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

Camilla Mo, in Sound Card


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The problem might be caused by missing, outdated or corrupted drivers.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 Or click Update All to automatically download and install the correct version of all the drivers that are missing or out of date on your system (this requires the Pro version – you’ll be prompted to upgrade when you click Update All).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.

Help Us Improve Article
  • Camilla Mo

    Hi bilal,

    You can use Driver Easy Free to help update the drivers. Driver Easy ensure to provide you with the best drivers.

  • Julie Haas

    Did all of this – and finally method 3 solved the problem!! For 2 minutes that is.. Now the sound is gone again… What to do?

  • Rolando Romero

    I had the problem, but I was able to download the latest audio drive -according to your instructions- and it finally worked. Thank you.

    • Camilla Mo

      Hi Rolando Romero,

      I’m glad that it helps.

  • Risham Khamrui RK

    nonoe of this methods work. please help me

  • Musa Sithole

    None of this methods worked, what happens now that I have deleted the “UpperFilter”? How is it gonna affect my pc?

  • Lang Fei Ke

    Best and easiest method is uninstall and SHUT (not restart) your computer than power on.

    • Ben Cale

      THANK YOU!

      this finally worked, after trying many other suggestions

  • Kim Cory

    My Acer computer bluetooth has a symbol on it indicating something is wrong. I have no sound but I used to. I checked and the bluetooth is turned on and the software is updated just fine. I get the Code 10 error message. It looks like Easydriver worked for someone above from their comments. Thoughts?

    • Camilla Mo

      Hi Kim Cory,

      Thank you for your comments.

      I am sorry that Driver Easy didn’t work for you.
      Would you please send us the System Information so we could help make a further check? You can send the information to us using Driver Easy Feedback tool.

      If you have any further questions, please leave your comments again. Thanks.

  • Delf

    non of the methods work is there any other options?

  • Ted D

    Hello, I just wanted to post that I both deleted the registry entry and ran the Intel Driver Update Utility which fixed my problem. Not sure which one did it or both but it worked either way.

  • Dana Atchley

    wonderful issues altogether, you simply received a emblem new reader. What might you suggest in regards to your submit that you made a few days ago? Any certain?

  • Sephra

    Hi,
    So I have an Asus transformer book Windows 8.1, 32-bit. I have installed Realtek High Definition Audio but I get the code 10 so I still dont have any sound. I have no audio output device installed as well, I cant find my speakers as well. Can anyone help me please, thank you so much.

    • Dirk

      I have been buisy for weeks with the same problem. Installed new drivers, removed the old ones etc. Been reading all the tips and tried them without results. Today I installed easydriver and that solved my problem. after updating my realtek drivers still had the same problem (code 10 HD audio does not start). I made a scan with drivereasy and this program found new drivers. Installed them and problem solved! I don’t want to make a commercial here for easydriver but it was the only software that could helped me out.

  • Kidd

    I have same code 10 issue at first I went to Microsoft website and downloaded all drivers and redownloaded them because my Bluetooth function also had disappeared after installing them all I ended up having an unidentified driver located in disk management. I could not update nor could I delete this unidentified engine. I’m sure I’ve made NY situation worse because now I cannot access internet via wifi or hardlined

  • Pedro Penas

    (Note: If you do not see the UpperFilters or LowerFilters registry entry, this method is not for you.)

    This is my case. What should I do to solve it?
    Thanks!

    • Edison Mahecha

      I could solve the problem by downloading the “Intel Driver Update Utility Installer” from the Intel’s webside. It itself looked for the problem and solved it

      • Pedro Penas

        I had installed the Intel Driver Update Utility but the scan conclude: A customized computer manufacturer driver is installed on your computer. The Intel Driver Update Utility is not able to update the driver… (etc).
        I had already installed the Realtek High Definition Audio, but it still has a yellow symbol error on it.

  • fixxel

    None of these solved it 100%… they managed to fix system audio and game audio, but with browser I still cant hear anything…

  • Sara

    Thank you so much! really works!
    you solve my sound problem

  • Susan Hooper

    I am not having audio problems…..I’m having video problems “Microsoft teredo tunneling adapter” I can’t record anything on a disk

  • Dan

    thanks , uninstall and restart method worked

  • sande salum

    Ahsante, nimeelewa nitajaribu.

    Thankyou, i have understood i will try it.

    • Aravind

      no neither of these method solved my issue wat can i do????

      • Somiran

        It means that you need a new sound card.