Audio randomly stops working a few hours after reboot; windows update wont work

Dec 11, 2012
Reaction score
So about a week ago, I was just surfing the web and went to go watch a video, but for some reason no sound was coming out of my headphones. I checked that the volume was up in every single place there could be a 'mute' button, on the video, on the computer, what have you, and it SHOULD have been working. Nothing. I restarted the computer, and the sound worked again, but about 2-3 hours later it just cut out. Every time I restart the computer, the same thing happens after a few hours.

Now, my computer was working weird and slow and sometimes programs would not respond and crash, so I updated my Malwarebytes Anti-Malware and did a scan, it picked up and deleted a few viruses. The computer runs smoothly now; I don't think the viruses themselves are the problem anymore. But even though the virus is gone, it probably already did it's damage...

I've looked in the device manager; under 'Sound, Video and game controllers' it shows one device, 'Conexant High Definition SmartAudio221'. I'm not quite sure if there's supposed to be something more there, but okay. It's there. I went to the HP website and looked up the driver for Windows 7 and tried to re-install it. It seems to go fine, but then I get an error that says that it "Could not find the MEDIA device for this driver". Second time, it just says "Could not find the device for this driver." I'm not sure why since it says the driver is there...I hope this isn't a hardware problem.

Multiple times it was recommended I check for windows updates, and apparently I have 5 important updates waiting to be downloaded, but every time I try and download any updates, it doesn't work. I get error code 80096001.

So now I not only have to try and fix windows update, but my sound too. Help please? I'm running Windows 7 on a Lenovo laptop (windows 7 came with the laptop) and I've had it for about 4 years now...although it was kind of cheap, it's served me well. :(


Sep 11, 2017
Reaction score
OK, I have the solution to this one.

It was dicovered by a Chinese guy,quite accidentally, but so far the solution has only been published in chinese as far as I know. The problem is in the Realtek driver itslef. So there is no use re-installing this driver, the problem will come back

The trick is to uninstall the Realtek audio driver, which is malfunctionning, and replace it with the Microsoft default

For this:

(right-click)Computer->Manage->Device Manager->Sound, Video and game controllers
(Right-cick the Realtek driver)->Uninstall
ignore the Windows warning because, yes, this is what you want to do
delete the driver files (otherwise the driver may reinstall itself automatically)
(you can always download it again later)​

reboot Windows while connected to the Internet

Windows will automaically search for an audio driver on-line, and install the default one
This can take a little while​

You can now check in the Device Manager that you can see "High Definition Audio Device" where the Realtek driver used to show

That's all, the problem is gone for good. You can reinstall Flash Player or reverse any other awkward change that you made in an attempt to solve this painful issue

Be advised, however, that the maximum level of sound delivered by the speakers when using the default driver is lower than the maximum delivered by the default driver -at least it is on my machine

For me, no matter, I'd rather have a lower level sound, than a loud unreliable one !

Ask a Question

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments. After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.

Ask a Question