Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


"Audio Output is disabled"....but it's not?

  1. #1


    Posts : 5
    Windows 8

    "Audio Output is disabled"....but it's not?


    Hi all,

    I'm at a loss....trying to fix a almost brand-new Acer laptop for friends of mine. They were having issues with music files not playing at all in Windows Media Player or other audio programs, so I told them I would help them. First I thought it may be the sound drivers, so I uninstalled the sound drivers from the Device Manager and restarted, expecting Win8 to autodetect and install at least a basic driver (the system has a common Realtek chip)....nothing happened and no sound would play.

    I then tried updating their audio drivers to those from Realtek's own site as they were newer than from Acer's own site. After restarting, the computer claimed at the bottom left in the System Tray that the "Audio Output Device" was disabled and no sound would play at all. I checked every place I could think of in the Control Panel and the Device Manager, NOTHING is disabled anywhere. I even DISABLED and RE-ENABLED everything I could find in case that would help. Nothing...same error in the SysTray and no sound playing at all. Then I completely removed the updated Realtek drivers, downloaded the latest drivers I could get from Acer's own site and tried installing those....upon restart, same thing...same error in the SysTray and no sound playing at all. Even though EVERYTHING I can find in Control Panel and Device Manager says the device is "working properly" or enabled, the System Tray is still showing as disabled and no sound can be heard from anything.

    I have no idea what the heck is wrong....any suggestions? I also can't do a System Restore Point as System Restore was apparently disabled on this machine up until now...

    Thanks for any help!

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2


    Posts : 1,883
    7601.18247.x86fre.win7sp1


    Hi,

    You're not the first complaining of this. Realtek drivers are very solid for the most part, and there otherwise is no reason for this to happen.

    Because of those things, I suspect malware and maybe even a poor 3rd party antivirus as the cause.

    I would uninstall any 3rd party antivirus, use the removal tool for it after, then set Windows Defender and Windows Firewall to Automatic and start them too.

    Uninstall any "junk" software such as system optimizers, RAM "enhancers" and the like. Ccleaner is good to keep if that is on there.

    Scan with Malwarebytes and ADWCleaner.

    You should also check services.msc to see if the two Windows Audio services are set to Automatic and started.

    --------------

    If the Device Manager shows that the driver is not installed well after your efforts, let me know and I'll tell you what you should do to proceed.

    If you find malware, then really, the machine should have Killdisk used on the hard drive and then clean install Windows after.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3


    Posts : 5
    Windows 8


    Thank GOD I'm not the first....I'm a tech. myself (although probably not as advanced as you...), but this is the first time I'd ever dealt with this and checked everything I would usually check that SHOULD fix the issue and nothing worked! I felt VERY embarrassed and frustrated with myself as my friend was present and I felt bad having to send her on her way with a laptop with no working sound....plus I KNEW I was doing everything that should've fixed the issue normally and when it wouldn't work I could not think for the life of me, why it wasn't solving the problem!

    I don't have it with me, but the next time I will have it in my hands to look at is Monday. It's a brand-new Acer Aspire laptop, can't remember the model (i.e. a month old) - I don't recall what Antivirus it had on it (I seem to think either AVG Free or Avast Free...? I know they are both good AV software....I've personally used both), but there was nothing to suggest there was any malware (i.e. nothing acting oddly except the sound issue). If I can't solve it, I'll run a Malwarebytes scan at least to see if it finds anything.

    Device Manager WAS showing the drivers were installed properly and as far as I could tell, everything was enabled properly...there's ONE thing I might've missed (I was in a rush) and I e-mailed them about it 5 mins ago. Hopefully they'll try it on their end and get back to me soon. Either way, if what I suggested to them doesn't or DOES work, I'll get back to you folks regardless and tell you of the outcome / be asking for your further suggestions!

    Thanks for the quick reply mate!
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4


    Posts : 1,883
    7601.18247.x86fre.win7sp1


    AVG and Avast have had more than their fair share of problems, for sure. Yup. I have some tricks if needed too.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #5


    Posts : 5
    Windows 8


    Quote Originally Posted by MasterChief View Post
    AVG and Avast have had more than their fair share of problems, for sure. Yup. I have some tricks if needed too.
    Is this only regarding Windows 8? I've used either on Win7 and WinXP for years with no problems whatsoever!

    As for an update on the situation, no response from her about trying what I suggested yet....will again post when I found out if it worked or not...
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #6


    Posts : 1,883
    7601.18247.x86fre.win7sp1


    Quote Originally Posted by darkstrike View Post
    Is this only regarding Windows 8? I've used either on Win7 and WinXP for years with no problems whatsoever!
    No.

    Literally, that phrase is said to me ~5 times a day on average. I fix BSODs here and have been on various sites for many years. I almost put it in my signature and actually did yesterday, but removed it.

    Speaking of AVG - it is very fair to say that it holds the world record for causing most stop errors because of when it had a long stretch during 2009-2010 for Windows 7/Vista/XP.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #7


    Posts : 5
    Windows 8


    Ended up having to do a factory refresh, so crisis averted.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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