Front headphone jack doesn't work

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Front headphone jack doesn't work

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Hey all,

I've had a Dell XPS 410 for about two years now and it works great, truly a great computer.  The only problem is that I have never been able to get the front headphone jack to work.  I never minded this, but I recently got a nice pair of headphones for Christmas, and I would like to use them with this computer.  No matter what I do, I can't get any sound to come out when I plug the headphones into the jack on the front.  The back works fine, but I'd really rather find out how to use the front, if that's possible.

I've known about this since I recieved the unit, and I've tried poking around the insides to see if theres a loose cable.  As far as I know, everything looks like its plugged in right.  I can't find a mic to plug into the mic jack on the front, but I'd assume that that jack would not work either.  If you guys have any ideas on how to fix this, that'd be great.  Its not a big problem, but its always been a small annoying bug, and I was just wondering if I could fix it.

Thanks for any help!

All Replies
  • First, you should have taken care of the problem immediately rather than wait two years.

    On most Dell's there is a cable from the front panel that plugs into the motherboard and it has all the front panel I/O connections (mic and headphone) and the front panel power switch, etc.  On systems that have integrated audio (on the motherboard) the motherboard connection is all that is needed.  On systems that came with an optional SoundBlaster sound card there are additonal cables that allow connecting the front panel headphone and mic jacks to the SoundBlaster sound card.  If this came with the optional SoundBlaster and never had the required cables, two years is too late to try and get them.   lf there was a SoundCard installed after you got the PC then there is no cabling for that user added sound card and you can't use the front panel jacks.

    I am not a Dell Employee

    Dell forum member since 2002

    Home Built PC with Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD5H motherboard, i7 3770 CPU,  Windows 7 64 bit Home/Win 8.1.  SSD drive.  Sonar X3c 64 bit Recordng Software.

     

    Member of Nashville based R.O.P.E.

  • Yeah, I probably should have taken care of it earlier, but as I said its nota big deal I was just mostly curious.

    According to system info I have SigmaTel High Definition Audio CODEC, which I assume is the built in audio device.  When I looked inside my computer, it looked like there was a cable running from the motherboard to the front jacks, although that could be for either the USB ports or the system lights.  Do you happen to know what the cable should look like?  I might be looking at the wrong one, and the required one might be loose or connected improperly.

    Thanks for the speedy reply!

  • Yes, the SigmaTel is the integrated (on the motherboard) audio.

    Your 410 model is the same design as my Dimension E510 model and the front panel headphone and mic jacks are integrated into the same connector for the front panel power switch.  And, the big problem is that it's a Dell proprietary and undocumented connector so I can't tell you which pins are what.  If you have an ohmmeter you could probably find which pins are what in the connector by running continuity checks with the ohmmeter.

    I am not a Dell Employee

    Dell forum member since 2002

    Home Built PC with Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD5H motherboard, i7 3770 CPU,  Windows 7 64 bit Home/Win 8.1.  SSD drive.  Sonar X3c 64 bit Recordng Software.

     

    Member of Nashville based R.O.P.E.

  • Hmm, I do not have an ohmmeter.  Would it be possible for me to just look inside the computer and find the cable (or lack thereof)?

    Secondly, I was looking through the CDs that came with my computer.  One of the CDs says thats its "Intergrated Sound Blaster Audigy ADVANCED HD Audo."  Could it be that I installed the wronger driver (I had to re-install Windows shortly after recieving my computer).  I tried installing the disc, but it gave me a few errors, but still installed some software.  Parts of the software work, and parts crash my computer.  Could I have been using the wrong drivers the entire time?  Sound does work from the back jacks, which makes me think that I have been using the correct drivers.  Thanks again for the help!

  • Take a look at this picture: 

    http://images.anandtech.com/reviews/system/dell/xps410/hdd-removed.jpg

    Do you have a separate sound card in your computer, the one with the black cable running from it in the bottom-right of the picture?  Or have you verified that you only have on-board sound from the motherboard?  Thanks.

    - gasparin

  • Thank you for your reply!  I cannot match up my computer with that picture very well, so I am not sure.  However, I do believe that I have an integrated audio card because the jacks are on the upper part of the back of the computer, above the USB ports.  I have six jacks, if that helps.  On Dell.com's system information thing it only says "SigmaTel High Definition Audio CODEC" under audio and nothing else, though that may just be searching for drivers.  I cannot find anything about audio on the online version of the packing list.  Sorry if that's not enough information, I'll keep trying to match up your photo with my computer

  • There is a green jack on the upper part of my video card (it looks like there is two; the other ports on it are a coaxial port, S-video port and composite-video port).  However, when I plug my speakers into it no sound comes out.

  • Just found your thread today.  I have a laptop XPS M1210 with dual front headphone jacks as well as internal speakers and SigmaTel High Definition Audio.  Both front headphone jacks worked initially but the right one stopped recently, no apparent physical reason.  I updated the SigmaTel drivers today to no effect.  Then I contacted Dell support and the nice man from India took remote control of my computer, uninstalled the existing drivers and reinstalled them.  Voila!  Problem solved!  Both headphone jacks now work.  Hope this helps someone else.