Hi Bob, thanx, With reference to replacing the sound card, I've never done anything like that. I'm not too steady working on small stuff like inside the computer. (i am 72YO with a tremor) i did a fresh download of the sound drivers from Dell's help page yesterday. That didn't help. the speakers are working fine, it is just the left headset that does not work when i plug in a headset. i've tried the headset jack in both the front and rear of the computer and more than one set of headphones. Same result, no left channel.
I do have a few months left on a service contract with Staples, that i got last year when i had major problems and had to have the OS replaced. If i need a new sound card, maybe i could buy it from them and have them do the install for me. What do you think? Thank you! Mike