Category Archives: Windows Administration

An icon of a headset with a spanner meaning sound settings

How to adjust your Windows 10 volume settings so virtual meeting participants are at the same volume level

You have probably experienced a virtual meeting or online lecture were you could barely hear a person when they spoke. It might have been down to their audio setup, e.g. they were not using a headset and were relying on their laptop built-in microphone, or they might just be especially quiet when they talk. So in an effort to hear them better you maxed out the volume on your PC only for someone else in the chat to chime in with an excessively loud question or comment. If you were wearing a headset in that situation you might have ended up with burst eardrums. Thankfully there is something you can do on your end to normalize the volume of the meeting.

(FYI it is not recommended you test this for the first time during an important business meeting. Sound card drivers etc. can be a bit unpredictable and can even behave differently depending on what other applications you may have open at the time.)

What is Audio Normalization

Audio normalization is a process that increases the audio level by a constant amount so that it reaches a target or norm. Normalization applies the same level increase for the entire duration of the audio stream.

You are probably thinking at this point that if normalization brings up the volume of the quiet person wouldn’t it also make the loud person louder?

That is not the case. It averages out the loudness by leveling the audio output. So when the louder person interjects they should be at a similar volume to the person speaking quietly.

Normalizing the meeting volume

This is achieved through Windows 10 Sound settings and a feature called “Loudness equalization” and there are two ways to turn this feature on.

The first way is via the search bar at the bottom of your display.

Type “Sound settings”

Click on the option that appears.

When the Sound settings window opens look for “Device Properties” under “Output”, i.e. speakers/headphones etc.

In “Device Properties” click on “Additional device properties” to the right hand side of the window.

Open the “Enhancements” tab.

Make sure “Immediate mode” is ticked then scroll down to “Loudness equalization”.

Once the “Loudness equalization” box has been ticked you should hear that the volume of people speaking quietly has been increased. This means you will be able to lower down the overall system volume and when other people speak you should be able to hear them also without it being deafening.

The other way to get to this feature is the old fashion way via Control Panel.

Control Panel > Hardware and Sound > Sound > Left click on Speakers (or another output device of your choosing) > Properties > Enhancements > Check “Loudness equalization”.

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How to fix the “Fatal Error: Illegal characters in path” problem during a WSUS Installation

If your reading this you’re probably at the point of trying to install a new WSUS server on Windows Server 2012 R2 and have received the message “Fatal Error: Illegal characters in path”.

The fix is annoyingly simple.

You may have created a partition specifically for the task, i.e. created a new drive and assigned it the letter E:\, and only referenced the root of the partition assuming the installation would create whatever directories it needs, you know like every other software.

The problem is you cannot specify the root of partition alone, you need to specify a directory, or the partition name, such as E:\WSUS.

A fully qualified path should fix the problem.

What is WSUS?

Windows Server Update Services (WSUS) provides a cost-effective patch management solution to deploy updates to domain-joined Windows servers and workstation in a corporate network. WSUS is fully integrated in Windows Server 2012 and can be enabled on Windows clients by configuring settings in Group Policy Objects – GPO.