Audacity can't find realtek audio card

On my win xp machine I have a Realtek audio “card”, part of motherboard. Windows says it is there. Windows says it is working properly. However Audacity (2.0.5) can’t find it. And neither can any other audio player … winamp, windows media player, adobe audition. … Drivers have been updated.

The current version of Audacity is 2.0.6 and it is available here:
Audacity 2.0.6 should still work on Windows XP even though XP is obsolete and not considered to be secure for online use.

Have a look in the Audio Properties ( to ensure that the device is selected as the default recording and playback device, and that the levels are turned up.

Under the hardware tab … Realtek HD audio shows up as installed and working properly, as are the mixer, and inputs etc
However … under voice tab, or audio tab, it is not shown. … So it also doesn’t show up as a device for audacity, or other audio software.
It was working fine three weeks ago … now suddenly there seems to be something missing. Something is not allowing audio software to
recognize that it exists.

Then clearly it is not an Audacity issue.

Something like this is almost certainly to do with drivers somewhere.

Have you installed any “virtual” audio drivers for example in a recording program? If so try uninstalling that program. If necessary, you could use System Restore to go back to a restore point before the problem started.

Otherwise I suggest you uninstall the Realtek audio device from Device Manager. Do not restart the computer or it will probably attempt to reinstall the same drivers. If you have a drivers CD that came with the computer, install the audio drivers from there then reboot the computer.

If you have no drivers CD you will have to go online, which can be very dangerous on XP. I suggest you follow audacity not saving - #3 by Gale_Andrews at the earliest opportunity. Go to the web site of the computer manufacturer (such as Dell or HP) or if you don’t have a branded computer, go the web site of the motherboard manufacturer. Download and install the Windows XP audio drivers for your exact computer model or motherboard model. Do this even if Windows says your drivers are up-to-date.


You might find the following articles helpful:
Missing or lost sound in Windows
Where do I locate motherboard sound drivers?
How On-Board Audio Works

Thanks for the three links. I see some ideas there that “may” lead me in the right direction. I’ll give them a try. Hopefully, it will result in normal operation.

Well, that didn’t work. Uninstalled the on-board audio “card” … then rebooted. … On rebooting it was automatically detected and reinstalled. Still doesn’t work though, as far as the audio player software is concerned. Think I’m going to have to give up on it, and buy another audio card and install it … (and deactivate this unit) … and hope that solves the problem.

No surprise there - if you re-read what I said at Audacity can't find realtek audio card - #4 by Gale_Andrews I explicitly suggested that you don’t reboot after uninstalling the motherboard sound card. After uninstalling it, go to the computer or motherboard manufacturer’s site and get the latest audio drivers for XP for your specific computer model. Install those drivers, then reboot.