XPS 8900, audio only working in certain programs

I have a Dell XPS 8900 running Windows 10 (64-bit). I recently reinstalled Windows due to a BSOD issue with several boot files (I would get a BSOD whenever I woke the computer from hibernation), which has now been fixed.

However, I'm now having a very perplexing problem with my audio:

1. I hear sounds from Google Chrome and the Windows system.

2. I don't hear sounds from any other programs (notably VLC Media Player and Windows Media Player, even games). Both of those programs open and say they're playing music, but they don't even appear in the volume mixer.

3. Both the Windows Audio and Windows Audio Endpoint Builder are running, and restarting them has no effect. (Even though the sound troubleshooter suggests that the problem is with one of them.)

4. I have reinstalled the audio driver from Dell's website, and it had no effect.

5. I also updated the chipset, which had no effect.

6. I have switched to the generic Windows audio driver, which got rid of ALL sound.

7. There are no changes when I plug in headphones: sound still only comes from Chrome and the Windows system.

I'm at my wit's end. Any suggestions?

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2 Replies

RE: Dell XPS 8900 - Audio only working in certain programs

First reinstall the correct hardware sound driver as the Generic Windows driver does not have Stereo Mix.

Second, go to the Sound Panel, Recording section.  Set Stereo Mix as the default Recording device.  

Many programs rely on Stereo Mix for their sound source and if not set that is probably the problem.

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RE: Dell XPS 8900 - Audio only working in certain programs

Thank you for your response!

I uninstalled and reinstalled the Realtek Audio driver, unplugging my webcam so that its driver wouldn't interfere and get selected as default. I even turned off internet access during this process so that the computer couldn't download a driver on its own.

I was able to change a setting in VLC and got its audio working.

However, Windows Media Player and various games still do not create any sound, even though at least the first still appears in the Volume Mixer.

This might have something to do with the fact that when I open the "Recording" window after reinstalling the driver, "Stereo Mix" was marked as "disabled." I'm not sure why that would be the case, though, and I'm not sure how to get it to be enabled automatically. Would you happen to know how?

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