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mrb1980
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No Audio on New Dell XPS 8900

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I purchased a new Dell XPS 8900 desktop, 64-bit operating system with Windows 10 Home about a month ago. The computer has never made a sound, whether it's Windows system sounds or sounds associated with programs. No sounds come from either the third-party speakers or the headphones, which work with other computers. So far I've tried the following:

Installed the newest version of the RealTek High Definition Audio driver from Dell website (it's green-checked on Control Panel)

Did speaker setup with Dell Audio Manager

Performed speaker setup and testing through Control Panel > Sound (testing produced no sound)

Inspected cable connections multiple times

Performed audio diagnostics through Dell Support website (the computer failed the first test, the second wouldn't continue because of a specious time zone issue, which didn't exist)

The speakers are plugged into the green jack on the back panel, and the headphones are plugged into front headphone jack. One thing I did do was to edit the registry to install the Windows sound mixer, which was not present in Windows 10. I did add a video card and another internal 3TB WD hard drive to the computer, but none of those actions has affected my old computer. 

I've tried about everything I know so far. I believe this is likely some kind of software glitch or conflict, but I can't get the computer to make a sound. Control panel tells me that everything is working normally. Does anyone have any suggestions?

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mrb1980
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RE: No Audio on New Dell XPS 8900

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I guess no one has any suggestions so far. However, I did run Dell's audio troubleshooter, which stated that the problem was likely a "generic driver". The current driver is from Microsoft, is dated 2/2/2016, and is about 8 months newer than the XPS 8900-specific RealTek one that Dell has available.

I tried to replace the Microsoft driver with the Dell driver using the installation wizard from Dell. This wizard is supposed to uninstall the old driver, restart the computer, then install the Dell driver. However, the wizard keeps getting stuck in an endless do-loop--the uninstall process finishes, the computer restarts, then the uninstall process starts up again, as if nothing happened. It's very frustrating.

My old computer has a generic Microsoft RealTek driver and audio is fine. So, I continue to be stumped. If these latest developments give people any ideas, please let me know.

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mrb1980
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RE: No Audio on New Dell XPS 8900

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Still no answers, but I think I may be getting close. I've suspected the driver all along, and I've identified a generic Microsoft RealTek driver as the probable cause. The problem is that Windows 10 immediately replaces any drivers that have been uninstalled upon restart, and the Dell installation wizard just goes into an endless loop trying to install the Dell RealTek audio driver.

So, I disabled automatic driver updates. That didn't work. The driver kept reappearing upon restart. Then I uninstalled the driver manually and ran a Microsoft troubleshooter to hide the RealTek driver from Microsoft updates. That worked, the driver's gone, but the Dell RealTek driver installation wizard still goes into its endless loop without installing the XPS 8900 audio driver.

I am asking someone at Dell (or anywhere else for that matter) if a stand-alone Dell RealTek driver installer WITHOUT the uninstaller is available somewhere. I am also asking if there's any other way to address this problem. This is more and more appearing to be a problem without a good solution, and Dell doesn't appear to have an answer that works. My computer is a month old and I've been trying to address this problem since the day it arrived.

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Moderator
Moderator

RE: No Audio on New Dell XPS 8900

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Sounds like the original operating system image extraction was faulty. Did you try installing the retail Realtek driver?

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mrb1980
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RE: No Audio on New Dell XPS 8900

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Thanks Chris, I'll give that a try. My main problem is running into an endless loop because Windows 10 reinstalls the generic Windows RealTek driver before I can install Dell's XPS 8900 RealTek driver using Dell's installation wizard. Hope this approach can avoid that issue, so I'll let you know.

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Moderator
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RE: No Audio on New Dell XPS 8900

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fzim
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RE: No Audio on New Dell XPS 8900

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I am having the same problem on a three-day old XPS-8900. Did you resolve your sound issues?

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mrb1980
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RE: No Audio on New Dell XPS 8900

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I did everything in your link, updated chipset via Intel utility, blocked updates through Control Panel (at least that's what Control Panel says), tried to install RealTek driver, and again ended up in an endless loop. Still no sound. The Windows 10 Control Panel's options are different than the ones presented in your link, by the way.

I didn't uninstall any updates in Settings because I don't know which one(s) to uninstall. Do I just uninstall the latest update? One of the updates is a security update (KB3172985), the others are KB3173428, KB3149135, KB3140741, and KB3116278.

I just can't find a way to override Windows 10 immediately updating the RealTek driver. It won't work. My computer is now almost 4 months old and it still has no audio. I'm at my wit's end trying to figure this out.

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Moderator
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RE: No Audio on New Dell XPS 8900

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Contact Technical Support. Explain that the onboard audio has never worked. For customer satisfaction reason, tell them to send you this PCIe x1 sound card = J75NW Sound Blaster Recon3D. You would then disable the onboard audio in the Bios, shutdown, lay the tower on its right side, open the case cover, install the PCIe x1 sound card, replace the cover, stand it up, power on, install its drivers.

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mrb1980
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RE: No Audio on New Dell XPS 8900

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Okay, I'll try that. I guess you're saying that it's maybe a hardware problem? Have you run into this situation before, and if so how often? It intuitively seems like software, but I'm not an expert.

Sorry to be such a pain. I'll try your proposed solution and let you know.

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