March 2010
Vol. 26, No. 1

A Technology Newsletter for Extension Specialists

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Set Default Mic in Windows XP
by Steve Giesel

If you are still using Windows XP, this set of instructions should facilitate your microphone trouble-shooting and setup. Part of this setup procedure is using the Wizard to test your mic and speaker volumes, be sure to complete the Wizard sequence.

Click any image for a larger view

  1. Begin by clicking the Start button on your Task Bar (red arrow).

  2. Mouse up to "Settings" and then over to "Control Panel," and click (green arrow).

  3. The Control Panel will open. This view shows the icons, yours may be displayed in a list format.

  4. In either case you want the "Sounds and Audio Devices section. Double-click that item (purple arrow) and the Properties dialog box will open.

  5. Here is the "Sounds and Audio Devices Properties" dialog box. If not already selected, click the "Voice" tab (blue arrow).

  6. Once the Voice tab is selected, go to the "Voice recording" section.

  7. Click the drop-down and choose the selection shown (orange arrow).

    Now this particular example shows no other choices, but often people have other de-vices connected, such as a webcam.

  8. If something other than SoundMAX Digital Audio is selected, this is likely why your mic is not working.

    It's possible that SoundMAX Digital Audio is not the exact phrase in your setup, but it will be something similar. What you are doing is selecting the sound card in your computer as the default device.

  9. Once you have selected the computer's base sound device, click the "Volume…" button shown (red arrow).

  10. Clicking the "Volume…" button opens the dialog shown as image 7-Volume Control.

    Select the control labeled "Microphone," and place the volume control towards the top as shown.

  11. Click the "X" to close the win-dow.

  12. From image 6-Voice Tab above, click the button marked "Test hardware…" (green arrow). This action opens the Sound Hardware Test Wizard shown in images 8-11 below.

  13. Complete the Wizard and click the Finish button marked by the blue arrow.

  14. Once closing the Wizard you will be returned to the dialog box shown by image 6-Voice Tab above. Click OK to accept your changes.

  15. An alternative method to access the "Sounds and Audio Devices Properties" dialog box shown in image 5-Properties above is outlined here. The orange arrow points to the speaker icon in your System Tray.

  16. Hover your mouse over the speaker and right-click.

  17. In the popup that appears, select "Adjust Audio Prop-erties."
    This action takes you to step 5 above where you may continue from there.


Last Revised: 03/26/10



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