How to Test the Sound in Your Computer

By Lita McLeary

If you just bought a new computer with a pre-installed operating system or you just reformatted your computer, you may want to run a test to see if the sound is working. Sometimes a computer will not play sounds because of problems with the sound card, an uninstalled audio card driver, or malfunctioning speakers. It is best to troubleshoot sound problems the moment you encounter them, as many applications need sound to run efficiently.

Things You'll Need

  • Computer running Windows operating system
  • Speakers or headset

Step 1

Plug the audio cable of your speakers or headset into the audio port of your computer. Make sure that the audio cable is attached properly to the audio port, and that the power cable (if you are using speakers) is properly connected to the power source. The audio port is usually a green color. Adjust the volume controller of the speakers until it is close to "High."

Step 2

Test the sound using the DirectX Diagnostic Tool. To open this window, click "Start," then click "Run." Type "dxdiag" in the box provided and wait for a new dialog box to appear.

Step 3

Select the "Sound" tab and then click on "Test DirectSound." Click "OK" if you are asked to confirm your action. If you hear sounds coming from your speakers, your computer audio is working fine. If you do not, proceed to step 4.

Step 4

Adjust the volume settings of your audio card. Open the "Control Panel," then select "Sounds, Speech and Audio Devices" to open the "Sounds and Audio Devices Properties" window. Click the "Volume" tab in the upper-left side of the dialog box. Make sure that the "Mute" check box is not selected. If it is, click on the check mark to remove it from that box.

Step 5

Click on the "Advanced" button and make sure that the "Speaker Setup" option is not set to "No speakers." Click on the "Speaker Volume" button and adjust the volume controller so that it is close to "High." Click "Apply" and then "OK."

Step 6

Select the "Audio" tab in the "Sounds and Audio Devices Properties" window and then click "Volume" under the "Sound Playback" group. Select "Volume" and adjust the sound controllers. Make sure that none of the options are muted. To unselect the "mute" option, simply click on the check box.

Step 7

Test the computer's sounds by opening an audio file. Otherwise, repeat steps 2 and 3 to test the sounds using the DirectX Diagnostic Tool.