It looks like you guys have covered just about everything, i don't really have anything NEW to add, but since i have taken the time to read through all the posts here, i figured i'd bat cleanup here and sum things up in one post for any newcomers.
You can enter the system BIOS by pressing [F2] repeatedly during the Dell Splash screen prior to the Windows XP splash screen - your laptop or desktop may beep at you (or not if there is still no audio device installed), but its OK, its the machine's way of telling you "...i got it, you want to jump to the BIOS..."
So first we noticed that there were no sounds when Windows XP boots, no sounds when the Desktop environment loads. Next we noticed that there was no Volume icon in the Task Tray (lower right hand corner where clock appears). Still not absolutely sure but suspected there's no audio device installed - you are able to turn off the Task Tray Volume icon so that it doesn't appear when the Desktop loads.
We wanted to verify whether or not there are any audio devices present by checking the Volume tab of the Sounds and Audio Devices applet:
| Start >> Control Panel >> Sounds and Audio Devices |
When the applet loads, the Volume tab is the first one to appear and it should have read out "no audio devices installed".
Next you should check the Device Manager to see if there are any devices which appear to be present but do not currently have a device driver installed:
| Start >> right-click My Computer >> select Manage >> select Device Manager node in left hand pane |
| Start >> Run >> type devmgmt.msc >> press [Enter] |
Once you have the Device Manager opened, you want to look for any devices that may be present, but no drivers have been installed for them. This would be indicated by a yellow circle containing a white question mark (?). NOTE: it may not necessarily appear under the Sounds, video and game controllers branch of the hardware tree; the Device Manager may simply indicate that there is a 'PCI Device' present with no drivers installed. If nothing appears with the yellow circle beside it, run a scan for hardware changes or Plug and Play (PnP) devices.
To scan for hardware changes or Plug and Play (PnP) hardware:
| right-click on your local machine (the computer icon at the top of the hardware tree) >> select Scan for hardware changes |
| select Action (Alt + A) >> select Scan for hardware changes |
From here, you should see at least one hardware device appear with a yellow circle containing a white question mark next to it. In my experience any unrecognized devices for which there are no drivers installed appear as 'PCI Device'.
Hopefully you have your drivers and utilities CD-ROM handy, but if not, there are workarounds. Load up your drivers and utilities CD-ROM and select your machine model and select My System from the pull-down menus - the CD-ROM may automatically select those items for you in the pull-down menus. Find your Audio Device driver from the selection list and choose to extract. The self-extracting zip files should run you through the routine of installing the device drivers.
If you do not have the drivers and utilities CD-ROM handy, check Dell's support website for drivers and downloads using the link below:http://support.dell.com/support/downloads/...;l=en&s=dhs
You can enter your Dell Service tag to get machine specific drivers and downloads for your computer.
I had a similar situation happen to me specifically with the Sound card when i installed a ghost image cloned from a Dell system to a similar Dell system, but the two computers did not have identical hardware. Basically the same situation happened, i had the Volume icon missing from the Task Tray (lower right hand corner where clock appears), when i checked the Volume tab of the Sounds and Audio Devices applet, a message indicated that there were no audio devices or drivers installed. All the radio buttons and other selections were not available, they were present but appeared as if all radio buttons were depressed and could not be used. Come to find out that the CPU, chipset and sound card devices were upgraded in the new system which rendered the Sound card unusable and due to the CPU and chipset difference, the drivers could not be loaded from the drivers and utilities CD-ROM. I found that there was a 'PCI Device' in the Device Manager which did not have the drivers installed for it - this turned out to be the sound card, however, it did not appear under the Sounds, video and game controllers node of the hardware tree. Long story short i had to rebuild the machine from scratch and reinstall all the devices and drivers in order to make a new ghost image specific to the upgraded machine.
Chalk it all up to learning experience...