Windows Vista obliviated my audio device. How can I get it back?
January 2, 2009 8:04 PM   Subscribe

In Windows Vista, under playback devices, I selected "Don't use this device" for the default audio device. Now that device has entirely vanished, and I can't get it back.

I'm using an Asus W5F laptop with Windows Vista installed. (This is not my laptop.) I plugged in some external speakers, but it kept playing sound out of the built-in laptop speakers.

I went to Control Panel -> Hardware And Sound -> Manage Audio Devices. There I saw three things:
* Digital Output Device (SPDIF)
* The built-in speakers, whatever those were called
* The external speakers

They all had the option to "Use this device" or "Don't use this device", and all were currently set to "Use this device". I selected the built-in speakers and chose "Don't use this device", thinking I would just enable it when I was done.

However. The built-in speaker device promptly vanished. The external speakers started playing, certainly. There was no sign of the old built-in speaker device. I can't get it to come back, and the laptop has no sound now. (It does play the Vista startup sound, but won't play anything after that.)

Things I have tried:
* Rebooting
* In Device manager, searching for the old device, scanning for new hardware, searching for new drivers. Nothing.
* System Restore - hoping it would show my removal of some device and allow me to undo it. It doesn't show any configuration changes having taken place. (The deed was done 4 days ago, and it shows changes before and after the device was obliviated.)

Can anyone tell me how to get the default audio device to reappear?
posted by agropyron to Computers & Internet (2 answers total)
Did you try clicking right in the 'Manage Audio Devices' window and selecting 'Show disabled devices'?
posted by Memo at 8:14 PM on January 2, 2009

Holy crap, Memo, that's it.

It would seem useful to make that a prominent button, instead of a hidden right-click option. Grr.

Thank you Memo!
posted by agropyron at 8:20 PM on January 2, 2009

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