Fixed This device cannot start. (Code 10) – High Definition Audio Device

By Camilla Mo  Sound Card   46 Comments


This device cannot start. (Code 10) – High Definition Audio Device

If you see your sound card with the code 10 error in Device Manager, don’t worry. You can fix the error easily by following the instructions in this article.

First, you need to ensure that the Windows Audio service is started. Follow steps below to check for it. 

1) On your keyboard, press the Windows key   and R at the same time to invoke the run box. 

2) Type services.msc and click OK.

3) Locate Windows Audio


4) Check to see if the Status is “Started”.

If It’s Started, move on to follow the methods below.

If it’s not Started,double-click on it to open the “Properties” window.  In the General tab, set the Startup type as Automatic.

5) Restart your PC for the changes to take effect. 


If the Windows Audio is started, try below 3 methods to fix the issue. You may not have to try them all. Just work from the top down until you find the one that works.

Method 1: Update the Sound Card Driver
Method 2: Uninstall the Sound Card Device
Method 3: Manually Fix Corrupted Registry Entries


Method 1: Update the Sound Card Driver

The problem might be caused by missing, outdated or corrupted drivers. Update the sound card driver to the latest version and see if the sound is working again. 

If you don’t have time, patience or computer skills to update the drivers manually, you can do it automatically with Driver Easy.

Driver Easy will automatically recognize your system and find the correct drivers for it. You don’t need to know exactly what system your computer is running, you don’t need to risk downloading and installing the wrong driver, and you don’t need to worry about making a mistake when installing.

You can update your drivers automatically with either the FREE or the Pro version of Driver Easy. But with the Pro version it takes just 2 clicks (and you get full support and a 30-day money back guarantee):

1) Download and install Driver Easy.

2) Run Driver Easy and click Scan Now button. Driver Easy will then scan your computer and detect any problem drivers.

3) Click the Update button next to a flagged audio driver to automatically download and install the correct version of this driver (you can do this with the FREE version). Or click Update All to automatically download and install the correct version of all the drivers that are missing or out of date on your system (this requires the Pro version – you’ll be prompted to upgrade when you click Update All).

Here take Realtek audio for example. Driver Easy will detect the audio card in your computer according to the specific device.



Method 2: Uninstall the Sound Card Device

Uninstalling the device sometimes may help fix the Code 10 error. To uninstall the sound card device, please follow steps below.

1) In Device Manager, double-click to expand “Sound, video and game controllers” branch.
2) Right-click on the every sound device under this branch and click Uninstall to uninstall the sound device.



3. You might be required to confirm the uninstallation. When the Confirm window pops up, check the “Delete the driver software for this device” checkbox and click OK.



4. Restart your PC and check to see if the problem is resolved.


Method 3: Manually Fix Corrupted Registry Entries

IMPORTANT: To perform this, you’ll need to be logged into Windows as an administrator. Please follow the steps below carefully, as serious problems might occur if you modify the registry incorrectly. It is recommended to back up the registry so you can restore them to previous status if a problem occurs.

Follow these steps:

1) On your keyboard, press the Windows logo key  and R at the same time to invoke the run box.

2) Type regedit and click OK.

3) In the left pane, locate and then click the registry subkey “HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Class\{4D36E965-E325-11CE-BFC1-08002BE10318}



4) Right-click UpperFilters
If you do not see UpperFilters there, find and right-click LowerFilters. (Note: If you do not see the UpperFilters or LowerFilters registry entry, this method is not for you.)

5) Click Delete on the context menu.



6) When you are prompted to confirm the deletion, click Yes.



7) Restart your PC and check to see if the problem is resolved.


Try methods here and the Code 10 error should resolve.

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