Inspiron 6400 - Audio Loop Back Line - Audio - Laptop - Dell Community

Inspiron 6400 - Audio Loop Back Line


Laptop computer Forums (Audio, General Hardware, Video)

Inspiron 6400 - Audio Loop Back Line

  • I have an Inspiron 6400 running Vista.  I wish to use a product called 'Total Recorder'.  To make this work under Vista I need to enable the 'loop back' line.  Some info from the Total Recorder support email is below:
    "Windows Vista does not allow to set Total Recorder driver as a system default playback and recording device, therefore under Windows Vista it is impossible to record an Internet transmission in Software mode if it is reproduced by a browser or by a program that uses (and cannot work without using) Direct Sound or/and does not allow to select an audio device independently of the system settings (e.g. Windows Media Player, Real Player).
    To record such Internet transmission under Windows Vista your soundcard should have a loop-back line. A typical name for this line is “Stereo Mix”. Other names are “What you hear”, “Wave out”, “Loop back”, and possibly others. Thus you need to switch to SoundBoard mode and select this recording line.
    It is possible that although your sound card has a line needed, it is not enabled. "
    I have tried to enable the feature but can't find it.  Does this feature exist on the Dell soundcard?  Do I need to upgrade the driver?  All help greatly appreciated.
  • Bill,

    I have pointed folks with Windows XP to Total Recorder. Their purpose in using it is because Dell computers with the Sigmatel 92xx audio chip (integrated audio) do not have 'stereo mix' in the Dell version of the Signmatel's driver. Your 6400 has that chip & driver but you are in a worse position because you also have Vista.

    The irony is that Total Recorder wants you to use stereo mix, but if you had stereo mix you wouldn't need to buy Total Recorder because with stereo mix you can record using any free recording program.

    This might help you. LG makes a driver for the Sigmatel that does have stereo mix and it works fine on many Inspirons with the 92xx chip and XP, including the 6400. However everything involving Vista is a little more complicated:

    LG Sigmatel driver for models with Vista (tip from definch20):

    LG Service Site

    1. Click on 'Device Driver'.
    2. Select 'Notebook' from the dropdown list under 'Product'.
    3. Select 'Windows XP' under 'Operating System' even though you have Vista.
    4. Type 'Sigmatel' into the subject box.
    5. Click 'search'.

    The driver to download is the 94,472 kb file

    6. Next, select 'Vista' under 'Operating System' and click 'search'.
    7. Download the small file named 'Windows Vista Sound'.
    8. Install the driver (94,472 kb file) and restart.
    9. Install the small file (Windows Vista Sound).
    10. Go to control panel and open Sound. On the recording tab, right click in the large box and click on show disabled devices. A stereo mix option should then appear. Click on the stereo mix and then click on set default at the bottom.

    If you need to undo the LG installation, use 'rollback driver' and the Dell Sigmatel driver will be re-installed.


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

  • Jim,
    Thanks.  I went through the process and things went pretty much as described except I didn't get the set default option for the stereo mixer but I did enable it.  However, I now have two problems:
    1.  There is no sound on playback - the speaker icon in the bottom RH corner has an x by it (for mute?) and when I try to open the volume mixer I get a 'no audio device is installed' message.
    2.  When I try to run Total recorder: I get the error message below:
    "Total Recorder did not find any real sound device.
    The possible causes are:
    • Real sound device is not installed properly.
    • Some programs (e.g. firewall) blocked Total Recorder's access to real sound devices.
    • Other rare causes.

    For additional information, press the "Help" button."

    If I press help, I get a 'failed to launch help' message.  I believe that Total Recorder help does not operate in Vista.

    In device manager the Sigma Tel High Definition Sound CODEC is shown as working properly.

    Are these problems linked to the way I enabled the Stereo mixer but could not set it as a default (the option was 'greyed out')?  I feel that I am very close but something is missing.  Grateful for your help in solving this one if you can.


  • Bill,

    I usually interpret 'no audio device is installed' to mean the device's driver is not properly or fully installed, so my belief is that something went wrong with the LG driver installation.

    If you give up on the LG, I have one other method for getting stereo mix but it is a bit more complicated.

    Also, if nothing else works you can get an external Soundblaster sound card and it will have it.


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

  • Thanks for coming back to me.  I'll go through the installation routine for both drivers again tomorrow, although they did both seem to install OK.  I'll let you know how I get on.
  • Jim,
    Re-installed drivers apparently successfully but problems remain as per yesterday's email.  I tried to use the Roll-Back option but this is greyed out (I am sure it wasn't yesterday) so I cannot rvert to the previous driver.  I have not gone down the uninstall route as I presume I'd need to have a replacement driver available.
    I am happy to try your more complicated route, but I am not sure how to deal with the currently installed driver.  Thanks for your help on this.
  • Bill,

    Is it listed in Add/Remove Programs, or maybe try System Restore? Here is the other way. I always post the instructions in entirety in case anyone else with a different model wants to try it.

    There is a very long thread at called "Hacking SigmaTel Drivers for E1705/9400, i need knowledgable helpers", started by Veazer. Another poster working with him, falerus, found that he could unlock a number of controls and features in the SigmaTel audio driver by modifying a certain inf file in the R122161 audio driver. Building on falerus's ideas, eddiep, cais, and EagleGT modified inf files for other Dell laptops that also use the SigmaTel 92xx audio chip and R122161 driver.

    Following are the laptop models, links to the modified inf files, and instructions for completing the hack. (These are falerus's instructions that I have modified a bit.)

    E1705/9400 and Precision M90:

    1. Look at falerus's post (#62 on page 5 of the thread) for his link to a modified 92XXM2-3.ini file. The link is right under the words "Attached Files". You will need to register to get it, then download and unzip it.

    falerus inf file for E1705

    2. Uninstall your SigmaTel driver through Add/Remove programs and download the Dell R122161 SigmaTel driver for XP. (The R122161 is the particular driver that was hacked. Windows Vista users should also use it.)

    R122161 driver

    3. Run the file. It will unpack the files to the location you specify and then start to install the driver. Cancel the InstallShield installation.
    4. Go to the folder where the files were unpacked and browse to the "WDM" folder (C:\Dell\drivers\R122161\WDM).
    5. Copy the modified 92XXM2-3.ini into that WDM folder, overwriting the existing one.
    6. Go back up one folder to "R122161" (C:\Dell\drivers\R122161).
    7. Double click and run Setup.exe. (You might want to turn off your antivirus program first.) The new installation puts a full featured SigmaTel audio control panel in the Windows Control Panel.
    8. Restart
    9. To enable Stereo Mix, go to Control Panel/Sounds, open the record tab, right click to display disabled devices then right click the Stereo Mix entry and enable it.


    1. Look at eddiep's post (#235 on page 16 of the thread) for his link to the modified 92XXM2-5.ini file. You will need to register to get it, then download and unzip it.

    eddiep's inf file for E1505

    2. Follow the instructions for the E1705 above starting with step 2. In step 5 copy the modified 92XXM2-5.ini into the WDM folder, overwriting the existing one.


    1. Look at falerus's post (#290 on page 20 of the thread) for his link to the modified 92XXM2-1.ini file. You will need to register to get it, then download and unzip it.

    cais inf file for E1405 as modified by falerus

    2. Follow the instructions for the E1705 above starting with step 2. In step 5 copy the modified 92XXM2-1.ini into the WDM folder, overwriting the existing one.

    Latitude D620 and D820:

    1. Look at EagleGT's post (#306 on page 21 of the thread) for his link to the modified 92XXM2-2.ini file. You will need to register to get it, then download and unzip it.

    EagleGT inf file for D620

    2. Follow the instructions for the E1705 above starting with step 2. In step 5 copy the modified 92XXM2-2.ini into the WDM folder, overwriting the existing one.

    Other Models:

    The above inf files, 92XXM2-1 -2 -3 & -5, are the only ones that have been modified so far. One or more of these might apply to a model of computer other than the ones listed above. For example, someone reported that the hack worked on a M1710, but I wasn't sure which modified inf file he used; I think the -3 one for the 1705. Cais gives some instructions for figuring out which inf file is used in post #292 on page 20 of the "Hacking SigmaTel Drivers" thread.

    The following models are the rest of the Dell's that are compatible with the R122161 driver. If you have one of these models it is worthwhile to try out the different modified inf files in step 5 of the above instructions and see if one of them works for you.

    B120, 1300/B130, M140/630m, D420, D520, 120L, M65, XPS M1210 & M1710 & M2010

    These have the SigmaTel 92xx HD audio chip. The hack will not work on any model with the SigmaTel STAC 97xx chip.

    Post #404 on page 27 by hunnja gives some complicated instructions for the Inspiron 1501 model.


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

  • Jim,
    I had to do a system restore, but I am now back to where I was so that's fine.
    I will give the suggested process a try, but will probaly a day or so until I have a bit more time.  I also need to build up some courage to attempt these changes - although the system restore process is a very useful safety net.