Windows Media Center Sound Effects Disappeared

So after a recent crash of Windows Media Center, I noticed all the sound effects disappeared, the startup sound, the clicks when you navigate, and the beep when you tell it to start playing. At first I thought maybe the cable was lose, but sound still worked. Playing a video had audio and Winamp was able to stream music off the internet.

I tried restarting my Windows Vista box hoping that would fix it, but upon launching Windows Media Center, I noticed the startup sound still didn’t play. Launching videos from inside Windows Media Center did in fact have audio. I went into settings to see if I might’ve accidentally unchecked the sound effects box. But nope, it was still checked. I tried unchecking it, saving the settings, and then re-checking it, but that didn’t work either.

So I started searching online for solutions, but there really wasn’t much to work with.

Solution:
Interestingly enough, I was playing with the volume control and mixer and noticed this unlabeled volume control. I wasn’t mute or anything, but was set to pretty much the bottom. Since I’m using digital audio output, the only 2 volume controls I have are main and digital out. I had no idea where this 3rd control is and it didn’t appear to have an icon or name associated. Anyway, I dragged it to the 80% mark like the others and suddenly my Windows Media Center sound effects started working again. I noticed when Windows Media Center is open, my volume control gets an extra column with the green Media Center icon.

I never knew I was so addicted to those beeps. I guess Tivo people have the same problem with the fast forward and rewind beeps, where switching to your local cable provider’s DVR just doesn’t cut it.

Glad it’s fixed now and hopefully if someone out there is hitting this problem where the sound effects are gone, they’ll be able to find this page and quickly fix the problem.

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