Headphone Jack on Laptop Stops Working Until Laptop is Powered Off

  1. Posts : 15
    Windows 10 X64

    Headphone Jack on Laptop Stops Working Until Laptop is Powered Off

    Have been having this problem for a while now.

    Every so often, the headhphone jack on my laptop just stops working after hours and hours of the laptop being on.

    The built-in speakers of the laptop work fine. What happens is that while the computer is in use (after some random amount of time), any hardware plugged into the headphone jack of the laptop will not playback sound. This includes headphones, speakers and the like. The sound device manager in control panel shows sound being output, and if the headphones/speakers are disconnected, the audio plays fine on the built-in speakers on the laptop.

    I haven't been able to figure out what exactly causes this problem. I have tried resinstalling the driver several times. I am 100% sure it isn't the headphones of the speakers that I use as I use these speakers and headphones on many other devices (phone, tablet etc.)

    The only way that this issue gets fixed is if the computer is shut down and then rebooted (a restart doesn't work, the computer has to literally lose power for the problem to be fixed).

    It seems very intermittent and I'm not sure how to approach this problem

    Any ideas?
      My Computer

  2. Posts : 3,365
    W10 Pro x64/W7 Ultimate x64 dual boot main - W10 Pro Insider Preview/W7 Pro x64 - remote pc

    One idea would be a look the power plan in use. If you are running with the default Balanced power plan you may be seeing that nterfere by conserving battery power temporarily turning the audio off being a constant drain. Another thought could be a result of the onboard audio chip itself getting too warm where the hardware protection circuit will then come in and deactivate all sound. That is usually seen as far as the cpu temp as well as other major components. The audio being onboard would also be monitored by the bios not so much by Windows.

    The other possible cause of losing sound would be the headphone jack or the board end having a cold solder point getting warm and expanding just enough to break the connection until cooled off. The complete shutdown of power would tend to suggest a temp or regulation issue where either the power plan or temp monitoring would have to be watched. And one more thing would be setting the laptop on a fan cooled stand or effective notebook cooling pad to draw heat away from the unit if you are not already using one. Laptops are known to get quite warm with extended use since everything is packed into a tight space with the typical serious lack of air flow unlike the usual desktop with front, rear, and side or top case fans in use if not water cooled.

    You have some things to consider in the list of things there. Increased overall cooling, not planning to use the laptop for extended periods of time which can allow for something to overheat if that is the case., changing the power plan to Performance if still set to the default Balanced might help. As for anything internal as far as a loose contact or cold solder point that would require a look once confirmed however by the factory or authorized service center/dealer where you could bring it in direct for examination.

    The shutdown and restart could also be indication that the driver for the onboard is going to sleep on you or otherwise made inactive at random intervals and the fresh power up serves to refresh the driver as Windows loads it fresh all over again. Run into that one here at times but on a desktop machine.
      My Computer

  3. Posts : 275

    I'd also say , it sounds like the laptop is powering down the jack slot or the driver is going to sleep.
      My Computer

  4. Posts : 3,365
    W10 Pro x64/W7 Ultimate x64 dual boot main - W10 Pro Insider Preview/W7 Pro x64 - remote pc

    You can't actually power down the jack itself since all that is would be signal wire and ground with metal contacts inside the jack itself. What would be turned on or off on the board itself would be the output signal that goes out to the jack. Then you would be at a possible audio software glitch being seen. Sound gets knocked out suddenly and then returns when the software is refreshed following a full shutdown.

    The hardware protection circuit is still something to be taking a closer look at however since if the audio chip is heating up that also raises the board temp as well. Then you are back to the built in protection circuit on the board kicking in that has been keeping the chip from failing on you. The newer model laptops will have by now would have included that into the protection process as for the mention of keeping the laptop on constantly when this occurs and once the temp sensors pick up on a problem the power is reduced or turned off that is going to that section of the board. Audio being an accessory not a vital component as far as simply running the laptop is then switched to allow cooling.

    All that is in a perfect world however while the forced shutdown seeing it restored isn't good in any situation. But the two suspected causes would be the need to refresh drivers/software or some type of issue being seen where the chip itself is getting too warm.
      My Computer

  5. Posts : 15
    Windows 10 X64
    Thread Starter

    Hi there,

    Thanks everyone for your responses so far!

    I've had this issue maybe since I've had the laptop. It's just over a year old now.

    I use a cooling pad and/or laptop stand almost all the time I use the laptop, and I use the "cooling" part of the pad (i.e. fans) when I am playing games.

    I believe it to be a driver problem myself, but I wanted to see what sort of fixes there might be. It's not a "game-ending" problem, but it's definitely a tad annoying . As I described in my first post, the issue happens if I don't use the sound on the computer for a bit. It doesn't happen when I am listening to music for hours continuously, let's say.

    I monitor my laptop's temperatures very closely because I play a lot of games and I like to make sure nothing is heating up too much. That being said, I don't think anything is overheating...

    Also: I am running the "balanced" power plan, should I maybe run the "high performance" one and see if this makes a difference?
      My Computer

  6. Posts : 3,365
    W10 Pro x64/W7 Ultimate x64 dual boot main - W10 Pro Insider Preview/W7 Pro x64 - remote pc

    You can try the High Performance plan and then tweak things further to end up with a custom plan instead based off of the HP. That may or may not actually solve the problem by itself since you won't find settings for individual hardwares. The power settings tend to adjust things for the display, usb, IE, and hard drive while it couldn't be ruled totally out as far as having some effect on the sound problem.
      My Computer

  7. Posts : 15
    Windows 10 X64
    Thread Starter

    Okay have used the High Performance power plan on the laptop.

    So far no issues with this, but as I had said the issue is intermittent.

    If it does come up again, I'll try to retrace my steps to see what might have caused the issue...

    Thanks to everyone who has helped out so far!
      My Computer


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