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3 Ways To Fix Windows XP Sound Error

Windows XP is an outdated software that may run into audio related issues. Learn how to fix these issues in simple steps.

Expert Verified by Arsalan Shakil

In my experience, Windows XP users commonly encounter pesky sound-related errors such as audio lag, buffering, no sound, etc. Some causes for this error may be missing audio drivers, corrupted system files, incorrect audio settings, software or application conflicts, etc.

Key Takeaways
  • Incorrect audio settings, hardware problems, missing or outdated audio drives, etc., may be behind the error surfacing.
  • Windows XP sound errors are increasingly rare, given the outdated status of the operating system, but they may still occur due to compatibility issues or outdated drivers.
  • You can fix the issue by checking hardware connections, restarting the Windows audio service, verifying audio drives, etc.
  • The issue may be Annoying for Windows XP users.

There is no such error message for Windows XP audio errors.

Method Difficulty Rating

Verify Drivers
Rated: 7/10

Rated: 9/10

 Audio Service
Rated: 9/10

Tip: Check all hardware connections, as loose or faulty audio devices may lead to sound-related errors. Also, check the system volume settings.

WARNING: Reset Windows with caution, however, as doing so will delete all data on the device; therefore, make sure to back up any important data beforehand.

Verify Audio Drivers

Audio drivers act as crucial software components, bridging communication between the operating system and audio hardware to facilitate sound playback and recording on a computer. Their role involves translating digital signals into analog audio output and vice versa, ensuring seamless compatibility and proper functioning of audio devices with the computer’s software.

Sometimes, related issues such as crackling of Audio, audio delay, and echo may be generated due to missing, outdated, or corrupted audio drivers. Ensuring your device has the correct updated and relevant audio drives is essential for proper audio functionality. Verifying audio drivers was recommended by people on the Microsoft forum as it worked for them. To check audio drivers, take the following steps:

    1. Open Device Manager: Right-click on My Computer > Properties. Click the Hardware tab > Device Manager.
      System properties
      Windows XP System Properties – Image Credits [Tech4gamers]
    2. Navigate To Sound Settings: Locate “Sound, video, and game controllers” and expand the section > Visit the manufacturer’s website to install the latest audio drivers compatible with Windows XP.
      Device manager sound settings
      Sound< Video and Game Controller settings – Image Credits [Tech4gamers]
    3. Look For Driver Issue: If you notice any exclamation marks or question marks next to your audio device, it indicates a driver issue.
      Driver issue
      Exclamation Mark on Driver – Image Credits [Tech4gamers]

WARNING: Try not to download programs from shady websites. Doing so may lead to system file corruption by malware, and ultimately, related issues may surface.

Perform SFC Scan to Fix Windows XP Sound Error

System File Checker (SFC) and Deployment Image Service and Management Tool (DISM) are integral utilities in Windows, identifying and resolving concerns associated with system files and the overall stability of the operating system.

We noted that opening an elevated command prompt and running the sfc/scannow command solved the issue for us. To perform SFC and DISM scans, take the following steps:

  1. Open Command Prompt: Press Win + R (the Windows key and the R key) simultaneously to open the Run dialog >Type “cmd” or “cmd.exe” in the Run dialog > Press Enter or click “OK.
    Windows Command Prompt
    Windows Command Prompt – Image Credits [Tech4gamers]
  2. Execute Commands: Run the following commands separately:
Dism /Online /Cleanup-Image /CheckHealth
Dism /Online /Cleanup-Image /ScanHealth
Dism /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth
Dism /online /Cleanup-Image /StartComponentCleanup
Dism /online /Cleanup-Image /StartComponentCleanup /ResetBase
net start w32time
chkdsk /f /r

Restart Windows Audio Service

The Windows audio service manages audio functionalities, including playback, recording, and device management. Its proper functioning ensures accurate sound processing and delivery to speakers or headphones.

However, we noted that issues with the Windows Audio service can result in various audio-related problems, such as no sound output, distorted Audio, or difficulties adjusting volume settings. Restarting the Windows audio service has always proved to work for us in many audio-related issues. To restart the Windows Audio service, adhere to these steps: 

  1. Services Windows: Press Windows +I > Type services.msc > Press Enter to access the Services window. 
    Services.msc command run dialogue box
    Run Dialogue Box (services. msc command) – Credits [Tech4gamers]
  2. Restart Audio Service: Find “Windows Audio” in the list of services > Right-click on it > Select Restart.
windows audio service
Windows Audio Service – Image Credits [Tech4gamers]

Tip: As a last resort, if all other fixes fail, you can try resetting the windows, re-downloading the software entirely, or reset bios settings.


Windows XP is a very outdated software and hence gets fewer patches and updates. I came across threads on Reddit discussing the issue in detail, and most people suggested redownloading the audio drivers. Windows XP users on Twitter have mentioned that they can’t get internet access or any sound on their devices.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the signs of sound errors?

The most common symptom of a sound-related problem in Windows XP is a red cross or exclamation mark on the speaker icon in the bottom right corner.

Why is my audio stuttering?

In most cases, this may be caused due to missing, outdated drivers. The problem may also arise due to viruses or malware. By using antivirus software, you can pinpoint the issue. Also, scan the device for missing drivers.

What should I do to fix sound errors on my Windows XP?

Having sound errors ruining the experience is the worst. To fix audio-related problems, scan the device for software bugs or viruses. Also, make sure that all devices are connected properly.

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