SigmaTel Audio Issue...Inspiron 1150

Laptop

Laptop
Laptop computer Forums (Audio, General Hardware, Video)

SigmaTel Audio Issue...Inspiron 1150

This question is not answered

Greetings all,

 

I re-formatted the HD on my girlfriends laptop and while re-installing the drivers I noticed that no matter what sequence I tried to instal the SigmaTel C Major driver…it still wouldn’t work.

 

The Device manager after every install has the yellow exclamation point next to the driver.

 

I’ve uninstalled it ,cleaned the registry….reinstalled the Notebook system software and then the intel mobile chipset and then tried to install….Nothing

 

I’ve read about quite a few people with this probem and I don’t know if anyone else has gotten it fixed.

 

I ran Diagnostics this morning and the audio test came through clean….I have no idea what to do.

All Replies
  • Also, This was a Re-Install of XP Home, Everything else on the laptop is functioning as expected, including USB drives

  • Don't just uninstall the Sigmatel driver because when you reboot it just rebuilds from the same file. You should go to the hard to the folder that was created when you unpacked the driver files and delete that folder. Then download a new copy of the driver package using the web browser and not Dell Download Manager.

     

    If still getting the yellow exclamation point then right click and select to update the driver. Do not let Windows search but instead manually browse to the folder where the driver files are, then to the subfolder named WDM and point the updater at that subfolder.

    Jim Coates -- senior forum member


  • I've gotten to the point where every time i've  tried something new i've uninstalled...Deleted...Cleaned the registry...Each time i try something new there is no referrence to SigmaTel at all on the computer

     

    I've even tried different sets of drivers...From the Dell website....Not from the dell website.

     

    Do you know what file i should be looking for?  I've been manually searching for the drivers the whole time and they still don't work.

  • When i'm manually installing it's constantly asking for stac97.sys and i'm constantly pointing to it to no avail.

     

    Then when i try the setup utility it says "Device Object Not present"

  • Sjohns12
    Do you know what file i should be looking for? 

    The newest driver on the 1150 downloads page is a Sigmatel version 5.10.0.3952, A15. It would unpack to the hard drive at

    c:\Dell\Drivers\R90698


    To start the installation from that folder click on the setup.exe file.

     

    There are several causes of the audio driver failing to install.

    > The other drivers being installed in wrong order which you have ruled out.

    > The hardware could have failed. Run the audio tests in Dell Diagnostics to check.

    > Software Device Enumerator
     If you get a message like "no audio device detected" or "driver is enabled but has not been started", go into the Device Manager (Start/Control Panel/Administrative Tools/Computer Management/System Tools/Device Manager/System Devices) and check that 'Plug and Play Software Device Enumerator' is installed and running. It will be listed alphabetically if there. If it is missing then something went wrong with the recent installation of XP.

    > Modem
    In some models the modem can have an undetectable problem that prevents the audio from working properly. Symptoms include inability to get the audio driver to install, getting an error message saying no audio hardware present, and audio properties settings being grayed out. To test this you have to physically remove the modem, not just uninstall the driver. With the modem removed, try again to install the audio driver. If the audio works after removing the modem then you might need to replace it.

     

    Jim Coates -- senior forum member


  • Then it must be the Modem issue....because my Plug and play device enumerator is working fine...and as i stated in the original post the audio hardware tested out okay in the diagnostic....you really think taking a screwdriver to the modem is the best chance i got?

  • Sjohns12

    When i'm manually installing it's constantly asking for stac97.sys and i'm constantly pointing to it to no avail.

    Do you know why this is? whenever i find the file and point to it it acts like it's not there when i can clearly see it.

  • "Then it must be the Modem issue....because my Plug and play device enumerator is working fine...and as i stated in the original post the audio hardware tested out okay in the diagnostic....you really think taking a screwdriver to the modem is the best chance i got?"

    It was just a list of the things I know of that might cause the driver to fail to install after the obvious things have been ruled out. Removing the modem has helped out some people and didn't help others.I am sure there are other causes of a driver failing to install that I am unaware of.

    I don't know the reason why a failing modem interferes with the driver installation. When it happens that can be the only symptom that it is failing. I am not a computer tech. I was told about this years ago by a tech who used to be a regular here, AussieChris. Removing the modem physically seems to be necessary only on the old models with AC97 audio.

     

    Sjohns12
    Do you know why this is? whenever i find the file and point to it it acts like it's not there when i can clearly see it.

    No, I do not. That is a rare symptom that I have hardly ever heard of. Usually when one gets the exclamation mark then all that is needed is to point the updater to the WDM folder which contains the stac97.sys file.

    You said a couple of times that you cleaned the Registry. That is not necessary as far as I know and I wonder if that could have introduced  problems.

    You said you ran audio diagnostics. That should be the audio tests in Dell Diagnostics. If it was the audio test in the  pre-boot system assessment tests the speakers can pass that test even if the Sigmatel chip has failed.

    Jim Coates -- senior forum member


  • Welp, looking to buy a new card now....I've seen this issue several places on the internet and have yet to see it solved successfully.

     

    I wonder if the Dell Techs are aware of this.

  • Sjohns12
    I wonder if the Dell Techs are aware of this.

    It has been years since a computer has been built with AC97 audio by any manufacturer. It has been replaced with HD audio. I would imagine they concentrate on problems with the current technology they sell.

     

    That stac97.sys file is supposed to be in 2 places, both the WDM folder and the c:\windows\system32\drivers  folder. Is it in both?

    Here are a couple of other ideas. Install an earlier version of the Sigmatel driver or use the Intel driver in XP. To do so:

    > 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.

    (Or instead right click on the speaker icon, click on Adjust Audio Properties, click on the hardware tab, select SigmaTel, and click Propertties.)

    > Click on the Driver tab and click on Update Driver. The Hardware Update Wizard will open.

    > Answer "No" to the Windows Update question.

    > Choose "Install From List or specific location".  Ignore the 'Insert CD' instruction.

    > 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 original driver later just go back to Properties and select "Rollback Driver".

    Jim Coates -- senior forum member


  • Ultimately no matter what set of drivers i try to install be they the intel AC97 or any of the SigmaTel versions the instalation hangs up when it's asking me for Stac97.sys and i point to it.  ...Then it asks for it again

     

    It's always asking for that file and no matter how i point to it or where i put it or how many different Stac97.sys files i point to it won't finish the install.

  • I wish I could help. I have a similar system, Inspiron 1100, and I have reinstalled XP several times including after a new hard drive. I always use the original cd's that came with the computer. I install XP Home SP1a, then the drivers from the other disc before going online and updating Windows to SP2 and 3. The Sigmatel driver I use is R61758 A06, which was the 2nd of 6 versions, the newest being A15 which is compatible with both the 1100 and 1150, but I never upgrade drivers as long as the older ones are working.And I never allow Microsoft to update anything on my computer except security. We get a lot of posts here from folks whose audio quit after one of those updates.

    The reason I do the re-installations that way is because I want to be as close as possible to the original configuration of the computer when it was shipped, because that combination of original OS and drivers is known to work.

     

    I'm thinking that if your hardware is okay and the drivers are okay (they can't all be bad) then the problem is in Windows. I would re-do the Windows installation but I know you are tired of messing with it by now.

    I  have a usb Soundblaster card that works great. It cost $40 but later when they were being discontinued I got another one for $20. If you don't need a mic jack the Micro Advantage is a good one for $25

    http://www.turtlebeach.com/products/microII/home.aspx

    Jim Coates -- senior forum member


  • Will the Micro Advantage one play audio over the laptop speakers? or does it require a headset?

  • No usb card will play through the computer's speakers. There was a Soundblaster pcmcia card (goes into the CardBus slot) that could do it (Audigy 2 ZS -- no longer available) but it did it by routing the audio back to the Sigmatel system, so sound came out of the speakers only if the internal audio was fully functional. No external card can make a direct connection to the computer's speakers.

    Jim Coates -- senior forum member