I have an awesome Dell E6530 laptop and it’s been a dream to work on, but since I upgraded to Windows 8 / 8.1 I’ve had problems with a few driver related items. One of these things has been the audio driver. I lost sound completely about a week or two ago and couldn’t figure out what was going on. I went to Dell’s support site and looked at drivers and found to my surprise that they now had Windows 8.1 drivers for my laptop. One of them was an audio driver, so I updated my drivers across the board and audio started working again.

Here we are today and I realized after trying to play a great song at work (Peaches by Presidents of the United States) that I was getting no sound. I tried launching Skyrim on my computer and it wouldn’t even start because it didn’t detect an audio playback devices. I was thoroughly confused. I downloaded and installed the driver again and still no sound. I looked in Device Manager and everything seemed to be as it should be.


I tried playing the test tones on my audio device and got the following error message:

[callout] Failed to play test tone[/callout]


I started playing around in the playback devices settings and found the answer to be insanely simple.

Here’s the walkthrough:

  1. Right click on your speaker icon in the bottom right of your computer screenSpeakerIcon
  2. Select Playback DevicesPlaybackDevices
  3. Select your sound card and click PropertiesSelectSoundCard
  4. Select the Advanced Tab, click Restore Defaults, and then click the Test buttonAdvancedTab

That was all it took and suddenly I had audio again. No idea what caused it to flip out, but I’m glad it’s back. Did it work for you?