|The software for your sound must be the correct version and be installed properly, otherwise at least some features of your sound are likely to not work correctly. If you have not messed with the sound software that was installed when you first got the laptop, or if you have used a proper Recovery procedure for your model to re-load the original software that came with your system, that's already correct, but if you have re-installed Windows from scratch from a regular Windows CD, or if you have re-installed the sound software or sound drivers for whatever reason, you must install the proper sound drivers for your model - the right ones are in the software downloads for your model on the HP web site - ones you get elsewhere on the web are likely to not work correctly - and you must install them using their proper installation program - DO NOT point Windows to where the sound drivers are while booting the computer BEFORE the proper sound software installation is done. |
By default, Windows Mutes the mic in the sound mixer properties, unless you are using a program that turns on access to it, in which case, the mic is usually un-muted automatically.
RIGHT click on the speaker icon in your taskbar lower right - choose Open Volume Control.
If you do not see a Mic selection, click on Options upper left, Properties, and enable showing Mic by clicking on the small square box beside Mic to insert a check mark.
If you have more than one mic, only one mic can work at a time.
The mic built into the laptop may be tied to you using it with the built in webcam - it may only be enabled when you use the webcam's software.
Do you have a headset - headphones and a mike - or just headphones, or just a mic - plugged into the 1/8" jacks on the laptop?
If you have headphones plugged it, if the mic is enabled, you will hear it in the headphones but probably NOT from the laptop's speakers - usually plugging in headphones disables the laptop's speakers from outputting sound.
If you have more than one mic, Windows can only enable one at a time, and you must be using a program that turns on access to that particular mic.
E.g. Window's Sound Recorder may work for a mic you have plugged into a 1/8 jack, but not for the mic built into the laptop, if it's tied to you using the webcam software with it.
If you have 2 mics and have one mic plugged into an 1/8" jack, you may not be able to use the built in mic and have it work, even when you access the webcam software.
Other possible problems.
If it's a corded mic, are you sure it actually works? Some corded mics have a switch in the cord or on the mic that must be switched on. Try it connected to another computer. A cord for a mic is usually tiny and easily damaged.
Every sound chipset has a specific small range of mic impedence (electrical resistance to alternating current) it works best with. If you're using a mic that does not have an ideal impedence, you may need to turn up it's volume a lot, or, in ANY case, sometimes there is a setting somewhere in the sound mixer properties you can enable - e.g. mic boost or similar - you may get no audible output if that is not enabled with some mics.
Programs that can use a mic are supposed to automatically un-mute a mic when you use them, and Mute it again when you exit the program. The mic settings in a program should not affect another progam's mic settings after you have exited the program, but sometimes a program is not written properly and the mic settings remain in effect after you have exited the program.
E.g. a friend had an older version of Dragon Naturally Speaking, which of course uses a mic. When she muted the mic in that program and then exited it, the mic would NOT work in Sound Recorder despite the fact you could see Sound Recorder was detecting it (you could not hear it's output). When she un-muted the mic in Dragon Naturally Speaking, then exited it and used Sound Recorder, the mic worked fine (you could hear it's output).
I've seen similar with older versions of WinAmp.
If you have more than one program that a mic can be used in, other than one(s) built into Windows such as Sound Recorder, it is advisable to make sure the mic is not muted in a program when you exit it, just in case it has that bug.
Defective headphones or mic 1/8" jack.
This is quite common.
The headphones jack on most laptops has a mechanical switching feature that disables the laptop's speakers from outputting sound when a plug is plugged into the headphones jack.
Sometimes that mechanical feature doesn't work properly - the more you have used the jack, the more likely it is it could not be working properly. If that's the case, sometimes when you remove the plug from the headphones jack, one or both laptop speakers do not output sound when they should. Sometimes if you plug in a jack, wiggle it, then pull it out, the laptop speakers will then both output sound when they should - if not, you have to replace the headphones jack.
The same thing may apply to the mic jack on some laptops. If the mechanical switching feature is defective, you may not be able to get any other mic to output sound.