soundcard confusion problem when re-starting NVDA

Giles Turnbull

Hi all,

I encountered a strange issue tonight while using a USB sound card. I have experienced it once before but didn't know what had happened, but this time I think I realise what has happened and I'm wondering if it is an NVDA bug or an expected situation. If it is expected, I'm wondering if there is a workaround?

This bit of info isn't connected to the problem but it does help in the explanation. When I listen through wifi headphones via the USB soundcard, I hear most audio through the headphones but system sounds still come from the laptop speakers. I've asked about this on this list before so understand what is going on with that and how I could change it if I was sufficiently bothered.

Anyway, what happened tonight was that I was trying to open a book I'd purchased in Adobe Digital Editions. ADE stopped responding and sometimes when programs stop responding (Firefox does this sometimes), closing NVDA and re-opening it allows NVDA to work with the program again.This did not happen this time and here's where the issue really starts.

I understand why NVDA switched back to using the laptop soundcard and speakers rather than the USB soundcard and headphones, but what was strange was that when I went and unplugged the USB soundcard (hoping to restore USB soundcard and headphone sound by unplugging the USB soundcard and plugging it back in again) when I unplugged the USB device I lost all sound. NVDA could only b e heard through the laptop speakers when the USB soundcard was plugged in but, when it was plugged in, no sound came through the headphones.

I'm curious about why unplugging the USB soundcard stopped all audio through the laptop speakers, whilst plugging it back in (which probably should have restored audio through the headphones) didn't restore headphone sound but did restore laptop speaker sound.

The only solution I could think of to get the different soundcards behaving the way they should, was to restart the laptop and unplug the USB soundcard before Windows rebooted. That is how I logged back in and have now re-connected the USB soundcard and am listening through my wifi headphones again.

My question is whether there is any way, other than restarting the laptop, to restart NVDA without causing problems between the soundcards?

I'm using NVDA 2019.2 and Windows 10 Version 1903 (OS Build 18362.476). My USB soundcard is quite an expensive one, an audioquest Dragonfly Red.

Grateful for any suggestions (other than the obvious one of not re-starting NVDA whilst an external soundcard is being used)



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