How to Fix Install Realtek HD Audio Driver Failure

Realtek’s audio drivers are among the most notorious problem makers with Windows, ever since the time of Windows XP. The Install Realtek HD Audio Driver Failure, followed by an error code such as 0x000000FF, will not allow you to install the necessary drivers for your Realtek sound card.

This issue can happen in a number of environments, and there is more than one possible cause. Users have tried a number of things to solve the problem, and there are a couple of solutions that worked for them. If you’re affected by the problem, read on to see how you can solve it and install the drivers.

NOTE: There are cases where this issue appears due to a dead sound card. This situation can’t be fixed via a software solution, and will require you to replace your sound card. You will see no error, and no device with a yellow exclamation or question mark in the Device Manager, and Windows won’t let you install the drivers as the hardware device is dead. None of the methods below will work if that is the case.



Method 1: Reinitializing the Driver

It is possible that the driver installation might be corrupted. Therefore, in this step, we will be reinitializing the driver installation. For that:

  1. Press the “Windows” + “R” Keys simultaneously.
  2. Type in “devmgmt.msc” and press “Enter“.
    Typing “devmgmt.msc” in the run prompt.
  3. Double click on the “Sound, Video and Game Controllers” category to expand it.
    Expanding the “Sound, Video and game controller” category.
  4. Rightclick on the “Realtek Audio Driver” and select “uninstall“.
    Right-clicking on “Realtek Audio Driver” and selecting uninstall
  5. Click on “yes” in the prompt and follow the onscreen instructions to uninstall the driver from your computer.
  6. Click on “Actions” in the top and selectScan for Hardware Changes“.
    Clicking on Actions and then selecting “Scan for Hardware Changes”
  7. Windows will automatically scan and install the missing driver.
  8. Check to see if the issue persists.

Method 2: Check for malfunctioning drivers and update manually

If Windows won’t let you install the drivers, you can try to update them from the Device Manager.

  1. Press simultaneously the Windows and R keys to open the Run dialogue. Type devmgmt.msc, and press Enter.
  2. From inside the Device Manager window, expand the menus and look for the Sound drivers. Inspect them to see whether there’s an exclamation or question mark in front of any of them.
  3. Right-click the driver with an exclamation or question mark, and choose Update Driver from the menu. Follow the instructions and provide administrator confirmation if necessary. Reboot your device once the drivers are finished installing.


Method 3: Use the Add legacy hardware option in Device Manager

This method is applicable only when Sound, video and game controllers is missing from Device Manager.

  1. Hold the Windows Key and Press R. Type devmgmt.msc and Click OK.
  2. From the top toolbar, click Action, and choose Add legacy hardware from the dropdown menu.

  3. Follow the wizard to add the Sound, video and game controllers category, as well as the Realtek High Definition Audio Device.realtek-hd-audio-driver-failure-2
  4. When you’re done with this, you will see the Realtek Audio Device in the Device Manager. Use the third step from the previous method to update the drivers for it.

Method 4: Remove the drivers, and let Windows install its own

  1. Hold the Windows Key and Press R. Type devmgmt.msc and Click OK.
  2. Locate the Realtek Audio Driver within Sound, video and game controllers. Right-click it and select Uninstall from the menu. Follow the instructions to uninstall the driver.
  3. Reboot your system and open Device Manager
  4. From the top toolbar, click Action and choose Scan for hardware changes from the menu.
  5. Once that is done, Realtek will appear in the list of devices again, so you can update its drivers.


Method 5: Disable Microsoft UAA Bus Driver for High Definition Audio

Since Realtek is the only audio driver that comes with the UAA driver installation inside, unlike the drivers from Conexant od SoundMAX, you can disable the UAA bus, and reinstall the driver. Given that the conflict lies in the UAA driver, removing it will let Realtek install itself properly, along with the UAA bus as well.

  1. Press simultaneously the Windows and R keys to open the Run Type devmgmt.msc and click OK to open the Device Manager.
  2. Expand the System Devices option, and look for the Microsoft UAA Bus Driver for High Definition Audio. Right-click it and select Disable from the menu.
  3. When you’ve disabled this driver, you can go ahead and install the Realtek drivers again, and they should be working perfectly now. If you do not have the driver files, then visit the Manufacturer’s site to get the latest drivers.



Kamil Anwar

Kamil is a certified MCITP, CCNA (W), CCNA (S) and a former British Computer Society Member with over 9 years of experience Configuring, Deploying and Managing Switches, Firewalls and Domain Controllers also an old-school still active on FreeNode.