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Odd sound card problem


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#1 silentmonolith

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Posted 23 November 2014 - 11:23 AM

I have been troubleshooting computers for 15+ years and I've encountered something unusual:

 

Computer: HP Pavilion a1610n (on HP's website it says it has AMD processor, however the processor is Intel; as well, graphic card is listed as nVidia, but in reality it was VIA based)

 

Problem: there is no sound output coming from the audio jacks located at the back of computer, however the frontal jacks work fine (?!). In Device manager there are 2 sound controllers listed: AC'97 and an unknown HD audio controller that has a yellow exclamation sign; upon accessing its properties I get: "Device Status: This device cannot find enough free resources that it can use. (Code 12)"

 

So, I have done everything I could do to fix the problem:

-I tried a fresh system installation with Windows 7 (problem remained) then downgraded to Vista (no luck).

 

-I tried forcing the computer to install a driver for the HD audio, but the system became unstable (BSOD)

 

-looked in BIOS to see anything HD audio related: under the "Southbridge" option there was an option to disable/enable the AC'97 controller - if disabled, the sound was disabled from the frontal ports, while the HD audio controller still had the exclamation sign

 

-I thought maybe the built-in sound card has a hardware problem, so I got a PCI Creative Sound card and inserted it: to my surprise, the PC did not detect the card, although I made sure it was properly plugged into the slot. There was no "unknown hardware detected", etc. Then I realized, the other PCI slot had a dial-up modem card which did not appear under the Device manager. Somehow the PCI slots are dead! I opened the CPU and I noticed that one capacitor, located quite close to the ports area (USB/serial/Ethernet/audio jacks) looked damaged and was heavily covered in glue (?!) - see the picture.

 

What do you think it's wrong here?

 

Power supply problem? - the power supply is under-powering the PCI slots?

Blown capacitor? Maybe the capacitor is part of the audio circuitry 

Why does the computer have 2 sound controllers? (AC'97 and HD audio)  - I thought AC'97 was a type of audio system that got eventually  replaced by HD audio.

 

Since I couldn't troubleshoot the audio problem, I advised my client to use the frontal ports for sound.

 

 

 

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#2 dc3

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Posted 23 November 2014 - 12:58 PM

Yep... I'd say that the electrolytic capacitor failed, dramatically.  If you can find the specs for this capacitor you may get buy by replacing the cap.

 

The worst failure I've ever experienced was an class A amplifier in the burn in rack where a very large electrolytic capacitor blew the top off of it.  It sounded like a cherry bomb had gone off.


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#3 bludshot

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Posted 24 November 2014 - 10:14 AM

Why does the computer have 2 sound controllers? (AC'97 and HD audio)  - I thought AC'97 was a type of audio system that got eventually  replaced by HD audio.

 

This is normal. I built a new computer a couple months ago and they still come with both.






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