I recently received a request to set the default sound device in a lab (Windows 7, HP desktops). Right now some computers are set to the internal sound card and others are set to the external sound card (headphones attached to the front of the computer). I need to standardize the machines to the external sound card. My first choice would be to make the process automatic somehow (scripts or group policy). After some research I haven't really seen any easy way to do this. Does anyone have any experience or advice that might help? Thanks -Ben

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Community Chosen Answer


You are better off disabling the internal sound device either in the bios (which we do on all classroom dells via the CCTK) or disabling the internal driver.

There is no public API which allows you to change the default audio device, that is functionality that is considered to be under the users control. This has always been the case in Windows.

If you search the web, there are a number of people who have reverse engineered the APIs that are used in Windows to do this (the reverse engineered APIs are internal unsupported APIs and may change without notice from Microsoft). You use these solutions at your own peril.

Answered 09/04/2012 by: SMal.tmcc
Red Belt

  • That is what I was seeing, but I had hoped that there was another answer. Thanks for your help.
  • If these are dells and you did not install the CCTK in your image, you can create a pxeboot with the cctk enabled and add the line to kill the speaker to the boot via the KBE manipulator and schedule a pxe boot that does nothing but does a restart as a preinstall task.
  • HP desktops, so the CCTK doesn't work real well :). HP has a similar program that I can use. I'll either take a look at that, or just go do the legwork to manually fix the problem. Thanks for your help Smal.
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Looks like what SMal was talking about: http://www.daveamenta.com/2011-05/programmatically-or-command-line-change-the-default-sound-playback-device-in-windows-7/

This looks interesting too: http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en/ITCG/thread/05fff6f4-264d-4610-b1a6-76a84acec1ed

Answered 09/05/2012 by: jknox
Red Belt

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