Here, I take the plunge:

I was doing a clean-up of my PC and apparently unistalled sth I recall to be Sound Max (I'm not entirely sure); restarting the PC and trying to play music, I get the message:

"Windows Media Player cannot play the file because there is a problem with your sound device. There might be a sound device installed on your computer, it might be in use by another program, or it might not be functioning properly."

I'm using Windows XP. Can anyone please help me?

Many thanks!


I have the same problem what did you do to fix it?

I would suggest restoring your system to an earlier state(XP machines only) and seeing if that reinstalls the program for you.

To do this start
2. controll panel
3. Switch to category view(if it is not on that already)
4. performance and maitanence
5. System restore in the sidebar on the lefthand side.
6. simply follow the wizard to restoring to the desired day and you should be right once your computer restarts.

Otherwise the program that you have uninstalled is simply your sound drivers and depending on wether or not you have an external sound card or a built in one will depend upon what disc you use to reinstall it. eitherway the discs should have come with your computer.

Good Luck


I agree with the System Restore option but, you may want to consider the following:

1. System Restore will return your computer to a specific date, prior to this point in time. Let us assume it was a week ago; well this will mean that whatever software/changes you've since made (including accidentally deleting your sound card drivers) will be "undone" and you will lose all the updates, installations and alterations that took place AFTER the date, to which you're returning your computer to. Usually this is not a big problem, but it is something to keep in mind, just in case you've installed something fairly important. (In other words, if you've installed a large software/program for your printer/copier/scanner device mid-week and you return your computer to last Monday, well don't be surprised if your sound came back but now you have to re-install the software for your printer/copier/scanner, etc.) If you decide on the System Restore option, try to return your Operating System to maybe a few hours prior to when you lost sound. This will save you from having to re-install too many things (including Windows Security Updates, which will also be erased, for the time period involved, along with everything else.)

2. It may be simpler to use your System Drivers disk (this will be different, in most cases, than the disk that installs the operating system) and using this disk to re-install your sound device. You will not have to re-install Windows and you would only be installing the relevant drivers.

3. You can also go to Device Manager (Start, right click on My Computer, select Properties, select the Hardware tab, from the tabs above, left click on Device Manager) A list will appear and every item in this list will have a + sign next to it, if nothing is wrong. Problematic entries will be easy to spot (there will be an exclamation sign) and you can do the following: right click the problematic entry (in your case, it will be the Legacy Audio Drivers, under the Sound, Video and Game Controllers heading) and left click on Update Driver (be sure to already have loaded your System Drivers disk, in your cd or dvd rom... ) From there on, it is fairly simple and just follow the on-screen instructions. (I mention this just in case you have the System Drivers disk and are not sure what corresponds to what, within the disk, in this case, the computer would be able to locate the file(s) for you.)

3. Also, as a by-line: you may want to locate and download specific codecs for your computer as well. If you've ever had issues with seeing a video and not hearing a sound, etc., installing relevant codecs should help eliminate any related problems. (DivX, SLD, etc., are among the most widely utilized and can be had for free, via the websites associated.) Doing a search for DivX download or SLD codec download, etc., would get you within a couple of mouse clicks of where you need to be, to download. Keep in mind, you will most likely need these codecs, if you want to watch certain types of video files, listen to certain audio files, etc., via your computer. (Imagine if buying a DVD player wasn't enough and you had to also buy a software to watch a movie! Well, this is often the case, with computers...)

I hope this proves helpful to you. Best of luck and happy computing.


Using the restore program only restores the the Registry, I would use the disks that came with your system for the Motherboard. or just go to Hardware,Device Manager and remove the 'Sound' devices. Lyle

Hello Lyle,

The System Restore option, returns the computer to exact state it was in, on a given date (the date selected by the person doing the restoration process.)

A since deleted program, for example, will re-appear, since deleted driver(s) will also re-appear.

I agree that utilizing the drivers disk is probably the better option (without knowing "other" variables, this does seem like the better option.)


I do have to disagree with you on this point, only the registry setting are returned, not the applications or programs (.DLL etc). I may be wrong, but I have been in the PC tech world since 1984 and have not wittnessed this magic! Lyle