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Volume icon is not displayed in the notification area, and you may receive an error message when you try to add it

Support for Windows XP has ended

Microsoft ended support for Windows XP on April 8, 2014. This change has affected your software updates and security options. Learn what this means for you and how to stay protected.

This article was previously published under Q319095
This article has been archived. It is offered "as is" and will no longer be updated.
This article is intended for a beginning to intermediate computer user.
Symptoms
You experience one of the following symptoms on a Windows XP-based computer:
  • The Volume icon is not displayed in the notification area at the far right of the taskbar.
  • When you try to add the volume control icon to the notification area, you receive the following error message:
    Windows cannot display the volume control on the taskbar because the Volume Control program has not been installed. To install it use Add/Remove Programs in Control Panel.
Therefore, you cannot start the Volume Control program and cannot adjust the volume and sound level settings of your computer.
Cause
There are two possible causes of this problem:
  • The Volume icon has not been added to the notification area of your computer. (The Volume icon is not displayed automatically when you first install Windows XP.)
  • The Sndvol32.exe file is damaged or missing.
Resolution
Note You may find it easier to follow the steps if you print this article first.

By default, the Volume icon is not displayed when you first install Windows XP on your computer. To resolve this problem, try to add the Volume icon to the notification area.

Note If you have already tried to add the Volume icon and received an error, skip this section and go to method 2.

Method 1: Add the Volume icon

To add the Volume icon to the notification area of your computer, follow these steps:
  1. Click Start, and then click Run.
  2. Copy and paste or type the following command in the Open box, and then click OK:
    mmsys.cpl
  3. Click to select the Place volume icon in the taskbar check box.
  4. Click OK.
If the Volume icon is displayed in the notification area of your computer, you are finished. If you cannot add the Volume icon or if you receive an error message when you try to add it, the Sndvol32.exe file might be damaged or missing. Go to method 2.

Method 2: Save a new copy of the Sndvol32.exe file on your hard disk

If the Sndvol32.exe file is damaged or missing, you must extract a new copy of the Sndvol32.exe file from the Windows XP CD and save it on your computer's hard disk.

Prerequisites

This method requires you to have your Windows XP installation CD.

Note If you do not have access to the Windows XP CD that contains the installation files, ask the network administrator for help if the computer is at your workplace, or contact Support. To contact Microsoft Support, visit the following Microsoft Web site: To extract a copy of the Sndvol32.exe file from the Windows XP CD and save it on your computer’s hard disk, follow these steps:
  1. Insert the Windows XP CD into your computer's CD drive or DVD drive. Press and hold the SHIFT key as you insert the CD to prevent it from starting automatically.
  2. Click Start, and then click Run.
  3. Copy and paste or type the following command in the Open box, and then click OK:
    cmd
    The command prompt opens.
  4. Type the drive letter of the CD drive or DVD drive, type a colon, and then press ENTER. For example, if your computer’s CD drive is drive E, type the following, and then press ENTER:
    e:
  5. Copy and paste or type the following, and then press ENTER:
    cd i386
  6. Copy and paste or type the following, and then press ENTER:
    expand sndvol32.ex_ system_root\system32\sndvol32.exe
    Note system_root is the path and folder name where the Windows system files are located on your computer. This is usually C:\Windows. If the folder that contains the Windows system files on your computer is C:\Windows, type the following, and then press ENTER:
    expand sndvol32.ex_ c:\windows\system32\sndvol32.exe
    Note There is a space between "ex_" and "c:\windows" in this command.
  7. Type exit to exit the command prompt, and then press ENTER.
  8. Verify that you can start Volume Control and that the Volume icon is displayed in the notification area (if you selected this option in method 1).
If the Volume icon is displayed in the notification area, you are finished. If the Volume icon is not displayed in the notification area, go to the "Next steps" section.
NEXT STEPS
If these methods did not work for you, you might want to ask someone you know for help, or you might want to contact the network administrator for help. You can also use the Microsoft Customer Support Services Web site to find other solutions. Some services that the Microsoft Customer Support Services Web site provides include the following:
  • Searchable Knowledge Base: Search technical support information and self-help tools for Microsoft products.
  • Solution Centers: View product-specific frequently asked questions and support highlights.
  • Other Support Options: Use the Web to ask a question, contact Microsoft Customer Support Services, or provide feedback.
If you continue to have questions after you use these Microsoft Web sites or if you cannot find a solution on the Microsoft Support Services Web site, click the following link to contact Support.
More information
For more information about icons that are displayed in the notification area, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
310578 Windows system tray icons
For more information about how to troubleshoot sound problems, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
307918 How to troubleshoot sound problems in Windows XP
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Article ID: 319095 - Last Review: 12/07/2015 09:11:23 - Revision: 5.0

Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition, Microsoft Windows XP Professional

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