Disabling XP Sounds

David writes:

Is there a way to disable the Microsoft Windows XP boot up sound? If my volume is on, I have to hear the darned thing and there are times that quiet is a necessity. Can you help me find and nuke the wav file?

Windows has the ability to assign sounds to just about any action and we’re all familiar with the default sounds for startup, shutdown, and errors.

Any of these assigned sounds can be turned off or changed to something that is more to your liking. You can even download lots of free sounds that will work as long as the are in the .wav file format.

To make changes to your standard system sounds, you will need to access the Windows Control Panel. Depending upon how your Start menu is configured, you may see a direct link to the Control Panel when you click on the Start button or it may be under the Settings option.

If there is not an obvious option for opening the Control Panel, you can always click on Start/Run and type control, then hit Enter.

Once the Control Panel window is open, look for the Sounds and Audio Devices option and open it.

Click on the Sounds tab at the top to display all of your sound options. If you want to change up the default sounds as a group, you can select from the drop down menu the No Sounds option to turn off all of the sounds, Windows Default to put it back to the way it came or one of the other themes that may be installed in your system (generally only one called Utopia comes pre-installed).

If you want to disable a specific task, simply scroll down the list of Program Events until you find the one you want to modify and click on it. The currently assigned sound file will be displayed at the bottom of the window with a button to the right that will play the current sound.

You can choose any of the sounds in the drop down box or scroll to the top of the list and choose None if you want total silence.

If you have other .wav files on your computer already, you can click on the Browse button to select anything on your computer.

There are a number of sites that offer free sound file snippets in the .wav format in themes ranging from Star Trek to Star Wars to popular cartoons. Sounds for animals, machines, people, and just about any sound effect have been posted on the Web for your use.

Some of my favorite sites that are not loaded with ads and potential spyware include waveevents.com, the-earchives.com, wavsource.com, and findsounds.com.

If you really want to customize your sounds, you can convert any of your MP3 music files into short .wav files using a free utility such as MP3-2-wav Converter. If you choose to make your own .wav files, be sure to keep the length of the file less than ten seconds or it may slow down your computer.

[tags]mp3,wav,xp sound,no sounds,utopia,mp3-2-wav converter[/tags]