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Spark In My Line In Port?


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#1 deserteagle0913

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Posted 27 September 2008 - 11:55 PM

I plug my keyboard/piano into the line in port to record my horrible playing. So after i toil around with that for a while i decide to take out the cord that connected my keyboard to the line in. Everything was working fine up until this point. As i take it out, i see a spark come out of my line in port. Crap. That can't be good. So after that point none of my sound ports work. I know my way around computers decently enough. I've just never dealt with sparks before so i have no clue what to do. I'm thinking of just buying another sound card but want to know if this can be solved another way if possible.

Any ideas?

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#2 cryptodan

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Posted 28 September 2008 - 06:29 AM

I plug my keyboard/piano into the line in port to record my horrible playing. So after i toil around with that for a while i decide to take out the cord that connected my keyboard to the line in. Everything was working fine up until this point. As i take it out, i see a spark come out of my line in port. Crap. That can't be good. So after that point none of my sound ports work. I know my way around computers decently enough. I've just never dealt with sparks before so i have no clue what to do. I'm thinking of just buying another sound card but want to know if this can be solved another way if possible.

Any ideas?


Buy a new sound card, as you fried your sound card.

#3 Platypus

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Posted 28 September 2008 - 06:40 AM

Yes, that doesn't sound promising, deserteagle.

Such a discharge could certainly damage your sound ports. Usually keyboard instruments are not earthed (double insulated), often running from a plugpak or power brick. Because these have no earth connection, they can float up to voltages that can spark across as you saw. Mains powered things that can be attached to computers like instruments, cameras and external drives are best unplugged from the mains before being connected to or disconnected from the computer.

When you say none of the ports work, does that mean input and output both no longer operate?

If the sound device in Device Manager shows up as normal (says this device is working correctly, and there isn't a !), then trying a substitute sound card is probably the best thing to try. If the existing sound in on the motherboard, you may need to go into the BIOS setup at boot-up and disable the onboard sound.

Edited by Platypus, 28 September 2008 - 06:42 AM.

Top 5 things that never get done:

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#4 garmanma

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Posted 28 September 2008 - 10:38 AM

The nagging question is why the short? I would point my finger at the keyboard. Was the keyboard still turned on or plugged in when you removed it? Any access to a voltmeter possible?
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#5 deserteagle0913

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Posted 28 September 2008 - 01:52 PM

Yea the keyboard was still plugged into the port, however it wasn't on. I'm pretty sure it was the keyboard that shorted out the port. I've always been told to disconnect my equipment first but since the keyboard was already off i thought no damage can be done. Guess i was wrong. Input and output no longer work. Device manager still reports everything as ok so i'll just have to get my lazy self to a electronics store. Well, at least i learned my lesson.

Thanks for all the help guys =)

#6 usasma

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Posted 30 September 2008 - 06:32 AM

The simplest way to diagnose this is to borrow a sound card and install it on your system to see if it works.
If you can't borrow one, see if you can purchase one that's returnable.
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#7 Platypus

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Posted 02 October 2008 - 05:24 AM

I've always been told to disconnect my equipment first but since the keyboard was already off i thought no damage can be done.

Yes, it's not usually the equipment being on that does it (although it should also be in its off state when connected/disconnected) but rather the double insulated appliance (no earth) still being plugged into the mains. This often damages the Firewire ports on video cameras for example.

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