Microphone is not working

May 6, 2012 at 10:30:11
Specs: Windows 7 (32bit), 2GB PC2-6400 (800 MHZ)
I am unable to use a microphone with my PC. I have even installed a new Sound Blaster SE audio card, but the Microphone still will not work. For your information, I have an Nvidia nForce 680i LT Motherboard installed with a Sound Blaster SE (P/N SB0570) installed. The reason I installed the Sound Blaster was because the I could never get the microphone to work with the onboard audio ports.

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May 6, 2012 at 13:13:22
Reasons could be -

1) mic broken
2) mic plugged into wrong port
3) mic port audio muted
4) mic port not configured properly
5) mic on/off switch not turned on

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May 6, 2012 at 17:10:37
Are you sure the mic works ?
Have you tried it with another computer ?
The smaller the cable diameter, the more easily it's damaged.

You must install the right drivers and associated software for the sound adapter and install them the right way.

NOTE that sometimes the resident module(s) of anti-malware programs - a part that runs all the time scanning for suspicious activity - will interfere with the proper installation of third party software, or major Microsoft updates that cannot be installed automatically by Automatic Update, the software will not install properly, and you may get no indication of that at all while installing the software.
To avoid that possibilty, you should always DISABLE the resident module(s) of anti-malware programs, BEFORE you install third party software (software other than most Microsoft Updates, etc., that did not come with Windows ), especially when it's a major or complicated software package.
E.g. if you are using the free or paid version of AVG, you should disable the Resident Shield in AVG's 's settings in Windows (in AVG 2012 that's done under the title AntiVirus). In Norton (Symantec) products, there may be several things you need to disable, or set so they don't load for a specific short amount of time.
If you don't know how to do that, tell us which anti-malware software you are using.
When you are sure the software has installed correctly, re-enable the resident module(s).

Further info...

How to disable your security applications

The most frequent reason for a sound adapter not working properly is the software for it was NOT installed properly.

Unless the instructions for installing a device tell you otherwise (this ALWAYS applies for sound ada[pters) .......
You DO NOT install drivers for a device while booting into Windows, if the software for the device has not been installed yet - when Windows detects a generic device or Found New New Hardware pops up while booting, you allow it to search for drivers, it doesn't find any, and it wants you to show it the location of the drivers - CANCEL that, continue on to the desktop, and install the software for the device using the proper installation from a CD or the proper installation file that you downloaded from the web.

DO NOT install drivers that way no matter when Found New New Hardware pops up !!

If you DID install drivers that way, go to Control Panel - display as Small Icons or Large Icons (not Categories) - Programs and Features and Un-install the software you installed, reboot, DO NOT install drivers while booting.

Then let the desktop screen load and go to Device Manager.

(Where is Device Manager in Vista and Windows 7 ?

Double click on the Computer icon, click on System properties in the top bar, Device Manager is on the left.)

If the sound device is still listed, RIGHT click on it and Un-install it (that may take a while - NOTE that that's often the case for SondBlaster cards ! ).
If it was still listed in Device Manager, reboot at least once after you have un-installed it.
DO NOT install drivers while booting, and then install the sound software the right way !

Continue on to the desktop screen, and install the software for the device using the proper installation from a CD or the proper installation file that you downloaded from the web.

For the mboard's sound adapter,

- it must be enabled in the mboard's bios Setup. It is by default.

- The mic port on the back of the case that's built into the mboard is always PINK.

- the mic and headphones ports on the front of the case will NOT work, unless
- the wiring for the front ports is hooked up to pins in the right place on the mboard the right way
- the type of wiring of the case is the same as for the mboard. Cases can have one of either AC'97 or HD audio wiring. The mboard may have an audio header for the front ports that is for one or the other type, or it may support both types.
- if the mboard have an audio header for the front ports that is for both types, there is a setting in the Bios Setup that is set to ONE of those two types by default.
If your case has the other type of wiring for the front audio ports, you must change that setting in the bios to the OTHER choice.

Some mboards have additional settings regarding the front mic and headphones ports in the sound adapter's software in Control Panel, and/or in the bios Setup settings.
E.g. the front port connections of the mboard may be disabled by default in the bios.

See the manual for the mboard model. There is probably detailed info about how you properly connect the mboard to front audio ports, the two types of wiring if that applies, and bios Setup settings.

Windows has supported you having more than one sound adapter installed since Win 95, but Windows can only use one of them at a time.

The sound adapter you have installed the drivers and associated software for last becomes the default sound adapter Windows uses.
(You DO NOT have to disable the onboard sound adapter in the mboard's bios Setup in order to use a sound adapter on a PCI card, or a USB sound adapter, unless you DO NOT want to use the onboard sound adapter at any time.)

However, you can change that from the default settings, in Windows 7's case, in the Sound settings - select a different sound adapter for the default one (RIGHT click on any choice except the default one - the one marked with the large green check mark, select Set as Default.

If you have more than one microphone, Windows can only use one of them at a time. E.g. Some web cams have a built in mic.

See Response 6 in this

starting at

" Make sure you don't have volumes set too low or muted, for things you want to hear or use.... "

Note that the sound is Muted if the blue speaker icon has a red circle icon with a diagonal bar.

The Mic's volume control in the Sound settings may be MUTED by default.

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May 7, 2012 at 06:08:21
Thank you for the tries, but your suggestions do not help. The Microphone works fine with another computer. As an IT professional, I understand basic troubleshooting techniques. I was able to get the microphone port enabled on the Sound Blaster card however I still am not able to get the microphone to send audio. I have even disabled the onboard audio chipset on the motherboard to insure that there aren't any conflicts and re-verified that the problem is not resolved. I now suspect that the problem lies within the motherboard circuitry and that probably nothing can be done at this time, short of replacing the motherboard.

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Related Solutions

May 7, 2012 at 07:22:18
If the problem were caused by a problem with mboard circuitry, that probably would NOT apply for the SoundBlaster card.

By the way, the last PCI slot closest to the center of the mboard usually shares it's IRQ with the video adapter. In that case, you're likely to have problems with a PCI card installed in that slot unless it's a PCI video card.

There may be a setting in Sound in Windows or in the specific settings for the sound adapter's brand in Control Panel where you can BOOST the mic volume or similar.

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