No sound on Inspiron 600m

Hi: The sound was working great up until last night. I put my computer on standby (or to sleep") and when I logged on again, I got a little box on my tool bar that said "PCI modem" I did not install this, but perhaps it installed itself?Tongue Tied I found it very suspicious. Anyway, Since then the laptop does not play any sounds, nor music. I CAN watch videos from you tube but I cannot hear anything. When I try listening to music from windows media player, I get a message like this

Windows Media Player cannot play the file because there is a problem with your sound device. There might not be a sound device installed on your computer, it might be in use by another program, or it might not be functioning properly.


When I try playing a video that I made with Windows movie maker it says that it cannot be played because it requires an audio device that is not in my hardware. I downloaded realtek, but I still don't hear anything, not even the normal sound when a computer re starts. Also, when I go to control panel, and I click on sounds and audio devices properties, I cannot adjust the volume because it is grayed. When I click on the Hardware tab, I click on all the devices Samsung CDR/DVD SN-324S, Audio Codecs, Legacy audio drivers, media control devices, legacy video capture devices and video codecs...when I click on each of these, it tells me the manufacturer, the location and the device status...the device status says that all those devices are working properly. I searched for a new audio driver at dell.com. I am not a computer geek, please help! Music is my life and I cannot go one more day like this. Thanks in advance, Barnardgirl EDIT: I also checked services.msc on run, right cliked it and made sure that windows audio was on automatic...still no sound...


any ideas on how to solve this would b greatly appreciated.



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Jim Coates

Re: No sound on Inspiron 600m

Your symptoms are those of either the audio driver has become uninstalled or the audio chip is faulty.


First try using System Restore to get the Registry back to a time before the problem first occurred. In XP, go to

Start>All Programs>Accessories>System Tools>System Restore
and tick 'Restore my computer to an earlier time'. 

In Vista, type 'restore' into the Start menu search box, and System Restore will appear in the start menu.


If that doesn't work then try to install a new driver.

First delete the audio driver files from your computer to ensure a clean new driver installation. Go to the "Add/Remove Programs" in the Control Panel and remove the current "Sigmatel" if it is there in the list of programs and restart the computer. (Vista users go to Computer> Uninstall or Change a Program.) Also delete the Realtek driver you installed ... your correct driver is a Sigmatel, not Realtek.

If Sigmatel is not listed there, go to your hard drive
 c:\Dell\Drivers\R...(Sigmatel driver file name beginning with the letter R)
and delete the folder(s). Only delete folders whose 'R' names correspond to a Sigmatel driver. 

Next download and install a new audio driver from the 600m driver downloads page. (When you open that page first check the operating system dropdown box and make sure that your OS is selected.) Next expand the 'Audio' category and download the driver named Sigmatel.

(An easier method but sometimes not as good, is to go to Control Panel/System/Hardware/Device Manager. Find the audio driver under Sound Controllers, right click on it, and then click Uninstall. Restart the computer. Windows should automatically detect your device and display a wizard that helps you reinstall the driver for it.)




If you can't install the audio driver then run Dell Diagnostics interactive audio test to check for defective hardware on the motherboard. To run Diagnostics restart the computer and as soon as it starts to boot up tap f12. Select 'Diagnostic' from the boot menu. The computer will run its pre-boot self assessment tests (PSA) before the Dell Diagnostic starts. These PSA tests play some beeps and tones through the system speaker but this doesn't test the rest of the audio hardware adequately, so you still need to let Dell Diagnostics run after the PSA tests. (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. It 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. If the test does not offer the Audio test option, that is a sign that the audio chip has ceased to function.

[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 pinpoint the exact component that has gone bad. If you don't hear the music during the test 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 means the hardware is okay but there is a problem with the software(driver) or configuration.






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

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