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HP Notebook PCs - Resolving Microphone Problems in Microsoft Windows 95, 98, Me, and XP

This document applies to Microsoft Windows 95, 98, Me, and XP.

This document provides solutions to a variety of microphone/recording problems. This document is divided up into sections that deal with individual issues. Before performing any of the solutions in this document, test your equipment. After testing your equipment, select the document section that applies to your issue and follow the instructions.

NOTE: The HP Mini Notebook PCs have a combination microphone headphone jack that requires a special headset. Please see HP Notebook PCs - Mini Notebook PC Microphone Does Not Work for more information.

Microphone recently stopped working

Changes in software, settings, or drivers can cause a microphone to stop working. If your microphone recently stopped working, perform the steps in HP Notebook PCs - Using the Microsoft System Restore Feature to resolve the issue.

Testing your equipment

To verify that it is your microphone that isn't working, and that it is not simply an audio playback problem, try playing an audio CD. If the audio CD plays correctly, continue troubleshooting microphone recording problems by following the suggestions below, depending upon whether you are using an internal or an external microphone.

Internal microphone

The internal microphone is located near the top of the notebook LCD display or near the bottom of the LCD display near the hinge. Use the following best practices to better capture sound with the microphone.

  • Adjust the notebook PC screen to place the microphone in the best direction for receiving sound.

  • Speak directly into the microphone. Avoid speaking away from the microphone.

  • When using the internal microphone, choose an environment without background noise.

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External microphone

Verify that the microphone port and the microphone are working properly.

  • Test the microphone on a working tape recorder, another computer, or a device that accepts the microphone connector.

  • If the microphone successfully records sound, test the record function on the notebook PC. If the microphone does not work properly on another PC or tape recorder, try using a different microphone.

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Testing the record function on the notebook PC

  1. Click Start, then Programs, Accessories, Entertainment, and then Sound Recorder.

  2. Click Record (the red dot) and speak into the microphone.

  3. When you are finished recording, click Stop (the gray rectangle).

  4. To play back the recording, click Play (the gray arrow pointing to the right).

  5. If the recording does not play back, continue to the next section of this document.

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There is no sound or signal when recording

If, when recording with a microphone, no sound or signal is recorded, use the following steps to resolve this issue.

Step 1: Checking the connections

Verify that the microphone is plugged into the correct jack in the back of the computer. This is done by matching the colors on the end of the connectors with the colors on the back of the computer. The colors of the microphone connectors are usually yellow or pink.

If the microphone is connected to the correct jack and there is still no sound, try unplugging the connector about 1mm, so that the connector is sitting loosely in the jack. It is possible that the connector on your microphone does not match up correctly with the sound card jack. If this does not resolve the problem, push the connector firmly into the jack and go to the next step.

Step 2: Checking microphone settings

  1. Click Start, then Programs, Accessories, Entertainment, and then Volume Control.

    A Volume Control or Master Volume window opens.

  2. Click Options, and then Properties.

  3. Select Recording, and make sure Microphone is selected.

  4. Click OK. The Volume Control window should change to a Recording Gain Control window.

  5. Click Options again and then click Advanced Controls. If Advanced Controls is unavailable, then an alternate microphone is not available. Proceed to the next series of steps.

  6. Remove the check next to Alternate microphone, click Close, and test the microphone. If there is still no sound, continue to the next step.

Step 3: Ensuring the correct recording device is selected

  1. Access sound properties:

    • In Windows XP, to access the sound control panel applet, click Start, then Control Panel. Click Sounds, Speech, and Audio Devices, and then click Sounds and Audio Devices.

    • In Windows 95, 98, and Me, click Start, Settings, and Control Panel. Double-click Sounds and Multimedia, or Multimedia. The Sounds and Multimedia Properties window opens.

  2. Click the Audio tab.

  3. Under Sound Playback, select the audio device that is installed on the computer (there should be only one).

  4. Under Sound Recording, select the audio device that is installed on the computer. It should be the same as the listing under Sound Playback.

  5. Click OK.

  6. Close the Sound and Multimedia Properties window and test the recording. If there is still no sound, continue to the next step.

Step 4: Removing duplicate Soundcard entries from the Device Manager

  1. Start the computer in Safe Mode.

    1. Turn the computer on and when the blue HP screen appears, repeatedly press the F8 key.

    2. Select the number that corresponds to Safe Mode and press the Enter key. Windows will start in Safe Mode.

  2. In Windows XP, click Start right-click My Computer, and then select Properties.

    In Windows 95, 98, and Me, right-click My Computer on the desktop, and then select Properties.

  3. In Windows XP, click the Hardware tab, and then click the Device Manager button.

    In Windows 95, 98, and Me, click the Device Manager tab and select the View Devices By Type option.

  4. Click the plus (+) sign next to the Sound, video and game controllers icon in the list and check for other soundcard entries that have the exact same name.

  5. If there are duplicate entries, select them one by one and click Remove until they are all removed.

  6. Restart the computer and let the system detect and install the sound card drivers again. Try recording again to see if the problem is resolved.

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Enabling the microphone

Before you can use the microphone, you must first enable it. Use the first set of steps to enable a microphone in most HP notebook PCs.

Use the following steps to enable the microphone in Windows:

  1. In Windows XP, click Start, then Control Panel.

    In Windows 98 and Me, click Start, then Settings, and then Control Panel.

  2. In Windows XP, click Sounds, Speech, and Audio Devices, then Sounds and Audio Devices.

    In Windows 98 and Me, double-click Multimedia or Sounds and multimedia.

  3. Click the Audio tab, and then click the Volume button under Sound Recording.

  4. Slide the Mic Balance, Microphone Balance, or Microphone slider close the top of its range.

  5. Click the Select checkbox under Microphone if it does not already contain a check mark.

  6. Close the Volume window.

  7. Click OK to close the Sounds and Audio Devices window.

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Microphone does not work in Internet software (Chat rooms)

There are many reasons why voice may not work over the internet. These reasons vary based on the voice carrying software that you are trying to use. Typically, internet connections that use a proxy server or firewall will not work.

If the microphone can record sounds into the computer, then it is capable of working with software that carries voice over the internet. Test the microphone to see if it is functioning properly. If it is functioning properly, then the issue is probably a setting or capability in the chatting software. If it is not working, then use the other sections in this document to resolve your issue.

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Fixing feedback, noise, and static problems

If microphone boost is selected, noise can interfere with recording. Use the following steps to check for and disable the microphone boost setting:

  1. In Windows XP, click Start, and then Control Panel.

    In Windows 98 and Me, click Start, then Settings and then Control Panel.

  2. In Windows XP, click Sounds, Speech, and Audio Devices, and then Sounds and Audio Devices.

    In Windows 98 and Me, double-click Sounds and Multimedia or Multimedia.

  3. Click the Voice tab.

  4. Click the Volume button inside Voice Recording or Voice Capture.

  5. Click the Advanced button inside the Balance adjustment for the microphone.

  6. In Advanced Controls for the microphone, select 1 Microphone Boost.

  7. Click the Close button and exit all windows.

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Reset SmartAudio to default settings

To reset SmartAudio to the default settings, perform the following steps:

NOTE: SmartAudio is only available on notebook PCs configured with built-in microphones.
  1. Click Start, then Control Panel (Start> Settings> Control Panel for Classic Start Menu).

  2. Double-click the SmartAudio.

  3. Click the Reset button to return to the default settings.

To enable the SmartAudio icon in the task bar, click Information. Click the box next to Add SmartAudio icon in the task bar.

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Enable and Disable the microphone docking selection

Depending on the configuration of your microphone settings, enabling or disabling the microphone docking selection on some notebook PCs can resolve problems where the microphone does not record properly. To modify the microphone docking selection, perform the following steps:

  1. In Windows XP, click Start, and then Control Panel.

    In Windows 98 and Windows Me, click Start, then Settings and then Control Panel.

  2. In Windows XP, click Sounds, Speech, and Audio Devices, and then Sounds and Audio Devices.

    In Windows 98 and Windows Me, double-click Sounds and Multimedia or Multimedia.

  3. Click Voice.

  4. Click Volume.

  5. Click Advanced under Microphone.

  6. Click next to the Microphone Docking Selection to enable this option. Remove the check mark to disable this option.

  7. Click Close. Close the recording control.

  8. Click OK.

NOTE: If the microphone docking setting is not available on your notebook PC, then continue with further troubleshooting.

Related support

Microsoft Article Q266677, How to Troubleshoot Microphone Issues Non-HP site .

NOTE: One or more of the links above will take you outside the Hewlett-Packard web site. HP does not control and is not responsible for information outside of the HP web site.

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