Latitude e6410 Problems Sound and Hard Drive

Discussion in 'Dell Latitude, Vostro, and Precision' started by Tapakidney, Feb 21, 2011.

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  1. Tapakidney

    Tapakidney Notebook Evangelist

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    Hey guys, a couple questions.

    We got a refurbished e6410 from Dell and from day one it seemed the hard drive was noisy and ALWAYS accessing. I have watched the system resources monitor and messed with various settings in windows to fix it with no luck. Am thinking of a full wipe/reinstall to see if this fixes it.

    1) Is the hard drive just loud in this model due to build?
    2) Does a drive that seems to be accessing all the time mean the drive is going bad?
    3) Will Dell send me a new drive instead of making me send the laptop in?

    And the sound - still works but suddenly one day became really quiet. Messing with settings, doing a rollback, and reinstalling drivers did nothing.

    1) Is it possible something has gone physically wrong with the speakers?
    2) If so, would it happen instantaneously?

    A side question...is there a better screen out there for this model? I guess we got the default screen, and we regret it. TY viewing angles.
     
  2. GKDesigns

    GKDesigns Custom User Title

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    My E6410 HDD and sound are fine. I reimaged shortly after getting the machine. Set the BIOS SATA to AHCI mode and did not install the Intel RST app. You may have a noisey drive and IRRT mode and IRST app may be increasing its activity. Edit: The 160GB Seagate in my E6400 and the 250GB Western Digital in my E6410 are both quiet drives.

    Dell Business support is known to ship parts for owner install.

    How is the sound through the jack and headphones?

    There are screens.

    Could run the Dell Diagnostics CD.

    Given it's running the OEM image, a simple test would be to clean install the OS and drivers, opting out of what you do not need running. If the HDD and sound problems persist, talk to Dell. It's quite possible a clean install will help the sound and other things, but will not cure a defective drive.

    I recommend setting the BIOS SATA to AHCI mode and leaving off the IRST app when re-imaging. See my install notes below for tips.

    GK
     
  3. John Ratsey

    John Ratsey Moderately inquisitive Super Moderator

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    Might the HDD be a Seagate? They are noisier than most. You canask Dell to send a replacement HDD (but you might get another Seagate). However, first give the HDD a few days. If you have indexing enabled in Windows then the program will be checking out everything it can find. Once that is done then the indexing activity will reduce.

    It is unlikely that the audio has physically died. Something, somewhere has messed up the volume controls. There are a lot a places where you can make adjustments. Start with the mixer.

    Dell uses displays from several sources. You can figure out the manufacturer from the hardware ID under the monitor properties. My E6410 has a Samsung panel (SEC) which is acceptable but the LPL panel that I had in my E6400 is slightly better. Note that Windows 7 has a calibrate function which helps you tweak the display settings.

    Also make sure that you are running the latest BIOS (A06) and other drivers.

    John
     
  4. Tsunade_Hime

    Tsunade_Hime such bacon. wow

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    Sometimes updating to the latest Seagate firmware fixes alot of sound issues. There might be a risk you bork your hard drive.
     
  5. Tapakidney

    Tapakidney Notebook Evangelist

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    Wow, thank you guys so much for the tips.

    I was on the verge of trying a full system wipe, but had no idea about the BIOS settings. Will try that first.

    Sound is still fine through headphones. I've messed with the mixer and everything to no avail. I find the idea that the speakers physically went bad pretty silly too, but am really at a loss. A fresh install will likely answer this once and for all.

    I like the HD firmware idea. Will consider that if all else fails.
     
  6. GKDesigns

    GKDesigns Custom User Title

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    I wonder if Seagate gets an unfair rap here. As for indexing... it doesn't amount to much activity on a new installation and doesn't make much noise on a normal (quiet) drive. Here, too, I wonder if indexing gets an unfair rap. I'd suspect Intel and/or a particularly noisey drive.

    GK
     
  7. GKDesigns

    GKDesigns Custom User Title

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    Good suggestion!

    GK
     
  8. Tapakidney

    Tapakidney Notebook Evangelist

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    So, I think I got the hard drive thrashing squared away - thanks for that.

    Did a complete reinstall of windows. The sound drivers that Windows installed by default still yielded super-quiet sound. Installing the IDT drivers from Dells's site didn't fix it. Messed with Mixer settings...only option is general volume...maxed. Going to control panel>sounds> then looking through all settings for the speakers and sounds also did nothing. Are there settings somewhere else I might be missing?
     
  9. GKDesigns

    GKDesigns Custom User Title

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    Did you change the BIOS SATA mode to AHCI? Did you leave off the Intel RST app (installs with the full driver package)?

    The sound should be working without tweaking controls. Check the BIOS for any possible settings and then I would call Dell. Maybe a MB amp circuit is toast... maybe Dell Diagnostics can detect this.

    GK
     
  10. Tapakidney

    Tapakidney Notebook Evangelist

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    For fixing the hard drive I did both of the things you suggested, so I'm not sure which did the trick. I HAVE heard of the AHCI thing before on these forums...someone getting BSODs until they changed to AHCI mode. So I bet it was that!

    Amp circuit, good potential explanation. Will try diagnostics first, then call Dell.
     
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