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Dell M1710 SigmaTel HD Audio Crackle & Popping!

Discussion in 'Windows Vista' started by fliersrr, 2008/11/22.

  1. 2008/11/22
    fliersrr

    fliersrr Inactive Thread Starter

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    Hello, I have a Dell XPS M1710 laptop that has always had a crackling sound from the audio. I have read hundreds of complaints and possible fixes on the web. None have worked for me.

    Things I have tried. Newest SigmaTel High Definition Audio CODEC Driver.
    BIOS update.
    Turning off Enhancements
    Removing Dell's LED Quickset
    Placing a mic in and forcing pop-up so I can turn off Mic input.
    Changing WiFi card from a,b,g to just g wireless.
    Selective booting in msconfig.

    It seems everyone has this problem with the on-board SigmaTel chip, but no one has a fix.

    It is not just the laptop I have, it is a lot of models Dell sells and also have seen other brands with complaints too.

    Once and only once did I get the audio working perfectly. It played CD audio, web videos, and windows audio perfectly, until I rebooted and then it all went crackling and popping again.

    I have seen these cries for help for about two three years. The postings I have read go back to Windows XP and now Vista.

    Some people have had Dell swap out their motherboards and some the whole laptop. But the audio problem always comes back.

    I truly believe their must be a solution for this problem.

    If anyone knows how this problem can be fixed please let me know.

    Current configuration is Windows Vista Premium x64 bit. On board SigmaTel Audio. But it did it with XP too. From my reading it does this on every OS, 32bit or 64bit.

    Thank you
     
  2. 2008/11/22
    mattman

    mattman Geek Member Alumni

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    I probably can't help much, maybe I could if I was sitting in front of the machine.

    To update the drivers, boot into Safe Mode, go to Control Panel -> Programs and Features and find the SigmaTel listing, uninstall that and reboot into normal mode to run the new driver installation.

    Be careful about a headphone output and a speaker output, they are different. The controls/settings should be made in a SigmaTel "audio manager ". Go to Start -> Control Panel, change the view to Classic and look through the icons/listings for a SigmaTel heading.

    The description is "HD ", high definition, which runs from a SPDIF (square) output connector. I don't expect you are using SPDIF, so "deselect" it if is selected anywhere.

    Go through all the settings, if you make a setting and it doesn't work, change it back.

    You can go to the Program Files folder, find the SigmaTel listing, right-click on the main executables (.exe) and select Run as administrator.

    Matt
     

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  4. 2008/11/23
    dobhar Lifetime Subscription

    dobhar Inactive

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    Hi fliersrr...

    I'm actually typing this using the same Laptop and like you I had the same problem...snap, crackle, and pop when playing sound through the Laptop speakers. I'm running Windows Vista Ultimate 32bit.

    I tried reinstalling drivers and that seemed to work for a day then it would start all over again. I won't go on and on and tell you all I did as I'm sure you've done the same...so long story short I just uninstalled the Sigmatel drivers, rebooted, and after the rebooted it detected and installed a "High Definition Audio Device" (Microsoft Vista driver from 2006)...no more snap, crackle, and pop for me. The last straw was a call to Dell who after a very long conversation of them trying different things could not tell me why this was happening so they offered me money back for the Sound card...Never did get a refund.

    One of the links that I discovered while investigating this issue mentions that the new "Draft N" wireless is causing the interferrence and when they disabled the Wireless the crackle went away. Since I use the wireless 90% of the time on my Lappy I figured I was not going to do that. Other have said it's the the Sigmatel drivers and vista. Anyways with the uninstallation of the Sigmatel HD drivers I now have sound, Microsoft HD, but sound without crackle and when I play my MP3's I can enjoy the sound.
    - http://forums.microsoft.com/msdn/ShowPost.aspx?PostID=1373474&SiteID=1

    Here are some other links that I saved when I was trying to find out how to fix this...
    - http://en.community.dell.com/forums/t/19142484.aspx
    - http://anythingdiscussions.com/2006/10/13/sigmatel-drivers-vista-part-ii/

    Even issues with Ubuntu Linux with our Laptop for sound...
    - http://ubuntuforums.org/archive/index.php/t-502431.html
     
    Last edited: 2008/11/23
  5. 2008/11/23
    fliersrr

    fliersrr Inactive Thread Starter

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    Hello,

    I thank you for all the great advice. Unfortunately for me none of the solutions or workarounds helped.

    I deleted the drivers both in windows and in safe mode too. Let it install the default 2006 HD driver, same results.

    I even deleted the HD Audio Controller from the System devices and let it re-install it. Still the same.

    I am wondering if I can disable the on-board sound and use a USB External sound card. ?
     
  6. 2008/11/23
    dobhar Lifetime Subscription

    dobhar Inactive

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    fliersrr...

    Did some more "Googling" and came up with a few more hits...
    - http://www.notebookforums.com/thread201364.html
    - http://www.notebookforums.com/thread190928.html

    This one suggests using the WinXP drivers for Sigmatel for the Dell Precision M6300
    - http://www.notebookforums.com/showthread.php?p=2941618
    If your interested you can find those => http://support.dell.com/support/dow...-1&impid=-1&formatcnt=1&libid=3&fileid=235761

    This one suggests using the LG version of the Sigmatel driver
    - http://www.ekhoury.com/2006/08/25/sigmatel-stereo-mix-support-for-dells/

    This one suggests VIA RAID/SATA drive
    - http://www.notebookforums.com/thread199863.html

    _______________________

    Being the "daring" typr...LOLOL...I decided to try the the WinXP M6300 drivers as they are compatible for the M1710...
    This is what I did...
    - Created a Restore Point
    - Exacted the file to a folder...
    - Right-clicked on the "Setup.exe" file
    - Left-clicked on "Properties "
    - Selected "Compatibility" tab
    - Selected\checked off "Run this program in compatibility mode for" then selected "Windows XP (Service Pack 2)" from the drop down
    - I then double-clicked the Setup.exe and ran the install.

    Low and behold after a reboot I now have Sigmatel drivers and no crackle...Hopefully it will last...I'll post back in a few days after a few reboots and after the running of music CD's and MP3's.
     
    Rockster2U likes this.
  7. 2008/11/23
    Rockster2U

    Rockster2U Geek Member

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    Nice post Kent - captures the essence of what this BBS is all about.

    ;)
     
  8. 2008/11/24
    dobhar Lifetime Subscription

    dobhar Inactive

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    Thanks...:eek:

    Well so far so good...the "crackle" has not come back... :)
     
  9. 2008/11/24
    fliersrr

    fliersrr Inactive Thread Starter

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    Thank you for such a detailed response. I have tried every one of the solutions above with no luck.

    Looks like you must be using XP since that is an XP driver.
    I have decided to reformat and re-install XP media center that came on the M1710.
    Believe it or not this laptop is only a few months old. It still was factory sealed. It had all the plastic wrapping etc.

    When I opened it I powered up and heard the crackling audio and thought the sound card was bad. I never really bothered to try and fix it as I had one thing in mind. I wanted the processor updated to a T7400 so I could load Vista 64 bit. So I slapped in 4GB of Ram, and the T7400 processor and loaded Vista 64bit. The audio has been bad since day one. It has only been good sounding one time. I couldn't believe it and I tried throwing everything at it. Worked great. Then I rebooted and it all went bad again.

    Tonight I decide to re-install the factory XP media center and try all the above known possible fixes. It is formatting as I write this.

    Maybe I will get lucky and have good audio.
     
  10. 2008/11/24
    dobhar Lifetime Subscription

    dobhar Inactive

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    Hi fliersrr...
    You are correct, that is an XP Driver but you are incorrect that I'm running XP...I'm running 32 bit Vista Ultimate. What I did was install the XP driver using Vista's compatibility mode...per my work instruction.

    Anyways...good luck on the re-install...let us know your results... :)
     
  11. 2008/11/24
    fliersrr

    fliersrr Inactive Thread Starter

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    Darn, I wish I had understood that. I may end up in the end trying that before I am all done. I sure would like to run Vista. Lets see what happens with XP. =:-0

    Sorry I miss understood the last post. I never knew that could be done. I really am mad at myself for not reading it several times till I understood the whole picture.
     
  12. 2008/11/25
    mattman

    mattman Geek Member Alumni

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    Unfortunately(?), there seems to be a lot of "things to try" in dobhar's links.

    You could try setting standard drivers
    from the Dell Forums
    http://en.community.dell.com/forums/t/19142484.aspx

    Matt
    PS It probably depends on if you want 7.1 channel audio, HD (High Definition) or just "crackle-free" sound from your stereo PC speakers.
     
  13. 2008/11/27
    fliersrr

    fliersrr Inactive Thread Starter

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    FOUND THE PROBLEM !!! Weoooo!

    Hello all,

    I have spend another few days re-working my M1710 back to Windows XP MCE and that was a horrible sound when I was done.

    I then put a fresh install of XP 32 bit and tried everything again and again. Even the XP driver in compatible mode. Nothing worked!

    Then it hit me. What could make this do this. Finally a bell went off. IRQ Sharing!

    Yes it is true most devices can share an IRQ fine. But the sound card can not be interrupted. When it is, you hear the pop, skip, and crackle.

    I found on my Dell M1710 that the SigmaTel High Definition sound was IRQ21 and being shared by USB serial BUS Controllers.
    Controller named: Intel (R) 82801G (ICH7 Family) USB Universal Host Controller - 27C9 was sharing the same IRQ. I right clicked on it and disabled it.

    The audio is crystal clear!

    I have not noticed any USB devices not working. Not sure what this controller does, but I like the clear sound!
     
  14. 2008/11/27
    mattman

    mattman Geek Member Alumni

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    It would be good if you found a fix. :) Thanks for letting us know.
     
  15. 2008/11/29
    dobhar Lifetime Subscription

    dobhar Inactive

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    Nice job fliersrr... :)
     
  16. 2008/12/01
    fliersrr

    fliersrr Inactive Thread Starter

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    Bad sound is unrepairable ??

    :eek:
    This problem is driving me crazy. I wanted to go back to x64 bit of Vista, and after that, none of the fixes worked, not even my own.

    I think there is no fix.

    I can't believe Dell would make such an expensive laptop and have this kind of problem with it.

    I also don't think buying a USB External Sound card would work since it plugs into the USB port and that seems to be the source of the problem.

    Any suggestions, or should I just deal with the bad audio?
     
    Last edited: 2008/12/01
  17. 2008/12/02
    mattman

    mattman Geek Member Alumni

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    Oh dear :) Since you've changed the OS, you've changed the playing field.

    You will need to start again :(. I know you probably felt ecstatic when you found the first fix.

    I thought about running out the SPDIF (actually S/PDIF) output. I haven't used SPDIF, read here:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TOSLINK

    Use a Toslink to Minijack adapter??
    http://www.tvcables.co.uk/cgi-bin/tvcables/AD102.html
    You could do your own reseach. The adapter doesn't seem to cost much.

    Start again if you are happy to do so. dobhar has given you all the links that he has used to solve the problem (and his solution).

    Go for it or take a "workaround ", it's up to you. :rolleyes: Sorry :D (You might have to make your own solution, as you did before, I can't see a single solution.)

    Matt
     
  18. 2008/12/02
    fliersrr

    fliersrr Inactive Thread Starter

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    Hello Mattman,

    I will give the adapter a try. I never thought of using SPDIF Digital out. I will order one today and left the forum know how it works out when I get it.

    Thanks for the suggestion.

    Marty
     
  19. 2008/12/02
    fliersrr

    fliersrr Inactive Thread Starter

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    Spdif

    Hello Mattman,

    I just checked on how the digital audio comes out of the Dell and they use a cable called NG409 Looks like this: http://www.pacificgeek.com/largeimage.asp?productimages/xl/NG409.jpg
    One end is S-Video TV to 4 RCAs Audio Digital out, Pr, Pb Y

    So I won't be able to use the adapter you suggested.
    I have not found a coaxial to mini stereo to make it work.

    Marty:confused:
     
    Last edited: 2008/12/02
  20. 2008/12/02
    mattman

    mattman Geek Member Alumni

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  21. 2008/12/02
    fliersrr

    fliersrr Inactive Thread Starter

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    New Hardware

    I ordered a USB to Mini stereo adapter. I want to see if the USB has the crackling on it. Very inexpensive.

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16812186035

    If that works then I may but the one you suggested or this one:


    http://ph.creative.com/products/product.asp?category=1&subcategory=208&product=17751&listby=brand

    If the cheap one that I just ordered has the popping and crackle, then the Creative USB one will not help. Time will tell. Now I will have to wait to next week to get it.

    Marty
     

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