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Microphone not working


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Microphone not working

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I bought a Dell Inspiron n5110 last week and the microphone doesn't seem to work at all. I had the same problem on a previous laptop so I had already purchased a logitech headset. I tried to use skype and, through changing the setting to Microphone/Line In on skype I got the external mic to work. However, the next time I turned it on and tried using skype neither microphone will work at all. I've fiddled about with all the settings in the control panel and I've run the windows 7 troubleshooting but it just says it can't identify the problem. On some forums it says I should reload the sound driver but I have no idea what this is or how to do it! Can anyone help me out? I moved abroad a few days after purchasing the laptop so I can't phone the helpline because it will cost hundreds of pounds... Skype is going to be really essential to me whilst living abroad so I need to get it sorted as soon as possible! Thank you!

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  • anna281
    On some forums it says I should reload the sound driver but I have no idea what this is or how to do it!

    If you mean you don't know what a driver is, it is software that lets a device connect with the operating system. Each device needs a driver. Some drivers are contained in the operating system but some have to be installed by the user. Dell has a page with all of the drivers you need (see down below).

    The audio device in the Inspiron N5110 is made by IDT. Although Windows 7 has a basic native audio driver built into it, for correct operation of the jacks the laptop needs the IDT driver. The driver you are using now could be either the native driver or the IDT driver. To find out, open the Sound properties dialog (Control Panel/Hardware and Sound/ Sound, OR Control Panel/Sound ). At the top of the dialog are several tabs. Open the Recording tab and you should see something like this:

     If you see the words "IDT High Definition Audio Codec" then the IDT driver is installed. If you see the words "High Definition Audio Device" then the native driver is installed. In either case, go ahead and install a fresh copy of the IDT driver and see if it helps. This is a link to the newest IDT audio driver for the Inspiron 5110. Download the file to a folder on your hard drive, and then run (double-click) it to unzip the set of files. Follow the instructions to complete the installation.

    I suggest that when you are testing your mic you use Windows Sound Recorder, not Skype. If the mic is working in Sound Recorder (you can record your voice) but not in Skype, then the problem most likely is a setting in Skype.

    There might be times when you want to obtain other device drivers. Dell has a page with all of your driver available for downloading. To get to it click


    -- OR  if that link does not work click


    Then you can enter your Service Tag number in the left field, or in the right column select "Choose from a list of all Dell products", then click "Continue" and follow the links.

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

  • Thank you very much for your suggestions. I'm hopeless at computers so didn't know what a driver was! 7

    However, I followed your advice and nothing has changed, apart from the fact that now the headphones on my headset don't work either! The internal microphone still does absolutely nothing (in sound recorder too) and my laptop doesn't seem to recognise the external microphone at all... What a nightmare!

  • Sorry that I have not had time to get back to you. Will try tonight.

    What do you mean by laptop does not recognize mic? What are you looking at that indicates that?

    When you first opened the Sound properties (as in above picture) did it show you were then using the IDT or native driver?

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

  • I didn't realize that Dell is still selling the N5110 model but if you just got a new one last week you should still be within the return period. A number of people have posted about problems with that model, the mic or the jacks not working right. The mic array (internal mic) should have been working on a new laptop. If you cannot get it working soon, I suggest that you consider returning it in exchange for one that works. However, if you do decide to do that, first restore the laptop to the original factory configuration. You will have to back up all of your data but you will be doing that anyway if you return the laptop. Restoring the laptop to the original factory configuration will make it work again EXACTLY like it did when you first received it. This will eliminate any problems caused by subsequent configuration changes. If the mic array still does not work after the restoration, then call tech support and if they cannot get it to work then you have made a case that the laptop is defective and that Dell must exchange it or refund it without a restocking fee.

    This Dell article <ADMIN NOTE: Broken link has been removed from this post by Dell> explains the steps to do the restoration which is quite simple to do.  The instructions can also be found on page 72 of the Inspiron 5110 Setup Guide.

    Meanwhile if you want something less drastic, there are 2 tests you can run. There is a Microsoft microphone trouble shooter for Windows 7.

    There is a microphone test in Dell's PC Checkup diagnostics.

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

  • I am using Dell Inspiron N5010 windows 7 Basic. I am facing problems in headphones. No sound is coming and Its not getting detected too.. I checked by going through Hardware & Sounds and found just the laptop speakers. The speakers are working normally..Help