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Are you sure the problem is with the sound card? May be it is the volume settings. There are several ways to increase the volume.
If you need further help, let us know the model, brand and OS of your computer.
Two possible causes.1) Vol Settings changed in windows2) Bad hardware
1) Check your system's sound settings:
Goto Control Panel
Double Click Sound and Audio devices / Sound, Speech, and Audio Devices
In device Volume Click Advance
Master Volume Control Window will open
Increase all the volumes to max, also make sure that Mute us UNCHECKED.
From the bottom right corner of your screen in system tray, double click a small speaker icon and open Master Volume Control.
For Vista and Windows 7
From system tray (its at bottom right corner of your screen) double click on small speaker icon, it will open Volume mixer
Increase the volume to max.
2) If this does not work, then test your speakers by connecting it to some other system and vice versa.
If you get desired sound volume when you connect some other speakers to your system, then you have to change your speakers. And if your speakers are working fine on other system then you may have to purchase a new sound card.
Try not to have 100% of the volume. (try 85% instead)
If you use VLC you should be careful and not raise the volume in VLC too much since that software is able to amlify 400% which easy can lead to the cracking sounds from the speaker/headphone you are describing.
Do you have a speaker to connected to the computer? You need to isolate the problem, follow the instructions below:
1. Connect the speaker into different computer to make sure that the speaker is working. 2. Check the volume settings by double-clicking the speaker icon on the System Tray (down by the clock) and make sure that the Mute box is not checked. 3. Check the sound properties of the problem computer: * Go to the Control Panel > click on "Sounds" or "Sounds and Audio Devices" * Go to Audio tab and check the sound recording and play-back * Make sure that those two field are configured properly.
If the speaker worked on other computer and the sound properties is configured properly, then there could be a problem with the sound card that you have in your computer. Maybe updating or re-installing the sound card driver will do.
You may want to check the speaker settings themselves within the control panel (Sound Audio Devices + hit the Advanced button under speaker settings). Chances are the current setting is for stereo desktop speakers, you should change it to settings that more closely match your hardware setup...
Well if your sound card went out then your kind of out of luck, but if you need to get the sound card to work again, like to install it then you need to go to the acer website and download the driver for it.