Posted by: mylittlesnow | December 9, 2008

Vista and Realtek Front Panel Audio not working – Solution

I have been having this problem for quite some time and finally i found the solution. To those of you out there who’s using Realtek audio as well as Vista operating system, if you encountered this issue of having the front panel audio jack not working, then this is a possible solution. I don’t quite understand why by enabling the ‘disable front panel’, it will work, because you’re suppose to enable it, but then you check the box to disable it, means you want it disabled, but then again, it works! So who cares? 🙂

Here’s a more detailed explanation taken from one of the forums out there:

Audio output was dead on one of my media centers after updating to Vista SP1. (Otherwise the 2 updates went fine.) I’m posting the solution here as it might save someone else some trouble.

My configuration is:

Gigabyte motherboard
Realtek ALC883 HD integrated Audio
Speakers were plugged into the front panel which is connected to the motherboard in AC’97 mode
(Rear panel audio – unused – had HD jack detection turned on.)
After the SP1 update the Sound Manager window showed “Realtek Digital Output” enabled and “Speakers” (the analog output) greyed out with no way to enable it.

Eventually I worked out SP1 had reset all audio settings including the setting “Disable front panel jack detection”. As the audio manger could not detect any cables in the rear panel and jack detection would not work from the AC’97 connected front panel, it disabled the analog Speaker device.

The solution was to check the “Disable front panel jack detection” option. (This option is well hidden under a small unlabled folder icon on the right of the Gigabyte HD audio manager panel.) This turns off HD Audio mode jack detection and forces the motherboard to support AC’97 Audio mode for the front panel. The speakers worked again after making this change.

This was only an problem for me because I was using the front-panel connectors. Had I been using the rear panel, everything should have worked fine after SP1. It just goes to show that Microsoft really has their work cut out for them to cover all the possible configurations that are out there.

And here’s the pic showing exactly where to access Realtek Audio Manager to check ‘Disable Front Panel Detection’.

How to enable front panel audio through Realtek Audio Manager
How to enable front panel audio through Realtek Audio Manager

Hope this tip is useful to anyone out there facing similar problem. 🙂

4 Aug ’09 update: Here’s more tips from one of the reader Jacob, thanks bro.

For those who don’t see the folder. You have to go in your BIOS and go to Advanced Settings or just Advanced –> Chipset Configuration –> Enable Front Panel and set this to Enable if you have as Auto or Disable. Hope this helps!



  1. Great – I have a new motherboard with HD header but my case has an AC97 front panel. I was about to go buy an HD front panel or mess around with pin assignments but taking this advice solves the problem.

    Of course the system does not recognise when I plug headphones into the front panel and I need to switch the back panel speakers off manually but that will always be true for AC97 front panels – right?

    • i think you are right. I don’t have my PC right in front of me now so i can’t test it but i can recall that i might need to plug out the connection at the back panel speakers before i can plug in and use the front panel…

  2. this is a great explanation and excatly to my problem but. my Realtek HD Audio Manager dosent have that little folder to the top right. is there any other way to access it?

  3. thanks dude you rock. what a stupid config by realtek.

  4. thanks a lot dude its work

  5. Thanks kevyeoh,

    I thought I was going nuts …

    The only drama I had building my new kit – gigabyte P45 Extreme, was this stinking problem with my headset – no headset, no teamspeak , …

    • you’re welcome Nemesis… i did not expect so many people out there is having the same problem as me. Glad we all solved the problem huh, it really helps being able to plug in your headset from the front panel…. 🙂 Happy new Year !!!

  6. I have the most up to date version of the software, but I don’t have that folder.

    Everywhere I go I see people mention this folder is the fix, I DONT HAVE IT

  7. Thank you so much! this has been bugging me for days!

  8. this fixed the issue of no sound coming out of my headphone, but now when I have them plugged in the front panel, the audio channels are reversed! My front port connection to the mobo is correct…what could possibly be the issue?

  9. I can’t figure out how to get to the Audio Manager screen you are showing the screen shot of. Can someone point me in the right direction? Thanks in advance….

    • marybeth,

      try installing the latest audio driver from your motherboard website…if your motherboard is Gigabyte, try downloading the latest azalia audio driver…maybe the latest software has the audio manager screen i’m showing… 🙂

      lemme know…

  10. I use XP SP2, and last night my computer decided that screwing up the C:\ drive would be funny. So, after a fresh install, I didn’t have any front-panel sound, so I couldn’t use my headphones. Thankyou for this fix, it works perfectly, even though I have a different OS and a different version of the HD audio utility!

  11. I found this myself playing with realtek controlpanel. Good thing you share this.

  12. Thanks so much, what a strange way to make it work. I was convinced that there was an issue turning off the HD audio for the front, when I guess it seems that it just wasn’t detecting my headphones.

    Good find!

  13. freeweelee you are a star!!!!!
    I have been trying to sort this out for weeks. My self build computer retailer said change the motherboard, change the sound card, change God know’s what……….annd all the “f8c%jng” time it was that little “unmarked icon”! Well done.

  14. kevyeoh – ref last post – sorry. I thought your name was freeweellee. Thanks to kev 100 times over.

  15. THANK YOU!

  16. gosh, i didn’t know so many people out there is having the same problem as me, and i’m so glad that i am able to help! 🙂

    this has to be my top post so far… hehe

    it’s funny isn’t it when we tried so many ways to fix it when all you need to do is just to tick that damn little checkbox… LOL….

  17. That’s not exactly new solution. I’ve known about it ever since Vista came out. It’s a problem on Windows XP as well.

    What I’d like to know (since i haven’t figured it out) is to how to do exactly that on a system that doesn’t have Realtek drivers installed.
    Since installing Realtek Sound drivers will magically cause the AVG IS Firewall to shut down due to driver complications.

    • i never said that it’s a new solution… 🙂 just spreading out the words to help people who encountered the same problem as me…

  18. all i can say is thanks clicked on everything in sound mananger dont know how i missed that folder anyway checked enable and disable once or twice low and behold sound comming from headphone o-BOY YEAH……….. tried checking enable and disable box and then ok a couple of times but no difference guess there are issues but at least front panel is working now thanks again.

  19. Wow, thanks for this info, what a crap hidden “feature”

  20. you figured out the impossible and thank you for helping us question for you is my realtek HD audio 2nd port for my headset device is working properly but says it not plugged in when i have my mic and headset plug in the panel now i have a realtek HD audio no special is just normal can anyone fix this for me please

  21. THANK YOU!!!
    You’re my last step of sooooo many hours of work!
    THANK YOU!!!

  22. I have the folder but when i click on it, it only has one check available to click, which is to enable jack detection when device is plugged in.

  23. Thank you! You are very wise.

    I’ve fighted with this problem round the clock.

    Many thanks.

  24. Good Jobs even real HD Audio Realtek website cant found this problem to resolve..

    Thankx u so much for your information…

  25. Thanks a lot! Help’d as well.

  26. Oh goddamn realtek.

    Saved me from buying a new soundcard, much applied!

  27. Just the soln i was looking for!! Just that stupid single click on “Disable front panel…” and i am done!! Headphones and Speakers working Simultaneously!!

  28. thanks a lot, it had been a long time that it was a nuisance for me. Though the solution is illogical yet it worked & thats what matters thanks a lot again

  29. THANK YOU SO MUCH!!! I have spent so many hours trying to get the front audio to work. I was going to return the motherboard.

  30. THIS HELPED HUGE!! After the SP1 update no audio. This is great.

  31. You are the MAN! Finally, I don’t have to keep plugging and unplugging my rear speakers port to plug in head phones
    Much appreciated.

    • haha…you know what…that’s what i did previously…plugging and unplugging my rear speakers port… 😛

  32. Excellent. Thanks Dude fixed my problem.

  33. Love your work! Problem solved…

  34. thanks for sharing this tip man ^_^

  35. What about us who dont have that little folder ? how can we fix it ?

  36. oke i find a solution on my own howp will help others..
    Goto BIOS settings>Advanced Tab…
    then in the Front Panel Support Type…
    change the default setting HDAudio
    to AC97 by pressing the + sign on the keyboard…
    Save BIOS settings and reboot…

  37. For those of you who (like me) have no folder icon, I managed to find another way to disable the jack detection.

    Using the registry editor, find all instances of ForceDisableJD and change the value from 00 to FF.

    After making sure I got all of them, I was able to reboot and everything works fine now.

    • JD, thanks for the additional info. Can you share the background of the software version you are using? Or the operating system? probably if you’re using Win XP, it’s different than Vista…

  38. çok teşekkürler çalışıyor:)))))))

  39. This issue is still happening on Windows 7 RC and the latest Realtek HD drivers, what the hell?

    Talk about a long standing bug.

    Weird, I changed my bios from HD to ac97, this worked in xp but not in Windows 7 I had to do this workaround to get audio out front panel.

    Thanks for posting this I thought I was going nuts too.


  40. Thank you so much! It worked. You could add the following to you post: For those who don’t see the folder. You have to go in your BIOS and go to Advanced Settings or just Advanced –> Chipset Configuration –> Enable Front Panel and set this to Enable if you have as Auto or Disable. Hope this helps! Thanks again.


  41. Thanks dude. I just installed Vista SP2 and it had reset this setting. I started to bang my head against a brick wall, downloading drivers and what have you and then found your site and remembered i had had to do this strange exercise (disabling something that i needed to be enabled!) when i bought my headset that plugs into the front of the comp some months back. Needless to say, you fixed this for me and im good to go!

    Thanks bro!

  42. Your solution solved my problem – it is so simple once shown. Now front headphones and rear speakers work

  43. THANK YOU! THANK YOU! after I hung up on MS tech in Indian (which charge $139 for support), I have been trying to fix this issue for three days. I’ve called Asus support since sound card is built in and they suggested I download updated audio driver and that’s the end of their support. After downloading Realtex 2.34 drivers I just knew it was something simple and refuse to go out and buy a separate sound card. Anyway May God bless you now my speakers are working and I’m at peace. It really is a great post thanks for sharing.

  44. thanks budy its very helpful

  45. thank you
    i had this fixed before but forgot about the stupid hidden menu under the folder icon
    what idiot designs these interfaces

    and why does it have an option to detect front panel if it dosent work (and it’s on by default to boot)

    …my problems started after i updated the sound driver since the option to detect is on by default

  46. I have researched this problem many times over and still can’t find an answer to the question I have: which version of realtek drivers has this little folder? Any response to this would be much appreciated thanks

  47. Can someone explain how to get this hidden folder to appear. I’m told to play around with the computers Bios when it starts up? Thing is I don’t have options for “Advanced Settings” etc..

    I currently use an ACER TraveMate 2483WXMi.


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