Windows 8: what to do when your speakers work and your headphones don’t

When Windows 8 updated itself recently, for some reason it made the headphones stop working.  The speakers were fine – just the headphones were disabled.  It took me a while to fix the problem, and I thought I’d share the steps here.  They’re pretty counter intuitive, and big props to squider on a microsoft forum who was finally able to figure it out.  The key is changing a specific parameter in the power options for the computer (don’t ask me why).  Here’s how:

1.  Right click on the Windows icon at the lower left corner of the screen.

2.  Click on “Control Panel.”

3.  In the “Search Control Panel” box on the upper right, type “Power” and hit Enter.

4.  Below the Power Options header, click on “Change what the power buttons do”

5.  Click on “Change settings that are currently unavailable”

6.  Uncheck “Turn on fast startup (recommended)”

7.  Click “Save changes.”

8.  Now close Control Panel and right click on the Windows icon again.

9.   Click on “Command Prompt”

10.  Type shutdown /s /t 0 and hit Enter. NOTE: This will shut down your computer!

11.  When you restart your computer, your headphones should work 🙂

As an aside, these sorts of problems are why I moved to Ubuntu long ago, and left Windows behind.  Unfortunately, the few computer games I still have a chance to play all run on Windows, so I left Windows 8 on part of my laptop.  This was great until Windows Updater made my headphones stop working!   Of course, then I couldn’t play computer games till it was fixed.  Such a tragedy…


About glossarch

The word "glossarch" doesn't exist. At least, not yet. But let's pretend it does for a second. The first part is "gloss," a word that comes to us from Ancient Greek via Latin and English. It means "language." The second part also comes from Ancient Greek and can mean "having power over." So "glossarch" means simply "language controller." So what am I doing making up words? Well, I made up an entire language once. It's called Angosey. So I'm the Glossarch of Angosey. I'm currently a doctorate student in volcano seismology (a branch of geophysics). I enjoy writing fiction and poetry, launching balloons, programming, and hanging out with my lovely wife! Follow me on Twitter! Writing and language creation: @glossarch Balloons and science: @bovineaerospace
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One Response to Windows 8: what to do when your speakers work and your headphones don’t

  1. mvthakar says:

    Yeah. This problem is really annoying, can’t use Fast Startup.
    But never mind. 🙂

    I’ve heard this problem occurs because of Realtek Audio Driver (I’ve installed the latest one: R2.75)

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