Windows Vista - Microphone Broken

Whenever people ask me what OS I prefer, I always say that my preference is Linux as a System Administrator, Windows as a Gamer, and Mac OS as a Designer (CAD, 3D rendering, etc.). With the advent of Windows 7, which is so much better than their previous version of shit called Vista, Microsoft have regained a little more respect from me... until what they did around 2 months ago. And what did Microsoft do? They decided to 'update' device drivers for microphones.

The result? You guessed it. 90% (and this is not an exaggeration) of microphones around the world suddenly stopped working.

Why? That is my question. Why would they do that? It's ridiculous. If you don't believe me that this is a major issue, just check out these searches: Google Search ResultsMicrosoft Site Search. So, it's now been 2 or 3 months since this issue had first been published, and has Microsoft come up with a new update and fix for it? No.

But enough banter, let's try and fix this problem.

Please be sure to check that your Mic is not broken in the first place.

Option 1: Update Your Machine

First of all, see if there are any updates that 'might' be able to fix this problem for you. To do that, go to Window Update in your Control Panel. You should see a window like the one below:

First, check to see if there are any additional update available (this should be done automatically, but no harm in checking just to be sure). Click the Check for Updates icon in the top-left corner of the screen. Depending on your computer and internet speed, this should not take that long.

Now, if you feel patient enough, you can just install everything (not the language packs, unless you really want those). If not, explore the updates to see if they can aid in fixing this problem. To do this, click on the update and look on the left side to see what it fixes.


As you can see from the above picture, that there is an update that 'might' fix the problem (the others do not). So, we will install it and hope for the best. It is good to periodically check for updates on your computer anyway, to patch vulnerabilities and security flaws in the system.

Just click the checkbox next to the update and then click 'OK'. Windows will then continue to the install/update wizard (note: you might have to restart your machine).



Option 2: Roll-Back Drivers

Start > Right-click 'Computer' > Properties

You should see this screen:

Click where it says Device Manager in the top-left corner of the screen. This will open a new window. Open the Sound, videos and game controllers sub-menu. Select your Sound-card listed in the menu. Mine is the SoundMAX Intergrated... the 'Screaming Bee Audio' is a voice-modification program.

Right-click the soundcard and then click on 'properties'.

Select the 2nd tab called Driver, then look for 'Roll-Back Driver'. Then click 'Yes'. The computer will automatically roll-back the driver for you.


You will have to restart your computer after this.

Option 3: Reinstall Drivers

To do this, go to see Option 2. But instead of right-clicking and going to Properties, click Update Driver Software...

You can try and search for the update automatically, but this rarely works.

It is better to search the web and manually download the drivers and install them using the Manual approach. Just Google for you computer model.

Hopefully one of these methods should solve your problem. 

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