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How to fix a Dell Inspiron laptop that suddenly loses sound, audio functions not working [easy steps]

This post highlights some potential solutions to sound or audio problems on a Dell Inspiron laptop. Read on and find out what to do if your laptop suddenly loses sound or not producing audio outputs from the integrated speakers.

There are various reasons as to why audio or sound function is not working on your Dell Inspiron laptop. It’s possible that the integrated speakers aren’t selected or muted, the headphone jack is not working, audio driver or sound card gets corrupted, or the Windows system is glitching. Sometimes the problem is only isolated to a computer program like a Media Player, which is not configured properly. In worst cases, your laptop may not be able to make any sound due to a damaged component like defective speakers. Should a faulty hardware is to blame, your only hope is for a Dell technician to fix the damage. This means the need for you to take your laptop to a service center for hardware assessment and repair. But before you rush to a service center, you can still try some workarounds and attempt to troubleshoot the problem on your end. Should the problem you’re dealing with is actually software-related instead of hardware damage, any of the standard solutions will likely get it fixed. Read on and find out what options you may have to try on first.

Now, before we proceed, if you found this post while finding a solution to a different problem, then visit our Dell Inspiron troubleshooting page for we have already addressed some of the most common issues with this machine. If you can’t find something useful, then fill up our computer issues questionnaire and hit submit to contact us.

Solutions to no sound / audio problems on a Dell Inspiron laptop

Try any of the following methods to see if any of them can fix the problem and get your Dell Inspiron laptop audio back up and running as it should.

First method: Run an audio test/diagnostics.

There are various diagnostic tools available for your Dell Inspiron laptop. If possible, select and use the most suitable tool that will help you separate out hardware from software audio problems on your computer. To help you decide, try to carry out the pre-boot assessment tests (PSA) or Enhanced Pre-Boot System Assessment Diagnostics (ePSA). Doing so will help you determine whether or not the problem you are dealing with is related to the software or hardware. To launch the Pre-Boot System Assessment (PSA) sequence, follow these steps:

  1. Make sure your laptop is powered off.
  2. With your laptop turned off, press and hold the Fn key and press the Power button to turn the system on.
  3. Release both buttons when the device powers on.
  4. The PSA diagnostics sequence then instigates.

Take note of any alert tones or error messages while running the diagnostics test.

If you get any error message, then it could indicate a hardware issue. Otherwise, it’s a software problem. For further assistance on how to run preboot diagnostics or encountered errors when running the test, contact Dell Support.

Second method: Restart your laptop.

If this is the first time you encounter no sound or audio problem on your Dell Inspiron laptop, restarting it might rectify the glitch, which might have prevented the integrated speakers from carrying out their tasks. Having said that, restart your laptop the usual way then test the speakers to see what happen afterwards.

Third method: Check sound or audio settings on your laptop.

To make sure that your laptop speakers aren’t just muted, go ahead and verify your audio settings.

  1. To do so, just click the Volume/Sound icon on your Taskbar then adjust or increase the volume level if necessary.
  2. Alternatively, you can also do a right-click on the same Volume/Sound icon on your Taskbar then select Sounds to check the Sound Scheme. Otherwise, select Volume Control Options to enable and adjust volume control of your current sound devices, particularly the integrated speaker or audio driver.

Also care to check your speaker connections. If you are using external speakers make sure they are connected properly.

Fourth method: Reinstall or Update Audio Drivers and BIOS (System Setup) settings on your Dell Inspiron laptop.

Minor audio problems on laptops are usually inflicted by outdated or corrupted audio drivers as well as incorrect BIOS settings. That said, be sure to update your drivers and BIOS regularly. Doing so will help ensure optimum performance of your computer.

To reinstall a device driver on your Dell Inspiron laptop, follow these steps:

  1. Press Windows logo + R key on the keyboard.
  2. In the Run dialog box, type devmgmt.msc and press Enter key.
  3. In Device Manager window, click the + or > next to Sound, video and game controllers section.
  4. Right-click the ‘Audio controller’ installed on your PC like Realtek High Definition Audio, for example,  and then click Uninstall.
  5. In the Uninstall Device window, check the box to Delete the driver software for this device and click OK.
  6. Restart the PC and allow Microsoft Windows to automatically reinstall the drivers.

If this failed to fix the problem and that you’re still hearing no sound from your Dell Inspiron speakers, try to download and update the latest audio driver on your computer.

  • To access BIOS or System Setup on your Dell Inspiron computer, press the F2 key several times at the Dell logo during startup. Or you can also press the F12 key several times at the Dell logo during startup and then select BIOS Setup or System Setup from the menu. Check the current version of your BIOS Setup then install the latest BIOS if necessary.

To update BIOS, you can either go to Dell Support website to download the latest drivers or install a BIOS update using a bootable USB flash driver. If you would choose to do the latter, download the BIOS update file and save it to a bootable USB flash drive. Once you have the BIOS update file and bootable USB ready, continue with these steps:

  1. Turn off your laptop.
  2. Plug in the USB flash drive to your laptop.
  3. Turn on our laptop.
  4. Press the F12 key at the Dell logo screen to enter One Time Boot Menu.
  5. Use the arrow keys to select USB Storage Device option then press the Enter/Return key on your keyboard.
  6. At the command prompt, type the full BIOS filename (including the filename extension) and press the Enter key.
  7. Follow the onscreen prompts in the BIOS Update Utility screen to complete the update process.

Then check to see if you are now able to hear sound from the integrated speakers of your Dell Inspiron laptop.

Last resort: Reformat and reinstall Windows.

More complex software problems in laptops are usually resolved by an OS re-format and reinstallation. In this process, all your files and data saved on your laptop are erased thereby giving your device a clean fresh start. Any software bug that’s preventing the integrated speakers system from working will also be erased in the process. If you wish to give it a shot, be sure to back up your critical data to your other device or other storage media for safekeeping. Then proceed with these steps:

  1. Go to the desktop or Home screen.
  2. Click the Search the web and Windows box.
  3. Type RESET.
  4. In the Reset this PC section, click Get Started.
  5. Select the option to Remove everything.
  6. Select Just remove my files.
  7. Follow the onscreen prompts to complete the Windows reset and installation process. Your computer will reboot once the reset is finished.

If none of the prior methods is able to fix the problem and your Dell Inspiron laptop still has no sound or audio, contact Dell Support for other options. At this point, you can already consider a faulty hardware as the underlying cause.

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