Causes of “Error loading cmicnfg.cpl” Error
When you install C-Media WDM Audio Driver update on your computer, it may stop audio from playing on your PC. When you try to uninstall the update, it might not remove all the related files and registry entries from your computer. Therefore, when you reboot, your system may try to load the cmicnfg.cpl file, which is the Control Panel file for the C-Media WDM Audio Driver. And because you have already performed an uninstall, this results in an error.
How to Fix cmicnfg.cpl Error
To fix the error, you will have to delete a few registry entries and system files.
Editing the Registry
To make changes to the registry, open the Start menu, and select Run. Next, type Regedit in the Open field and then select OK to open the Registry Editor window.
In the Registry Editor window, navigate to the following key:
Here, delete the string, cmaudio. Deleting this string will stop the error from displaying at system startup. However, this is just a cosmetic fix because we are just removing the command that loads the file at system startup.
Now, in the Registry Editor window, press Edit and then select Find. Search for all keys that are related to cmaudio and C-Media and delete them from the registry.
Next, navigate to the following registry key:
Here, delete the Cmcpls string to get rid of the WDM Audio Driver’s Control Panel icon.
Warning: Make a backup of the registry before making any changes to it. This is important because all changes made to the registry are irreversible and if you make any mistakes, you may cause more damage than repair.
Deleting System Files
Open Windows Explorer and navigate to the System32 folder. If your Windows is installed in the C:\Windows folder, then navigate to the C:\WINDOWS\System32\ folder. Here, delete the following files:
Also, delete the following files:
Additionally, delete any related files existing in the following folders:
C:\Documents and Settings\%UserName%\Local Settings\Temp (Windows 2000 and Windows XP only)
C:\Windows\prefetch (Windows XP only)
Deleting the files from these folders will ensure that the driver does not have any file to recover from during reinstallation.
Reinstalling Original Driver to Fix the Problem
After you have deleted all registry files related to C-Media WDM Audio Driver update, open Device Manger and reinstall the generic sound driver to have audio playing again on your computer.
To open Device Manager, open Control Panel, select Performance and Maintenance, and then select System. In the System Properties dialog box, open the Hardware tab and then select the Device Manager button.
In the Device Manager window that opens, under the Sound, video, and game controllers option, right-click the C-Media WDM driver option and select the Uninstall command.
After the uninstall process is complete, right-click on the top icon (with your username) and select the Scan for hardware changes command. This command will scan your computer for all Plug and Play devices and in this case, it should detect your Sound card and install generic Multimedia Audio Controller instead of the C-Media WDM Audio Driver.
In case C-Media WDM Audio Driver gets installed, you will again have to go through the registry and delete the keys specified earlier. Also, perform a thorough search and delete any files related to the C-Media WDM Driver from your computer.
We recommend that after you have deleted the related C-Media files, you run a registry scan using a reliable registry cleaner software. Your registry cleaner software will perform a deep scan of the registry and remove any left over entries from it and help you ensure complete removal of the C-Media WDM driver before you start with the installation of the generic audio driver.