Sound issues with drivers and/or hardware, please help


Jul 28, 2015
Hello fellow internet users.

I have quite the issue that I honestly have no idea how to solve, however before we start I would like to say I'm not really that tech savvy. I don't really know what I'm doing when it comes to choosing correct drivers and such. But I'll try to be informative. This is also my first post on tom's hardware, so if there is any format rules I'm missing, I am sorry. Also I put this in Laptop tech support, Not actually sure if that's the right place?

Now here is my issue. A while back I was given a brand new Alienware 14 laptop computer and it was great, games and everything ran fine and fast too. Then I must have installed some program and the performance went to crap, though that was fixed merely by uninstalling stuff and removing stuff from my startup... At least I believe and hope... But I also am aware that Alienwares have issues with their headphone jacks breaking, which mine have done. I mention this because it may relate to my issue as my issue only occured after they started to go (they are now completely useless, though one side works always...).

So now that all that is out of the way here is my major issue. My sound is completely useless from speakers or USB headset... Actually combined with the broken headphone jacks my sound completely doesn't work.

I have Realtek HD audio driver installed however it just simply does not work. It does nothing. And the little green bar that shows up when you bring up the volume mixer does nothing. I've uninstalled re-installed, I've gone to generic windows drivers which brings up another issue that baffles me. When I go to windows drivers it's the same thing, only this time the speakers setting has nothing for applications playing sound. Like its as if I don't have itunes or spotify open. The headphones setting doesn't work entirely though it still shows other applications that may play sound.

Now I've taken to using a USB headset... Which again produces another interesting thing. With Realtek install it simply randomly cuts out. Then comes back. Then cuts out. With the generic drivers it only plays when "system sounds" is present in the volume mixer, which is even weirder because "system sounds" literally pops in for a second, sound gets played, the disappears, cutting the sound. Going into "Sound" through the control panel shows the green bar going up and down with the music (I'm using spotify to test sound) however it as it plays through my logitech headphones (USB) it will switch to "speakers" everytime the "system sounds" in the volume mixer pops up. Only when this happens does sound get played through the headphones.

I'm just really confused, countless hours of internet search has produced to replication of my issue and no solution. I will add that a summer ago, occasionally when restarting sound will come back with the Realtek audio, however my batter has been useless so I removed it (so now it's a laptop thats as portable as a desktop) and so if I accidentally unplugged the computer it dies and I lose sound again. I went to an older computer that worked fine for the whole year and now I'm returning to fix this one. Got my performance up now I'm working on the sound. But my god has this been frustrating. Anyways I hope I have described the issues in detail well enough and I hope someone out there has the answer.

I don't know if you can upload videos to this, but I do have fraps. If that helps I can try to make a video of the issue for you guys.

also another issue I noticed while typing this but sometimes typing is kind of laggy, like I'll type and nothing happens for a second... Don't know what that is about either.... Sorry for the super long thing here but I'm hoping someone can help.
Aside from trying an external sound card (they make them on a USB stick), you can try to do a factory reset to defaults but that will wipe the drive to make sure your files are backed up including favorites, desktop and my documents.