External Speakers work, Headphone jack does not

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Laptop computer Hardware and Software discussion

External Speakers work, Headphone jack does not

  • I got an Inspiron B130 just a year and a half ago, and i use it every day at college.  I also purchased some altec speakers that work great.  however, after about a year of use, my computer (while plugged into the speakers) would not play my music.  I can unplug the speakers and the internal speakers will play the music just fine.  At first I assumed that there was something wrong with the external speakers, but when i plugged-in other speakers and headphones, no sound came through.  This is extremely annoying because it doesn't do it all the time.  Sometimes my speakers (while plugged into the jack) will be working fine, and then all of a sudden it just cuts out.  I am convinced that there is something wrong with the jack but i have no idea what to do about it.  Thank you.
  • If still under warranty contact Dell about a repair. It is not a user repairable part; all you can do is try inserting a q-tip very carefully into the jack and gently wiggling it, or wiggle the plug when it is inserted.

    A low cost workaround would be an external audio device such as:
    audio advantage
    or
    iMic

    or an externbal sound card like a Soundblaster. None of these will play through the internal speakers but in your case that isn't a problem.

    Jim

    Jim Coates -- senior forum member


  • I dont think there is anything wrong with the jack. Seems to be a driver issue. I have the same problem, same computer (b130). The speakers work fine, then you unplug them, and when you plug headphones or speakers back in, nothing works. I have updated the driver, through dell but that has not resolved the issue. I any help would be gladdly appreciated.
  • You can try to use the audio test in Dell Diagnostics to determine whether or not the harware is faulty, but because the problem is intermittent it can be tricky to catch it.



    To run Diagnostics restart the computer and as soon as it starts to boot up hold down f12. Select 'Diagnostic' from the boot menu. The computer will run its pre-boot assessment tests for 3 or 4 minutes before the Dell Diagnostic starts. These pre-boot tests play some beeps and tones through the system speaker but this doesn't test the rest of the audio hardware, so you still need to let Dell Diagnostics run after the pre-boot tests finish. Dell Diagnostics plays an instrumental piece of music complete with drums, so if you only hear some tones then you have only run the pre-boot assessment test.

    When Dell Diagnostics opens, select 'custom', then the audio test. This will test your audio system independently of Windows and drivers, meaning it doesn't matter if they are working correctly or not. Alternate between using headphones and listening to speakers in case only one is working.

    [If you have ever reformatted your hard drive then the Diagnostics partition might have been wiped off. If the Dell Diagnostics option fails to open, run it from the Drivers and Utilities (Resource) CD if you have one.]

    Dell Diagnostics will play some audio and ask you whether you heard it. If you answer 'no' then the test generates an error code that means you indicated you did not hear the sounds it played, but it doesn't and cannot pinpoint the exact component that has gone bad.

    If you do hear the audio that means the hardware is okay but there is a problem with the software or configuration.


    Jim

    Jim Coates -- senior forum member