I have Dell Inspiron 15R 5521. The volume of my system is constantly fluctuating at start up as well after every few minutes. The volume button automatically flashes on the screen fluctuating between mute and unmute. It only stops once i press the volume button at F11 or F12. I tried reinstalling the audio drivers but the problem persists. Can somebody here tell me how to know if there is any hardware problem in the keyboard buttons itself ? or how to resolve the issue.
Hello. I don't know if there is a specific way to test the keyboard controls. You can test the audio driver by switching from the Realtek audio driver to the Windows native audio driver.
1. Open the Device Manager (Control Panel>Device Manager). 2. Expand the "Sound, video & game controllers" and right click on "Realtek High Definition Audio". 3. Select to "Update Driver Software". 4. Click on "Browse my computer for driver software". 5. Click "Let me pick from a list of drivers on my computer". 6. Put a check in the box "Show compatible hardware" if not already checked. 7. In the list of devices, click "High Definition Audio Device" (the native driver). 8. Click "Next". 9. On the Update Driver Warning box, click "Yes" (install the driver). 10. Restart the laptop if prompted. If not prompted, then no need to restart. [To get back to the Realtek driver, do it again but reverse the names in steps 2 and 7.]
If you still have the fluctuations when the native driver is installed then it is not an audio driver issue. You could try installing a fresh copy of the Dell Quickset software. (Go to the Inspiron 15R 5521 support page and expand the Applications category.)
If that doesn't help then it could be hardware. The gold standard for determining if it is a hardware problem is to perform a system recovery (reset the laptop back to the factory configuration). When doing that does not solve a problem that did not exist when the laptop was new then it has had a hardware failure since then.
Jim Coates -- 18 years on the Dell Laptop Audio boards -- since 2/6/04