05-15-2017 11:31 AM
For six months or so, I've had a problem where my laptop's audio will stop working. The red "X" appears over the volume icon in the system tray and audio will not function whatsoever. Until now, rebooting has been 99% successful at restoring the audio until it eventually fails again. But in the last three days, my normal quick fix no longer does the trick. Apparently my laptop can no longer find the actual Conexant 20672 SmartAudio HD hardware on the motherboard.
This is a T520 laptop running Win 7 with SP1. The T520 is roughly six years old, so I realize the hardware's age might be a factor. There are definitely other issues related to its age (general performance sluggishness, inability to wake up from sleep mode, backup no longer works correctly) and I will eventually have to replace the laptop. But in the meantime, solving this persistent audio issue will buy me at least a few more months, so it's worth fixing to me.
I've found dozens of threads that suggest reinstalling the device drivers, which of course I have tried several times using the drivers here. The problem: After rebooting, the device manager still doesn't list any playback device ("No audio devices are installed") even with both "Show Disabled Devices" and "Show Disconnected Devices" checked. Similarly, when I run the 8aad14ww.exe device installer, it terminates with an error message ("Driver Installation Failed: Could not find the device for this driver").
Has the hardware itself actually died? Am I out of luck or can anyone recommend a few steps for troubleshooting that I may not have already tried? Thanks.