I have an inspiron N5110. It has begun to make a very loud screeching sound. Reboot, same sound. Sound started when changing a setting on Dell Audio by IDT.
I used the IDT software to restore to factory settings, which I assumed would solve the problem. It did not. Screeching still occurred. I thought perhaps the sound card had been compromised.
I called customer support, having purchased complete care full warranty, thinking we can get this resolved. The tech supporter indicated that this was surely a virus, and not covered by warranty. He said he had lots for this exact problem and they had all been a virus. I could restore my whole computer to factor setting and lose all my data, or I could buy his services and warranty to fix it with no data loss. For 130 bucks he solve the problem then and there or I could buy a software warranty for 240 bucks (the numbers are a bit off I'm sure). He did not ask what caused the problem, nor cared for my explanation. I asked him to call me back in an hour.
I did some quick searches on the net, and found this problem identified once in dell user blogs but no real help. I did a quick re-scan using my handy McCaffee and found no viruses. I could not find any viruses online that seem to impact the sound card or devices in any way similar to what I was experiencing. I restored my system to an earlier setting and it is working fine.
I am deeply disappointed that Dell customer service was much more concerned with selling an expensive warranty rather than asking a few diagnostic questions first. I also believe that I was being lied to. When I asked which, if any viruses, seem to the be cause of this frequent problem, he could not provide any. I've been a loyal Dell customer, and have good support for the most part. This is the first time I am certain that deception and a scare-tactic sales pitch was used. Dell management, please double check your training practices.
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Here are some steps you can try to verify if the screeching sound is hardware related or software related.
Try a pair of headphones, since you are no longer using the integrated speakers, do you still have the screeching sound? If not there may be a problem with the integrated speakers. If so then you know it isn't a problem with the speakers.
Run diagnostics start the system tapping F12 and choose diagnostics, allow the basic tests to complete and choose no to memory diagnostics, choose yes to hardware diagnostics and choose custom tests, and then sound or audio tests. Do you hear the screeching now? If you hear the screeching sound now, then you know it isn't a software issue. You may require a service on the system.
Use Msconfig to temporarily disable all the startup programs. Click start, search and type in msconfig, click the services tab and check hide all Microsoft services, and then click disable all, click the startup tab and click disable all. Click ok and allow the system to restart. Crank up some tunes and see if you get the screeching sound. When you are finished testing with msconfig please return it to normal startup. If killing everything in msconfig made a difference then it is unlikely that you have a hardware problem but do have a software problem.
Here are some quick tests to try to determine the cause of the problem. These tests should give you an idea that the problem is defective hardware or software related. Please let me know what you find out.
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