wow how i wish my system has the same problem as you do
but anyways, i think loud is kinda normal, and i think you can set the wave volume lower so that you can increase the system volume more.. and by the way, when using a headset, i also experienced the same thing as you do, i can't set on max as i'll go deaf.. but that's because you're using headphone only.. hope that helps..
If you just re-installed windows, the generic intel driver would have been installed for the audio solution. Download the latest Sigmatel audio driver for the 9100 from Dell and install it. I bet you will notice a significant difference.
I have the same problem with my inspiron 5100. I did an XP pro install (from home) from the moment i got it so I don't know if the problem existed before that or not. Suffice to say I have the latest bios and audio drivers. External speakers solve the problem but I would like to have a way to have the internal speakers play at a reasonable level. Wav and System volume are relatively useless: my only options seem to be silence, loud, and unbearably/distortedly loud.
I enabled the inspiron microphone volume in the registry so that I could turn off the mute and adjust the volume from windows XP volume control, but there are two problems:
1. The microphone volume setting is too sensitive. At the lowest position on the slider, the input levels are already too high.
2. Adjusting the master volume slider has no effect at all on the microphone volume input levels, although for some reason, checking the mute on the master volume slide control does mute the microphone with everything else.
I am using the Gainward TV 2 GO USB tuner card which plugs into the microphone input. BTW, it works great with the inspiron 9100, except for the fact that the tuner control volume control has no effect since it raises and lowers the master volume, which (as I mentioned) does not have any effect on the microphone input.
Is there any registry setting that can be turned on to give the master volume control of the microphone volume, or at least some setting that can make the microphone volume slider more gradual?
Any knowledgable help would be appreciated.