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XP crashed/replaced HD-now sound quality is scratchy?


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#1 plumbarius

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Posted 21 November 2009 - 07:11 PM

Hi,
My Dell XP desktop crashed last month...thanks for all the help on that but ultimately had to replace hard drive. I had work done by students in the IT program at my school. I realized I would have to reinstall certain programs (MS Office, Adobe, etc.) My only complaint is the sound quality now. It sounds scratchy and skips.
I have a Rhapsody account and really enjoy listening to tunes.
The speaker system itself is fine as I tested it using my laptop.
Thanks!

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#2 hamluis

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Posted 22 November 2009 - 08:53 AM

If the sound quality applies to every sound, regardless of source...then try uninstalling the audio drivers and reinstalling them.

If the sound quality is a nuisance only when using Rhapsody, I suggest uninstalling it and reinstalling the software.

Louis

#3 plumbarius

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Posted 22 November 2009 - 10:51 AM

Thanks...can I get a little step by step assistance so I don't do something dumb :thumbsup:

#4 hamluis

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Posted 22 November 2009 - 12:21 PM

No problem :thumbsup:.

First...find the drivers CD which came with the system. If unable to find such, then go to the website of the system manufacturer and download the appropriate audio drivers listed for your system there.

Start/Run...type devmgmt.msc and hit Enter or OK.

Scroll down to Sound, Video, Game Controllers, click on plus sign.

Various audio items will be reflected. Depending on your system, there should be something indicating "AC 97" or "audio controller" or "High Definition/HD". That item should be your sound controller, which is installed when you install the audio drivers.

Right-click on it and click the Uninstall option. You should get a warning, click OK.

Reboot the system and install the audio drivers (after desktop settles) by double-clicking the audio drivers file previously downloaded from the website of your system manufacturer...or running your drivers CD which came with the system.

http://www.ehow.com/how_5533384_uninstall-audio-drivers.html

If you have questions, please ask.

I imagine that you know how to uninstall a program, using Add/Remove Programs in Control Panel.

Louis

Edited by hamluis, 25 November 2009 - 12:11 PM.


#5 plumbarius

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Posted 25 November 2009 - 10:56 AM

"Scroll down to Sound, Video, Game Controllers, click on plus sign.

Various audio items will be reflected. Depending on your system, there should be something indicating "AC 97" or "audio controller" or "High Definition/HD". That item should be your sound controller, which is installed when you install the audio drivers."


These are the choices when + sign is clicked
-audio codecs
-legacy audio drivers
-legacy video capture devices
-media control devices
-soundmax integrated digital audio
-unimodem half-duplex audio device
-video codecs

When I right click on any of these items, only three options show
1. Update drivers
2. Scan for hardware changes
3. Properties

Do I update all instead of downloading from Dell website?

Here is the page of instructions pasted from Dell

Driver install order for desktops and laptops

The following list is an overview of the correct order to install drivers on Dell desktops and portables. After reinstalling Microsoft® Windows®, follow the order listed when reinstalling drivers. It is recommended that you print this list for reference when installing drivers.

Note: Some devices may not function properly if the drivers are installed out of order.

1. Desktop System Software (DSS) or Notebook System Software (NSS) - A vital utility that provides critical updates and patches for the operating system. If you are reinstalling Windows or updating all drivers, it is important that this software be installed first. This is located under the System Utilities Category on the Drivers and Downloads page.

2. Chipset - Helps Windows control system board components and controllers. This is located under the Chipset Category on the Drivers and Downloads page.

3. Video Adapter - Enhances video performance. This is located under the Video Category on the Drivers and Downloads page.

4. Network Interface Card (NIC) - Enhances the network controller for Internet or network access. This is located under the Network Category on the Drivers and Downloads page.

5. Laptops Only: Dell Quickset or Dell Control Point Manager (DCP) - Controls power management, ambient light sensor, wireless profiles, and security features on laptops. This is located under the Applications on the Drivers and Downloads page.
6. Audio Adapter - Enables and enhances the audio controller. This is located under the Audio Category on the Drivers and Downloads page.

7. Modem - Allows dial-up capability. This is located under the Communication Category on the Drivers and Downloads page.

8. Wireless Network Card - Enables and enhances the wireless network controller. This is located under the Network Category on the Drivers and Downloads page.

9. Touchpad, Pointer, Trackstick, Mice, and Keyboards - Enhances the pointing device features. This is located under the Input Device Drivers Category on the Drivers and Downloads page.

10. Other Devices

* Intel vProTM or AMTTM - Enhances system manageability. This is located under the Chipset Category on on the Drivers and Downloads page.
* Bluetooth ® Module located under the Network Category on the Drivers and Downloads page.
* Dell Wireless Mobile Broadband Cards located under the Communication Category on the Drivers and Downloads page.
* PCMCIA/Smartcard controller located under the Security Category on the Drivers and Downloads page.
* Touch Screen Digitizer Enables touch screen mouse control available on select Dell laptops. This is located under the Input Category on the Drivers and Downloads page.

#6 hamluis

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Posted 25 November 2009 - 12:14 PM

The Soundmax item...is your audio controller/driver package. Leave all other items under that category alone :thumbsup:.

Select the driver tab...uninstall it...follow the instructions previously laid out.

Louis

#7 plumbarius

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Posted 25 November 2009 - 02:26 PM

Uninstalled Soundmax...reinstalled, rebooted with same results.

Forgot to mention before but in addition to the scratchy, skipping audio, the audio also occasional slows down as if batteries were dying (no batteries to worry about though)

Its not my internet connection as I have the same problem with music already on my desktop. I also tried playing a CD with same results.

#8 hamluis

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Posted 25 November 2009 - 02:52 PM

If drivers don't do it, I would have to guess that the sound chip is going.

A PCI sound card might be in order, example at http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx...0-001-_-Product

For the price, it's a good idea to have one even if the sound chip works perfectly, IMO. I believe in having spare/replacement parts for system "easy stuff" (mouse, keyboard, NIC, sound card, USB 2.0, video card). None of those are going to break anyone's bank and they will save a lot of frustration. Such also make it easier to troubleshoot circumstances such as you are experiencing now.

Louis

#9 plumbarius

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Posted 29 November 2009 - 09:54 AM

Thanks for all of your assistance!




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