Windows Volume Control program has not been installed

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Rick writes, My Windows Volume Control has somehow been uninstalled, so that my attempt to follow your instruction for restoring the volume icon to the System Tray results in the following error message: "...Volume Control Program has not been installed". How can I reinstall it?

This error message generally means the application that controls volume in Windows, sndvol32.exe, is corrupt rather than uninstalled. There isn't a clear reason why this happens, although I have seen cases where third party drivers from soundcard manufacturers completely damage the entire Windows volume control setup. To make matters more confusing, the error message in Windows is misleading, because you can't restore the problem from Add/Remove Programs.

Windows cannot display the volume control on the taskbar because the Volume Control program has not been installed. To install it use Add/Remove Programs in Control Panel.

Depending on whether your computer shipped with a recovery partition on the drive or a physical Windows CD, there are two ways to resolve the problem.

Recovery Partition Volume Control Recovery

If you have a Recovery partition like my HP test box, one of the partitions is likely labeled Recovery (or HP_RECOVERY in my case).

Open a command prompt by clicking Start > Run (Windows Key+R). Type cmd in the Open line and click OK.

Type in the following, replacing the C:\ and D:\ drives with your recovery partition and system partition respectively.

expand c:\i386\sndvol32.ex_ d:\windows\system32\dllcache\sndvol32.exe

Hit Enter and then type:

expand c:\i386\sndvol32.ex_ d:\windows\system32\sndvol32.exe

The first one puts a copy of the the volume control app in the folder where Windows recovers operating system components automatically. The second command puts the volume control in the live directory.

Either type exit to leave the command prompt or click the X in the corner to close the window.

Your Volume Control should now be restored. You can verify this by opening the Sound and Audio Devices from Control Panel and checking the box to Place volume icon in the taskbar.


Windows CD Volume Control Recovery

The method for recovering the volume control app from the Windows CD is almost identical to the method for recovering from the recovery partition. Insert the Windows CD in your CD drive. Hold down the Shift key as it loads to prevent AutoPlay from trying to launch the installer.

Open a command prompt by clicking Start > Run (Windows Key+R). Type cmd in the Open line and click OK.

Type in the following, replacing the E:\ and C:\ drives with your CD drive and system partition respectively.

expand e:\i386\sndvol32.ex_ c:\windows\system32\dllcache\sndvol32.exe

Hit Enter and then type:

expand e:\i386\sndvol32.ex_ c:\windows\system32\sndvol32.exe

The first one puts a copy of the the volume control app in the folder where Windows recovers operating system components automatically. The second command puts the volume control in the live directory.

Either type exit to leave the command prompt or click the X in the corner to close the window.

Once again, you can verify this worked by opening the Sound and Audio Devices from Control Panel and checking the box to Place volume icon in the taskbar.

sound and audio devices properties