To be clear, did you install the notebook system software, then the chipset drivers, and then and only then the sound, network and other drivers, per this:
Very useful. Thank you. I am surpised I have never run into anything like this. I deal with custom built pc's most often. Is that a reason why I dont run into this problem often?
"Am I using the correct drivers? Sound(R127097)"
I have been off line for a few days due to connections problems and was just browsing through the new messages trying to catch up. That driver version really caught my eye. It is not the audio driver at all. The correct audio driver is the one listed as "Sigmatel". It is R171789, version 126.96.36.19915.
The other 2 listings, both "Creative" are for a software bundle called "Creative Labs Integrated Sound Blaster Audigy ADVANCED HD Audio". It is an optional purchase and it should only be installed after the computer's own Sigmatel audio system is fully functional. (Sorry about the boldface ... I can't seem to get rid of it.)
The reason I'm bringing this up is that sometimes -- but not always -- a failed attempt to install the Creative software can result in the Windows Audio Service being shut down. So if you have problems with the Audio Service that's why. But everything europa303 said holds true ... the problem wasn't only in trying to install the Creative driver.
PS Dell uses misleading terms on the driver page like "optional" and "recommended", but they don't explain that those terms just relate to the importance of updating to the latest driver, not how important it is to have a version of the driver after an OS reinstallation. In other words, "optional" means that an older driver version doesn't need to be updated, not that one doesn't need the driver at all. A Sigmatel driver is a necessity if one wants audio on an E1505, not optional.
I'm having the exact same problem with my Inspiron E1505. I recently got a virus and had to wipe the hard drive. The entire computer is working fine except that it won't recognize my audio hardware. Under Control Panel, Sounds and Audio Devices, it says "No Audio Device". So I tried uninstalling the audio drivers and reinstalling them from the Dell website.
I took your advice and tried reinstalling the SigmaTel driver first. It comes up with a message saying "updating audio hardware configuration" before installation...then crashes. It gives me the message "Application problem - crash. Passed invalid argument". It simply will not install the SigmaTel driver no matter what I do.
These instructions are for a situation where an operating system has already been reinstalled and everything works except the audio driver will not install ... usually you get an error message, because the NSS and chipset drivers were not installed correctly and the audio chip on the motherboard is not recognized. In this situation "usually" a fresh install of the OS is not required, just re-installing the NSS and chipset correctly. If that doesn't work then a full reinstallation may be necessary.
After you have performed an Operating System re-installation, install the audio driver following this order of installation:
a. Install Dell Notebook System Software (on your downloads page expand the System Utilities category). Restart.
b. Next install the Intel Mobile Chipset driver (expand the Chipset category). Restart.
c. Install the Sigmatel audio driver (expand the Audio category).
Get these from the E1505 driver downloads page. <ADMIN NOTE: Broken link has been removed / replaced from this post by Dell> When you get on the page use the dropdown box to select your Operating System.
Rarely there will still be a problem with the installation at this point (in XP). In those cases follow this tip from forum member rpilT2005: check in the Device Manager for a "PCI Device" with a yellow question mark next to it, under the "System Devices" grouping. Hit 'update driver' on that one, and it should find the driver.
I got the driver to install after it failed by running the following patch:
This file should be present from the first install attempt of the driver.
I have a similar problem with the sound. A system change caused the built in speakers to stop working and the system does not recognize the speakers. There is a red X through the sound icon on the toolbar. This an Inspiron E1505 with Vista (32 bit). I was going to follow your suggestion to reload the Sigmatel Audio driver. Do I need to follow steps a and b (in Jim's post) above or can I just reinstall the Sigmatel driver? Thanks for your help. I would rather not do a system restore if possible. I did not do an OS install but rather some other change caused the problem.