Windows Vista Sound Problems

I’m not sure about this one. Could either be tied into the Windows sound event process or the audio driver’s limitations?

My name is Chris Proctor. I’ve never written before, but I have a feeling you might be able to answer a question I have concerning system sounds on Windows Vista. I know about your digital wisdom from TechTV (the only thing I really don’t like about G4TV is that they dropped all the TechTV stuff after they bought it), and have seen a few of your web videos, so I’m confident you can help in some way or another. Don’t worry, my question is relatively a very small issue.

OK, I’ll try to stop rambling and cut to the chase here. Basically, I can’t get Vista to play a few sounds in a custom sound theme I’ve made. See, what I’ve done is I’ve created a theme that consists of all custom sound effects, all video game sound effects to be exact (yeah, how dorky is that?). And, for the “grand finale” of this theme, I’ve built 2 custom sound clips. I’ve built a medley of short video game tunes for the start-up sound, and a similar medley for shutdown. The start-up medley runs about 1 minute 40 seconds, and the shutdown medley runs about 1 minute 55 seconds. Before I built these 2 sound clips, I had other sounds for start-up and shutdown which worked perfectly. The start-up tune was 12 or 13 seconds long, while the shutdown tune was about 6.

It’s my guess that Vista has some sort of time restraint for the sounds that I don’t know about. Do you know if there are? And, if there turns out to be no time restraint, do you have any idea why Vista suddenly doesn’t want to play these sounds when I ask it to? It’ll play all others in the theme just like it should, and the 2 big sound clips will play in Windows Media Player, WinAmp, and even when I press the play button in the sound theme dialog box. But, it just doesn’t want to play them at the times they’re instructed to. Any ideas?

I know this may seem like a trivial thing in the face of the horror that is Vista, but damn it, I built this from scratch and I just want it to work. It’s a little pet project that’s been black flagged on the last lap and I need a little help. I greatly appreciate any such help you can provide. Thanks for your time.

UPDATE: I was hoping someone from Microsoft would pick up on this issue and continue the discussion. Silly me forgot to ping Larry about it! No matter, he’s come up with quite a comprehensive report on why Windows shutdown sounds work the way they do…

15 thoughts on “Windows Vista Sound Problems”

  1. Pingback: EntreGeeks
  2. I blame Vista for everything. Especially sound related. I mean Microsoft removed friggin’ DirectSound for crying out loud… I went back to XP, and my X-Fi Fatal1ty Platinum thanks me for that.

    But yeah, it’s probably a sound driver issue, and this person is most likely using the wonders of quality integrated audio.

  3. If it’s a local custom theme only, then you can probably get away with a batch file to play the audio, then shutdown the machine. The startup sound could be placed in the autostart list. For a theme that you want to distribute this doesn’t really work, but for a personal theme it’ll be fine.

  4. Well … I LIKE to think I’m a little more computer-savvy than the average person, but, in response to Tim Wendel, … uh, what?

    How do I change the settings for my audio driver? Is it even possible, without finding a different driver altogether, that is? Or what about Mr. Pirillo’s other suggestion about the sound event process? Is it possible to jump in there and change a few things to get my sounds to work?

    (And, on a completely different note, I’ll give out info on how I’ve been creating .wav and .mp3 files of video game music and sfx to anyone who’s interested. Oh … and, uh, video games rule!)

  5. I don’t know, Tim – I’m running Vista 32bit on a DFI LanParty motherboard with integrated video (yes, I’m running 32bit Vista on a 64bit hardware platform (I’m a rebel…I ride like that, etc) and have had only one problem with the new hardware architecture…and that was solved by only a minor software tweak in the streaming audio streamer that I use. If I were Mr. Proctor, I would (of course) make sure that he has the most stable (and not the most recent) release of the audio drivers for his system. If your hunch is right about AC’97 audio hardware, then the most recently released drivers should fix the problem. It’s a shame that we don’t know more about his sound hardware or we (the rest of the people who frequent this site) could be able to steer him in the right direction. I use the AC’97 audio on my motherboard and it works just fine and sounds great – it all depends on the implementation and the drivers, and chances are that Mr. Proctor has hit a snag. Chris, if you’re using sound hardware that it on your motherboard, head on over to the manufacturer’s site and see if they have new drivers. The same would apply if you have an actual sound card in one of the PCI slots.


  6. Wow, I guess I really am just a noob when it comes to this sort of thing. I don’t understand half of what you guys are talking about. (And all my friends think I’m a computer genius. Shhh! Don’t tell!)

    I think what I’m going to do is follow the advice that Larry Osterman gave in his weblog response to my e-mail and try to severely shrink the file sizes of the sound clips I want to use. That, at least, I can do.

    The rest of the proposed answers (thank you to all of you kind strangers out there who posting something potentially meaningful) I’m not going to try. Why? It’s a rule I’ve given myself, and I think it should be a universal computer axiom. “If you don’t know it, DON’T TOUCH IT!!!!”

    For the sake of this forum, I’ll give an update to see if I can get my modifications to work.

  7. Well … I tried it. No dice. Oh well. I’m not computer-savvy enough to make it work for me. At least I tried. At least I can still keep the sound files I’ve built. Thank you all for your input, I appreciate it. Thank you especially to Larry Osterman, who wrote what the file size limit is for a shutdown sound. I’ll keep that in mind. And also, a big thank you to Chris Pirillo for hosting this forum.

    Thanks, everybody!

  8. There is a problem while recording.If speakers are connected no sound is heard if we connect Head phone, sound is only heard in either instruments so how can this problem be resolved.We are using Windows Vista Home premium.The system we are using is HP Pavilion dv2519tu.
    Please suggest me .

  9. i think windows vistais te wors peice of crap computer money will ever buy i cant blieve it i brought a computerto play my music and so that others online can listen too aswell whilt haveing a coffee and a conversation/do buisness only to find that they can hear my mic and nt my music and it really sux so in a couple of months i am oig to smash my vista computer and never look back or ever get a vista computer unless i can find a programme that will allow me to do 1 thing ,that being playing sound to my friends/co workers.

    btw you know of any??? prgrammes that are compatible with this pitiful excuse for a computer named windows vista???

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