Problems with Sound? Try a New Driver!
Web conferencing is becoming more
and more popular in Extension, and people are using more laptop
computers to attend these conferences than ever before. Whether you’re
using a laptop or a desktop, the best sound apparently comes from using
a headset with a microphone. Others use an external microphone with
external speakers, or in the case of the laptops, built-in speakers.
Several problems have arisen – the most common being the screeching
internal laptop microphone. This happens because the mic is so close to
the speakers that when volume is adequate, feedback between the speakers
and mic induce the screeching. The solution is to disable the internal
microphone, and use an external one.
Another common problem is that
sometimes the microphone will just stop working, or the sound is just
not very good.
All computer hardware needs a
software interface with the computer operating system in order to
function (in our case the operating system is primarily Windows Vista).
Hardware vendors write software so that their hardware works, but as in
all human endeavors, the software isn’t perfect. When “bugs” are
discovered in the software, the vendors revise the driver software to
correct the problem. So, just like all other software, there are
regular updates available.
If you’re having trouble with sound
on your Dell D830 laptop, a driver update may solve the problem.
To update, browse (through your
desktop Computer icon) to the S drive. (Remember that the S drive
is now behind the University of Missouri – Columbia firewall, so VPN
software must be running to tunnel through the firewall ).
Browse to S:\MUCampus\ETCS\Drivers\Computers\Dell\D830\Audio.
Then right click R171788 and choose copy. Right click any open
area on your desktop and choose Paste. Alternately you can use your web
browser (Internet Explorer): go to
http://uoeshare.ext.missouri.edu/share and browse to the same location. To authenticate with the web page,
you may have to type in your user name and password – remember to
include the domain um-users in the user name field (i.e.
um-users\baerwaldc …and, it’s got to be a backslash!). Once you’re in
the Audio folder just right-click the listing for R171788 and
SAVE it to your desktop.
Once R171788 is on your desktop,
close all open programs including Outlook and Internet Explorer, then
double click the file. Continue if necessary and it will ask to
unzip the file. Allow it to unzip using the suggested location. Let
the program create the folder if it doesn’t exist. Once the files are
unzipped, the driver software will proceed to install automatically.
You may be prompted to continue – please do so.
When the installation is complete,
you’ll be asked to restart the computer. Once the computer has
restarted, log in. If your microphone is plugged in, you’ll be prompted
to identify it as a microphone. Once you’ve done that, it can be
tested. Click Start, Control Panel. Double click
Sound. Click the Recording tab. You’ll have to disable
your internal microphone again to avoid the screeching - right click the
internal microphone and choose Disable. Now snap your fingers in
front of your external microphone, and you should see the volume meter
move (at the right of the listing for the microphone).
As always if you have questions or
problems contact ETCS.