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Inspiron 5100 - Ticking sound from speakers

Hi. I have a Dell Inspiron 5100, and starting from yesterday, there is this constant ticking sound coming from the speakers, even before Windows is loaded (in fact, the ticking sound started as soon as I start the computer, even in BIOS). If I connect an external speaker, the ticking sound comes from the external speaker instead.

Actually, this is what happened: my friend was using my computer to play some mpeg files, when suddenly sound coming out from my notebook stopped. He checked the volume control, but the icon was missing from the taskbar. He went to Device Manager, and can't find the Sigmatel C Major inside there. (At this stage, there is no ticking sound yet, just complete silence).

I started the computer and went to BIOS, and surprisingly, in the BIOS, Sigmatel audio was recognised, but Modem was 'Disabled', although in the next page, where I can disable/enable things, the modem was already enabled (by the way, there is no setting to disabled/enabled Sigmatel) (still complete silence).

My checking in Device Manager confirmed this. I tried fixing the problem by flashing the BIOS to the newest version (A29). After the flashing, starting from startup, I can hear the ticking sound. When I went into Windows, I checked Device Manager and found my the Sigmatel and modem back in the Device Manager list. I tried playing something in Media Player, but there's no sound coming out.

I tried updating the driver to the newest too, but to no avail. Next, I fiddled with the settings. I moved the Balance setting in Volume Control to left, and I can hear a soft sound (the song that I was playing) coming out. Shifting it to right causes no sound to come out. If I connect an external speaker, the song will come out from my external speaker, but I have to set my external speaker to MAX.

When I shift the volume control bar to the left, I hear both the song and the ticking sound, if I shift it to the right, the ticking sound is still there (not louder or softer). Muting the audio has no use either, the ticking sound stills come out.

What do you think is the problem? What should I do? Is this a hardware problem with the audio (which is intergrated), or...?

Thanks a lot.

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Re: Inspiron 5100 - Ticking sound from speakers

In reply to: Inspiron 5100 - Ticking sound from speakers

This may seem like a strange answer but I have a cordless phone which sends a constant ticking sound through my PC speakers if it is placed too close to the PC. It must be some sort of radio interference. IF you have such a phone try turning it off or moving it futher away from the PC.

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Re: Inspiron 5100 - Ticking sound from speakers

In reply to: Re: Inspiron 5100 - Ticking sound from speakers

Yeah, when I'm on my cell phone anywhere close to my dimension 4100, it makes a buzzing noisem from the speakers.

So I guess it's either A.)Your phone is too close to your speakers, or B.)It's actually a time bomb and you need to submerge it in your bathtub promptly.

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Re: Inspiron 5100 - Ticking sound from speakers

In reply to: Inspiron 5100 - Ticking sound from speakers

Ticking sound at boot, before snd drivers load.
low volume in one speaker, none in other.
devices appear-disappear.
using headphones instead of speakers may show same result.
Sounds like blown audio to me.
Too bad you can't add an audio card, and that the Dell is out of warranty?
If the CDrom has headphone outlet, it is run by audio hardware anyway, so no workaround.
Ask for verbal ballpark estimate from local Dell shop or online fixers, so you don't have to pay $$ look fee.

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