I have a Dell Inspiron 1525 laptop that I've had for about 6 months or so now. Recently, about 3 months ago, my friend bought me an upgrade to windows 7 ultimate. So far I have been enjoying the features and have had no complaint until my Microphone stopped working today. I use it regularly to talk on Skype with a friend who's in Army training, and all of a sudden it's stopped recognizing my microphone.
When I right click on my sound icon at the bottom right and go to recording devices, it shows the jack where my mic is usually plugged in at, but the jack itself seems to be picking up sound-what I mean is when I plug something into it I see the volume level go up and down, and when I turned the boost all the way up it has one green bar steadily. When I try to use audio recorder I'm told there is not audio device detected. I have uninstalled the driver twice in hopes that it would reset but it doesn't seem to have. I'm beginning to believe it's my microphone jack.
UPDATE: Now I can use sound recorder and it records without anything even plugged in. And I play it back and I get nothing but loud mic sound (not quite static but still)
Can someone please help me with this?
Bump? Does it always take this long to get customer service?
I'm sorry that you have not received an answer. This is not Customer Service; it is the Laptop Audio Board section of Dell Community Forums, which is a user to user forum. For more information about the role of the members and also for links to contact Dell's Technical Support and Customer Service please click here.
The Laptop Audio Board does not have as much traffic as some of the other boards. It might take some time before someone sees your question who knows the answer. There have been a lot of posts here regarding mics that no longer function after installing Windows 7. It seems that there are not proper audio drivers available for all models for that operating system. Interestingly some people have found that using an older driver instead of the current one helps. Even then there seem to be additional problems when using Skype with Windows 7.
Jim Coates -- senior forum member
Take a look at What is the Integrated Webcam and Digital Array Microphone. At the bottom of that page there is a link to a troubleshooting wizard named "Problem with the Integrated Web Camers" Wizard ID 297119. You will be asked to submit the model name of your computer and its operating system, then you can select the type of problem you are having, which is "The microphone is not working". This wizard is a good place to start diagnosing your problem and it will walk you through all of the steps to configure the camera. It will show you how to run the Dell Diagnostics tests on the webcam to find out if the hardware has failed and where to get help if it has.It has the details of the several pieces of software to reinstall if the hardware is okay.
Also you might try using a regular mic thaqt you plug into the mic jack to see if you can get better results that way.
I use a regular mic that I plug into a jack. That's what won't work. I don't use my integrated mic because it isn't loud enough and doesn't have a boost. I use the jack in the front to plug my mic in and its always worked even with windows 7. All of a sudden yesterday though it quit working.
When you plug in the mic do you see on the screen a popup box asking whether you plugged in a mic or line-in device? If not, go to Start/Control Panel/ Sigmatel and check the 'allow popups' box. If the popup is not activated then the jack defaults to be a line-in jack that will not work properly with a mic. Then plug in the mic again and test it. I'd test it with a recording program such as Windows Sound Recorder instead of Skype or any voip program. If the mic can record then it is working. If enabling popups didn't solve the problem then next try running the external mic test in the audio section of Dell Diagnostics. To run Diagnostics restart the computer and as soon as it starts to boot up hold down f12. Select 'Diagnostic' from the boot menu. The computer will run its pre-boot assessment tests for 3 or 4 minutes before the Dell Diagnostic starts. These pre-boot tests play some beeps and tones through the system speaker but this doesn't test the rest of the audio hardware, so you still need to let Dell Diagnostics run after the pre-boot tests finish. Dell Diagnostics plays an instrumental piece of music complete with drums, so if you only hear some tones then you have only run the pre-boot assessment test.When Dell Diagnostics opens, select 'custom', then the audio test. This will test your audio system independently of Windows and drivers, meaning it doesn't matter if they are working correctly or not.Dell Diagnostics will play some audio and ask you whether you heard it, etc. Eventually the external mic test should come up. If the test passes that means the hardware is okay but there is a problem with the software or configuration. If it fails that means there is a hardware problem.
Where is this Sigmatel under the Control panel?
I ran the diagnostic and it failed for the external mic. What now?
If there is no Control Panel/Sigmatel it might mean that the Sigmatel audio driver is not installed properly, in which case the computer is using the Windows driver which does not seem to work good with mics. You said you have reinstalled the driver several times. There is no Windows 7 Sigmatel driver for the 1525 so my understanding is that one has to use the Vista Sigmatel driver (it is in the Audio category) and install it in 7 by using Vista compatibility mode. Is that the way you did it?
Failure of the test means a hardware problem, although not necessarily in the computer. It could be a short in the mic plug for example. If the problem is in the computer and you are still under warranty then Dell will fix it. If not under warranty then the workaround is to get an external sound card and use its mic jack.
There was never a Sigmatel driver on here that I knew of. The driver that controls my audio is simply called "High Definition Audio Device" in my device manager. I supposed purchasing a USB headseat would effectively solve the problem as well though, correct?
In your initial post you said you reinstalled the driver twice so I assumed it was the Sigmatel. The audio system in the 1525 is Sigmatel HD audio and although there is a bare bones Intel HD audio driver within Vista and 7 those will not enable all of the features of the Sigmatel system the way installing the correct Sigmatel driver will.
A usb headset might solve your problems. (Sorry but if I knew all the answers I would have answered your initial post a couple of days ago.)
:/ Well it wouldn't allow me to install the driver just now saying that it wasn't the correct driver for my system. This is so frustrating...
I have the same problem as Lamaenic here and i found this post. I got to the same step where i got the error " this is not the correct audio driver for this system"
Can i install the Sigmatel audio driver on to my Inspiron if i never had it before? is that anything i need to do before i can install?
"Can i install the Sigmatel audio driver on to my Inspiron if i never had it before?"
But it would have been on the computer when it left the factory.
There are all kinds of reasons why the driver might fail to install. First, it has to be the correct version of the driver for your model and for your operating system. If you follow the link I posted to the 1525 downloads page you need to check to see which operating system it says and then use the dropdown box to select the OS that your computer is running. For the 1525 the only choices are XP and Vista 32 bit. There is no Windows 7 Sigmatel driver for the 1525 so my understanding is that one has to use the Vista version of the Sigmatel driver and install it in 7 by using Vista compatibility mode.
Another problem occurs when the operating system gets reinstalled on a computer but then the drivers are not reinstalled in the correct order. It's okay for most of the drivers but the Sigmatel will not install unless the Dell Notebook System Software and then the Intel Mobile Chipset driver are installed prior to the Sigmatel driver. These are not available for 7 but from posts here it seems that people are getting the Sigmatel to install without them by using compatibility mode.
There are some other problems that can affect the Sigmatel installation, both of a hardware and a software nature.
Another one I forgot ... it's not a good idea to download the driver using Dell Download Manager which can cause problems with the driver for some reason unknown to me. When you hit the "Download" button the first time, you are offered a choice between the Manager or just using your browser to download in the normal way. By default whichever choice you make is remembered on a cookie and the next time you try to download you won't get the choice again. To get the choice back you have to delete the cookie that was left in your computer from the first download.