How to Troubleshoot Wave Sound File Problems in Windows 95, Windows 98, and Windows Millennium Edition (Me)

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Article ID: 140334 - View products that this article applies to.
This article was previously published under Q140334
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SUMMARY

This article describes how to troubleshoot problems that you may have when you try to play wave sound (.wav) files in Windows. The following possible problems are addressed in this article:
  • Program-specific problems
  • Playback device not configured properly
  • Mixer settings not configured properly
  • Hardware not configured properly
  • Damaged wave sound files
  • Compression-related problems

MORE INFORMATION

Program-Specific Problems

If you cannot play .wav files with a specific program that you use in Windows, check to see if the same problem occurs when you play the file with another program. For example, if you are attempting to play the file from a third-party program that is not included with Windows, try to play the file from Media Player or Sound Recorder. To start Media Player or Sound Recorder, click Start, point to Programs, point to Accessories, point to Multimedia or Sounds and Multimedia, and then click Media Player or Sound Recorder.

If the problem occurs only when you try to play the .wav file with one program, the files that are associated with that program may be damaged, or the program may not be configured correctly. To resolve the problem, contact the software manufacturer. If the problem occurs with multiple programs, the problem may be caused by one of the other issues that are addressed in this article.

Playback Device Not Configured Properly

If you cannot play .wav files in Windows, or if .wav files are not played at the proper volume, you may not have a playback device selected, or the playback device that you have selected may not be configured properly. To select and configure a playback device:
  1. Click Start, point to Settings, and then click Control Panel.
  2. In Control Panel, double-click Multimedia or Sounds and Multimedia.
  3. In the Playback box, click the playback device that you want to use in the Preferred Device list, and then move the Volume slider to the value you want.

    NOTE: If you are using Microsoft Windows 3.1 drivers with your sound card, the sound card still appears in the Preferred Device list; however, the card does not appear in Device Manager.
  4. In the Recording box, click the playback device that you want to use in the Preferred Device list, and then move the Volume slider to the value you want.
  5. Verify that your speakers are properly connected to the sound card, and that the speakers are turned on.

Mixer Settings Not Configured Properly

If you cannot play .wav files in Windows, or if .wav files are not played at the proper volume, the mixer control settings may not be configured properly. You can use the mixer control program that is included with Windows to adjust the volume for playback, recording, and voice commands. If you are using Windows 3.1 drivers with your sound card, you must use the mixer control program that is included with the sound card to adjust the volume for playback, recording, and voice commands. If your sound card does not include a mixer control program, or for information about how to use the mixer control program that is included with your sound card, contact the sound card manufacturer.

To configure mixer control settings with the mixer control program that is included with Windows:
  1. Click Start, point to Programs, point to Accessories, point to Multimedia or Entertainment, and then click Volume Control.

    NOTE: If you have more than one playback device installed in your computer, make sure that you select the proper device before you modify the mixer control settings. To do this, click Properties on the Options menu, and make sure that the proper device is selected.
  2. Verify that the Mute All check box below the Volume Control slider is not selected.
  3. Verify that the Mute check box below the Wave slider is not selected.
  4. Verify that the Balance sliders for Volume Control and Wave are in the center of the scale.
  5. Move the Volume Control and Wave sliders at least halfway to the top of the scale.

    NOTE: If the Volume Control and Wave sliders do not appear, click Properties on the Options menu, and then click to select the Volume Control and Wave check boxes that are in the Show The Following Volume Controls box.
You may need to adjust the current Volume Control or Wave slider settings to play .wav files at the volume level that you want.

Hardware Not Configured Properly

If you cannot play .wav files in Windows, or if .wav files are not played properly, your sound card may not be compatible with the type of .wav file that you are attempting to play, or there may be a resource conflict between your sound card and another device that is installed in your computer. To determine whether your sound card supports the wave sound file format that you are attempting to play, contact the sound ard manufacturer.

For additional information about how to determine if there is a resource conflict between your sound card and another device that is installed in your computer, click the article number below to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
133240 Troubleshooting Device Conflicts with Device Manager

Damaged Wave Sound Files

If you cannot play .wav files in Windows, or if .wav files are not played properly, the .wav files that you are attempting to play may be damaged. To determine if a .wav file is damaged, right-click the .wav file, click Properties, and then click the Details tab. The Audio Format box should contain information about the type of compression that was used to compress the file, the sound quality of the file, and whether or not the file is in stereo. If this information is missing, the .wav file may be damaged.

If the information in the Audio Format box is not missing, attempt to play other .wav files that are compressed by using the same type of compression as the .wav file that you are attempting to play. If you can play other .wav files, the .wav file that you originally tried to play may be damaged. If you cannot play other .wav files that are compressed by using the same type of compression, try to play .wav files that are compressed by using a different type of compression. If you can play these files, the problem may be related to the type of compression that was used to compress the .wav file that you originally tried to play.

Compression-Related Problems

Windows includes 32-bit versions of several common codecs, including Adaptive Delta Pulse Code Modulation (ADPCM), Interactive Multimedia Association (IMA) ADPCM, Groupe Special Mobile (GSM) 6.10, Consultative Committee for International Telephone and Telegraph (CCITT) G.711 A-Law and u-Law, and Truespeech from DSP. These 32-bit codecs are installed by default during Windows Setup, and are used by multimedia programs even if a 16-bit version of the same codec is available.

For additional information about how to troubleshoot audio codecs in Windows, click the article number below to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
141801 Troubleshooting Audio Codecs in Windows 95/98

Properties

Article ID: 140334 - Last Review: May 7, 2007 - Revision: 2.3
APPLIES TO
  • Microsoft Windows 95
  • Microsoft Windows 98 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Windows 98 Second Edition
  • Microsoft Windows Millennium Edition
Keywords: 
kbhowto kbsound kbtshoot KB140334

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