It's certainly a hassle when you lose the audio on your computer. It's a problem that has annoyed thousands of computer users out there, and sooner or later you'll find yourself faced with the same exact problem. You might crank up your volume to the maximum level but you'll still be unable to hear anything. You've swapped your headphones or speakers to check if they're not defective, but still you get nothing from your computer in terms of sound. If you ask any tech experts, they'll tell you the standard troubleshooting techniques:
Check to see if your sound card is working. You can do this by getting into the guts of your computer. Check if the sound card is firmly attached to the socket and if the chipset is still functioning. Then once you've determined that it isn't a hardware issue, get into BIOS to check the settings there. Check under Integrated Peripherals and find the specific sound card. This is usually listed as AC97 audio, especially if your computer came shipped with the "default" Realtek sound card. Make sure you've set the sound card to Auto or Enable.
If you've run through these hoops and still can't get any luck with having your audio working, then in all likelihood the problem is caused by an issue with the sound card drivers.
The way you can determine this for sure is to check in your Device Manager. For those of you who aren't familiar with your own computer, you can access the Device Manager via the System folder in your Control Panel. Now, find your sound card amidst all the devices listed. Typically you can find it under Sound, Video, And Game Controller. Look out for anything with an exclamation mark or a question mark or even a cross over it. A cross would denote that the device is disabled, so you'll have to enable it. If the icon happens to be either an exclamation mark or a question mark, it most likely means that you'll have to do a bit of driver updating.
You can do this the old fashioned way; note down the device information (name, model, version number, etc) and your system information. Then, get online to the manufacturer's website and look for the customer or technical support pages. Find the necessary driver updates amongst the dozens of other products listed, download them, and install them. You can also find such updates on third party websites that act as driver collectives, for the benefit of users like you and I. But keep in mind that there are people out there waiting to scam you and cause you more trouble than you might have anticipated, so exercise caution when perusing such sites.
All in all, it's a pretty tedious process, don't you think?
There is a solution out there that will get you downloading all your sound driver downloads automatically. The solution is called a driver scan software. It is a program that roots out all possible issues with the drivers in your system, and depending on how you've got it set up, it will get your devices and computers working in no time at all as it downloads practically all the downloads you'll ever need in a highly effective automatic process.