Soundcard and USB Missing

Dell / Inspirion 5150
April 19, 2009 at 00:43:01
Specs: Windows XP, 1gig
Hi Folks,

Cant seem to track down what is wrong with my soundcard and USB slots. I believe both are onboard devices.
Symptoms: onboard Soundcard is indicated as not installed, Onboard USB slots not detecting thumb drives or any other USB device.

Have downloaded Soundcard drivers from Dell but this doesnt seem to work, have updated BIOS, no effect. even though soundcard is shown as Enabled in BIOS, nothing seems to locate it. Windows Media Player tells me that the device could be in use by another program, I have uninstalled anything that is likely to have audio attached.

USB slots; Everything appears normal in Device Manager, USB devices are working on/though Cardbus at the mo, just dont get any indication the the devices have been recognised when they are plugged in.

Any help would be greatly appreciated as I have been pulling my hair out for approx 2 weeks with this

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April 19, 2009 at 12:02:05
What do you see regarding those devices when viewing them in Device Manager?

If you updated the BIOS you may need to Enable the sound chip in the BIOS settings. If you have HD sound you may need to reconfigure the sound ports.

Did the sound and USB both quit at the same time?

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April 19, 2009 at 12:28:23
You DO NOT have a sound CARD - a CARD is physically removable.

Take a look in your bios Setup and make sure the onboard sound is enabled.

Drivers and software downloads for your model are here:

The Sound drivers download is not usuable as is - just unzipping (extracting) the download will not install the sound drivers.
Click on Sound, then the highlighted STAC 9750 AC97, then follow the Installation directions.

"USB missing"
"USB slots; Everything appears normal in Device Manager, USB devices are working on/though Cardbus at the mo"

Your USB is not missing - it's just not detecting flash drives properly.
You DO NOT have USB slots - you have USB ports.

The flash drives should always be detected fine when they are plugged directly into USB ports directly connected to the mboard.
If they are NOT detected fine when plugged into those ports, the data on them is probably damaged and they won't work in ANY USB port on ANY computer.
A common way people damage data on flash drives is by NOT clicking on the Safely Remove Hardware icon in the taskbar bottom right (by default it's a grey rectangle with a lime green arrow) to Stop accessing the device when they are going to be unplugging it while the computer is running and in Windows. Sometimes you have to click on < at the left end of the taskbar bottom right to find the icon.

USB devices will not necessarily work properly when plugged into certain USB ports. E.g. people tend to use USB hubs with laptops when they need more USB ports, and many devices do not work properly when plugged into a USB port in those.
See response 3 in this:

The flash drive should always be detected fine when plugged into the PCMCIA (PC Card) USB controller adapter card by itself, if the drivers for the card were properly installed, but it may not be detected properly when more than one USB device is plugged into the card.

PCMCIA (PC Card) USB controller adapter cards, and ExpressCard USB controller adapter cards, used on laptops, often cannot support more than one USB device's current requirements if more than one device is plugged into them and at least one device requires a lot of current, unless the card has a jack you can connect an external power adapter to and you plug in such a power adapter .
E.g. an external 2.5" hard drive requires the maximum 500ma a USB port can provide - that is often the total maximum current the card can provide for all the USB ports in it - if you plug in another device into a USB port on the card when an external drive is plugged into the card it may not work properly because there isn't enough total current available.
Printers and scanners and multifunction printer/scanner/etc. devices also require more current than most other USB devices do, but not the maximum 500ma.

If your PCMCIA (PC Card) USB controller adapter card has had it's drivers installed properly, in Device Manager - USB controllers you should see an entry USB Mass Storage device or similar.

The same as for flash drives and other USB connected devices you can store data on, PCMCIA cards (PC Cards) are NOT hot swappable - you have to click on the Safely Remove Hardware icon and Stop accessing them before you unplug them when Windows is running as well, or just don't plug them in or unplug them when the computer is running, otherwise you can damage the card.

Whenever you load Windows from a regular Windows CD (or DVD) from scratch, after Setup is finished you must load the drivers for the mboard, particularly the main chipset drivers, in order for Windows to have the proper drivers for and information about your mboard hardware, including it's AGP or PCI-E, ACPI, USB 2.0 if it has it, and hard drive controller support. If you have a generic system and have the CD that came with the mboard, all the necessary drivers are on it. If you load drivers from the web, brand name system builders and mboard makers often DO NOT have the main chipset drivers listed in the downloads for your model - in that case you must go to the maker of the main chipset's web site, get the drivers, and load them.

This is especially important for laptop main chipsets.

In this case, Dell has the main chipset drivers here:

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