How to Troubleshoot No Sound on a Dell PC

By Mike Bowers

A faulty sound card on your Dell computer can be inconvenient for anyone, but it can be especially detrimental for users who need sound from their Dell computers to conduct presentations or play music at social events. Dell users who can properly troubleshoot problems with their PC's sound card can fix the problem quickly and continue take full advantage of their computer's capabilities.

Step 1

Check your speakers or headphones to make sure they are connected properly. Any speakers or headphone should be connected to your Dell's headphone/speaker jack. These are located on the backs and fronts of desktop computers and the sides of laptops. Speaker jacks are usually colored lime green. If you're using speakers instead of headphones, also make sure the speakers are powered on.

Step 2

Check your sound settings in Windows. Click the Microsoft logo or "Start" logo on your Windows taskbar, select "Control Panel" and then "Sounds and Audio Devices." Double-click the "Volume" icon and verify the mute button is unchecked. If the volume is turned down, drag the volume cursor up to see if you can hear anything.

Step 3

Verify your sound card is working properly. To view your video card, click "Start" or the Microsoft logo on your taskbar, then "Control Panel," then "Hardware and Sound" and then "Device Manager." Click the arrow beside "Sound, display and game controllers." If your card is listed, double-click the name of the card to bring up the card properties. It will inform you of whether or not the card is working properly.If the card is not listed, download drivers for your sound card. These drivers can be downloaded from either the Dell website, the website of your sound card manufacturer or via Windows Update. Windows 7 and Windows Vista users can click the "Microsoft button," select "All Programs" and then "Microsoft Update." All other Windows users should go to the Windows Update website. (See Resources.) Download the drivers and follow the prompts to complete the installation process.