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embSwEng
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Audio driver won't load

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HP Notebook - 15-bs158cl
Microsoft Windows 10 (64-bit)

On Saturday, May 29th my wife made a weekly Skype call and the laptop audio worked great. On the following Saturday, June 5th, it wouldn't work; she had to make the call using her Samsung smart phone. After nearly a full day, it's looking like 1) MSFT installed a Windows Update on Wednesday, 2) the audio driver(s) became "not supported by this OS version (10.0.19041)". I worked with MSFT support and they concluded that the issue is either a hardware issue (i.e. the audio device quit working) or it's HP's responsibility. Well, I updated to the latest BIOS and ran the latest UEFI diagnostics. The UEFI diagnostics can produce sound and the have the microphone capture it. So, MSFT is wrong on that point, I don't have broken HW. 

 

I can plug in a HDMI "display" (my Yamaha receiver connected to my HDTV) and get audio output (because a driver loads). But, that driver unloads when I disconnect the HDMI cable. 

 

I've tried loading the latest audio driver from HP's web site, and it won't load (see point 2 above). I tried an older driver with the same results. I'm pretty sure some bonehead at MSFT made a mistake, but I'm left without being able to watch kitty video's on my laptop until HP posts a compatible driver.

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Paul_Tikkanen
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Hi:

 

The reason the audio works when you connected via HDMI to your TV is because a different audio device is used, which uses a different audio driver--the Intel HD audio.

 

Go to the device manager.

 

Click to expand the sound, video and game controllers device manager category.

 

There should be a Realtek HD audio device listed there. 

 

If you see such a device, click on the driver tab and let me know what the driver version is.

 

If you do not see the Realtek HD audio device, there should be an Intel HD audio device, and perhaps a generic HD audio device.

 

Please post a screen shot of that section of the device manager, so I can take a look at it.

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embSwEng
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Hey Paul,

 

Thanks for responding. But I guess I left out the dozen's of "try this" steps that MSFT support asked me to try and the steps I've tried on my own. I've attached a screen shot of the DM, with hidden drivers shown, before & after MSFT had me uninstall the drivers. I've also included a screen capture of the driver install failure dialog. 

 

I understand that a different driver is installed for the HDMI sound, I know a little bit about SW drivers after having worked for 44+ years developing embedded software. But the point I don't understand is why would drivers which worked one day suddenly decide that they are not compatible with the OS. This is why I pointed out that MSFT installed an update on my laptop last Wednesday. I would suspect that they set some sort of compatibility requirement which makes the RealTek drivers think that they are incompatible. 

 

Either the drivers *have* become incompatible or the compatibility setting is incorrect. In either case, I think it will take someone inside of MSFT or RealTek to fix this issue.

 

Thanks again,

 

Jim

After removal of driversAfter removal of driversBefore removal of driversBefore removal of driversDriver Install failDriver Install fail

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Paul_Tikkanen
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You're very welcome.

 

The reason the audio isn't working appears to be due to those two Intel devices that need drivers.

 

Something knocked out the driver and it was probably a recent Windows update that did it.

 

Here is what I would try if you have not done so already...

 

The Realtek HD audio is showing up as a hidden device and those two Intel audio devices need drivers installed.

 

Since the driver did not install, try manually installing it.

 

I assume you tried to install the latest audio driver on the support page...6.0.8940.1  sp104077.

 

If you did not delete the installation files, the driver unpacked to a folder which should be located in C:\SWSetup\sp104077.

 

Try this...go to the device manager.  Click on the hidden light shaded Realtek HD audio device listed there.

 

Click on the driver tab.  Click on Update driver.

 

Select the 'Browse my computer for driver software' option and browse to the C:\SWSetup\sp104077 driver folder.

 

Make sure the Include subfolders box is checked and see if the audio driver installs that way.

 

Then do the same thing with the two Intel Audio devices in your screenshot.  The drivers will all be in the same folder.

 

Then restart the PC.

 

If that doesn't work try running the system restore utility and select a restore point closest to the date before the update messed up the audio driver.

 

If the audio is restored, see if you can determine what update  blew up the audio and hide the update with the Hide Windows update utility that I zipped up and attached below.

 

Then of course there is always the option to use the cloud recovery tool to create a bootable USB recovery drive you can use to factory reset the PC.  Here is an info link for how to use that utility...

 

HP Consumer PCs - Using the HP Cloud Recovery Tool (Windows 10, 7) | HP® Customer Support

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embSwEng
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Hi Paul,

 

Unfortunately, two of the unproductive changes that MSFT support had me try were to 1) roll back to the restore point before their update was applied and 2) uninstalling the Realtek audio drivers. While rolling back to the restore point wasn't something that could be undone (that is I could, and have, reinstalled all updates), uninstalling the Realtek drivers can't be undone. This is because the drivers refuse to install. So, since they are not installed I can't "right click" on them, even with the Show Hidden Drivers selected, and manually install the drivers from the DM. 

 

As far as rolling back to "factory reset" , that would be an exceptionally lengthy, and painful, process with no assurance that I wouldn't end up in the same place once when all MSFT updates are applied. So I think I'd rather live without audio support. My wife will continue to use her cell phone for Skype meetings and I'll consider a company, like Apple, that takes full responsible for any SW updates they apply to my "out of warranty" laptop.

 

Thanks for the helpful suggestions.

 

Jim

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