When you click the volume control in Windows XP you can change the sound volume, mute all sound, or open the volume mixer. But when you install other drivers or video or audio software, your sound system can get corrupted. One of the errors that you might encounter is:

There are no active mixer devices available. To install mixer devices, go to Control Panel, click Printers and Other Hardware, and then click Add Hardware.

The error message seems to indicate that there is something wrong with your audio hardware. In most cases it is not the actual audio hardware that has a problem, but the software or audio drivers. When you open up the sound option in the control panel, everything could be grayed out since there is no audio device.

There are a few things to check and change to solve the error stating that no active mixer devices are available.

  1. First open up the Device Manager (type devmgmt.msc in the Run option of the Start menu), and check the Sound, video and game controllers group to make sure your audio device is installed and has no error.
    If there is no audio device, you probably need to (re)install the sound drivers for your system.
  2. Once the sound device is installed, check of the Windows Audio service is started.
    In the Run option of the Start menu, type services.msc and press Enter. Now look up the Windows Audio service and double-click it.
    Start the Windows Audio service
    If the service status is not started, click the Start button. Also make sure the Startup type is set to Automatic. That will make sure the service is started automatically every time Windows starts.

In almost all cases one of these two steps will fix the problem regarding no mixer devices. If it does not, check what changes were made to the system that could have caused the problem. Installing TV Tuner software or drivers can cause this error, but updating the sound drivers with the wrong version can also result in this error. When installing audio driver updates, it is generally best to first uninstall the old drivers, so no conflict or corruption occurs.


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