Accidentally deleted audio driver on Windows XP machine. How do I get it back?
October 2, 2012 3:45 PM   Subscribe

I accidentally deleted my audio driver software on my XP machine. How can I remedy this?

I was going through files on my old XP machine, deleting unnecessary programs and such, and when I was in the "Add/Remove Programs" part of the control panel I noticed a program called "C Media 3D audio" or something like that. I have a bunch of old video and audio converter programs and figured this was one of them. It even said that I used the program rarely, the last time being April of 2005. "Well surely I can delete that!" So I did. And then the computer restarted itself and now I have no more ability to play sound. You know, a fucking prompt that says "hey if you delete this you won't be able to play audio anymore" would be nice, Microsoft. (In case someone from Microsoft is reading this, THIS IS WHY PEOPLE HATE YOU.) Anyway, what can I do to restore audio capabilities on this computer?
posted by MattMangels to Computers & Internet (7 answers total)
Run Windows update (it may show up under optional). It may reinstall the driver for you.

That said, Microsoft doesn't control 3rd party hardware (nor should it).
posted by wongcorgi at 4:00 PM on October 2, 2012

Just to guide your hate some, Microsoft can't possibly guess every program that will wipe out drivers if you uninstall it. The uninstall program itself should be alerting you to this.

Relevant details you need to provide for people to assist: is this a big box brand computer? Try googling "YourMake YourModel Audio Driver"

If it's not, press windows key + pause break, bring up device manager, any devices with a yellow ? you can right click on and say update driver. That probably won't work. If it doesn't open the device properties, go to the details tab. Select the line item with the hardware ID, press ctrl + c to copy it. Google that ID. Install relevant driver.
posted by zephyr_words at 4:03 PM on October 2, 2012

A couple of possibilities:
(This assumes that your machine has this specific chipset, but if it's worth a try. Worst that should happen is it either refuses to install, or doesn't do anything once installed.)

The driver download page for the manufacturer (which currently appears to be down, but will hopefully be back up sometime soon):

That has drivers for quite a number of different chipsets, according to the Google cache of the page -- you may want to Google for the model of your PC or motherboard to try and find out exactly what chipset is in your machine.

And no, it's not Microsoft's fault -- as far as Windows XP is concerned, it's just another piece of third-party software.
posted by McCoy Pauley at 4:06 PM on October 2, 2012

You can download from this website: C Media 3D audio.
posted by she's not there at 4:09 PM on October 2, 2012 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Would System Restore be of any help?
posted by ringu0 at 7:00 PM on October 2, 2012

Response by poster: I tried installing the drivers by downloading from the aforementioned sites, but every time I tried installing one of them my computer would restart and say that the system recovered from a serious error. I was reluctant to try System Restore, because I was afraid of maybe losing some important stuff, but that turned out to be what eventually fixed this problem. Thanks, everyone.
posted by MattMangels at 1:51 AM on October 3, 2012

I am not clear how you fixed the problem, but here is the link for future reference, if at all you need it. I used it a LOT when I used to use XP. It downloads a small utility. You install it and then it scans the machine for hardware and driver detection. Tells you what is missing or needs an update. Never had a failure any time.
posted by zaxour at 3:26 AM on October 3, 2012

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