I have Dell Vostro 860, Windows Vista. I have seen and read several forums about Dell sound problems. Mine is a little different, in that it works fine for about 10 minutes, then begins stuttering, echoing, static, with lips out of sync with sound. Also freezes up and I have to wait a long time before I can even exit the program. This happens with streaming movies on Netflix, but also happens on Hulu and Dishonline.com. I do see in Device Manager that there is an exclamation point beside Other Devices, Modem Device on High Definition Audio Bus. There is no driver installed and Windows cannot find a driver in my files nor online.
This problem began a couple of months ago and prior to that everything worked great with streaming videos. I have updated drivers, have not yet reinstalled Windows Vista, but will do so if that is suggested. I have spent many hours on this, have also worked with ATT tech support through Chat and also on phone. No results.
Elijah, thanks for the suggestions. However, the problem did not respond. This all started back in March and just kept getting worse. At first, the echo on streaming was the only problem and at that time I adjusted the video quality and echo stopped. Then the stuttering and static began, followed with PC shutting itself down (now both online and offline) with error code M1004 (overheating problem). At that time, I could only watch streaming movies for about 5 minutes before problems began, but following suggestions here within the Community, which recommended pausing at the beginning of a video and let it load up for a few minutes, helped a little.
Then I remembered that previously I was able to watch streaming with DSL Lite (.65 MPS) and the only problem was echo (corrected with choosing a lower quality video within Netflix instructions). A while later after upgrading to DSL Ultra, I began to have all of the above problems. Dell support concerning M1004, gave reference that this was happening with PCs with Bios A0 thru Bios A03, which included my own Bios A02. They gave reference to a file to download to correct M1004. but each time I tried, I received message that an error occurred while processing my order. The info about the reference file indicated, in my opinion, that the error message was a mistake and file would take care of it.
PROBLEMS SOLVED: My totally non-tech husband cured the problem. He noticed that the wooden desk where I keep my laptop was really getting heated as far over as 6 or 7 inches to the left of laptop. He placed a couple pieces of a 2 x 4 wooden stud under the laptop, making sure he did not cover up the vent under the laptop, which sucked in air and transferred it out the vent on the side. That solved everything. He says this is probably a short term fix, because obviously something happened within the PC that made it begin with the problem.
Hope this helps others who may be having these problems. I did notice that one community member purchased a cooling pad, which would be much more appealing to look at.
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Have you tried this driver?
Did you install anything prior the issue started? Any application or updates?
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Hello. If it works 10 minutes without a problem then I would not think it is a driver issue. I suspect that after 10 minutes your buffer is being depleted faster than it can be re-filled. The fact that this did not used to happen means that there has been some kind of change, for example you might have increased the quality settings for the streams thereby making them larger, or maybe AT&T has reduced the bandwidth it is letting you have, or maybe they gradually reduce it as the streaming continues for a long period of time. By any chance did AT&T support try to sell you a more expensive service? Or maybe there is just more load on their system than there used to be. If you have a DSL connection that would impact you.
I suggest that you post on the Networking, Internet & Wireless discussion board and ask about ways to improve streaming performance. Maybe there is a way to increase buffer size or adjust some other setting. Or as an experiment, when you begin streaming hit the pause button and let the buffer pre-fill for 10 minutes or longer, then hit play. If the streaming can continue without problems for longer than it has been then I think that would confirm that it is a buffer problem.
As for the modem driver, it is the Conexant R189736. You only need it if you are using a dial up connection.
Jim Coates -- 14th year on the Dell Laptop Audio boards -- since 2/6/04
Thanks for replying, Elijah. The driver you listed is the one I have been using. I have not tried deleting and re-installing yet. As for prior installations of programs, I do recall that I downloaded Speedy PC Pro a few months ago. This is a program much like PC Matic, which checks for virus, malware, bad files, etc. I did notice back then that my printer started reinstalling itself everytime the PC was turned off, then back on again. Contacted Speedy PC Pro and they told me to uncheck the choice that involved the HP Printer so that those files would be ignored. It's possible, I guess, that maybe the audio files are affected by that. I will check into that and report back here. I have had very bad weather the last 3 days in the Gulf Coast area down here and was not able to get online, so excuse the delay in this. Thanks.
Device Manager lists Conexant High Definition Smart Audio 221, but does not list file name. This is under Sound, video and game controllers.
Under Other Devices, there is an exclamation point for Modem Device on High Definition Audio Bus. That keeps trying to install a driver each time I turn the PC on, but Windows message says, Cannot find a driver. I do not know what this other device is, unless maybe it is related with the Belkin Wireless Router that I have. I have unhooked that router and the video problem is the same with or without router. Your idea about buffering does make sense. I did try pausing about 5 minutes into a streaming video and it does go about 15 minutes longer that way, but still returns. When it returns, the picture starts freezing up, and it takes quite awhile to get task manager to come up to be able to exit.
As for AT&T, they have been very helpful. I've been their customer for about 50 years and they give me discounts on faster services. I have their 2nd highest speed, which is 3 MBS at this time. When streaming was first offered through Netflix, I had ATT DSL light, which was only .67 MBS. I was able to watch streaming without any jerky movements and no static or echos, etc. The video was not as sharp but worked quite well. I guess that goes back to the theory about buffering. I will follow your link to Networking and maybe I will find something there.
I forgot to mention that I had previously chosen a lower quality video choice which originally solved the echo problem, but that has started again while still on the lower quality.
JeanetteBDevice Manager lists Conexant High Definition Smart Audio 221, but does not list file name.
Jeanette, one of the problems in dealing with Dell products is that everything has multiple names which can become confusing. Your Device Manager calls the audio device Smart Audio 221 but your Vostro A860 Setup Guide and the Vostro A860 drivers & downloads page both call it Conexant CX20561- 12Z . Searching the internet it seems that both names refer to the same device. A further complication is the driver name, which is Conexant Audio CX2056- 12Z, filename R192899, version 188.8.131.52, A01.
The filename is relevant because the driver's location on your hard drive uses it. In this case the driver can be found at c:\dell\drivers\R192899. Unfortunately the Device Manager does not show the filename.
JeanetteBUnder Other Devices, there is an exclamation point for Modem Device on High Definition Audio Bus. That keeps trying to install a driver each time I turn the PC on, but Windows message says, Cannot find a driver.
Did you install the modem driver to which I provided a link?
JeanetteBI do not know what this other device is, unless maybe it is related with the Belkin Wireless Router that I have.
This is totally out of my area but I would not think that a router would be called a modem. You probably have a piece of hardware from AT&T that they call a modem that is connected to your RJ-45 LAN port, but it would not show up as a modem in Device Manager. I think you are seeing the computer's dial up modem, the one that connects through the RJ-11 modem port. Those things are connected internally to the HD audio bus just like the audio hardware, which explains the naming in the Device Manager. On my own computer I also have AT&T dsl, and I have the dialup modem disabled so in my Device Manager there is a red x next to it.
JeanetteB I did try pausing about 5 minutes into a streaming video and it does go about 15 minutes longer that way, but still returns. When it returns, the picture starts freezing up, and it takes quite awhile to get task manager to come up to be able to exit.
When you stream video from say youtube, there should be a location bar at the bottom of the screen. If you hit the pause button and wait, a lighter colored bar should extend out from the round location marker. That lighter bar is the buffer being filled. When you hit play, the location marker will begin moving through the buffer bar. If it catches up to and overruns the buffer, then the video will cause problems like you have described.
JeanetteBI have their 2nd highest speed, which is 3 MBS at this time. When streaming was first offered through Netflix, I had ATT DSL light, which was only .67 MBS. I
To find out your actual speed, go to speedtest.net if AT&T support has not had you do that yet. The thing about dsl is that a lot of factors affect your service, not just the level of service you buy. In my opinion there is nothing wrong with the audio on your computer. You are looking at this as though the audio is affecting your video streaming, but I believe it is the other way around. In Vista and 7, audio is very sensitive and is often the first thing to exhibit symptoms when something else is creating a problem with the computer, and I think that is what you are seeing.
It is possible that other applications or software can affect your video streaming. Like the speedypc application. You can try uninstalling it or disabling it first. Or better you can turn off all other non-microsoft services and startup items under system configuration utility window. Try to view this video ;