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Failed to play test tone

My new Windows 8 Pro tablet was running sluggishly and giving me various performance headaches but everything was back to normal after Windows Updates were brought up-to-date.

There was still one issue remaining that puzzled me for two days - my speaker was muted for some reason after I played an online Flash video. When testing the speaker (Control Panel -> Sound -> Configure -> Test), it came up with "Failed to play test tone" error message.

Windows 8 Pro desktop/laptop mode does not come with a Start button. Refer to this article to find out how to install the classic Windows Start button.

After some searching and digging on the internet, I came across a few solutions. The most common one suggests restarting Windows Audio service.

Control Panel -> Administrative Tools -> Services -> Windows Audio

But after restarting it, my sound icon in system tray displayed a red cross which refused to go away even I manually turned on all the audios.

This blog article led me to the rescue. Below is the steps I took to solve the Windows 8 sound problem - Failed to play test tone.

  1. Click Windows Start button, choose Run...

  2. Type regedit in the 'Open' text box.

  3. When the registry editor window is opened, go to 'Computer\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Ole

  4. Export the Ole folder to backup it.

    The exported file has an file extension as .reg and you should save it to a place that can be easily accessed for later use.

  5. Delete the registry key 'DefaultAccessPermission'.

    Note: be extremely careful with registry editing. Make sure you don't accidently modify any other settings in the registry.

  6. Restart your computer or tablet.

  7. After the computer is restarted, check if the sound problem is fixed.

  8. Re-import the registry file.

    In my case, the sound problem was fixed even after I re-imported the registry file (.reg file). This registry entry may have some other uses so we'd better leave it unchanged.

    In Registry Editor, click File, then Import...

    If you receive import error such as below, it's OK. Just check if the registry key 'DefaultAccessPermission' appears again. Make sure it is there.

There are tons of resources on the internet for this problem and the solutions sometimes also vary dramatically. If what shows in this article does not fix your problem, keep trying other suggestions.

Good Luck and Happy Computing!


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