After two days of unsuccesful attempting to install Windows 10 (from Windows 7) the newest Windows OS software installed correctly on my Inspiron N411z with Intel i5 (and upgraded to a SSD HD two years ago). BUT, now it does not switch automatically between audio coming from the build-in speakers to a headphone connected with the headphone socket visa versa. The Original Smartaudio software interfered with Windows 10 and does not offer a new windows 10 safe version. After having read various advices I de-installed and de-activated the Original Smartaudio from my laptop. Default audiodrivers is now the microsoft audio driver. I can switch between speaker-sound and headphone sound "manually" by going to sound settings and setting either speakers or headphone as the standard. But this is annoying. Anybody a solution to get the switching done automatically like before?
Greetings from Dell Thank you for reaching out to us. The N411z has not been tested to run Windows 10. Some software, drivers and settings may not work as expected. However, have you tried the builtin windows troubleshooter.
Hello Aniketh (and other readers),
I tried the troubleshooter at several occassions/steps during the process of trying to solve the problem, but it did not come up with a solution. After the upgrade to Windows 10 and after having noticed the audio problem (which was apparently caused by SmartAudio not offering a windows 10 compatible driver) I downloaded the "old" Windows 7 compatible SmartAudio driver but it was (again) incompatible with windows 10. My son, yesterday was a little bit more clever and told me that windows 8.1 had a better compatibility with Windows 10 and we found a Windows 8.1 compatible driver at the Dell download/drivers section. After installtion and re-activating Smart Audio in the taskmanager everything worked correctly and switching between headphones and speakers is now again "automatic". Sorry to tell you that I feel that Dell should feel responsible for its own installed audio hard- and software; the laptop is only 4 years old and runs on a rapid i5 processor and has ample RAM on board). An alternative would have been to send Inspiron users a warning not toinstall Windows 10. Or better change the driver download section of your site in such a way that the 8.1 (or further upgraded SmartAudio driver) is offered as a Windows 10 compatible audiodriver. Thanks for your reply.
The Original Smartaudio software interfered with Windows 10 and does not offer a new windows 10 safe version.
Hello. Did you try installing the Conexant audio driver for Win8 using compatibility mode?
1. Download and save the audio driver to your desktop or any convenient location on the hard drive.
2. Double click on the new folder to extract (unzip) the driver files.
3. The extractor wizard will create a new folder for the driver files. It will be at "c:\dell\drivers\xxxxxx". Write down the exact location that the wizard creates.
4. If the driver begins to install automatically, halt (cancel) the installation.
5. Browse to the driver files on the hard drive (the location you wrote down).
6. Find the "setup.exe" file.
7. Right click on setup.exe to open the context menu.
8. Select the Properties.
9. Select the Compatibility tab.
10. Check the box "run this program in compatibility mode for"... Win8.
If doing that does not help, you might be stuck with the problem. Win10 might have its good points, but it is audio-unfriendly on many older laptops.
An alternative would have been to send Inspiron users a warning not toinstall Windows 10.
Sorry that I accidentally cross-posted with you. Glad that you got it working. The warning is on the N411z support page.
Dell should feel responsible for its own installed audio hard- and software
But you changed Dell's installed software, which made the hardware function incorrectly. Why should not you and Microsoft (whose software conflicted with the Dell installed software) be responsible?
Thank you for keeping us Updated. Its good to hear that it is working now. However this may not work for all drivers and software. We understand your concern about the system not being compatible however it was mentioned in the Dell Support Page, where after you put the system service tag or browse for a particular model it would show whether the product has been test/ not test for windows 10. Windows 10 is offered by Microsoft to most Windows 7 or 8.1 users. It comes along with the windows updates. Now though the update utility does check if the hardware if compatible or now, its just a surface scan or a minimum requirement scan, specific drivers may still not be available from the vendor, in your case, Dell.
Thanks for the replies I got on my question on the audio drivers compatibility with Windows 10. To handle the point you explain I tried to imagine a somewhat similar problem from the non-computer world. This is what came to my mind.
(Imagine) I have a (only) four year old Volkswagen. The Diesel engine is polluting the environment and electric engine producer Tesla offers me a "better" (electric) engine and urges me to have it mounted in my vehicle (without any warning that it may be incompatible). Also Tesla "threatens" that Volkswagen will not support the dieselengine in the future. Volkswagen (nowing my address as well as Dell knows my address) does not give a warning either. I order the Tesla engine to be mounted in my car. After mounting it shows that the combination doesn't work properly. My VW has become worthless and a worrying search for a solution must be put up. I can assure you that the world would be too small.
I got warnings from various software suppliers (like Steinberg for Cubase music editing software) not to install Windows 10 until they announced that their software was compatible. I did not get such warnings from Dell. Also Windows shouldn't have been so pushy. Lesson: There is still a lot to improve in computer hard- and softwaremarketing and after-sales.
Thanks for giving me the space to vent my worries.
Hello Gerard. I see what you mean about the e-mails and agree that it would have been thoughtful for Dell to have done that. If Dell had it to do over again, maybe it would send out notifications. But at the time, I can see where maybe it just did not occur to anybody.
In the past, before a person went out and bought a new operating system installation disc, he or she would have first checked to make sure that the new system would be supported on their computer. (If they knew enough about computers to install a new OS, then they knew that they would need compatible drivers.) Windows 10 is a horse of a different color, though. When Microsoft made Win10 a free, one click installation, Dell should have foreseen that Win10 would end up in a lot of unsupported computers. In retrospect, Dell could have been more proactive.
I find it interesting that you used the automobile analogy, because that is the analogy that I have had in mind for several months, although in my case I apply the analogy to the device drivers, not the e-mail notifications.
In my analogy, Dell is a car manufacturer that just makes the chassis and body, and buys all of the working components from various parts vendors. The operating system is the car engine in the analogy, and the device drivers are the transmission.
So Dell Car Company designs a new model, puts in the latest engine from Microsoft Motors, and pays Realtek Transmissions to design a transmission that will connect the engine to the drive shaft. Everything is designed to work together in the new model, as well as Dell is able to make it. The years go by and Microsoft produces various new engines that it sells to manufacturers and car owners.
One year, it decides to give away its newest engine for free, to almost any car owner who wants one, whether or not it is the right engine for the car. Microsoft has a plan to make money from the new engine, but the plan depends on it getting the engine in as many cars as possible, very quickly, so it gives away the engine and the installation.
So predictably, a lot of owners of old Dell cars get the new engine, only to discover that it does not fit with the transmission that Dell had Realtek design to fit the drive shaft and the old engine. The owners are upset, and demand that Dell hire Realtek to design and produce a new transmission that will fit the new engine, and further that Dell buy the new transmission and give it to them, so that the new engine can be connected to the drive shaft.
The point of my analogy is that the car owners blamed Dell for the situation, and wanted Dell to pay to correct the issue, even though Dell had no part in creating the situation. Microsoft was to blame for designing a new engine that did not not fit with the old transmissions, and the owners were to blame for keeping the new engine even after learning that it did not fit correctly (Microsoft Motors policy was that it would put the old engine back in within 30 days, so the owners could have done that.)
In the real world, analogies are never perfect of course. Dell is not nearly as blameless as it is in the analogy, because Dell has long been in bed with Microsoft, and you can bet that whatever one of them does the other is in cahoots.
Still, to me it is illogical for the owners to expect Dell to correct the issue created by choices made by the owners and Microsoft. It is true that in the days of Windows 95, 98, and XP, Dell did pay for new drivers. However these days Microsoft is putting out a new OS with much more frequency. When Dell makes a computer, it cannot know in advance how many OS's Microsoft will launch during the life of the computer, and so cannot factor in the cost of new drivers into the selling price of the computer. It is like Microsoft and the owners expect Dell to subsidize Microsoft's business.
Microsoft includes a generic audio driver in every version of Windows. The owner would not have to install a Realtek (or other vendor's) driver if the Windows audio driver would work. But in many cases the native driver does not work with the older laptops, and that is the root cause of the issue, imo. Owners should hold Microsoft's feet to the fire until they design a working native driver for older computers.
Thanks for giving me the space to vent my worries.
The forum is a good place for that. I think that Dell does some things wrong in the cause of squeezing out a buck, but this community forum is something it can proud of.
You made another good comparison. Our comparisons with the auto-industry made me think back on the moment that one of their directors (Ford, GM whoever) joked on Microsoft saying that they (automakers) wouldn't sell any cars if people needed to STOP the engine by pushing the START button or when a car would stop (PC=Blue screen) at unexpected moments. Result: My sons car engine stops when pushing the START button (a Ford) but (luckily enough still never stops when you don't want it to stop. We still have a long time ahead. Poor software developers! They need to crack their minds and write more and more complicated software to let the things that people see on their screens look simple . . . . .
Enough said on this item I think. Let's save our energy for later.