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Uninstalling and reinstalling inbox audio driver several times renders some DirectSound output unable to play audio

This article has been archived. It is offered "as is" and will no longer be updated.

Consider the following:

  • You use software to render/play audio via the DirectSound API (for example: DDK tool Graph Edit)
  • On Vista or Windows 7, via a driver testing tool (or manually) you uninstall and then reinstall audio drivers such as "High Definition Audio Device" (HDAudio) several times
  • You attempt to render/play the audio stream again to a non-default DirectSound device (for example - DirectSound:Speakers as opposed to Default DirectSound device)

When the stream is attempted to render to a non-default DirectSound device, you may receive the following error:

"These filters cannot agree on a connection. Verify type compatibility of input pin and output pin.

Cannot play back the audio stream: no audio hardware is available, or the hardware is not responding. (Return code:0x80040256)"


This issue can happen when DirectSound uses an internal store to keep track of audio hardware, and the internal store becomes unsynchronized with the Windows Audio stack.

To work around this issue, you can clean up the internal store DirectSound uses to store audio device information. The store will be recreated when an application uses DirectSound again.

The following keys and all subkeys can be safely removed to resolve the issue:

Note This is a "FAST PUBLISH" article created directly from within the Microsoft support organization. The information contained herein is provided as-is in response to emerging issues. As a result of the speed in making it available, the materials may include typographical errors and may be revised at any time without notice. See Terms of Use for other considerations.

Article ID: 2011490 - Last Review: 12/12/2015 05:32:58 - Revision: 1.0

Windows 7 Enterprise, Windows 7 Home Basic, Windows 7 Home Premium, Windows 7 Professional, Windows 7 Ultimate, Windows Vista Business, Windows Vista Business 64-bit Edition, Windows Vista Enterprise, Windows Vista Enterprise 64-bit Edition, Windows Vista Home Basic, Windows Vista Home Premium, Windows Vista Home Premium 64-bit Edition, Windows Vista Ultimate, Windows Vista Ultimate 64-bit Edition

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