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I have sound but can't hear any voices. What should I do?

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Edited: 21/08/06 13:00

This is almost always a codec related problem. Try the following steps:
  • First run WMFDIST.EXE, either from one of the game CDs, from the game folder on your hard disk, or from the Microsoft website. This will install the Windows Media Audio (WMA9) codec that the game uses, if it is not already there.

  • If that doesn't solve it then some other audio codecs must be interfering. These could have come from anything you installed, particularly another game or a sound- or music-related piece of software. Go into control panel and make sure that the WMA codec you just installed is top priority. If you still have problems then try disabling other codecs, particularly the Fraunhofer one.

  • To change codec priorities in WinXP, go to Control Panel->Sounds and Audio Devices, click on the Hardware tab, then on the item Audio Codecs in the list, then hit Properties. On the Properties tab of the new window that pops up is a list of codecs, and you can get Properties for each of those including their priority position. You are looking to get the Microsoft codecs at the top of the list. You might also want to try disabling some of the others in case one of them is hogging the limelight. In Win98SE it is similar but you go to Control Panel->Multimedia, click on the Devices tab, and open the Audio Compression Codecs branch of the device tree. The remaining steps are the same.

  • If none of these "official" solutions work, there are a number of unofficial ones including (re)installing Windows Media Player 9 (some people have found that reverting to this from WMP 10 has helped), reinstalling DirectX, or installing a third party codec pack such as the Ace Mega Codec Pack. Don't try these until you have exhausted the simpler solutions. Reinstalling DirectX is relatively simple. It is on the game CD or you can download it from the Microsoft website. The Ace Mega Codec Pack (version 5.95 or above) can be found with a quick internet search, but it is a very large file so this is really only a solution for people with broadband or plenty of unmetered dial-up time! Another unofficial solution if you cannot get any of the above to work is to change the voice file to WAV format.

  • The very, very last resort. Sometimes Windows simply does not seem to be willing to use the codecs in the priority order you have specified. One sure-fire way to force this to happen is to start again and reinstall Windows from scratch. Obviously we do not recommend this unless you were planning to do so anyway for some other reason. It is rarely worth the very significant effort it requires to do this just to make the voices work in a game!

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