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AC97 Realtek High Definition Audio Not Working?

AC97 High Definition Audio Problem

There are only a few reasons for your built-in ac97 sound not to work. The most common reason is that when the operating system is first installed, the high-definition audio device drivers are not part of the basic package. Other reasons can include data, viruses, or physical damage to the motherboard or hard drive. If it is because of a new install or data damage to the divers, the simple driver update is usually a five to ten-minute fix. In the event of a virus or physical damage to the hard drive or motherboard, other steps will have to be taken to remedy the problem, including scanning for malware, trojans, viruses, or other threats.

If the operating system, such as Windows 7, Vista, or XP, is a new install there are potentially three ways to fix the problem. The first is to use the driver CD which comes with almost every motherboard.

Updating AC97 High Definition Audio Drivers with included Driver CD or DVD

Simply insert the CD into the CD drive, and wait for the installation menu to appear. Either you’ll see a blanket install command for all the motherboard’s drivers, or you’ll see separate buttons to click for different onboard functions (IDE/SATA drivers, sound drivers, video drivers, etc.). Be aware that with older motherboards the sound drivers from the CD only work about twenty percent of the time.

If ie) Realtek AC97 is the Manufacturer, Try Realtek Website

The second way is to go to the motherboard manufacturer’s website. This method will require knowing the model and a serial number of the board. Usually, these can be found in the motherboard owner’s manual. If not, the side of the computer will have to be opened to find them on the motherboard itself. Once the numbers are found, simply look up the appropriate downloads using the site’s support or downloads section. Either click “save as” when the download box comes up, or “run” from the choices given. The run option will install the AC97 drivers without saving a copy to the hard drive. It is recommended to save a copy to the hard drive, and make a backup for future installs.

Use Windows Update for Updating High Definition AC97 Device

The third way is through the operating system. In Windows click the start button on the bottom left of the screen, and then scroll to the “Help and Support” link. Click it, and then “Keep your computer up-to-date with Windows Update” under pick a task. From there follow the directions of the Microsoft Windows Update site with one exception. When the options come up to choose express or custom, click the custom option. Within a few minutes, a list of available updates will come up. Look to the left of the screen for “Hardware, Optional”. To only download and install the device drivers click the “Clear All” button above the download list, and then check the drivers you need. After that, follow the directions for downloading and installing them.

Malware Infection Causing problems with High Definition AC97 Audio Device Driver

In the case of Malware corrupting the device drivers, it will be necessary to either scan and remove it with Spyware/Virus/Trojan scanning software, or to completely wipe the hard drive and do a fresh install of the operating system. Good scanners usually cost money, so the second option is usually the free option. For a great scanning tool that will find threats for free try the IObit Malware Fighter Download.

(Note: the scan is free but if you have infections you can register and remove the threats for about 30 bucks)

Fix AC97 High Def Issues by Replacing the Drive

As for physical damage or data damage in the hard drive or motherboard, it usually comes down to replacing the drive or using a program to fix the corrupted data. If the operating system still boots (in the case of hard drive damage) make backups of all important files and documents before installing or have installed, a new drive. Having a computer repair service backup and transfer files from a damaged or data corrupted hard drive will cost several hundred dollars at the minimum.

AC97 Audio is still not Audible, Here are a few more Ideas

If none of the above options work, it is possible there are other problems. It could be anything from the sound being turned off in the BIOS, a wire being hooked up to the PC speaker connector incorrectly, to problems with the speakers. Without a more detailed understanding of computers, it will probably be necessary to have a computer technician diagnose the problem except in the case of the speakers being damaged. For that, try plugging another set in, or headphones if available.

Download and upgrade all your drivers automatically!

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