Static sound - Audio - Laptop - Dell Community

Static sound


Laptop computer Forums (Audio, General Hardware, Video)

Static sound

  • I have just purchased this new laptop from Dell and am experiencing problems with the sound , basically i have connected a lead from the headphine socket to my aux input on my amp so i can listen to music thru my main hifi speakers. Except i hear a backround sort of feedback/static sound, so i tried my old laptop dell latitude and it was fine. Rang tech support and they told me to pop in the disc for installing drivers, except when i went to try and open the DVD for the first time it doesnt open, i thought maybe i was doing something wrong but no it wouldnt eject. The tech man said to stick a pin in the hole, this didnt work then i had to unsrew thu unit and pop it back in, this still didnt work, so they are now sending me a new dvd drive then when that arrives i need to phone them back to get the audio sorted. After i came off the phone i thought i had better check to see if everything else is ok, and surprise surprise the removable floppy drive will not remove, its stuck in their.......whatever far i have not been at all impressed with Dell, i wish i hadnt even upgraded my old laptop was better. To top it all off i can not return it as i am now outside my seven day return limit, thing is it ended up being delivered far later than scheduled and it happened to be a time when i was away so missed the deadline for returning. Well lets wait and see if i can get the audio sorted with installing different drivers.

  • maresha:

    Did updating your audio driver help the situation? What model of Inspiron are you using? Try using a set of headphones instead of connecting the audio output to your amplifier.


  • I have an inspiron 8200, no the drivers did not work and i dont want to listen to audio through the headphones.


  • maresha:

    For troubleshooting purposes try using a set of headphones instead of connecting the audio output to your amplifier. Does the problem continue?


  • I have an 8000. I have static with and without headphones. I still need to try it strictly on battery power. I have the current drivers for win 2000 and have recently had the motherboard replaced. I've even tried using a 1:1 transformer across the output to no avail. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
  • used to have problem, i just muted the CD3 option under the volume control and it was gone, now i have no static in my headphones =)
  • I believe that this is solely a grounding problem - I do the exact same thing with my Inspiron 8100 - and when the headphone jack is transfered into the stereo's hifi speakers using the red and white aux. jacks, and the laptop is plugged in, the static sound is present.  Particularly when moving the mouse, and information is being loaded from the HDD (hard disk drive).  I am told that buying a 3 prong to a simple 2 prong converter, so as to remove the ground wire, will eliminate the static.  I am not sure if this is true, and you should then use a surge protector (and should use one anyway) for safety purposes for the laptop.
  • To keep you all updated.  I have just had my laptp returned this afternoon after being in service for 2 weeks , ttech told me it would take no longer than 3-5 business days, 2 weeks later they have returned it .   They told me they had replaced the motherboard yet there was a letter with my laptop saying they had done a suite of tests and diagnostics and could not recreate the fault and could not find any malfunction with my laptop.  I have just this minute set it up again and lo and behold the static sound is STILL THERE, i cant belive it.

    The staic sound is still only present when i am using the ac adaptor, when running on battery it is fine, i phoned customer care and toild them this , i also included the ac adaptor when the laptop was returned.  I am waiting to hear back from them.  Maybe they will send me out a new ac adaptop, why they didnt givem me a diffedrnet one when it was returned i don know.

    I have just spent the last 2 weeks having to go to an internet cafe to check my mail and i recieved my phone bill yesterday, £40 woth of call charges to tech support about this problem. I have been driven to despair and i think it has now reached the stage that i will give them one  more chance, if the fault isnt fixed i shall bed contacting trading standards and demand a refund on the grounds that they have supplied my with unmerchantable goods.

    If anyone has any answers please let me know, i explained all of this to tech support about the ac adaptor and battery but they have obviously not taken any note of this .  I just want to get the problem solved or if it cant be then have my hard earned money back with compensation and then move on with my life.



  • I have the exact same hums when connected to external speakers, when the AC is plugged in.  With headphones it sounds fine.  Checking all the various mute switches in the sound properties makes no difference.  I sent it in to Dell, it came back with a note "updated bios", but it still makes the noise.

    This is totally unacceptable....I'll be returning it if I can't find a solution soon.

  • Well I finally beat this getting one of those three-prong to two-prong grounding converters.  Not a great solution, but better than returning it.

  • I also just bought a new Inspiron 8200 and have the high pitched static or squeal sound when the computer is doing anything graphically on the screen.

    I have tried to do everything that was suggested on the fourms by other people, but the only way the sound diminishes is if it is running on battery power only.  The tech even had me take out the hard drive and dismantle a few other things and had me boot up into the BIOS.  It even makes the squeal noise when posting into the BIOS.  One interesting thing I found though was if I put my A/C to D/C adapter to my ear and listen at the bottom of it by the green ON light, there is a sound coming from it identical to the laptop.

    It even made the "chirping" noise one when I unpluged it from the laptop that other people had been complaining about?  I wonder if we might just have a bad batch of power adapters?  Either way I would like to keep this awesome notebook and I am sending it in to the depot for repair.  I sent a note and asked the tech to comment that they switch out the power supply and try to deduct where the sound is coming from.

    I will let you know how it goes.  I'm sure this isn't a problem everyone is having, as one fourm customer stated that he bought two identical Inspiron 8200's and only one of them makes the squeal/static noise.

    Endorphine :)

  • Well I get the same thing, but I also get it when I run off batteries.
  • Hooray i have the static sound problem solved.  As you are all aware my laptop had been in service for 2 weeks, they had put in a new motherboard but this didnt solve anything.  tech support then sent me out a new ac adaptor, this didnt solve anything the static sound was still there, i even updated my sound card.

    I had a friend come round and we spent hours trying all sorts out, he set up his Hewlett packard laptop to my amp and it was fine, i then went to his house and sent up my Dell laptop with his amp, and surprisingly it was slightly better. 

    In the end i showed him these messages and we did as suggested by previous people, and that was to plug the dell a/c adaptor into a 2 prong adaptor , therefore grounding it. And HOORAY the static sound was completly gone, even when moving the mouse and opening windows it was crystal clear thru my amp and hi fi speakers.  So i set about writing an email to the tech support and this is what i said: I shall keep you updated with their reply. But thank you all , for your help and advice

    Dear Naveem
    Have received new power unit and DVD/CDRW combo with thanks.  Have installed new DVD/CDRW drive, tested playback only , ok, I will advise you if there is a problem with recording to a CD once i have had time to test this facility.
    Regarding audio noise problem, i am afraid to say this still exists.  Following advice on the Dell Talk Forum website, i have connected the power unit via a 3 pin to 2 pin adaptor (this will leave the earth pin disconnected) and this appears to cure the noise problem.
    This would indicate to me that there is a major design fault with the power unit, as is it both unsatisfactory and unsafe to operate the power supply in this manner (using a 2 pin adaptor).  Therefore the power unit would appear to be unfit for purpose, this in turn renders the computer unfit for purpose, as it is now connected in an unsafe manner. 
    I shall expect Dell to immediately address this problem and shall expect a reply within seven days otherwise i shall  be requesting a full refund of the cost of this computer plus my expenses as the computer is of unmerchantable quality.
    I hope that the above information that  i have supplied to you is of help to you in rectifying this problem. 
    I look forward to your urgent reply.
     Ms Maresha Ahmad
  • maresha:

    If the noise goes away when powering the system using an electrical outlet in another location then the problem isn't the system. The following was previously posted by bill.newell on the subject:

    "If the noise occurs using AC power only, then the first place to look is for a ground loop. Many threads about ground loops and how to fix them can be found in the forum archives. In very simple terms, if you get a 3-to-2 prong plug adapter from Radio Shack and plug your AC power supply into the wall without the ground plug, and the noise goes away, then the symptom can be attributed to a ground loop somewhere in your house or in your other gear. These things can be very annoying to troubleshoot when you have a lot of audio and electronic music gear around, and the symptom can manifest itself with other recording equipment, not just a PC.

    Because your gear is expensive, you want to properly ground all equipment and still not have any loops, so the plug adapter is not a wise long-term solution."


  • Come on now Dell-Rance, you know this is a design flaw. trying to pawn it off as an electrical wiring problem is not what I would have expected from a company such as Dell, that is until dealing with them recently.  Between the audio noise, the color banding on the ultrasharp screens with the M9, and speedstep problems with the 2.2's these 8200 are garbage quality.  All these problems, and what is being done to fix them? NOTHING...

    I have searched the forum and tried every suggestion with no luck, just as i did with the ATI 9000 problems, I would call support agian but I dont have another hour to waste on the phone while someguy that barely speaks english tells me i need to reinstall xp, agian, for it to work.  If these guys can't come up with a reasonable answer they should pass them up the food chain to a higher level tech support, instead they write in your file that your not willing to resolve the problem.

    In the last three weeks i've spent HOURS on the phone with tech support, the best advice I got from a tech was "return it, cause we don't know how to fix it".