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M17X R3 audio issue

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M17X R3 audio issue

  • I'm having no end of grief with my new laptop.

    I decided to plug in a set of headphones so I don't disturb anyone.  Simple enough.  Unfortunately when I unplugged my headphones my laptop speakers no longer work.

    So I plugged in my headphones again, no problems.  I can hear audio through the headphones.

    Unplug, same problem, no audio...  It's reproduceable.

    I also noticed another thing.  When I plug in my headphones I get the "Device notification" window pop up.  If I click on "Open Dell Audio", I am greeted with a "Cannot find .startup file!." dialog box.

    I've downloaded the audio driver from the support site and reinstalled it.  Makes no difference.

    I've had this problem a long time ago an my XPS M1710, and reinstalling the audio driver fixed the issue.

    Also, I've been playing with the Zalman surround sound headphones.  I tried both headphones and speaker configuration when the device notification pops up.  I`m assuming that the speakers profile is the correct one because the headphone profile only supports 2 channels.

    The headphones have 3 jacks: front, center, and rear on the headphones.  I cannot get these to work properly on the laptop.  I'm either missing the front left or front right sound, the center channel comes out on the left and the sub comes out on the right.

    If I plug in only the center and rear, I can get all the sounds except for sub working.

    This feels like the driver is buggy in routing the proper output channels.

    I cannot really use anything now other than stereo headphones.

  • More information:

    I went into the c:\Program Files\IDT\WDM\ folder, I ran idtcpl64.cpl.  Aside from giving me an error on startup saying "an attempt was made to access an unnamed file past its end", it opened up.

    What I noticed is that the jacks diagram on the right shows you which jack has something connected.  A small circle indicates nothing connected, a larger circle indicates something connected.

    The order is Headphones Headphones Mic Headphones.  Looking at the side, the last Headphones is the connector with the shared S/PDif output.  This connector has a larger circle on it.  If I hover over it, it says that headphones are connected...

    So, did this jack get damaged because I plugged in a connector, or is the driver just not resetting?


  • I decided to plug in a set of headphones so I don't disturb anyone. Simple enough.  Unfortunately when I unplugged my headphones my laptop speakers no longer work.
    * I just did this test and the speakers quit when I plugged in headphones, then they returned when I unplugged the headphones.

    I never received the  "Device notification" window pop up when I plugged the headphones in.
    * Try removing the driver again from Windows
    * Restart
    * F2 to go into the Bios
    * Go to Advanced and Disable High Definition Audio
    * F10 To Save and Exit
    * Once back into Windows, make sure the driver is removed
    * Restart
    * F2 to go into the Bios
    * Go to Advanced and Enable High Definition Audio
    * F10 To Save and Exit
    * Reload the driver

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    I called into support and Delgado E went through all of that and made no difference.  He recommended replacing the speakers.   Dell’s sending out a tech on Thursday.

    I tried your steps and it made no difference.

    I'm personally convinced that the spdif jack is stuck.  I plugged in the 3.5mm to spdif header to use spdif out.  I never paid attention to whether or not the speakers worked after that as I was using headphones.

    This is going to take a bit of time to fix this issue.  I don't have my hopes up that it's the speakers.



  • I had the tech in yesterday to replace the speakers.  He confirmed my suspicion that it was the connector or the motherboard.  He called in to AW support and was told that they'll get a new motherboard out right away.

    I told him about the recall and that I was suspicious of the "right away" part of it.

    I received a call from him this morning and he confirmed with AW that the motherboard will be delayed and that he has not hard ETA on when he will get the replacement.

    Why couldn't the AW support tech simply state that yesterday?  I'd figure that they'd be on top of it and disclose the fact that it will be delayed due to the recall.  I'm not really happy with the way this is being handled.

    To me it seems like either the tech had no knowledge about the recall, which is sad really because I'd expect them to be told how to handle the issue right away, or they're hoping that I won't return my laptop?  And just accept the fact that I'll have to wait.

    I'm getting a little frustrated about the communications channel here.  I don't disagree that Dell will eventually replace my motherboard but I'd rather have an honest open communication channel with AW.  That would build more confidence in the name brand than anything else:  Reassurance that they back their product 100%.  

    This is a corporate purchase.  I'm essentially a guinea pig for this model and if I give the thumbs up we will have recommended mobile platform in-house and for our customers.  It's the inconsistent support that what just kill this deal.

  • Thanks Lucas, this really help me, i plug and unplug, plug and unplug the Jack until see no something connected and go man, the speaker work!!!,  I think is the material, it’s very cheap.

    Thanks for your post were very useful.

  • Same issue. I uninstalled IDT drivers and on-board sound and only first headphone port, and mic port work. If I reinstall I can get both headphone ports and the mic port working. S/PDIF - Extra headphone port is shot because of pin not resetting. If the recall on mobo is taking forever I might just put in my order for one. Just been gathering evidence on posts to support my claim that it is NOT the speakers. I even have videos on youtube as well to prove it. I wouldn't mind if Alienware replaced this mobo with the same mobo, i'm just not keen on shipping it back. If S/PDIF doesn't work permanently, I could care less. Sound Blaster makes a great 5.1 optical - S/PDIF out solution to my home theatre surround sound system. When I get the money, i'll go with that. Lesson learned, just wished all this had come out 3 weeks ago when I received the M18x and messed up the S/PDIF port on the second day!

  • 1.Remove IDT Software from control panel, restart

    2.Remove Nvidia Driver from Control Panel (all of them, mostly the HD sound), restart

    3.Go to: Control Panel / Sound / Playback tab; disable 2nd speaker (or test one or the other, should give you some sound)

    4. Install 269.02 Nvidia Driver from Dell


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  • i have tried all above option..but none of them working.how?

  • I also plugged in the spdif adapter and now have no audio from the on board speakers. I called support went through the software route however think that the same issue with the spdif adapter broke the spdif plug. Support is now sending another mobo for replacement. Do Not Use the SPDIF Adapter!

  • I have the exact same issue with my m17x r3.  DO NOT try the S/PDIF connector at all.  I tried to call dell support and they somehow don't have any of my warranty information from a purchase on 3/11/2011.  I am extremely frustrated and they better fix it  since I should have a three year warranty.  Phone support stinks beyond anything I have experienced from any other company.  No one person spoke English as their primary language.

  • Unfortunately they would not exchange the computer after 3 broken mother boards that were installed. The original with the SPDIF issue another that was new but had a broken cmos battery clip and one that was a refurbished board and looked to have been very used including the spdif port that had a clip literally hanging out of it. After the final fix the audio still was not working after fresh install of windows and the tech testing the speakers with her diagnostic tool. The speakers worked but the mother board still thought something was plugged in. I really think the prior owner had the same issue and that's why it was sent back. Heck maybe it was one of your old boards on this thread.

    I eventually just returned it for a full refund. Now the problem is that they are no longer running the sale and it is 350 more. Also the 580 gtx is no longer available which I needed for compatibility with Adobe Cuda. I guess I'm going to wait it out and see what else pops up. I'm also going to write the corporate office as I really would have preferred an exchange as I have been a user for years and have some brand loyalty. Support failed to meet my expectations and now I am seriously looking at other brands as I write this on a first generation XPS high end laptop.

    Good luck

  • I had the same problem, but I was able to fix it. This is what you do: 

    Plug in the audio jacket, and the Jack Setup window should open. Go to device connected, and click 5.1 surround from the drop-down menu. 

    There you go! :D

  • ok so after an entire day digging around EVERYWHERE and dell tech this is what i did to fix mine

    i uninstalled the video card

    then uninstalled all the sound card in device manager and file's too

    then i restarted my laptop and let window's find the driver's opened up sound in control panel and set top speaker to default and done .

    Hope this help's 

  • You guys have come up with great solutions but unfortunately they are only masking the underlying problem. The real problem is the SPDIF port. There is a pin inside the port that can get bent if you force the SPDIF connector supplied with the laptop inside the port. This will cause the pin the be forced into an "always on" position. This causes a whole slew of problems. Not everyone experiences these issues but for those that do, usually the main solution to get the laptop speakers working again is to uninstall the IDT audio drivers, restart the computer, and then let windows reinstall its own drivers. While this can be a valid solution for most, I prefer to have the IDT driver as well as the Creative driver. The difference in sound quality is night and day in my opinion. Bottom line is, you get what you pay for, at least you should, and unfortunately I let my M18x R1 warranty expire but I don't mind using the external Razer Ferox speakers that I use. Amazing sound from a pair of rechargeable speakers. I also use headphones more often than not. And if I really need to use my on-board M18x speakers, I can just uninstall the IDT drivers and reinstall them at a later time