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nccudst
1 Nickel

Internal speakers for Inspiron 1520

I am hoping someone can help me.  My internal speakers on my Inspiron 1520 are not working.  I have tried trouble shooting but nothing seems to work, also I've noticed that if I use my headphones only one ear works.  How can I fix this????

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10 Replies
Elmolivez
1 Nickel

Re: Internal speakers for Inspiron 1520

Need a little more information did it just start happening?  Did you reinstall the OS? Which OS are you using if you are using Linux then there is a fix if it is Windows then have you updated any software or drivers lately?  Did you change your hardware recently?  Add a new network card or modem (bluetooth included)?

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Jim Coates
6 Gallium

Re: Internal speakers for Inspiron 1520

When there are problems with the audio in a Dell laptop the 1st step is usually to reinstall the audio driver (the Sigmatel driver in the 1520 model) so you could try doing that. However I don't know of any software problem in Windows that would cause the speakers to quit and also one channel of the headphone jack, assuming that there is nothing wrong with your headphones. I'm not disputing what Elmolivez said about Linux -- I am unfamiliar with that OS.

 

Try running the audio test in Dell Diagnostics to see if any hardware problems are detected. The interactive audio test is designed to narrow down the problem to either the software or hardware. 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 (PSA) before the Dell Diagnostic starts. The PSA 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 PSA. Dell Diagnostics plays an instrumental piece of music complete with drums, so if you only hear some tones then you have only run the PSA.

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. Alternate between using headphones and listening to speakers in case only one is working. You might have to run the test twice to do that.

[If you have ever reformatted your hard drive then the Diagnostics partition might have been wiped off. If the Dell Diagnostics option fails to open, run it from the Drivers and Utilities (Resource) CD if you have one.]

Dell Diagnostics will play some audio and ask you whether you heard it. If you answer 'no' then the test generates an error code that means you indicated you did not hear the sounds it played, but it doesn't and cannot pinpoint the exact component that has gone bad. If you don't hear the music during the test (or only hear it through one side of the headphones) it definitely means there is a hardware failure somewhere in the system. In this case Dell will repair the computer if it is still under warranty.

If you do hear the audio that almost always means the hardware is okay but there is a problem with the software or configuration.

 

There is one situation where the test will pass even though there is a hardware problem. If you have the following combination of symptoms

    * Speakers don't work
    * Headphone jack does work
    * Reinstalling audio driver does not help
    * Audio test in Dell Diagnostics passes

then there is the possibility of a failed Sense_A pin in the headphone jack. This will pass the Dell Diagnostics test but will continue to show symptoms when you boot back into Windows. It is a difficult condition to diagnose conclusively. If you suspect you have a failed pin, you can use Dell's PC Restore (in XP) or Factory Image Restore (in Vista), and if the same problem appears afterward that confirms that the pin has failed. I believe that the jack is a replaceable part in the 1520 (Dell Part# RT882) but I'm not sure about that. If you are still under warranty Dell will service the computer if the problem is determined to be a hardware one.

 

Jim Coates -- 14 years on the Dell Laptop Audio boards -- since 2/6/04 

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nccudst
1 Nickel

Re: Internal speakers for Inspiron 1520

Hello Jimco,

 

I ran the test and during the test the speakers worked and I could hear everything, but when I logged back on and turned on my Itunes, I couldn't hear anything! Could I have done something that I'm not aware of?  It's nice to now my speakers aren't dead, but how do I get them to work???

 

Melania

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GARAMVADA
2 Iron

Re: Internal speakers for Inspiron 1520

 

Hi nccudst,

If you have Windows XP, try reinstalling the Audio (SIGMATEL) driver and the PCI Modem (Dial-Up Internet. Conexant/ Broadcom) driver. If this does not work you can do OPERATING SYSTEM REINSTALLATION.

If you have Vista installed on the computer Uninstall the SIGMATEL AUDIO driver from the DEVICE MANAGER and delete the file while doing so. Restart the computer VISTA will reinstall native audio driver and you should have sound.

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Jim Coates
6 Gallium

Re: Internal speakers for Inspiron 1520

 

nccudst wrote:

 

"Hello Jimco, I ran the test and during the test the speakers worked and I could hear everything, but when I logged back on and turned on my Itunes, I couldn't hear anything! Could I have done something that I'm not aware of?  It's nice to now my speakers aren't dead, but how do I get them to work??? Melania"

 

Melania, if

 

    * Speakers don't work
    * Headphone jack does work
    * Reinstalling audio driver does not help
    * Audio test in Dell Diagnostics passes


The Dell laptops like yours with a Sigmatel 92xx audio chip utilize IDT's Universal Jacks technology, which is somewhat complicated. In addition to the usual mechanical parts, the jack also uses current & impedance-sensing techniques to trigger software configuration and switching (to send the audio signal to the speakers). So there are three areas of potential failure: mechanical, electronic, and software. Sometimes, a little very gentle wiggle of a plug in the jack will get it to resume normal functioning, at least temporarily. There is a sensing pin in the jack (Sense_A pin) that is used to detect the presence of plugs and it can be the cause of failure to trigger the software switching.

Normally the audio test in Dell Diagnostics would confirm that there is a hardware problem, but the Universal Jacks can cause a false positive result in Diagnostics. That is because Diagnostics operates in DOS, outside of Windows, so a Windows software misconfiguration is irrelevant to the test even though in this case it is caused by hardware. So the audio test can pass in Diagnostics, correctly signaling that software configuration is the immediate cause of the problem, but missing that a hardware problem, the bad jack or sensing pin, is the root cause. In these instances the only reliable diagnostic procedures are to try a new motherboard or to use PC Restore (called Factory Image Restore in Vista) to restore the computer to its original configuration as shipped from the factory. If the speakers still don't work after PC/Factory Image Restore then there is definitely a hardware problem even if it passes the normally infallible Dell Diagnostic audio test.

 

To answer your question more directly, if the cause of the speakers not working is the sense pin in the headphone jack, the solution is to replace the jack. If you are still under warranty get Dell to do it. I believe that the part is the Audio Jack Daughter Board Service Kit for Vostro 1500 and I think Inspiron 1520, but you should do some research to make sure it is correct for the 1520.

 

 

Edit: To be a little clearer, the reason a bad sense pin in the headphone jack would make the speakers not work is because when you insert a plug into the jack, the pin senses it and triggers software switching that interupts the audio signal from going on to the speakers. When the plug is removed the reverse is supposed to happen, but if the pin has stopped working it won't, and so the speakers don't come back on. The reason that the speakers still play during Dell Diagnostics is complicated and I don't know how to explain it better than I did above.

Jim Coates -- 14 years on the Dell Laptop Audio boards -- since 2/6/04 

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treyl
1 Copper

Re: Internal speakers for Inspiron 1520

hi, i have an inspiron 9300 and the exact same thing happened to me earlier tonight Smiley Frustrated

 

i rebooted a few times, wiggled the headphone jack, and now both headphone speakers are working, but still nothing from the internal speakers... just wanted you to know you're not alone.  i'm pretty sure my laptops not under warranty anymore... how difficult is it to install an audio jack assembly?

 

edit:  lol i got a little violent with the plug, and the internal speakers are now working.  probably not for good though

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Jim Coates
6 Gallium

Re: Internal speakers for Inspiron 1520

Your 9300 has a Sigmatel STAC97 audio chip. Models with that chip do not have the sense pin or software switching that I wrote about earlier in this thread. That began with the next model after yours, the 9400/E1705 when Dell started using Sigmatel 92xxHD chips.

 

If the 9300 has a bad headphone jack then it is likely a mechanical or electrical problem: either the contacts are not mating correctly or the solder joints are loose. The jack is not a user replaceable part in the 9300. An old jack would have to be salvaged from a junked motherboard, and perhaps someone experienced with soldering on motherboards could attach it, but it might be impossible to do in any case. The usual workaround is to add an external audio interface.

Jim Coates -- 14 years on the Dell Laptop Audio boards -- since 2/6/04 

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fgibson1911
1 Nickel

RE: Internal speakers for Inspiron 1520

I have the same problem....replacing the headphone daughter board did not work.

Internal speakers still don't work.....

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fgibson1911
1 Nickel

RE: Internal speakers for Inspiron 1520

I have the same laptop and the same problem.  Headphones work great....no internal speakers.  Reloaded XP and reinstalled drivers, replaced daughter board for headphones.  No sound.

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