Microsoft KB Archive/249146

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PSS ID Number: 249146

Article Last Modified on 10/16/2002

The information in this article applies to:

  • Microsoft Windows 98 Second Edition

This article was previously published under Q249146


On computers running Windows 98 Second Edition, sounds may intermittently be unable to play after Windows starts. (For example, .wav files may not play.) This problem may occur if both of the following conditions are true:

  • The program being used to play the sound uses the PlaySound() application programming interface (API).
  • The computer has one or more Universal Serial Bus (USB) Human Interface Device (HID) devices installed, (for example, a USB speaker device).

After this occurs, further attempts to use the PlaySound() API to play sounds do not work until you restart Windows.

NOTE: The Windows Startup sound may play successfully.


This issue can occur if a reference counter is not cleared properly by the Winmm.dll file while the the PlaySound() API is being processed. If the reference counter is not cleared, the PlaySound() API calls do not properly initialize and the sounds to not play.


A supported fix is now available from Microsoft, but it is only intended to correct the problem that is described in this article. Apply it only to computers that are experiencing this specific problem.

To resolve this problem, contact Microsoft Product Support Services to obtain the fix. For a complete list of Microsoft Product Support Services phone numbers and information about support costs, visit the following Microsoft Web site:

NOTE: In special cases, charges that are ordinarily incurred for support calls may be canceled if a Microsoft Support Professional determines that a specific update will resolve your problem. The usual support costs will apply to additional support questions and issues that do not qualify for the specific update in question.

The English-language version of this fix should have the following file attributes or later:

Date Time Version Size File name Platform
12/29/99 10:29am 4.03.2201 50,688 Winmm.dll Win98SE


Microsoft has confirmed that this is a problem in Windows 98 Second Edition.


This problem occurs intermittently, and may occur as often as 10 percent of the times you try to start Windows, depending on the specific hardware configuration.

For additional information about Windows 98 and Windows 98 Second Edition hotfixes, click the article number below to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

206071 General Information About Windows 98 and Windows 98 Second Edition Hotfixes

Keywords: kbbug kbQFE kbsound KB249146
Technology: kbWin98SE kbWin98SEsearch