Lots of People Hit by the Dell Inspiron 700m Sound Input Design Flaw

TinyScreenfuls.com: Dell Inspiron 700m Sound Input Design Flaw?

I posted on this in the middle of May, and the post has been getting lots and lots of comments (relatively speaking), so I thought I’d bump it back to the front page.

It seems that many Dell 700m owners are unhappy with the sound recording quality of the 700m, and are even more frustrated with Dell’s (lack of) response to the problem.

Check out the original post, and sound off if you’ve had the problem on your 700m. It’s the first hit in a Google search for “dell inspiron 700m sound flaw”. Work of mouth marketing works both ways…

76 Responses to “Lots of People Hit by the Dell Inspiron 700m Sound Input Design Flaw”

  1. 1 Anonymous

    I bought a 700m for my girl friend and we use skype to voice chat. She had an IBM G40 before, and we never had a problem with voice chat. Now we have a problem with the 700m. The noise is so bad, we could not even talked. We’d rather use cell phone, but our hands get tierd :(

  2. 2 Anonymous

    I usually use stanaphone to call my friend. I can make a phone call from my HP laptop, but my newly bought Dell Inspiron 700m doesn’t work for me. I have to use my old HP laptop when I need to make a phone call.

    Like one says, ‘great laptop, poor design’.

  3. 3 Anonymous

    I bought a 700m in December last year from Dell Australia. I love this laptop. I use it to play gigs running Ableton Live. I also use it to run Teamspeak and Ventrilo for in-game voice comms. I have not experienced any audio problems like what has been described here. My biggest gripe with this laptop is the clunky touchpad buttons.

  4. 4 Anonymous

    I received my 700m on 4/16/2005, and i have the exact same problem as detailed in this forum thread. Thus far, Dell has sent out a technician to my house and replaced the motherboard. Both my original motherboard and the replacement motherboard demonstrate the audio-in defect. All i received for my trouble is a scratch on the back of my screen and a freshly loostened wire under my keyboard that vibrates noisily while i type.

    The technician they sent out to replace my motherboard and inspect my software conceded that this problem is a design flaw. He called the field technician dispatch number for extra support himself, and two dispatch technicians ended up conceding the same thing. They both looked at http://www.recall700m.com and told me they felt bad for me. They assured me that customer care would help me work around the problem or somehow compensate me. Sadly, these dispatch technicians were the last helpful people that I’ve talked to. Thus has begun my extremely frustrating venture into the world of Dell phone customer service.

    My goal is only to acquire from Dell a SoundBlaster Audigy 2 Notebook card. I’ll forgive the fact that my notebook is inherently flawed if Dell will simply provide me with some form of functional workaround. At this point, function is more important than the fact that the 700m is falsely advertised as a computer with audio-in capability.

    For the most part, my phone calls are bounced back and forth between the hardware technical support line and the customer care line. Technical support reps come to understand the problem but assert that they are unable to send me anything that wasn’t a part of my original order. Ironically, this means that they are authorized to pay for parts and labor for a technician to travel to my home and replace the ENTIRE MOTHERBOARD, but they can’t save Dell a couple hundred bucks by instead simply sending me a sub-$100 PCMCIA audio card.

    Customer care reps drone on and on about their inability to do anthing for me, and they actually continue to insist that i re-contact technical support. According to technical support, Dell Customer Care HAS THE POWER to “create an exception” due to my circumstances and send me a product that was not a part of my initial order but is necessary to enable the advertised functionality of my notebook. Thus far, however, Customer Care refuses to help, arguing that “customer care doesn’t know what the hardware requirements of my notebook are.” After making this excuse, they transfer me back to hardware tech support. Occasionally, they mistakenly transfer me to other departments, such as the “help desk” and the “tech support for government officials” department. Fun. I’ve followed this ridiculous cycle a few times over.

    In short:
    Dell will happily create a dispatch, send a technician out to my house, and provide me with a brand new and utterly superfluous motherboard, but they refuse to work around the already comprehensively documented design flaw in my 700m by sending me a necessary (and less expensive) piece of hardware (the Audigy 2 Notebook).

  5. 5 Anonymous

    I got my 700m 4 months ago and I powered it on for the first time yesterday. I want to make phone calls from this laptop, but, surprisingly found it didn’t accept any voice input. At the beginning I thought what a weired laptop which lacks of built-in mic nowadays. A simple googling showed I’m not the only case. Will Dell want to solve this problem?

  6. 6 Josh Bancroft

    I doubt they’ll do anything about the lack of built-in mic. I know it sucks, but they never claimed that it did have one. It’s just a feature they omitted. You can plug in a regular or USB mic.

    The line in input problem, however, really sucks. Lots of people have been able to get Audigy 2 PC cards by complaining hard enough, but it’s always a roll of the dice…

  7. 7 big poppa

    how to

  8. 8 big poppa

    sorry to hear about this. i ordered a 700m this past friday ,didnt problem research till now. seems this sound problem is big.i think im going to call them monday and see if they have fixed this problem, if not im canceling my order.too bad too its a great little unit.

  9. 9 Anonymous

    i got my 700m today and plugged three headsets up and the sound was awesome ,the laptop speakers are a little weak but heck their small! mine sounds great!

  10. 10 figil

    I bought my 700M July 2005 - love everything about it but the fact that I cannot Skype with my parents who live in Australia.

    Have spent hours on the phone with Dell who swear there is nothing wrong with their computer - maybe it is the software that I use … I have 2 other Dells that do not have the problem.

    They bounce me back and forth between God only knows who and they are just full of crap. I am soooooooo frustrated!!

  11. 11 JohnF in SC

    What a disappointment… I thought it would be a driver problem or something, but I’ve also tried talking to my daughter in Australia, and the static is an irritation.

    So I decide, “Hey, I can use my port extender (The Kensington one from Dell). Guess what… Lot’s of speaker and earphone jacks… no microphone.

    I’m appalled that Dell doesn’t have a solution for this.

    I’m wondering if one of those USB headsets will help. Or do they use the same circuitry that’s causing the original problem.

  12. 12 Anonymous

    I am feeling stupid because I knew that this problem existed and went in for the laptop knowing full well that this issue would come to haunt me.

    I’m a student in the US from another country and I’ve heard all about how great customer service is here, but I guess Dell has decided that silence is the best response in this issue.

    If anyone has received any solution/USB soundcard am restitution please inform me at response.20.conalcharles@spamgourmet.com.

    Thanks !

  13. 13 Ed

    I got my DELL 700m last year and it was not just until last week I tried an externalMIC with SKYPE. I could not believe how bad it is. I own a 600m and it works great with the BUILT-IN microphone. I contacted DELL and they offered to replace my motherboard. I was happy with that when I decided to search in the Internet and found this group… What a surprise!!! I then realized that many of you had the motherboard replaced and it did not fix the problem. I am working with DELL on this, but I told them that if they assure 100% that the motherboard replacement will fix the problem, ok, go ahead. Otherwise, I would rather prefer the PCMCIA sound card from Soundblaster. Other issue I am having is to boot from an external 2.5″ disk in a USB 2.0 enclosure. It seems that the BIOS cannot recognize the device. It does work in the 600m and in another notebook brand.But not in the 700m. Any comments?? Ed.

  14. 14 Anonymous

    I got the 700M in August 2005. There seems to be a problem with the sound input jack. Seems like it works on a whim. If I try it and it doesn’t work I reboot and try again, sometimes seems like it’s working on the 1st or 2nd reboot. I think it’s a driver loading problem.

  15. 15 Anonymous

    Thank you so much for the alert on 700m. I was just days away from ordering one, ‘cos the price here in Singapore is really attractive (S$1499 or about 895 USD) now that the computer exhibition is on (COMEX). I was going to use the 700m for video conferencing (skype and Yahoo messenger) when I’m away on business trip… now I’m going to spring for an Acer or Compaq… You save me lots of headache and trouble, thank you! Hope Dell would just do some serious thing about this audio problem…

  16. 16 Anonymous

    I am doing sales oversea so it is convenient to use skype to cut costs on phone call and it is even a strong argument for my clients to buy oversea (they have a good support). I just bought a 700m and was trying to figure out what was wrond with me or my mic until i found this site! If Dell doesn’t do something and something quickly I will probably have to change for another brand. I like this laptop but I can’t do without VoIP.

  17. 17 Anonymous

    same issue here - the mic does not work at all

  18. 18 Anonymous

    Dell STILL has not resolved this issue, it’s been MONTHS and they’ve sold tens of thousands of these units and the defect is STILL THERE! This is insane.

  19. 19 Anonymous

    The same problem!!!

  20. 20 Anonymous
  21. 21 Anonymous

    My 700m is a yr old - I wasn’t even aware it didn’t have an onboard mic…my 2400 did….which is now scrap. I contacted tech support and was willing to purchase a mic from them if they could suggest a compatible one that would work. After being bounced around 4-5 times….they eventually suggested a USB port mic. When I asked why I would use a USB when it had a mic port on the front - they had no answer. Couldn’t suggest a workable mic at all. I WOULD like to see Dell taken to task for continuing to sell a subpar unit that they are unwilling or unable to correct the issues with. This is my 4th DELL.

  22. 22 Anonymous

    I saw the following solution in another website:
    Dell loads this laptop with Sigmatel audio drivers. Strangely, if you install Intel audio drivers, the hissing sound is gone, and the sound is much clearer. Before you do this, however, check to make sure that your headphones work in other devices perfectly. Also, make sure you’ve secured the headphones properly into the headphone jack - if it’s half sticking out, obviously it won’t work. If that fails, most people would think they need a motherboard replacement ( ), but they don’t. There is a way to correct this issue by installing drivers not necessarily recommended for the 700m specifically, but are on the computer nonetheless. Instead of selecting Dell audio drivers, there is a way to select other ones. Follow these instructions:

    Go to Start/Control Panel/System/ Hardware tab, then click on Device Manager. Go down to Sound, Video, and Game controllers and right click on SigmaTel. Choose properties.
    Go to the Driver tab and click on Update Driver.
    Answer “No” to the Windows Update question.
    Choose “Install From List or specific location”.
    Hit next and then choose “Don’t Search, I will choose driver I want to install”.
    You will get a list of Sigmatel drivers. Uncheck the box that says “show compatible hardware”.
    Select Intel, and then select “Intel AC 97 Audio Controller”. XP replaces the SigmaTel driver with the Intel AC97.
    To reinstall the SigmaTel just select “Rollback Driver”.

    Please email me if this works for me.


  23. 23 Anonymous

    i mean…please email me if this works for YOU..


  24. 24 Anonymous

    After careful research and consideration from reading various comments left by people at different websites about Dell’s service and support and their inability to solve the audio problem or work with people to get it solved. I have decided not to purchase a Inspiron 700m and all though I feel sorry for all of you, I do appreciate your comments. They helped in preventing me any problems.

  25. 25 Anonymous

    I am a 700m owner and my computer has the static when using the mic. Does using a USB mic solve the problem?

    p.s. upon the suggestion of one of the posters (queshy), I changed the audio drivers from sigmatel to intel 97 AC and the static has decreased but not eliminated.

  26. 26 Christie Stevenson

    I bought a 700m for school and work purposes. My husband travels weekly, so we resort to voice conferencing. We currently use skype to voice chat. We are having the most awful time w/ the 700m. I’ve only had the 700m since August 2005. I need help. Getting throught to help desk is a nightmare. Has anyone gotten their 700m fixed by Dell?? Please let me know how to do so also!! Please!!!

  27. 27 Anonymous

    There is a solution for this…Yes, the flaw is in the motherboard and Yes, it can be fixed with a motherboard replacement. BUT this can ONLY be fixed by getting the NEWER revision motherboard for the 700M.

    The part number that should be ordered is -> RG076


  28. 28 Frank

    Same Problem here. I just started using Skype and the sound is awful. I wrote Dell and I am waiting for their reponse..

  29. 29 jesse

    Well, I just fixed mine! It works like a champ, and it’s very easy! It takes just a few minutes - The recipe is here, as soon as I get the photos up they’ll be there too…


  30. 30 Anonymous

    The only problem with Jesse’s solution is that it should only be attmepted by someone with kowledge of proper soldering and that your system no longer has warranty!

    Doing this while your system is on warranty will VOID it. If you have warranty, use it…Like I said the revised Motherboard Fixes the problem. the part number -> RG076

  31. 31 Greg Brown

    Dell needs to fix this audio issue on the 700m or refund the cash paid for these units. Laptops are purchased by people that typically need mobile computing and communication - this is NOT a capability the 700m has and it is not as advertised. This is a bait and switch that has been intentionally ignored by Dell and requires the attention of the US Attorney General for fraud.

  32. 32 Anonymous

    Are the new ones still being sent out like this? Do they have this new motherboard installed or is it still a crap shoot?

  33. 33 Anonymous

    I just ordered a 700m and am wondering, once it arrives, how I can easily tell if this has been remedied on the new systems. Should I just check for the RG076 part number? My laptop arrives next week.

  34. 34 Anonymous

    I got a $100 credit towards a Creative Audigy PCMCIA card for the laptop after arguing with Dell Customer Service for almost two hours.

    Of course, the laptop was under warranty and I was threatening to return it to Dell. The fix described by jesse seems promising but it would certainly void your warranty and should only be performed by a skilled technician.

  35. 35 Andy

    Just got a new 700m from Dell today. It seems to have a mic problem, just as described. I called Dell who said this is an “uncommon problem” (yeah, right) but they would send me a new unit which they promised would not have a mic problem to exhcnage with this one. I was hoping someone could tell me how I can tell which mother board number you have so I check the new one and verify the I don’t currently have the “good” one now. Is it wrtten somewhere? Don;’t see any RG076 on the packing slip…

  36. 36 Ben

    I had the mic problem everyone (but Dell) is talking about for the 700m. I called them and they of course said they have never heard of the problem. I had them take a look at this forum, recall700m.com, and all the other hits on google that come up right away, and they said it was the first they had heard of it. At any rate, I had them send me the updated 700m motherboard (RG076) which seems to have worked like a charm. No more hard drive noise. It took three attempts for them to send me the right part number, though - you might want to repeat it several times over the phone. I even had the guy repeat the part number back to me. I’m all for being polite, but at some point one loses one’s patience. My favorite part of the conversation was when the third guy I spoke with said that they actually did know about the problem and they were working on a driver update. To fix the unshielded analog mic jack problem. On the motherboard made out of plastic and metal. I tried to get him to explain how a driver update was going to physically move or shield the location on the motherboard that was improperly shielded, but to be fair he was just regurgitating what he had been intructed to tell customers. Maybe Dell has made revolutionary steps in noise cancelling technology using low level hardware drivers.

  37. 37 Steve

    Well, isn’t this awful. And my 700m is out of warranty and no driver update will help me. I tried to do Yahoo Voice and found this problem must have been there from the beginning.

    My next laptop won’t be a Dell.

    Where do I sign up for the class action? Why isn’t http://recall700m.com/ taking names for a potential class action on this?

  38. 38 Anonymous

    Please write to all the Computing/PC magazines you can think of that Dell is doing this. I have emailed Wired, NYtimes and some others but have not received any response.

  39. 39 Anonymous

    Like I said, Jesse’s “fix” can do it but you will VOID your warranty…Using the Part number I had given WILL WORK…

    “Ben said:
    On February 21st, 2006 at 10:27 am
    I had the mic problem everyone (but Dell) is talking about for the 700m. I called them and they of course said they have never heard of the problem. I had them take a look at this forum, recall700m.com, and all the other hits on google that come up right away, and they said it was the first they had heard of it. At any rate, I had them send me the updated 700m motherboard (RG076) which seems to have worked like a charm. No more hard drive noise. It took three attempts for them to send me the right part number, though - you might want to repeat it several times over the phone. I even had the guy repeat the part number back to me. I’m all for being polite, but at some point one loses one’s patience. My favorite part of the conversation was when the third guy I spoke with said that they actually did know about the problem and they were working on a driver update. “

  40. 40 Syed Irfan

    Ladies and Gentlemen,
    I was in the same boat as alomst every single one here. I bought my 700m in April 2005 and ever since I have had mic problems. But I could not afford to send my laptop for repairs since it was in use ever since. But after reading this site last night, I found that I was not the only one with the issues. But contrary to the plight of many here who have had bad experiences with customer support, I contacted them and voila my mic has started to work like a gem. Finally after 10 months.

    The trick : The reinstallation of drivers. I am sure that most of the laptops out there were pre-loaded and pre-configured. Apparently Dell has goofed on the drivers for the sound card. I was asked to un-install the drivers and download and install the latest drivers for the sound card and I could record my voice using the windows sound recorder.

    Here is what that needs to be done, I am quoting the customer support’s instructions.

    02/27/2006 12:52:31AM Agent (Atul_01100252): “Please refer to the following link :”
    02/27/2006 12:52:32AM Agent (Atul_01100252): “http://support.dell.com/support/topics/global.aspx/support/kb/en/document?dn=1014168&c=us&l=en&cs=19&s=dhs”

    “Please download and install “R90698.EXE ” from the following link :”
    02/27/2006 12:56:06AM Agent (Atul_01100252): “http://support.dell.com/support/downloads/download.aspx?c=us&cs=19&l=en&s=dhs&releaseid=R90698&SystemID=INS_PNT_PM_700M&os=WW1&osl=en&deviceid=2551&devlib=0&typecnt=1&vercnt=4&formatcnt=1&fileid=118248″

    02/27/2006 01:12:49AM Agent (Atul_01100252): “In safe mode , under device manager, select the device , right click it and select remove/uninstall.”

    02/27/2006 01:13:50AM Agent (Atul_01100252): “To enter in Safe Mode : (1) Turn on the computer (2) Immediately begin tapping the ‘F8′ key. (3) Use the arrow keys to highlight Safe Mode and press the ‘Enter’ key.”
    02/27/2006 01:14:08AM Agent (Atul_01100252): “Then, all the instructions for downloading and installing are also written on the page that will open using above link.”


    People, trust me, I was completely dejected when I read this blog, since i lost hope that I would ever get my mic fixed, but after performing these steps, trust me I feel relieved.

    Try the above steps. They are simple steps that will not mess up your computer in anyway.

    Lemme know if it works.
    Good luck

  41. 41 Anonymous

    To the guy above, Syan Irfan,

    “I was asked to un-install the drivers and download and install the latest drivers for the sound card and I could record my voice using the windows sound recorder.”

    1st off, you are not having the same problem as described in this blog - if you could never record with windows sound recorder, that is a completely different problem. Anyone reading the above post, don’t be mislead, a new driver will due nothing for this defect problem. You sound like the Dell Support people??? Reread the posts above and the links to understand the problem. This is a motherboard design flaw. I have been struggling with Dell, and still no resolve. I can install drivers up the wazooo, which I have, and this does not correct the electrical noise transversing the mic input jack.

  42. 42 Peter

    Finally decided to contact Dell on my 700m mic problem (as described above).

    Without asking any questions or discussion they said a tech would come with a new motherboard within 24 hours.

    He did - driving to my rural location on a Saturday afternoon even.

    While waiting, I googled and came across this site and others describing the problem, so I was ready for him.

    He arrived with a replacement A00 rev board. I told him not to install it and showed him this page and the recall700m site.

    He understood perfectly what was going on and agreed to contact Dell to get the RG076 system board before coming back.

    Thanks to all the previous posters for the heads up!

    I will let you know when (if) he comes back with the right board and if it works.

  43. 43 Peter

    After several phone calls and email exchange with Dell taking 10 days so far, I have received this email denying that Dell knows anything about such a problem and offering to replace my motherboard with the A00 board:

    My name is James, I am an Escalation Supervisor at the corporate headquarters for Dell in Round Rock, TX. I have received your issue and will be assuming ownership of it. I have checked with our product group and there are no documented issues that Dell as a company has with the microphone on the system. I searched out the web site that you mentioned in your email, and that is a customer sponsored site, and not Dell sponsored. Dell will offer to replace the component with your system with another component for the 700m system, crossing system models, and a service technician cannot make recommendations on the replacement of parts without consulting a technician of Dell’s first because they are not Dell employees. Again, we will offer to replace the motherboard for your 700m system with another motherboard for a 700m if you feel that the product is at fault. Please reply to this message with your answer.

    Thank You,
    James UID0127346

    I have sent him several more URLs and asked him to reconsider…

  44. 44 Brad

    I got my 700m in April 2005. It’s had this problem from day 1. As posted above it’s a shielding problem and swapping drivers may mitigate the problem, but will not eliminate it. Others have asked, but I haven’t seen an answer to the question: Does using a USB port headset eliminate the problem? I live abroad and VoIP is my primary means of calling people. Also, has anyone tried the PCMCIA sound card work around? Does that eliminate the problem? I expect nothing from Dell support flaks, so a solution I can manage without their assistance is my best option. Thanks in advance to anyone who can post a comment about their experience trying a non-motherboard hardware workaround.

  45. 45 Voices

    I have a Dell Inspiron 1150 and the the microphone has always had issues. I followed the advice in post #22 and switched the SigmaTel driver to Intel AC’97 and it works better now and certain settings are no longer greyed out!

  46. 46 Alfonse

    I have just got off the phone with a dell technician and finally after nearly 4 months of frustration it seems that Dell has recognized the problem and has created a solution. I was told by the technician that on March 20, 2006 they have added to their database specific details and solutions to the mic interference problem. I will have a technician come over and install the new mobo with proper shieldings in the next week. I am crossing my fingers. I will keep everyone posted. Thanks.

  47. 47 Kelley Reidt

    I also have problems using Skype with my Inspiron. Called Dell once, got it running (not well) by changing drivers. Same problem again. Customer service was clueless–tried to sell me a mic. (which I already have!).

  48. 48 Alfonse

    ok… truly frustrated… Dell has instilled false hopes into me. I think I am going to take matters into my own hands and try Jesse’s Mic Fix. I will do a little more research before diving in. I’ll update as soon as things get rolling. Thanks.

  49. 49 Peter

    On 3/15 I received this negative response from Dell:

    I am forwarding this information over to our product team to take a look at, but from the notes that I have here on the system we are not offering the 710m motherboard for the 700m system.

    As for the time being, if there is a hardware failure in your system, what is being offered is to send a replacement motherboard. I respect your position and knowledge of electronics, but Dell has not seen this as a problem with the system and therefore is not offering anything outside of normal warranty parts replacements if the component has been deemed a failure.

    Thank You,
    James UID0127346

    As I was about to head overseas and wanted to have Skype available to call home, I implemented the http://www.jumboprawn.net/jesse/projs/inspiron_700m_mic/index.html fix which worked perfectly. I fine tuned the resistor and capacitor values slightly for lowest noise.

    The audio is now better than just about any laptop mic input I have had in the past with no hum and no disk drive artifacts. I made many phone calls and P2P connections using Skype on my trip with great success.

    Re: the option of using a USB audio device. I did this in the past and it works fine, but for some reason the particular one I used had driver issues with Skype and cut out after about a minute. I suspect it was the particular (very cheap) unit I used. I also had no desire to carry more hardware than necessary.

  50. 50 Matt

    Please visit this page for more details on a class action lawsuit for the dell inspiron 1150 design flaw:


  51. 51 kleft

    thanks Syed Irfan…. u saved me a bunch of trouble… i installed the c major audioi driver awhile back. i forgot to even look back at the volume control menu after i installed the driver and rebooted. needless to say a couple boxes were muted.

    thanks again Syed Irfan

  52. 52 Astoria, NY

    Looks like the 710m has the EXACT SAME design defect. The audio card and line in input still produce horrible noise. :( I am not happy.

  53. 53 Ex-DELL Rep...

    ASTORIA - Are you sure they sent you the 710M motherboard and not the 700M board? As far as I know before left that HELL hole was that DELL DOES KNOW ABOUT THE DEFECT…

    BUT, they will not give you a 710M board for a 700M thus defeating the purpose of actually FIXING THE PROBLEM….


  54. 54 Adam

    Does anyone here also have the screen flicker/freeze problem with your 700m? There’s a 35 page forum on dell’s site devoted exclusively to the flicker issue. Like everyone here, there, and apparently everywhere, I’ve gone around and around with dell online and on the phone but no solutions from them, and of course they act like this is the first they’ve heard of a problem with the 700m at all. The posters on the forum have apparently found a solution in uninstalling the intel video driver and installing an A08 driver, but you also have to turn off automatic update, as it will immediately “update” to the defective driver and the problem returns. I haven’t tried the mic and haven’t gotten dell to admit that there’s any flaw in the machine, but I’m under a 4 year warranty so if either of these issues manifest themselves, my question is: can I simply return the machine to dell and demand a refund? They refuse to send out a tech as they deny any hardware problem. I am in the middle of law school so I can’t afford to be without my laptop for any period of time, so I’m hesitant to send it to them (especially given the horror stories about 5 month delays, “lost” computers, and false allegations by dell of moisture on the motherboard). I would be very interested in class action (in fact posted to that effect on their site but of course they deleted that) but the link above isn’t for the 700m.

    Brings a whole new meaning to their ad slogan, “dude, you got a dell (aka sucks to be you).” I hope bad things come to the dell chiefs. There’s a circle in hell just for dell execs, and I hope they get there soon. I’m no socialist, but this is crapitalism at its worst. Down with dell.

  55. 55 Brian

    I just today had to order a replacement systemboard for a 710M for a laptop I am working on and the part number they are sending is the same exact part that I used last week to replace a systemboard on a 700M. So it appears they are using the exact same board in both.

  56. 56 Bob U

    As described above, the mic input fix at http://www.jumboprawn.net/jesse/projs/inspiron_700m_mic/index.html works great. Thank you JN at jumboprawn.

    The fix works well with a radial aluminum capacitor which is much easier to find. I used parts salvaged from a dead DVD player. Ready to Skype home on the next business trip. Actually, the 700m stays home with the wife. I travel with a damn heavy HP from work.

  57. 57 Nam L

    I uninstalled and then reinstalled the drivers per the instructions by Syed. This actually worked for me. The microphone doesn’t sound that great, but there’s not enough interference for me to want to bother with changing anything. It sounded horrible at first but then I turned of mic boost in the control settings. Then upped the mic volume to 100%. I made a Skype test call and left myself a voicemail that sounded okay. Thanks for the help everyone.

  58. 58 Jim

    I have just used a dynamic microphone - gets around the buzz problem without any hacks :-)

  59. 59 Victoria

    Thanks to all who have posted here.

    I have had Dell Inspiron for a little over a year — and just now trying Skype. For three months I have struggled with this — trying cheap headset, then more expensive and so forth…

    The clue to learning about this issue was the SigmaTel C-Major Audio driver. Under the Control Panel, listed as SigmaTel, the only settings were for Power Management!

    So I am adding my voice to this group. It’s a particularly gnarly problem to diagnosis much less fix….

  60. 60 Victoria

    Update on my take on this sound problem which I have solved in relationship to Skype and bluetooth headset (Motorola Internet Calling Kit - headset H500 and USB PC Adapter PC850)

    Inspiron 700m - SigmaTel C-Major Audio driver

    Control Panel: SigmaTel Audio - Turn off Power Management! — assume that by having this turned on — it locked Audio settings. Reboot.

    Control Panel: System | Device Manager Tab
    - Find Sound, video, game controllers. On the list below click on SigmaTel
    - Right click - Properties - General
    - Run Troubleshoot - after this I was able to hear!

    Earlier I had changed the settings in Skype — Unchecked “let Skype adjust the sound settings”.

    After this all audio features were restored including laptop speakers and wav action. I can now use Skype with my new bluetooth headset. I’m good to go!

    I am not sure why this problem occurred - Perhaps it was installing a cheapie USB corded Skype phone or some other Skype related issue. So your mileage may vary…..

    Good luck!

  61. 61 Peter

    Is it a surprise to know that the Dell 5150 also has mic and audio problems with the Sigmatel Audio?
    There is low level static heard in the headphones and the mic level is very very low.
    Thanks for all the possible solutions listed here. Looks like Dell needs a kick in the butt.

  62. 62 Luke Gosselin

    I have owned the 700M since April 2005, and I am not pleased with the computer at all. My 700M has the same noise issue with the mic input, and with the headphone output. I have also had a problem with the USB ports. Would not recognize any external devices attached to the USB ports. Dell support replaced the motherboard with the same faulty one. It seems that they are just waiting for the computer’s warranty to expire, then we will have no recourse in the matter. I am frustrated with Dell’s corporate attitude. I will never buy another dell product and will not recommend a dell system to anyone. I would like to see a class action suit against dell. If only I could find one to get on.

  63. 63 Perry

    I found that if I use a USB headset and plug it into the bottom USB port the quality is much better. It’s still crap that I had to go back to the store twice and monkey around but a USB headset is cheaper than any alternatives and I need my Skype for long distance. Hope this helps someone who is as frustrated as I’ve been.

  64. 64 jhanso

    I am having a problem with my laptop Dell insperon 6400 , suddenly i am not able to here the sound volume control is disappearing and asking me to instal something, but when i did that add hardware even then i cannot get it

  65. 65 Luis Perez

    Yes. I have and am experiencing both the sound (hum/60hz?) and occational/intermittent LCD flicker.

    Dell Customer Service and Technical Support do not admit this as an issue and will immediatly point out warranty expirations as a reason to blow you off.

    I WAS a Solution Provider (that means I was a reseller) with White Label. I no longer promote their products because I can not trust them. They still owe my company about $22,000 in fees, chargebacks and compensation.

  66. 66 LeoK

    I have my 700m since June 2005. It’s been a good little unit for all my needs - so I thought. The audio was acceptable on my unit until somewhere in September 2006. The speaker stop working. Well, it makes sound if the laptop is closed while Windows is shutting down. I’ve tried many ways without any success. So I now feel necessary to add my voice to let DELL know that my next laptop will never be a Dell. I am just as disappointed as many of the 700m/710m users. I also will stop telling firends how great the little Dell has served me, not without speaker and having to have headsets all the time.

  67. 67 Tom

    I have my 700m for a couple of years. It’s been a good little unit for all my needs. The speakers stop working couple day ago. Well, it makes sound when I plug in my headphones. I’ve tried many ways without any success. So I now feel necessary to add my voice to let DELL know that my next laptop will never be a Dell. I am just as disappointed as many of the 700m/710m users. I also will stop telling firends how great the little Dell has served me, not without speaker and having to have headsets all the time.

  68. 68 Rick

    Same problem, sometimes it works sometimes it doesn’t. Really was annoying b/c I had no idea what the problem was. I tried for weeks to adjust programs etc. Dell, no help. I just bought another mic, thinking that might help, but it won’t.

    So my solution is to find a usb microphone, all of the headsets of used with this, seem to work alright.

  69. 69 Ray

    Wow, Tom, I have the exact same problem.

    The speakers just stopped working a few days ago and I’ve been installing, re-installing audio drivers, etc, etc. I can hear the sound fine when the earphones are plugged in, but the speakers themselves do not output any sound.

    The 700M was a good laptop, and I hope Dell takes care of this issue.

  70. 70 Michelle

    I’m having the same problem as Tom and Ray. Speakers stopped working last week, but sound works fine through headphones. Curious if this is due to a recent windows update, explaining why we’ve only started having this problem recently?

  71. 71 Jon

    I also own a 700m and (gasp) have the same problems. Based on the non-existent response from Dell, I have opted to purchase an external sound card as a work around.

  72. 72 John

    We had our 700m for about 2 1/2 years and it ran fine until a month ago when the speakers went out. Anyone have any luck fixing it or with Dell customer service?


  73. 73 Uwyeah

    I have a 710m and my speakers stopped working tonight, the laptop is 14 months old. The speakers will work though if the LCD is only 1/3 open (ie. 30ish degrees or less). Apparently this is very common though and the speaker wire that goes through the hinge needs repairing (http://www.tinyscreenfuls.com/2005/07/lots-of-people-hit-by-the-dell-inspiron-700m-sound-input-design-flaw/). Great huh?

  74. 74 Uwyeah
  75. 75 Ed

    You can either pull the speakers out and resolder the wires, or buy new speakers from eBay for $50 or so & then just plug in the new ones and toss out the old. If you can’t do this yourself, anyone who’s ever taken a laptop apart can do it for you. it’s all standard stuff on the 700m - just don’t miss the screw that’s immediately to the left of the wifi light - hidden under a silver sticker.

  76. 76 Alex

    I simply replaced the drivers with the Intel AC’97 ones, and WALLA!! I have a line input!

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