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Why is emptying my spam folder the only time my computer actually produces sound?


I have no volume on my computer even when I hooked up speakers to my
computer but when I empty my spam folder it makes a beep. I’ve tried going to
internet options and I tried to see if I could do anything that way but I can’t
get any volume. I’m running Internet Explorer 8 and I cannot understand what I
need to do to fix this. If you know a way to fix it, I would be grateful.

In this excerpt from
Answercast #89
, I look at a computer that is producing only one sound and
where to go to enable the whole set of sounds.


Setting Windows sound

So, the fact that you’re getting a beep when you empty your spam means that, in fact, you do get volume out of your computer: you got volume out of your computer for that one sound.

That eliminates a whole bunch of things.

The fact that you’re getting sound from something means that the sound card is working, the volume is in fact turned up, and so forth. That’s good news.

Sound controls

What I would have you do is go into Control Panel. In Control Panel, look at Sounds.

What you’ll find in the Sounds Control Panel applet is the ability to assign different sounds to different events on your machine.

It’s one of the ways to control the Windows start up sound or the sound that an application might make when it declares an error. My guess is that, for some reason, those sounds have been turned off.

Everything but the “emptying of spam” sound has been set to nothing – or the entire set of sounds has been somehow corrupted – or the settings that Windows keeps have somehow been damaged – or, potentially, even the actual files that contain the sounds themselves have somehow been damaged or corrupted.

So I would go into the Sounds applet and I would actually start setting and testing different sounds, making sure that sounds are set for all of the things that you care about.

There are sound settings, some pre-set sets of sounds, that you can choose from. They will set a number of different sounds all at once. Choose one of those; make sure it’s applied and see if that doesn’t help the problem.

(Transcript lightly edited for readability.)

End of Answercast 89 Back to – Audio Segment

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2 comments on “Why is emptying my spam folder the only time my computer actually produces sound?”

  1. Wonder if the Volume mixer is also causing problems. I notice that when I click on the Speaker Icon then click on Mixer, there can be quite a few different Devices and/or Applications that you can set volume controls on. You could have your speakers turned all the way up, but System Sounds could be down to zero. Not sure that would only cause the spam folder empty option to produce sound unless that is tied to the email app and not the System Sounds App – and that is the only app that has volume set high enough to hear.

  2. It isn’t clear from the question that the beep is actually coming out of the external speakers. My guess is that the beep is actually from the internal speaker (there is a little speaker inside most computers. Often it will beep when the computer is turned on, but some programs access it to make noises), and the email program is set to use the internal speaker when the spam folder is emptied. The sound card might not be working all.


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