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No Operating System Sounds on Windows Vista

by andypalmer33 / June 6, 2009 5:24 PM PDT

I seem to have lost all sounds associated with Windows Vista (startup / shutdown jingles, message alerts, clicks & pings when changing the volume, etc.). This happened a few days ago at, or around, the time I installed Vista Service Pack 2. I know these sound files are still installed on my laptop because I can play them through a test. But it is as if Windows has forgotten to play them at the correct times.

I also have no sound when viewing videos on YouTube. However, iTunes and Windows Media Player seem to be working fine.

I have checked my volume level, speakers and speaker drivers and they are up to date & apparently working fine. Disabling / Enabling the device has also done nothing.

I hope there is a simple fix to this. I am using a HP Pavilion dv9000 laptop and Vista 32-bit O.S.

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Since your issue started with a Service Pack install,...
by Paul C / June 6, 2009 7:17 PM PDT

...let's begin with the obvious.

Open the Control Panel and double click Sound. Click on the Sounds tab. You'll see a list of Windows events (start up, shutdown, log off, etc.). Highlighting an event should show you the sound Windows has associated with this event in the box just below the list of events. If no sound is shown, use the drop down list to select one or use the drop down list above the events list, select Windows Default and click Apply.

Let us know if that helps.


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No luck I'm afraid
by andypalmer33 / June 6, 2009 8:13 PM PDT

Hi Paul

Ok, this is odd. A few days ago when I tested the sound .wav files through Control Panel, I heard them playing. Now, after following your steps, I can see all of the sound files in the Windows Default Sound Scheme, but when I select one and click 'test' I hear nothing.

iTunes still works fine.


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That's a common failure.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / June 6, 2009 9:03 PM PDT

My bet is the cause is either Registry Cleaners or other but so far the ones I encountered was the Registry Cleaner.


Here's the text in case the link fails: "There's a known Vista issue with system sounds. There are two solutions, one being a repair installation of Vista, which is a long process. The other method, outlined below, is infinitely quicker if you don't mind getting into the registry. smile

To start the registry editor hit the start button, type "regedit" in the search box and press return. You may have to approve admin privileges at this point.

Navigate to Registry key HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Drivers32.

In the right hand pane you should see a string value called wavemapper. (If not, right click over the right hand pane, go New -> String Value, and type "wavemapper".)

Ensure the value of this string value is msacm32.drv.

The file msacm32.drv should exist in C:\Windows\System32 folder, but if it is not present you can recover it from the cab files on your Windows CD. If you wish to know how to do this, please post back.

Hope this helps. smile" (from web link!)

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msacm32.drv file found
by andypalmer33 / June 6, 2009 9:57 PM PDT

Thanks for your advice. I have located the wavemapper string in the registry editor and value is msacm32.drv. The file is also in the the C:\Windows\System32 folder.

Does this therefore mean that my sound should be fine....because it still isn't.

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"Does this therefore mean that my sound should be fine."
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / June 6, 2009 10:09 PM PDT
In reply to: msacm32.drv file found

No. There are some dozen(s?) reasons for this to fail. I noted the one reason I've seen it break (registry cleaners.) You didn't deny someone ran such on your machine so I'll share that a few we never were able to fix. Those we had to reinstall the OS and admonish them not to do that again.

There is also simpler (?!) issues that I find today's users are not able to look in all corners of all control panels and given how one machine varies from another I see no hope of ever giving a step by step to where a setting is. All we can hope for is the owner keeps looking.

More links:

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(NT) PS. Some forget to reboot after such a change.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / June 6, 2009 10:09 PM PDT
In reply to: msacm32.drv file found
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