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Vista does not recognize USB headset

#1
I have a Vista Home PC and two USB headsets that worked two weeks ago.

Today, I plugged in one of the USB headsets and Vista doesn't recognize it. What I mean by 'doesn't recognize it' is:

  1. there's no announcement of a device being plugged in
  2. audio continues to come from the speakers, not the headset
The USB hub port that I plugged the headset into works fine for other USB devices, like a cell phone, for example.


I get the same failure for both USB headsets, so it's difficult to believe that both headsets suddenly went bad.


I rebooted the PC, but still get the failure.


Any suggestions for troubleshooting?

Thanks in advance for any advice.
 

My Computer

#7
wither3, thanks for the replies.

I was about to reboot with the headset plugged in as you suggested, but before doing so I tried some tests that I hadn't before, like plugging directly into a USB port instead of plugging into a USB hub. I got the headset working, but not consistently. It's as though there is a conflict with the USB Bose speakers.

I'm trying to figure out if there is a way to delete the headset device, then have Vista rediscover it, but I'm having difficulty figuring that out.
 

My Computer

wither 3

Vista Guru
Gold Member
#8
I asked if you had anything else plugged into a USB port because of potential conflicts. I didn't pay attention to the fact that you said USB Hub. So, now I know you have other devices since you mentioned the speakers. You probably have your printer plugged into USB also.

You might try what I recommended.

One other thing. As I understand it, when you remove something from the USB port, it is completely uninstalled. When you reconnect the headset and it is installed, the volume might be set to 0. You could go into Control Panel\Sound and check the properties for the headset to see what the level is set to.
 

My Computer

#9
Yes, I have several USB devices: printer, Bose speakers, keyboard, mouse, and sometimes a gamer headset or cell link (for charging the cell phone).

I did a windows restore to about a week ago (I don't seem to have older restore points), plugged in the headset before reboot (part of Restore) and I got the headset working...sort of. It seems, though, that if the USB headset is working and I unplug it and plug it back in, then I have no audio through either headset of speaker.
 

My Computer

wither 3

Vista Guru
Gold Member
#10
Did you check the volume level, as I suggested?

Since the headset is connected to USB, it will not automatically switch back to the speakers when you unplug the headset. Thus, you would have to check the volume level for whichever you want to use.
 

My Computer

#11
Sorry not to respond regarding checking volume level.

Sometimes, after I plug, unplug, and replug the USB headset into a USB port, I have noticed the volume muted. If I unmute, the audio works correctly. Other times, the volume level appears to be set correctly (looking at the 'Open Volume Meter' display, as accessed from the System Tray), but there is not 'audio activity' shown on the Volume Mixer display. That is, when audio is working correctly, there is a activity on the Volume Mixer that corresponds with the volume of the audio.
 

My Computer

#13
wither, in most cases, if I unplug the USB headset, then plug it back in, there is no audio through the headset.

The workaround is to reboot the pc with the headset plugged in order to get the headset working again, but this reboot was not necessary prior to April.
 

My Computer

wither 3

Vista Guru
Gold Member
#14
I understand that. As I noted before, when you disconnect a headset or speaker set from a USB port (or hub), the device is completely uninstalled. When you plug it back in, Vista sets the volume to mute. You have to go into the Control Panel\Sound, select the device and reset the volume. I guess it didn't work like this before so I don't know what the issue is.
 

My Computer