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MarcelBurger
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CAN'T DETECT THE SOUND CARD / laptop INSPIRON 1501

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I have a laptop INSPIRON 1501 and have been having problem with the sound for quite some time. When I watch movies, the sound is there. When I skype, I can hear but the other party doesn't hear what I say. Skype can't detect the sound card.  

What I have done so far:

I went to CONTROL PANEL, then DEVICE MANAGER, OTHER DEVICES. There I have only one option BASE SYSTEM DEVICE with a yellow sign. I right-clicked Properties, then under GENERAL clicked REINSTALL DRIVER but Windows couldn't find driver software.

Also I tried SOUND, VIDEO and GAME CONTROLLERS option under DEVICE MANAGER. There is only one option HIGH DEFINITION AUDIO DEVICE and it's not marked.

Any tips what I could do to install/find the sound card.

Thanks for all your tips beforehand.

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MarcelBurger
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RE: CAN'T DETECT THE SOUND CARD / laptop INSPIRON 1501

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Thank you again for the support. 
So it is possible that the problem lies in a loosened jack?


Off the topic:

when I turn on the PC, before the Microsoft logo appears, I get the following message:

WARNING: The battery cannot be identified. This system will be unable to charge this battery.

Press any key to continue

Press F2 2 times to enter SETUP

Press F12 and any key to enter Boot Menu

What's the issue and how can I get rid of this message?

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Jim Coates
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RE: CAN'T DETECT THE SOUND CARD / laptop INSPIRON 1501

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o it is possible that the problem lies in a loosened jack?

You tested your hardware and audio driver by recording successfully into Windows Sound Recorder, so there is no problem there, at least at the time you made the recording. I guess it is possible that you have an intermittent bad connection that just happened to be working at the time you made the recording. To rule out that possibility you could repeat the test at random times to verify that the jack is functioning full time.

Off the topic:

when I turn on the PC, before the Microsoft logo appears, I get the following message:

WARNING: The battery cannot be identified. This system will be unable to charge this battery.

I'm sorry but that is outside my area. I don't know if that means the battery is going bad or a problem with the motherboard etc. Try posting on the Laptop General Hardware board where they frequently answer battery questions.

Jim Coates -- 15 years on the Dell Laptop Audio boards -- since 2/6/04 

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Jim Coates
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RE: CAN'T DETECT THE SOUND CARD / laptop INSPIRON 1501

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Hello. Please say which operating system the laptop has. Thanks.

Jim Coates -- 15 years on the Dell Laptop Audio boards -- since 2/6/04 

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MarcelBurger
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RE: CAN'T DETECT THE SOUND CARD / laptop INSPIRON 1501

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Hello,

It's Windows Vista Home Basic.

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MarcelBurger
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RE: CAN'T DETECT THE SOUND CARD / laptop INSPIRON 1501

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Hello,

It's Windows Vista Home Basic

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Jim Coates
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RE: CAN'T DETECT THE SOUND CARD / laptop INSPIRON 1501

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Go to the Inspiron 1501 support page. Select Vista as the operating system in the drop down box.

> Expand the System Utilities category and download & install the Dell Notebook System Software. Restart.

> Expand the Chipset category and install that driver. (This step is optional but I think this is the base system device that has a bang.) Restart.

> Expand the Audio category. Download and install the Sigmatel audio driver. (Caution, do not install the Creative Labs driver.) Restart.

Your external mic (jack mic) should work now. The Inspiron 1501 model did not have a built-in mic like modern laptops have.

Jim Coates -- 15 years on the Dell Laptop Audio boards -- since 2/6/04 

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MarcelBurger
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RE: CAN'T DETECT THE SOUND CARD / laptop INSPIRON 1501

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Did exactly what you suggested but still no change.

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Jim Coates
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RE: CAN'T DETECT THE SOUND CARD / laptop INSPIRON 1501

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still no change.

In the Device Manager, under Sound...Controllers, if it still says "High Definition Audio Device" then the Sigmatel audio driver has not been installed. When it is installed you will see "Sigmatel High Definition Audio Codec".

I apologize for not directing you to the installation instructions, which are under the link named "View details" where you got the driver. The driver package is zipped (compressed). You have to unpack (unzip) the files and then they create the driver. Do it first for the Dell Notebook System Software because it needs to be installed before the Sigmatel audio driver. The instructions for the Notebook System Software are:

Download the package and save it to your desktop.

If the Download Complete window appears, click Close. The file
icon appears on your desktop.

1.Double-click the new icon on the desktop labeled R134838.EXE.
2.The Self-Extracting window appears and prompts you to extract or
unzip to C:\DELL\DRIVERS\R134838. Write down this path so the executable (I.e.
Setup.exe) file can be found later.
3.The Self-Extractor window appears.
4.Click OK.
5.After completing the file extraction, if the Self-Extractor
window is still open, close it.
6.Click the Start button and then click Run.
7.Type C:\DELL\DRIVERS\R134838 in the Open textbox and then click OK.
8.Follow the on-screen installation instructions.

The Sigmatel audio driver instructions are:

"This file contains a compressed (or zipped) set of files. Download the file to a folder on your hard drive, and then run (double-click) it to unzip the set of files. Follow the instructions to complete the installation."

After you unzip the Sigmatel driver package it should automatically self-install after being unzipped.

Jim Coates -- 15 years on the Dell Laptop Audio boards -- since 2/6/04 

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Jim Coates
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RE: CAN'T DETECT THE SOUND CARD / laptop INSPIRON 1501

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I did not have time to explain much yesterday, so getting back to your original question:

Any tips what I could do to install/find the sound card.

That was not the problem. The fact that you had "High Definition Audio Device" in the Device Manager under Sound...Controllers showed that the sound card (the integrated audio chip) was installed and detected. "High Definition Audio Device" is the name of the Windows native generic audio driver that gets installed when the vendor's driver is missing. The vendor in your case is Sigmatel, the company that made your audio hardware and supplied the driver to Dell. Also the fact that your audio was working correctly and playing back files showed that it was installed and detected.

I went to CONTROL PANEL, then DEVICE MANAGER, OTHER DEVICES. There I have only one option BASE SYSTEM DEVICE with a yellow sign.

That is not an audio device and so is irrelevant to your problem, but it does indicate that after the last time Vista was installed on your laptop the drivers were not installed in the correct order. It should always be the Notebook System Software before anything else, then any chipset drivers, then the audio and other drivers. "Base system device" is outside of my area which is audio, but I think I remember that it was the Ricoh card reader chipset driver. It was a long time ago that we here had discussions about the 1501 model and it's hard to remember these kind of details.

When I skype, I can hear but the other party doesn't hear what I say.

You left out what device you are using to try to talk to them. Presumably a mic plugged into the mic jack because the 1501 does not have an on-board mic. Or you could be using a usb headset or other device.

If you are using a mic plugged into the mic jack, the problem is that the Windows native audio driver is okay for most audio but it does not support the mic jack. So you have to install the Sigmatel audio driver to get the jack to work, and you have to follow the correct order or else the Sigmatel driver will not install.

So all of that is why I told you do do certain things. It's based on what you have told me so far. After getting the Sigmatel driver installed the next step is to test the mic jack using Windows Sound Recorder. If that works then it is verified that your hardware is all set up and configured correctly. Any problems with Skype after that are in Skype, i.e. misconfiguration of its settings, not problems with your laptop's audio.

Jim Coates -- 15 years on the Dell Laptop Audio boards -- since 2/6/04 

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MarcelBurger
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RE: CAN'T DETECT THE SOUND CARD / laptop INSPIRON 1501

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Thank you Jim for the elaborate explanation. 

The message with the card is gone now but the problem is still there. Can the problem lie in the fact that the jack got loosened?

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Jim Coates
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RE: CAN'T DETECT THE SOUND CARD / laptop INSPIRON 1501

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Please check and see if the Sigmatel audio audio driver got installed. You can look in the Device Manager under Sound... Controllers, or open the Playback tab of the Sound properties and see if the word "Sigmatel" is there.

If it is then when you plug anything into the mic jack you should get a popup box asking you if you plugged in a mic or a line-in device. You would select mic as the answer. Then on the Recording tab of the Sound properties select the external mic as the default device. If it is not listed then right click in the white area and select to show both disabled and disconnected devices.

Next open Windows Sound Recorder and make a test recording. If it works then the problem is in Skype.

Can the problem lie in the fact that the jack got loosened?

If the jack is damaged then it could fail to function.

What is the brand and model of mic you are using?

Jim Coates -- 15 years on the Dell Laptop Audio boards -- since 2/6/04 

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