entries with keywords 'mixer' or 'volume' in the registry, and a search for those keywords in system configuration files (*.dat;*.ini;*.cfg;*.cnfg) did come up with a few that might have been relevant - three copies of ntuser.dat in different locations, and UsrClass.dat, but I couldn't open them to see what they contained because they were already being used by running processes. I don't know how the search module of FreeCommander XE (current build) managed to search in them - unless it is so sophisticated that it uses Volume Shadow Copy function, which I'd hardly have expected!
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #6


    Posts : 2,130
    Windows 8.0 x64


    If it's in the registry, that's like a vast undocumented government warehouse. Your best bet if you can't find it in search is to use Regshot as suggested. I don't know how you expect a utility to save properties of what is not running. Most articles about Registry Hacks are created by experimentation rather than documentation. Windows will be long gone before the Registry is officially documented.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #7


    Exeter, UK
    Posts : 30
    Windows 8.1 Pro x64


    Ah yes, well said, MilesAhead!

    However, today has proved to be a 'Eureka!' one, in that I've now found it! - No, not by being a super registry sleuth, but by doing a more focused Google search, just for ""Windows 8" backup mixer settings". I thus found a forum thread on this very issue, which revealed that the repository of the mixer settings is in the registry, at:

    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\LowRegistry\Audio\PolicyConfig\PropertyStore

    So, with a bit of messing around I can go to that key in my registry editor, export that key as a .reg file and then use that to restore the settings.

    However, that is a bit of messing around, so it would be really nice if there were a little utility out there that would carry out the backing up of that key without one having to load a registry editor and then go to that key, and also of course present the saved copy of the key for restoring, without one having to search for it - though I appreciate that once one has found the latter file all one needs to do is double-click it and okay the prompt that comes up.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  8. #8


    Posts : 2,130
    Windows 8.0 x64


    Check out AutoIt3, Autohotkey or VBScript. They all have functions to read and write registry keys. AutoIt3 and Autohotkey easily assigning a hotkey to code you write. You could make a hotkey to save and one to restore. AutoIt3 may have the easiest syntax for a novice. Autohotkey is a bit tougher but more powerful. VBScript has vast source code publicly available. If you search the archives you may find some already written.

    There are other scripting languages for Windows such as Rexx, Python, Ruby, Perl etc.. but esp. for using a hothey AutoIt3 and AHK are likely easiest.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  9. #9


    Exeter, UK
    Posts : 30
    Windows 8.1 Pro x64


    Oh, thank you again! I'm already an enthusiastic AHK user, but of course its capabilities are quite labyrinthine, so I wasn't aware that I could use it for that. Now I know, I'll set up the respective hotkey commands.

    However, tests that I've just carried out throw a question mark over what exactly is in that registry key, because when I delete the contents, that wipes out some but not all mixer volume settings (i.e., reverting to default), but restoring the key contents did not restore the wiped-out settings. This looks just too confused for one to be able to do anything useful with that registry key.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  10. #10


    Posts : 2,130
    Windows 8.0 x64


    I know how you feel. Registry hacks are called "hacks" for a reason.
    One trouble with Registry is it's kept in ram. Often you have to log out, then back in, to see the effect. That's why I did a little hack called UpdateEnv. You may download here: Miles Ahead Software

    Sometimes it will flush the registry to disk without logging out. Not always though. "Worth a shot" type of expectation is appropriate.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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