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Go to Control Panel, Hardware and Sound, Manage Audio Devices, and select speakers, click Properties. Click Enhancements tab, check the "Diable all sound effects" box, then click OK. Apply and OK. You should be good to go!
I have this EXACT same problem, and the exact same Dell model. Does anyone know how to fix this? I've spent the past 2 days trying to figure it out and going through message board after message board trying different solutions. Should I just try to reinstall the Realtek driver or something? I'm getting really frustrated. I miss listening to my music the way it's supposed to sound-- instead it is weird, echo-y and distant like Pete said. Very hard to hear the vocals.
All I was trying to do was get my new external microphone to work for me, which still doesn't, but I've given up trying to figure that out. I didn't have an issue before I tried to change some minor settings for the microphone, but I've changed everything back to the default settings and the playback is still strange and warped.
Dell Inspiron 530 which came with Windows Vista Basic 32 bitadded (and most used) Windows XP Professional Version 2002 Service Pack 2Realtek ALC888 HD Audio
If you have a System Restore point that is BEFORE you had the problem, use that and it should restore the settings. System Restore can be accessed from Start/Programs/Accessories/System Tools.
The "Sound Enhancements" as noted in this thread is where the echo, reverb, etc are located and if the sound enhancments are not all turned off you will get the echo/reverb.
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I already turned off any sound effects, and set it back to "none" on Realtek. I've been messing with it trying to make it back to normal, but putting it back to the default setting doesn't fix it... in fact, for some reason the "powerful" setting sounds closer to the original sound than the default "none" or "generic."
I agree, a system restore would probably be a good idea, but... I don't know if I CAN do one with mine. For some reason I can't do it on this harddrive. I have 2 different operating systems on my computer-- the one Dell came with (Vista), and a semi-altered version of XP that my ex helped me put on here several years ago. I never use the Vista one (located of the C drive) because it's so slow and obnoxious, unlike the XP (located on the J drive). For some reason I've recently noticed that I can't find the system restore option for the XP/J drive one, and when I try to do it using Vista on the C drive, it says that it can restore everything except for what is on the J drive.
Is there a way maybe to find system restore a different way? It's definitely not listed where it usually is, where you mentioned.
Should I try a system restore on the C drive anyways and see if that works somehow? Or should I try reinstalling or updating Realtek, I think they came out with an update that I don't have, but I don't want to somehow make things worse...
The System Restore function is where I pointed you to, under Programs/Accessories/System Tools. This is not a complete reinstall, just a "fall back" to an earlier time. It does not delete any user data or e-mails, but any programs installed (or uninstalled) will have to be installed (or uninstalled) after the System Restore.
About System Restore from Microsoft:
System Restore helps you restore your computer's system files to an earlier point in time. It's a way to undo system changes to your computer without affecting your personal files, such as e‑mail, documents, or photos.
Sometimes, the installation of a program or a driver can cause an unexpected change to your computer or cause Windows to behave unpredictably. Usually, uninstalling the program or driver corrects the problem. If uninstalling does not fix the problem, you can try restoring your computer's system to an earlier date when everything worked correctly.
System Restore uses a feature called System Protection to regularly create and save restore points on your computer. These restore points contain information about registry settings and other system information that Windows uses. You can also create restore points manually.
System Restore is not intended for backing up personal files, so it cannot help you recover a personal file that has been deleted or damaged. You should regularly back up your personal files and important data using a backup program.
Open System Restore by clicking the Start button , clicking All Programs, clicking Accessories, clicking System Tools, and then clicking System Restore. If you are prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.