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VMware : Connecting to a sound device fails – How to fix

by | Jun 28, 2021

Wondering how to fix “VMware : Connecting to a sound device fails”? We can help you!

Often VMware users report to us that their Windows guest OS is unable to connect to the sound device at boot or the VM does not have sound output.

Here at Bobcares, we handle requests from our customers to fix similar errors as a part of our Server Management Services.

Today we will see how our Support Engineers fix this for our customers.

VMware : Connecting to a sound device fails – Steps to connect

Following are the steps that our Support Techs use to fix this sound issue on VMware. At times this issue can occur if we have not enabled the sound in the Virtual Machine.

Enabling audio:

In order to ensure that audio is enabled in the virtual machine we can do the following:

1. First, go to Virtual Machine and take Settings.

2. Then for turning on the sound card we can do any of the following depending upon the Fusion:

Fusion 7.x and above:

Ensure Connect Sound card option is checked. If Sound Card is not available in the Settings pane, click Add Device > Sound Card, then click Add.

Fusion 6.x, 5.x and 4.x:

Click Sound Card, and ensure that the switch is turned ON. If Sound Card is not available in the Settings pane, click Add Device > Sound Card, then click Add.

Fusion 3.x and earlier and Workstation: 

Click Sound, and ensure that a sound device is present. Select Enable Sound device. If there is no device in this list, add a sound device in this window.

3. After that, we need to open the .vmx file for editing and ensure the following parameter are set right:

sound.present = "TRUE"
sound.filename = "-1"
sound.autodetect = "TRUE"

Add the parameters to the file if they are not present.

4. In the same .vmx file, we must remove the following lines if they exist:

sound.virtualdev = "sb16"
sound.virtualdev = "es1371"
sound.virtualdev = "hdaudio"

5. After that we can save the changes and close the text editor.

6. Finally we can power on the virtual machine.

Updating the drivers within Windows:

We can update the drivers from within Windows if the issue persists.

Following are the steps to update the sound driver:

1. First go to My Computer and click Manage.

2. Then go to Device Manager.

3. From there click on Sound, video and game controllers.

4. Right-click Creative AudioPCI (ES1371, ES1373) (WDM) and click Update Driver.

Note: At times it can be listed as an Unknown Device inside Other Devices.

5. After that we need to click Search automatically for updated driver software.

6. Finally when we see a prompt to restart, we can click Restart Now.

Checking if Windows audio service is running:

If the issue still persists,  we can check if the Windows audio service is running within the Windows virtual machine.

Following are the steps to do this:

1. First, go to Start

For Windows XP:

Go to Run and type services.msc.

For Windows 7:

Type services in the search box.

For Windows 8:

Go to search and select Settings, type services in the search box, and click View local Services.

2. Then locate the Windows Audio service.

3. Now, we need to start the service, if it is found stopped. And if it is already running, we can restart the service.

In case if we wish to use any Plug and Play audio/multimedia device, we need to ensure that the Universal Plug and Play (UPnP) Device Host service is started.

[Need assistance? We can help you]


To conclude, we saw the steps that our Support Techs follow to fix this error for our customers.


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