Inspiron 8200 - Sound Garbled! - Audio - Laptop - Dell Community

Inspiron 8200 - Sound Garbled!


Laptop computer Forums (Audio, General Hardware, Video)

Inspiron 8200 - Sound Garbled!

  • I have an Inspiron 8200.  When I play audio on my computer (through iTunes or even listening to a CD), the sound starts to get really garbled!  However, when I pause the music and then play it again, its fine for a while, and then gets garbled again!
    I've checked the sound preferences and ensured that I had to option "Laptop Stereo Speakers" selected.  I also downloaded the latest crystal audio driver that was in the knowledge base.
    Restarted my computer, and still the same problem.
    What's wrong?
  • Anybody at all?  Am I the only one having this problem? I really need help and don't know where to look..
  • Mrbatz,

    Are you sure about the crystal drivers? I thought the 8000 series used Sigmatel.

    I don't know what the problem might be. Here is my standard troubleshooting method:

    1. Check the volume. Open Audio Properties (right click on the volume icon on the taskbar, or go through the Control Panel/Sounds & Audio Devices). Select the Audio tab. Click on 'Volume' under 'Sound Playback'. Also check the volume control of the apps you use. If not turned down or muted:

    2. Try System Restore. If that doesn't help:

    3. Run Dell Diagnostics audio test. If that fails then it is a hardware problem which would need to be fixed by Dell, or you could get an external soundcard. To run diagnostics restart, and as soon as it starts to boot up hold down f12. It might take a few minutes but when it comes up select custom, then the audio test. This will test your audio system independently of windows and drivers. If this test fails then forget about all the other stuff. If it passes, then it most likely a driver problem:

    4. Re-install drivers. If you do not have the 'Drivers and Utilities' cd, look above in the left corner and hoover mouse on 'Product Support', then click on Downloads.

    > Enter your Service Tag number and click on the arrow next to the number. (If you don't know your Service Tag number then leave that box blank and instead select your Product model from the 2 dropdown boxes.)

    > Under 'Select Your Download Category' select Audio Drivers. Then select your operating system and system language. Click 'Submit.'

    If the drivers won't stay installed:

    5. Go to Start/Run and type in sndvol32.exe to make sure the system mixer is installed and running. The audio drivers won't stay installed without this application being installed and running correctly.

    4. Go to control Panel/System/Hardware/Device Manager. Find the audio driver under Sound Controllers and right click on the driver and uninstall it. Shut down computer then restart and let the driver reinstall.

    6. Try an older version of the driver.

    7. Try the generic Intel AC97 driver. These instructions are if you have the SigmaTel driver in the first place. If this doesn't apply to you, just find your driver properties and 'rollback driver.' That might install the AC'97.

    > Go to Start/Control Panel/System/ Hardware tab, then click on Device Manager. Go down to Sound, Video, and Game controllers and right click on SigmaTel. Choose properties.
    > Go to the Driver tab and click on Update Driver.
    > Answer "No" to the Windows Update question.
    > Choose "Install From List or specific location".
    > Hit next and then choose "Don't Search, I will choose driver I want to install".
    > You will get a list of Sigmatel drivers. Uncheck the box that says "show compatible hardware".
    > Select Intel, and then select "Intel AC 97 Audio Controller". XP replaces the SigmaTel driver with the Intel AC97.
    > To reinstall the SigmaTel just select "Rollback Driver".

    8. If you perform an OS reinstallation, install Notebook System Software, Intel Chipset, Video, Audio, Touchpad, then the other drivers in that order. If you do it differently you might have to redo the installation. Complete instructions are given in the link Product Support/Reinstall Guide/Operating Systems in the upper left above.

    If it passes Diagnostics then it's not the hardware. If you try the Intel driver and still have the problem then it's not the drivers. Sorry no one has an answer.


    Jim Coates -- 14th year on the Dell Laptop Audio boards -- since 2/6/04 

  • 2) You said try system restore, but how do you do that
    Also I tried running Dell Diagnostics by pressing f12, but all it asks when I do that is where I want to boot from.  I also tried the set-up screen F2 but that doesn't have anything about diagnostics.  How do I get to the Dell Diagnostics audio test as I boot up?
  • Start menu/Help & Support/click on 'System Restore'.

    Select 'diagnostic' from the boot menu. It will run some tests for a couple of minutes before the diagnostic comes up. When it does select 'custom' then run the audio test.

    Sorry, I left that part of the instructions out.

    'Diagnostics' should have been placed on the boot menu by Dell. If it is not there you can run it from the 'Drivers and Utilities' cd-rom that should have come with your computer.


    Jim Coates -- 14th year on the Dell Laptop Audio boards -- since 2/6/04 

  • Ok, I had the same, Boot into the BIOS, On Page 2,3 or 4 it lists what audio chipset you have. I thought I had one, loaded the drivers, had the issue. (It was using the default MS driver still).. Uninstall the driver you downloaded, and install the correct one. Also don't try any of the ones from the chipset manufacturer, they are worse than the ones MS gives you.