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I currently have a user that is forced to watch many different training videos and/or audio courses (CD, flash, DVD, etc). Once in a while their audio will stop working. I stop over and the system will give me this error: "There are no active mixer devices available."

I take a quick look Add hardware devices, and it shows the multimedia controller uninstalled, and reloading the software is a pain. The easiest solution, is of course to reboot, and problem solved. This causes the user much frustration though. I have tried many re-images, and software re-installs, but it eventually keeps happening. Is there any shorter way, other than a reboot, to reload an audio cards drivers when this happens?

OS: WinXP Pro Sound card: SB Audigy 2 Drivers: latest SB update

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3 Answers

up vote 1 down vote accepted

There has to be some sort of driver conflict or other software (perhaps malicious) that's causing the multimedia controller to uninstall. I would not stop at a temporary solution of simply reinstalling the driver, because drivers do not uninstall themselves.

The only other thing it could be is possibly a hardware issue. Loose connections, not enough power coming from the power supply, or even overheating.

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Have you checked to see if the Windows Audio Service is still running when the problem arises? Until a real solution can be found, you could update the recovery settings.

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If audio is a serious part of the job, I recommend getting a cheap usb or firewire audio interface that can be reattached if necessary. If you only need stereo out, then I recommend the M-Audio Transit.

If anyone objects point out the amount of time you've wasted trying to get this hardware to work. I recommend stamping on it several times once you've uninstalled it.

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