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Possible Unique Sound Problem with Dell Studio XPS 16 (1640)

Discussion in 'Dell XPS and Studio XPS' started by Odibil, Oct 22, 2009.

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  1. Odibil

    Odibil Notebook Enthusiast

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    Long story short:

    My sound does not play through my on-board speakers, but does play through external speakers or headphones. It is not a hardware issue, as I can replicate a way to make sound play through the on-board speakers temporarily, but I cannot figure out a permanent solution without doing a fresh install, and I'd rather not resort to that.

    Long story:

    About a month ago, my original hard drive failed. I was able to request a replacement hard drive under my warranty, which came with a self-installing image of Vista (and other Dell software). I was using Windows 7 beta on my old hard drive and decided to go with the release candidate for my new one. I bring this up because it seems I made a mistake in upgrading from Vista to Windows 7, instead of just using a clean install. On my old hard drive, I did a clean install of the beta and had to do some tinkering to make it all work, so I was hoping I wouldn't have any issues with drivers by just upgrading then removing the excess bloatware.

    Well, everything seemed to go according to plan. I installed a bunch of programs, copied a lot of stuff from an old PC, and didn't suspect anything until, one day, I didn't have my external speaker jack plugged in. I wasn't hearing any sound, but knew that my on-board speakers should at least be working. I first thought I may have disconnected something when installing the hard drive somehow, but the hardware checked out just fine. I uninstalled, reinstalled, upgraded and did a number on my drivers, but nothing seemed to work.

    I know that it is not a hardware issue, because I can replicate a way to make sound play through the on-board speakers temporarily. If I open up the sound options from the control panel and "test" both of the enabled devices while listening to music, my on-board speakers will temporarily play whatever music I'm listening to, and my external speakers will play the test sounds. It seems to be a weird issue where all sound is being directed externally, unless a test in progress, then the sounds that are already playing will be projected by the on-board speakers. To make it simple: the on-board speakers work if I run a test while listening to music, but only for the duration of the test (3 seconds), then the problem returns.

    As of now, everything is exactly how I want it to be on my machine, and I don't want to have to do a fresh install just to fix this minor-yet-annoying issue.

    Relevant information:

    OS: Windows 7 Release Candidate 1

    Drivers on Device Manager:
    ATI High Definition Audio Device
    IDT High Definition Audio CODEC
    (tried all of the latest IDT drivers, also tried Windows automatic drivers)

    Sound Devices from Control Panel:
    "Speakers / Headphones" enabled as Default Device
    "Independent Headphones" enabled as Default Communication Device
    (I have tried switching their roles, enabling, disabling and testing them all)

    Any information would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. Odibil

    Odibil Notebook Enthusiast

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    Bumping this for the weekend.

    Here's to hoping that someone may have already run into a similar problem and found a solution. *crosses fingers*

    Thanks in advance.
     
  3. Mechanized Menace

    Mechanized Menace Lost in the MYST

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    just back up everything and reinstall os and get it back the way you like it is it really that big of a deal
     
  4. Odibil

    Odibil Notebook Enthusiast

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    Yes, it really is that big of a deal, or I wouldn't have asked.

    The process of recovering my old files, transferring files from my old disassembled computer, and then installing and updating all my software was a very tedious process; I don't wish to repeat it unless I have to. I have no means of easily backing up my data (at least 250 gigs), and I don't want to fork over money for an external hard drive at the moment, so that's a last resort for me.

    I'm hoping for someone that may understand this computer better than me to lead me in the right direction for a possible solution, without resorting to the typical PEBKAC responses.
     
  5. chewyeong90

    chewyeong90 Notebook Evangelist

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    Do you mean your laptop speakers play no sound at all but when you click the Test in Sound Devices, it will play the ding ding ding sound ?
     
  6. Odibil

    Odibil Notebook Enthusiast

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    Pretty much, except slightly opposite. If I'm playing music or a game with sound already, and I perform the test, the sound already playing will play through my on-board speakers, while the test sounds will play through whatever external device is attached. So, let's say, If I'm listening to a song and I run the test, the song will play through the on-board speakers and the test noises will play through my external speakers.

    I can replicate this every time by opening the Sound panel and going to my playback devices. The devices are listed as "Speakers / Headphones" (default device) and "Independent (R.T.C.) Headphones." My default device shows the sound being recognized while it plays, and the second device shows nothing. If I run a sound test from the secondary device, the above phenomenon occurs. If I run a sound test from the default device, the test sounds play through the same external speakers as the music, and nothing comes from the on-board speakers.

    I'll admit, it's very odd. I've tried uninstalling, disabling, reinstalling, updating, and downgrading all sorts of driver combinations, but I never get them to work. I'm sure it's something very simple, but I just don't know how to make it work.
     
  7. chewyeong90

    chewyeong90 Notebook Evangelist

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    I still couldn't get the exact problem of yours. So in conclusion, your on-board speakers on themselves are not working, but when you plug in the external speakers, and you run the test, your on-board speakers work ?
     
  8. m1n05_4

    m1n05_4 Notebook Consultant

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    If you think your problem could be solved by re-installing your SO. You can re-install windows 7 and when installing it will ask if you want to back up your documents to C:\Windows.old
     
  9. Odibil

    Odibil Notebook Enthusiast

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    Yes, you are correct. The on-board speakers will play sound only during the testing process. However, as the test only lasts for about 3 seconds, the sound only plays from the on-board speakers for the duration of the test. So for 3 seconds, I can hear audio perfectly out of my on-board speakers, then it goes back to being stubborn. This is an infinitely repeatable process.

    I'm considering this as an option if I can't manage to find a solution with this thread.
     
  10. Zlog

    Zlog Notebook Deity

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    long answer short, RC1 was not perfect. RC1 had the same issues on my asus. You're running a pre-release OS, and if you do a clean install of RTM you'll probably be fine like i was.. Might need different drivers.
     
  11. Odibil

    Odibil Notebook Enthusiast

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    The only discrepancy being that the beta version did not have this problem, and I assume the release candidate wouldn't either on a fresh install. I realize that the issue was choosing to upgrade versus just installing fresh, but now I'm in too deep and I've been unable to figure out the problem.

    I was hoping to find someone that may have experienced similar issues, but I guess this truly is a unique problem.
     
  12. SiliconAddict

    SiliconAddict Notebook Consultant

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    *shrugs* At this point buy the final version of the OS, reinstall from scratch, and be done with it. The release candidate starts turning off the computer every 2 hours on March 1st anyways. That is about 4 months away. Yes its a PITA and takes time to do, but once done, you are done.
    Plus you won't be running RC code which is always a plus. we found transfers in the RC 7100 build to be twitchy sometimes. This was resolved in the RTM release and frankly it resolved a number of other bugs in third party apps as well.
     
  13. jeremy2223

    jeremy2223 Notebook Consultant

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    I get the EXACT same problem as you, originally I thought it was a short out somewhere on the motherboard so I was gonna get dell to replace the laptop but then I did a last search and found this post and I can hear the speakers like you do when I do the test thing so now I know it isn't hardware. Problem is though (just letting you know), is that when I did a full reformat I still got the same problem ie: I was running Win 7 with the problem then did a full reformat and I still have the problem and have no idea what the hell to do!
     
  14. th3van

    th3van Notebook Consultant

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    I had the same problem (external speakers/headphones working only) and it fixed itself... dunno. I'm glad I have the complete care.
     
  15. jeremy2223

    jeremy2223 Notebook Consultant

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    Oh ok, I have complete care too, its just I can't be bothered with getting Dell out here if it can fix itself.
     
  16. desade2010

    desade2010 Newbie

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    I joined this forum just so that I could post a reply to this thread, and hopefully it will help other people.
    I had the EXACT same problem with my XPS studio 16, and I kept wondering what the hell was wrong, as the playback devices showed everything as working properly blah blah... and I really can't stand re-installing everything, so it was either find a solution or buy some decent external speakers!

    Anyway, so yeah, I tried the same thing you said above, by running a song, while I had headphones connected, and then doing a "test" from the speaker setup... but instead i got the test playing through the speakers, not the song (as you describe) I click it enough times and it eventually tells me "This device is currently being used by another program" or something like that, warning me if I really want to continue...so i click Yes
    And so after that laptop speakers work!

    So if you don't have my luck, atleast you'll now know the problem lies with the hardware being tied up with some program/process that died eons back.
     
  17. MonoTekETeA

    MonoTekETeA Newbie

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    Bump!

    I think I figured this out. Got to IDT Audio Control > Preferences > Minipanels, select Speakers/Headphones in first drop down, then press the launch button.

    Worked on my sisters laptop, hope it works for you.
     
  18. orei

    orei Notebook Geek

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    what do you mean with.. PRESS LAUNCH BUTTON??

    thanks a lot
     
  19. gaablu

    gaablu Newbie

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    sorry for my ignorance ... i hav the same problem too

    what do you mean by RC1 and RTM ?
     
  20. ikjadoon

    ikjadoon Notebook Deity

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    To elaborate mono's response:

    [​IMG]

    The IDT Audio Control Panel is in Control Panel...

    @gaablu

    RC1 v RTM: just different versions. RC1 is still a beta product, RTM is the final code.

    Yeah, I'm bored.

    ~Ibrahim~
     
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