Windows 10 Bug Silences Sound Cards

John Lister's picture

Microsoft has fixed a problem with the latest major Windows 10 update that left some computers silent. It's blamed Intel for an incompatible audio driver.

A driver is software that helps a hardware device (such as a soundcard) work with an operating system, such as Windows. Sometimes drivers need to be updated to keep working with a new or updated edition of Windows.

In the past, users often had to download drivers from hardware manufacturers, which usually meant using a search engine to find the appropriate page with a download link. These days, however, the Windows Update process often includes new or updated drivers for widely-used hardware. When everything works as intended, it's good news all round as things continue working smoothly without the user having to take any extra steps.

The Sound Of Silence

That wasn't the case this time, however. Many users with Intel-based audio hardware in their computer discovered that they suddenly had no sound on their computer whatsoever, regardless of what equipment they used or what changes they made to settings.

Microsoft says the problem was caused because "Intel unintentionally released" a new driver, which overrode existing drivers. That's raised some questions about exactly how much testing (if any) Microsoft did before allowing the driver to go through Windows Update. (Source:

In theory, it should have been flagged by its "Insider" testing program that allows ordinary users to get new features and updates early in return for acting as real-world testers. The sheer number of people in the program means some of those involved should have been hit by the incompatibility.

Not The First Glitch This Month

The problem has caused particular anger among users of screen reading software, who were left unable to figure out what had happened, let along how to fix it. (Source:

The fix comes in yet another "update to the update", which includes compatible Intel drivers. It's another embarrassment for Microsoft however, following on from a bug in the same major update that meant some users had documents deleted.

What's Your Opinion?

Do you know anyone affected by this bug? Do such problems put you off Windows 10 or tempt you to block future updates? Do you think Microsoft does enough to test for bugs before issuing major updates?

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Average: 4.8 (10 votes)


robbie_sfc_11429's picture

Yesterday I lost ALL Audio. I ran system troubleshoter and spent 3 hours trying to restore Audio. I went to CCleaner and >system restore and it said I had 2 restore points .The latest one was set 17 Oct 2018 at 7.11 a.m Australian time. I am located in Hobart/ Tasmania the Island state of Australia under Victoria and left of New Zealand on the Atlas.
I am running a desktop HP Mwith Intel Porcessor.

I had a multitude of problems not limited to audio but alos the loss of U Tube and extreme problems and glitches and interference to Facebook messages and deletions of some emails in outlook.

I ran boot sector scans and found errors and did a Scan Disc thing and it picked up and replace a key in the registry that pertained to driver's. There is definitely a bug in the windows 10 Update as my computer still is slow to load and the Google browser is playing up (I took Egde off of the shell over 12 months ago) Other friends have had their computers bricked and have bought new ones. Inthe past i had 2 bricked and had to buy a new computer.

I remember M/Soft later on released an article about a KB ********* update that had caused problems . This windows 10m Platform is a totaql headcase and we are on NBN (National Broadband Network) and it is 10 times worse than ADSL. We have slipped down form tyhe 16th fqatstest Nation to about the 160th slowest and at times my set up runs and loas slower than Dial Up which used to run at 50 KILO /a second. That is"" Kilo"" bits a second.

My ISP has and I also have run speedtests and we get about 18<> 20 MEGAbytes of Download on roughly a 17 ping test. We have Fibre tothe Node and copper fromthe Node to the premises.

Clearly there still are major problems with windows Updates and I canonly attest that it is rife even as we speak .I wish Windows would just stop with their Updates and they cause more problems than they solve.

I miss the Golden days of XP and even windows 10 is worse than Vista abd the Millenium edition .The Library is so confusing and I can never find photos and file them neatly like I used to with XP.

Windows assume that everyone is a multi/millionaire and I find it begs for Money well after you have paid for the platform.Their latest con is to ask for a subscription for ad free OUTLOOK.A tax of so much a month.

I no longer do clip art or office things because I can't afford their 365 suite Publisher and or even if i did , the receiving computer's are not running the quivalent software , so I don't bother anymore with Power Point and things like thast.

I ditched the ink Jet Printer's because thye were constantly begging for ink replacements even though they were stil full and the printers were becoming dinosaur's every 18 months.

M/Soft have to fix these updates as they are causing Major grief to user's and playing dumb when people report the damage caused by them.

So yes there were severe Audio or loss of audio yesterday which would have been 16th Oct 2018 in the USA. It is extremely Unprofessional of Microsoft and their leaders need to step up to the plate and fix their mistakes or notify their users .Again I reiterate that XP was to me the best system and that is why the US Navy still used it many many years after .Thye simply made it too good.


blueboxer2's picture

Also, where did all those documents vanish to yesterday?

To Robbie, one can only say fair dinkom, mate. After wrestling with windows ever since version 3.1 more than three decades ago, I reluctantly bought Windows 7 at the last minute, never opened the box with Windows 8 and watching that debacle declined my free copy of Windows 10. I have yet to see anything that makes me regret this decision.

Yes, I still have my XP laptop active and available. And though she has a Win7 Dell and we share a laser printer, she still has applications for which she prefers to use her Amiga 3000 and 24-pindut matrix. Not everything new is automatically better. You've got it right, mate.

As I'm pushing 90 and entropy is catching up, new computers are not my greatest concern. I suspect Microsoft is now past a tipping point into an inevitable death spiral, though it will be a long and painful way to the end. If it mattered to me, I'd be looking into Ubuntu or a similaly friendy OS for my nest machine.

Just fyi I live in Toronto, Canada, about 400 km west of the Windsor, Canada area where Infopackets originates. And the best of digger luck to you in Oz. - bb2

ehowland's picture

Although "I" did not do it I helped someone (their Win10 Home was up to date, patch wise, so I triggered no patches) Anyway very "Close" to the time I helped the person this patch must have gotten pushed so naturally a week later she said: "everything is going well, but you broke my sound". I told her nothing "I did" broke her sound, but due to the timing she must have still thought it was me (no worries, I fixed it). I ended up going to and was able to download a working sound driver for her XPS9550 (phew) and got it working again...

nate01pa's picture

I find it hard to believe that M$ did not catch the fact that Intel changed the driver (if that is the only driver that was changed!). Doesn't M$ control which drivers they include in their software?

I can understand that given the almost infinite variety of configurations in the field, that some people will have problems but this should have been caught in house.