Why Don’t I Get Sound from My Computer? (A Checklist)

Try as I might, I can’t get my computer to output sound. Nothing. I can’t figure out what’s wrong.

That’s actually a composite of questions that I get very, very often. Sometimes it applies to only specific applications; other times it applies to the entire machine.

The problem is, it’s a single silent symptom that can come from several sources.

So, let’s run down a bit of a checklist.

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Why Don’t My Speakers Work?


After a recent round of updates, I noticed that I had no volume on my computer…including iTunes. I checked everything I could think of and didn’t come up with any problems on my system. I then used System Restore and the volume came back. The next day, Windows installed the updates again and the same thing happened. After using System Restore, all was well except that the updates had been deleted.

How do I get my sound and my updates?

Updates are one of several things that causes speakers to suddenly stop working and make your computer appears unable to produce a sound.

I’m not saying that this will solve every case, but it’s one of those things that a lot of people aren’t aware of and it can resolve the problem quickly with just a couple of clicks.

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Audio CDs — What Format Should I Use to Burn My Audio CDs?


When I download music and then burn it to a CD, it comes out just fine. But, I cannot play the CD in my car’s CD player. The music is almost always MP3. Is there a way I can convert the MP3 to play in my car? And what format are store-bought CDs?

The CDs that you play on your computer and those that you listen to in a standard CD player, such as the one in your car, are formatted quite differently. And while you can play store-bought audio CDs in your computer, the CDs that you burn on your computer will usually not work in your car stereo or other audio CD player.

Why? Simply put, your car stereo is not a computer.

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