I bought an HP 854n media center computer with Windows XP pro. A year
later I had to give it to a friend to clean it out, totally, and he said that
he could give the comp back to me, but with no sound. In order to get sound, I
would need an installation disk. I do not have any “winnt32.exe” like you
suggested I look for in an I386 folder. Nothing is there, so what can I do to
get my sound back?
The good news is that there are some steps to try. The bad news is that you
may need an installation CD anyway. The good news is that it may be OK to
Become a Patron of Ask Leo! and go ad-free!
These are the steps I would try:
Run that add hardware wizard. There is actually a
possibility that the software required is already on your machine and that “it
will just work”. Admittedly a small possibility, but worth trying.
Update the drivers. Or rather, pretend that the hardware
was already installed, go visit the manufacturer’s site for updated
drivers, and follow their installation instructions. In this case, I’d visit
either the HP website or the website for the manufacturer of the sound
Borrow an installation CD from a friend. Presumably you
already have a licensed and working copy of Windows XP and all you’re adding
is support for additional hardware. There’s no piracy involved here; it’s quite
legitimate to borrow an installation CD and use it when the hardware
installation process asks for one.
The moral of the story is simple, though:
Insist on getting a valid Windows XP Installation CD when
you purchase your system, even if Windows is already installed.
Save that disk in a safe place. You’ll need it in the
future. Make a copy to your hard drive if you like, but save the CD.