|RIGHT click on the speaker icon in your task bar.|
Select Recording Devices (goes to Sound window - Recording tab)
There should be at least one Mic listed that says Working below it
There should be at least one Mic listed that has a checkmark indicating it's the default device
(In my case I have a desktop computer that has a Mic port in the back on the mboard, and if the wiring from the mboard is connected to it properly, another Mic port on the front of the case is available, so I have two Mics listed, only one of which is shown to be working when I have one Mic plugged in. I do not have a webcam connected that has a built in Mic.)
If there is only one Mic with Working below it and it has the checkmark,
RIGHT click on it.
If you want to use the Mic, if there is a red circle with a diagonal line beside the blue speaker icon, the volume is Muted - apparently Vista and Windows 7 have a different situation in the Windows sound mixer settings than XP and previous Windows versions do - it must be clicked on to remove the red circle to un-Mute the volume.
Make sure the Mic volume control is at least half way.
If there is Mic Boost volume control, depending on the impedence of, and the max
output of, your Mic, you may need to have that at least half way too.
Start button - All Programs - Accessories - Sound Recorder.
A small Sound Recorder window should pop up - you should not get any error message.
If your Mic has an on/off switch on it, or inline in it's wiring, make sure it's on.
If your Mic has a volume control inline in it's wiring, make sure it's set, say, halfway.
Click on Start Recording and speak into your Mic.
In the grey box on the right of that window you should see a green bar graph that varies as you speak across a good portion of the grey box.
If you see that, the Mic volume, and Mic Boost volume if you have that, is sufficient.
(If you see no green bar, or if you do but it's just barely there, go back into your sound settings and increase the Mic Boost volume if you have that, or the Mic volume on both the Mic's wiring and in the sound settings if you don't.
If you do have Mic Boost if increasing it to the max does not allow you to make a reasonable recording in Sound Recorder, you need a headset with a Mic or a standalone Mic with a different impedence.
If you don't have the Mic Boost volume control, if increasing the Mic volume to
the max on both the Mic's wiring and in the sound settings does not allow you to make a reasonable recording in Sound Recorder, you need a headset with a Mic or a standalone Mic with a different impedence.)
Click Stop Recording.
Sound Recorder saves the recording as a *.wma file in your Documents folder by
default - save the file - note what it's name is.
Start button - Documents.
Find the *.wma file you saved.
Double click on it to Play it.
If you saw the green bar graph in Sound Recorder, you should hear the recording.