Helping people with computers... one answer at a time.
Windows 7 has some extra volume controls that are sort of "hidden." Adjusting those may help.
My desktop has recently decided to downgrade my max volume. I don't know why. I haven't changed a thing that I know of, but the end result is that while the AC is on, I can't watch movies or YouTube clips. I run Windows 7 Ultimate. All software settings have been maxed out; I have external speakers with dedicated power supply also maxed out; connecting the speakers to an iPod gives me ear splitting volume. I've also tried headphones, but with the exact same issue. Noise cancelling headphones help but only because they cancel the background noise; the overall volume is still very low. Any idea what I'm missing? Are there any third-party software that I can install to increase the volume output?
In this excerpt from Answercast #16, I show the location of Windows 7 advanced volume controls to adjust the sound through your speakers.
I don't know of any third-party software that's gonna solve this. And I'm a little concerned about your having mentioned the AC. I actually don't know if you mean AC as in connected to AC power, or AC as in the air conditioning being too loud.
Regardless, there is a catch. There is something that happened in Windows 7 (it may actually have been in Windows Vista) where there are more volume controls than you might be aware of.
The thing to do is to go ahead and click on the Speaker icon to get the volume control for the system. That will give you the normal slider, that I'm sure you have moved all the way to the top. Below that should be an item that says Mixer.
Click on that and you will get an interface that shows you not only the system's sound (or the device speakers, the device volume), but you will see that several of the applications currently running have their own volume slider. That also impacts the volume being output by that application or by those individual applications.
For example, as I'm looking here:
And that's the point... that's the point of this interface. Rather than have a global volume control for the system, you can actually control the volume that's being output by individual applications.
The trick is that this clearly was "kinda sorta" hidden.
So the very first thing I would suggest you do is to click on that Mixer button. Make sure that all of the applications that show up there (when you're trying to play back a video or do whatever else you're currently having trouble with) have their volumes to their maximum in this interface.
Some applications will actually use this as their volume control. If you have an application that has its own volume control, changing that may reflect here. On the other hand, some applications will not.
So in reality, what you have are three separate volume controls to go through before the sound actually makes its way out to your speakers, possibly even four:
So there are lots of opportunities to turn things down. You need to check all four of those locations and make sure everything is turned up as high as possible before you start worrying too much about something physically not working.
Next from Answercast #16 - Can I clone everything on my hard drive except the operating system?