I've owned this PC for some time now and purchased it directly from Dell. Some time ago the Creative Sound Blaster card was acting buggy so I removed it and ran with the Realtek on board sound. This solved the problem for my surround sound which is accessed at the back of the case. Alas, although the rear panel works fine I no longer have any front panel audio and the microphone jack does not appear to be working either. I suspect that this might be an AC 97 issue but i have no idea how to make AC 97 work on the front ports for microphone and headphones. I also noticed that others are having this issue with the same Dell model but so far I can't seem to find any practical fix for the problem other than buying another sound card. Is there a way to go back to full on board sound for both front and back?
Yes, visually verified. Check, double check, Triple check. Tested both headers (mobo and case) to verify that they were both snug and firmly connected also. Connectors are yellow. Also when I plug in headphones Realtek message appears in system tray acknowledging this change and rear audio is muted just as preferred. Everything else appears to be working which causes me to wonder if the front panel ports (headphone and speakers) require an AC 97 default in order for these setting to work. I have fixed other PC audio settings this way by incorporating AC 97 but I cannot find how to renew this on this particular PC.