Backstage Quick Tip #7: Troubleshooting PC Audio Issues

by Team Sony 08/23/2010

Editor’s Note: Backstage Technicians are here to help and in this ongoing series, they’ll offer me their favorite tips and provide answers to some of the most common service related questions they hear at both the call center and in Sony Style Stores.

Experiencing PC audio playback issues and need help getting sound to play again from your computer?  More often than not, problems with audio playback often stem from a user inadvertently disabling a drive or changing a setting.

In this quick tip, we’ll review the top three most common fixes our Backstage℠ Technicians have found to help solve the case.

  • Check the jack your headphones are plugged into. They may be plugged into the wrong spot (such as the Line Out or Microphone port). Note too that most computers will cut the sound to its internal or external speakers as soon as headphones are plugged in.
  • Be sure your speakers are plugged into a working power source, turned on and that your system volume is up appropriately and not muted.  To check your system volume open Volume Control.

a)    To do this, click the Start button, and select Control Panel, then Hardware and Sound.

b)    Under Audio Devices and Sound, select Adjust System Volume.

c)    Under the Main Volume, move the slider up or down to raise or lower the volume.

  • Be sure your computer has a properly functioning sound card – a small piece of hardware within your PC that translates code into sound.  You can check the status of your sound card within the Device Manager.

a)    To do this, click the Start menu, type Device Manager and hit enter.  Enter your PC’s administrator password if prompted (Vista & Windows 7 only).

b)    Expand the Sound, video and game controllers category – you can do this by double clicking the category.

c)    If there is an audio device listed (for example it may say, Intel High Definition Audio Device), then your PC has a sound card. If no sound card appears in the list, you will need to install one – for most users, especially laptop owners, leave this installation to the experts.

d)    If a yellow question mark appears next to the name, it indicates there might be a problem with the sound card. Right-click the name of the sound card and select Properties.

e)    Click the General tab, and look in the Device Status box to view any problems.

f)    In most cases, you may need to update the sound card’s driver.  To do this click the Driver tab, then select Update Driver.

g)    It’s possible you may have also updated the sound card with a driver that’s incompatible with the OS or PC’s BIOS.  To revert to the previously working driver, simply click the Driver tab again then select Roll Back Driver. If this option is greyed out it means you have the original driver installed and that no previous version is available.

Again, our Backstage Technicians have found these three simple tips to solve most issues with PC audio playback.  However, if you’re still experiencing problems with playback, don’t hesitate to reach out to your local Backstage Technician for more advanced troubleshooting or jump over to our Forums to get additional tips and technical advice from other users.

For a list of SonyStyle stores near you that offer Backstage services, check out the store locator page here.  And as always, be sure to share your tips below – you just might have the perfect solution no one else has thought of.

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Add Comment

  1. Safaa Ali wrote: September 1, 2010 3:42am

    I love sony

    1. Michael wrote: September 21, 2010 9:16am

      Hi Safaa – thanks for the comment and thanks for reading!

  2. Anonymous wrote: September 1, 2010 6:00am

    i have bought new speaker it has 4 speaker and 1 base. i have a problem because only 2 speaker are working…. how can i set my sound system to properly work all my speaker. thanks more power. i hope you can help me to my problem..

    1. Michael wrote: September 1, 2010 9:53am

      Hi there – great question. Allow me some follow up questions so I can help you. What operating system are you using? Also, did your speakers come with any software or drivers to support them? Do you plug the speaker set into your PC via USB or the audio-out port? I may have some solutions for you depending on your answers. Thanks for reading!

  3. Anonymous wrote: September 1, 2010 11:34am

    Hi, about a month ago i been experiencing my audio (music) cuts off several times during playback, while im listening to a certain song every couple of seconds the sounds goes off then back again, the file keeps playing normally but the sound is off and on again. my vaio is about 4 months old so it seems strange, hope you can help. thanks!

    1. Michael wrote: September 21, 2010 9:22am

      Hi there – thanks for your comment! If I’m understanding you correctly, it seems that you only experience the issue you outlined with certain songs – correct? It that’s the case, my first inclination is to suspect something is wrong with the music file you’re listening to.

      Try this: copy the problematic songs over to another PC or move them on to your MP3 player. When you listen to the songs on an alternate device, do you experience the same issue? If so, the problem definitely lies with the file – perhaps you downloaded a corrupted song.

      Does this help at all?

  4. Anonymous wrote: September 2, 2010 5:02am


  5. Anonymous wrote: September 4, 2010 3:08am

    None of this addresses the issue of the music and media files being interrupted by a load metallic buzzing sound.

  6. Anonymous wrote: September 4, 2010 11:26pm

    Since I bought my Vaio Y Series, I noticed that the sound of the internal microphone goes off and generates a metalic buzz in the speakers. It is generated randomly and repeating the steps may not lead to the same problem so I could not troubleshoot it properly. Any hint?

    1. Michael wrote: September 21, 2010 9:34am

      Hi there – thanks for your comment. I’m sorry to hear about the issues you’ve been experiencing with your Y Series. I you find that your microphone is causing feedback and interfering with the playback of your music, movies, etc. try this:

      1. Click Start then Control Panel

      2. From the Control Panel, click Hardware and Sound

      3. From the Hardware and Sound window, click Sound

      4. In the window that appears, click the Recording tab

      5. Under the Recording tab you’ll find a list of installed microphones. Yours may appear as: Microphone – High Definition Audio Device Ready.

      6. Click the listed mic then click Properties

      7. In the window that appears, select Disable from the drop down menu labeled Device Usuage.

      This will turn your mic off and prevent it from picking up any sound that may be causing interference or feedback. Just don’t forget to turn it back on should you want to chat with someone. Does this help? If not, head over to esupport and contact customer service. Plus you can always head over to the VAIO forums for additional tips.

      Most importantly though, thank you so much for your business and be sure to let me know if there’s anything more I can to do help.

  7. Anonymous wrote: September 7, 2010 10:29pm

    I was forced to reformat my Vaio and after installing all drivers I could find,the function key which also controls Volume and Brightness deos not function.
    Anybody for help?

    1. Anonymous wrote: September 19, 2010 10:08am

      Go to and look up your laptop model. Go into Drivers & Software and enter the operating system of your computer. You may find updates for your audio on this site. Also make sure to install the most recent Chipset, if it’s available.

  8. Anonymous wrote: September 8, 2010 2:57am

    hey i’m not able to hear sounds from my speakers, its feeble very low. I cant even do voice chat with this laptop, i tried using external usb speakers and earphones too, the sound is low. My laptop model number is VPCCW23FX. Is it a technical fault pls help, i have 2 more laptops i don’t have problems like this, pls help. thanks.

    1. Michael wrote: September 21, 2010 10:12am

      Thanks for the comment. This should be pretty easy to solve. It sounds like you system volume is simply set too low. Try this:

      1. Press and hold the Fn key (located between the Ctrl and Windows key on the left side of your keyboard) while hitting F4. Do this until the volume is all the way up.

      Next, try this:

      1. Click Start then Control Panel

      2. From the Control Panel, click Hardware and Sound

      3. From the Hardware and Sound window, click Sound

      4. In the window that appears, click the Playback tab

      5. Under the Playback tab you’ll find a list of installed speakers. Please ensure each of these are listed as Ready

      6. For each device listed, click Properties, then click the Levels tab.

      7. Under the Levels tab, ensure that each speaker’s level is turned all the way up.

      Does this help? Thanks so much for your business and please let me know if there’s anything else I can do to help.

      1. Anonymous wrote: October 31, 2010 8:51am

        I am having trouble getting volume on my laptop. I went to control panel, and clicked on hardware and sound.. and tried everything possible… but everything keeps saying..”No Audio Output Device is Installed” what am i suppose to do know.. this is the first time i have never had volume.

  9. Anonymous wrote: September 18, 2010 6:40pm

    there is a beeping sound that keep playing each time i use any function on the laptop

    1. Michael wrote: September 21, 2010 9:53am

      Hi there – thanks for your comment! I’m sorry to hear about the issues you’ve been experiencing with your VAIO. Can you provide more details though? What model do you have? What exactly do you find yourself doing when you hear the beeps?

      Any information you can provide would be helpful. Thanks for reading!

  10. Anonymous wrote: October 8, 2010 5:49pm

    I am very disappointed with Sony. Over 24 months ago I purchased a Sony laptop computer at a reputable retailer. My laptop is a VGR-CR515E. I have the VAIO computer update on my laptop, but it is rendered useless because Sony states they they do not recognize my model of laptop. I cannot get automatic updates, and no one at Sony is willing to help. I own a Sony HDTV as well as the surround sound system. I cannot imagine why a big corporation like Sont is indifferent to this problem. I would have thought better of them.

    1. Michael wrote: October 22, 2010 8:55am

      Hi there – I’m so sorry to hear about the issue you’re experiencing with VAIO Updater. Please e-mail us at Please include your model number, problem and contact information.

  11. Anonymous wrote: October 31, 2010 8:44am

    I have had a sony laptop for about three years now and love it, never had any problems, until now. I don know have volume anymore and when i put my mouse over the icon on the bottom right hand screen to turn it up it says “No Audio Output Device is installed”. I dont know how to fix it and i realy need the volume to work soon.. can you please help me with this problem..?

  12. Anonymous wrote: November 12, 2010 4:13pm

    My SONY VAIO FW does not recognise a jack! I do not see a jack information balloon when I put the jack in!!

  13. Edgar Cara wrote: January 12, 2011 10:20pm

    i have a sony pc vgn-203rb.., model pcv-e21n.., the problem was started when i try to reinstall the OS winXP.., No audio device appear on the computer.., can you help me to reinstall audio device…?

  14. Anonymous wrote: February 10, 2011 12:42pm

    I have a Sony Bravia 1080p and occasionally I get a black rectangle in the middle of the picture screen. I thought it was caused by the Sony BluRay player connected to it so I disconnected it – didn’t help. I still have a Sony DVD player connected; but it was connected before I got the BluRay player and I never had a problem. HELP!

  15. Anonymous wrote: April 24, 2012 9:48am

    I bought Sony Vaoi VPCEG35EG last month and I cannot connect a headphone because the jack cannot be recognize by the computer? do I need to install something? Please help me. Thank you!

    1. Kathleen wrote: April 24, 2012 10:54pm

      Oh no! Go ahead and send a note to They’ll be able to help you out.

  16. bstan wrote: February 3, 2013 7:03am

    I am surprised this issue has not already been posted: my VAIO laptop audio sound like a slow robot and the video is jerky when I play it.

  17. bstan wrote: April 23, 2013 6:33pm

    april 22 2013 and still no solution. comes and goes.uggggggggggg!!!!


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