No Audio Output Device is installed

Mar 17, 2011
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I have a huge problem with my sound card.

It doesn't work.

The legend 'No Audio Output Device is installed' now appears when I hover the cursor above the speaker icon in the task bar.

Now then, I'm using a Dell Inspiron 1520 laptop that I installed Windows 7 Ultimate on in October (which is allegedly incompatible but there you go) and it was working perfectly until a couple of days ago when the sound card decided to stop functioning. While using a wave file editor I was presented with an '.ACM File Error' dialog box on my monitor screen. After doing some research, I determined that the best course of action was to uninstall the sound card driver and wait for it to re-install, which it did but subsequently has refused to work. I've since been on dozens of forums trying to find a solution to this problem and none have worked.

Here's what I've tried:

Uninstalling the drivers so they reinstall, which they did, but it made no difference.

The Device Mangler(sic) I found to be less than useful as it just sent me on a circular course and achieved nothing.

Troubleshooter was similarly useless, telling me nothing I didn't already know but offering no solution.

Going into 'Services' and checking that all the components needed to play audio are switched on and backtracking the dependencies on each and every one to make sure that everything is accommodated for, which took several hours (including tea-breaks) and gained me nothing other than further frustration.

I tried going into the BI/OS to see if I could get to the sound card that way - not possible.

Lastly, I ran a full pre-boot diagnostic to see if that threw anything up but again, no.

Oh - I also tried to do a system restore but for some reason (which I'm led to believe was caused by an update of some description) there are no restore points to roll back to.

In short I'm now considering another clean install but concerned that this will achieve nothing as I've read other people with the same problem tried this but it didn't change anything.

If anyone has ANY useful suggestions, please get in touch as I need this working for editing audio and video and don't have a back-up machine.


Dell Inspiron 1520
Sigmatel 9205 sound card


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