Server Fault is a question and answer site for system and network administrators. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

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

share|improve this question
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.

share|improve this answer

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.

share|improve this answer

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.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.