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No sound on Dell Inspiron 5100

by tlove258 / September 3, 2006 11:29 PM PDT

I'm working on a Dell Insprion 5100 - After the last time I reformatted the unit, there is no sound. Device Manager shows no errors in Sound, but I cannot install the SigmaTel STAC 9750 AC97 drivers.

I have gone to the Dell site and tried installing all the Recommended and Optional drivers, but each install fails. I get one of two messages. The first message is: Device Object not present, restart the system and run setup again. The other says: Invalid operating system parameter, or this Installer doesn't support this Operating System.

I find this quite odd, since it is a recommended download from Dell for this specific system. Nevertheless, I am at a loss as to what to do next.

I found a similar post, and the other person managed to get sound after downloading from Dell, but obviously, that's not working for me.

Is it possible that the integrated sound card is cooked, or does anyone have some other options for me?

Thanks in advance for any help.


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Yes, It's Possible The Integrated Sound Card...
by Grif Thomas Forum moderator / September 4, 2006 2:57 AM PDT toast..One possible option.. Restart the computer into Safe Mode, then navigate to the Device Manager, click on the + sign next to "Sound, Video and Game Controllers" listing. If it's there, Uninstall the "SigmaTel STAC 9750 AC97" listing and any duplicates of it that might be there. (Duplicate listings can cause such problems as you are seeing.) If there are any other sound devices, you can uninstall them as well. Now restart the computer and let Windows recognize the sound device if it can. Afterwards, install the sound drivers that you've downloaded. You might also try the "Add Hardware" icon in the Control Panel if the above isn't successful.

If the device still isn't detected, then you're best bet is to purchase a new sound card.

Hope this helps.


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No luck so far
by tlove258 / September 9, 2006 10:31 PM PDT

Thank you for your prompt reply. I have tried all the above with no success. There were no entries for the SigmaTel or any other devices under Sound and Game Controllers. I am not even able to uninstall the SigmaTel driver from Control Panel. When I do try, I get this error:

Error loading c:\PROGRA~1\COMMON~\INSTAL~1\engine\6\INTEL3~1\Ctor.dll<UNINSTALL_CMD>

The specified module could not be found. I have been researching how to fix this, but haven't gotten it fixed yet. The unfortunate part, is this is a laptop, so we may be looking at a new motherboard, nut a card... Again, thank you for your help.

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by tlove258 / September 10, 2006 3:24 AM PDT
In reply to: No luck so far

It lookes like I have fixed the error loading problem using easy cleaner, but now I'm stuck with "device object not present, restart the system and run setup again" I restarted the machine and tried again, and again....I cannot get the sound drivers installed. Am I cooked?

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Not You..Just The Sound Card..
by Grif Thomas Forum moderator / September 10, 2006 3:39 AM PDT
In reply to: Update

I'd suggest getting a new one.. They're pretty cheap. Basically, you're getting an error that says the sound device isn't there.. It's no longer functioning..

Hope this helps.


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Test audio hardware in other OS
by linkit / September 10, 2006 9:39 PM PDT
In reply to: Update

Boot to a Knoppix CD to test the audio hardware. Hear anything?

Also my Inspiron has hardware diagnostics when I press F12 during the early black screens of startup. Be quick--it passes very fast. You should be able to hear an alert sound at the end of the video test.

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Knoppix CD?
by tlove258 / September 11, 2006 3:00 AM PDT

I had never heard of it until I Googled it just now. I haven't downloaded it yet, because I did do the Dell diagnostic and there is sound from the board...the default beep. Is the Knoppix supposed to be able to tell me if the sound module is bad?

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Here's the logic
by linkit / September 11, 2006 6:56 AM PDT
In reply to: Knoppix CD?

If an operating system other than Windowx XP uses your audio hardware to produce sound, then you don't have a problem with your audio hardware. You would then be able to say that you have a software/driver problem.

Knoppix is one of many Linux distributions that you don't have to load to your hard drive. It can boot and operate from your CD/DVD drive. It is popular for this type of diagnostic because it does a good job of recognizing a wide variety of hardware.

Use a working computer to download the Knoppix .ISO fiie. Use a CD burning program to burn the ISO image to a CD. Note that you would want to use that programs's command to burn an ISO image, and not just burn the ISO file itself onto a CD.

BUT ALL THAT IS UNNECESSARY if you did indeed get sound from the Dell Diagnostic.

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Inspiron speakers and keyboard
by Sheilablancas / August 10, 2009 5:15 AM PDT

I have a brand new Dell Inspiron desk top computer and not only does my speakers not work my keyboard is driving me nuts also. It doesnt give me all my lettrs so there is no way to tell how many words I type a minute. Because my minutes are taken up by fixing all the letters that didnt take. It is very upsettng to hav a BRAND new compter that is already acting up. I go to school online and need my speakers and my keyboard.

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(NT) While Under Warranty, Return It And Get One That Works.
by Grif Thomas Forum moderator / August 11, 2009 2:56 AM PDT
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Did you get a drive/resource CD
by glb613 / September 10, 2006 9:54 PM PDT

with your Dell? If so, use it to install the drivers. Replacing a sound card in a notebook is not something for a novice to try. Is this your onboard sound?

Sigma Tel C-Major Audio

If so, try doing a driver search at You must register but the site is free.

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Sigma Tel C-Major Audio
by tlove258 / September 11, 2006 2:22 AM PDT

Yes that is my onboard sound. I thought the sound card was soldered into the motherboard on a laptop board. I have even tried getting newer drivers (for the heck of it from Dell's site) all to no avail.

I did receive a driver cd Even installing from there will not work (safe mode or normal).

It looks like getting the external sound card will be the easier and less expensive resolution to this issue.

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I know it sounds simple but.....
by MikeyK1977 / September 26, 2006 5:53 PM PDT

It appears your troubles started when you formatted, so have you tried to format and reinstall again? possibly windows hick-upped during installation. Also how old is this dell 5100, because any inspiron laptop shipped after 7/15/2004 has a recovery partition, Using Dell PC Restore, in about 10 minutes, your laptop's software can be restored to the same condition as it was when you first powered it on.

Power the computer on.
When the Dell screen appears press and hold the <Ctrl> key on the keyboard, press the <F11> key, then release them both at the same time.
The Dell PC Restore window appears.

FYI - back up your stuff first, this will erase all data from laptop

Hope it helps,

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Too late
by tlove258 / September 28, 2006 2:55 AM PDT

Thank you for your reply, but the machine has been returned and an external card ordered. It was a lucky break that I didn't reformat the machine because the backup he thought he made didn't work. So at least his files are in tact.

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sound card
by william1boyle / September 28, 2006 9:45 AM PDT

it may be a fault with your sound card try new added software check your volume settings in your software proggrammes hope it works

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Have you tried this?
by glb613 / September 29, 2006 2:42 AM PDT
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Solved Device Object not present on VAIO VGN-FE31Z
by Kevski2 / November 23, 2006 7:22 AM PST

After a whole day on this particular issue I managed to resolve it - well for me at least! I had just done a clean install of Windows XP Pro (with SP2 included) on a Sony Vaio VGN-FE31Z.

It seems that the order you install the device drivers is critical, and unfortunately, like many other out there it would seem, I got the order wrong and so was stuck with the error message "Device Object not present..." when ever I tried to install the Audio drivers. The device was showing in the Device Manager as "PCI device" with the usual black cross on a yellow background. I knew it was an audio device, I also had the "as supplied" Sony drivers in "C:\Drivers" but running the setup.exe still caused the error message above.

I had done numerous "Windows Updates" but curiously enough I did not have either KB888111 nor KB835221 installed. After much googling I found a copy of the file kb888111.exe on a download site and tried it.


Immediately after the install of KB888111.exe, the Vaio (by itself - no clicking by me) started to detect the SigmaTel High Definition Audio and install drivers etc.

Wonderful - or so I thought. BUt even when all this was done and after a reboot - still no audio device. I then ran the Setup.exe again and this time it did not come up with the error, and the sound drivers (and Modem - now what is the tie up there I wonder?) installed, the sound device was recognised and I now have wonderful sound. Well, crap actually because the speaker are inbuilt diaphrams and not something of a higher cost/quality - but you get the idea.

Hope this helps someone. Excuse any typo's, mis-capitalisations etc - I've had three beers this evening while I have been pulling out what little hair I have left!


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I only wish...
by tlove258 / December 7, 2006 1:41 AM PST

Thanks for your reply Kevin.

I gave it a quick try, but the user was waiting for the machine, and you know how that goes! It's so hard to get something working in half an hour...It seems everything takes about 4 hours eh?

Oh well, he is now the proud owner of an external sound card because I couldn't get it working within that time frame. But if I know him, I'll be reformatting that machine again within 6 months, and when I do, I'll reinstall everything in the exact order and that will probably fix it.


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Another go...
by tlove258 / February 25, 2008 2:18 AM PST
In reply to: I only wish...

Well, I was wrong. It wasn't 6's been 14 months, but nevertheless, I get another go at reformatting this machine. I reformatted it twice yesterday, and still no sound, and no modem. I'm going to try the stuff in the post that I didn't get the chance to last time and re-post. By the way, this machine is SP1.

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For the Dell laptops I encounter I ...
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 25, 2008 2:46 AM PST
In reply to: Another go...

Install the OS cd Dell gave me, but after that I must use the supplied Supplemental CD.

If we don't use that then sound and other things may not work.

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I might have a problem...
by tlove1966 / February 25, 2008 7:15 PM PST

Hi Bob. I don't think I have the 'supplemental' cd. Maybe that's what's going wrong. What's that cd called?


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You can get your Dell Drivers from here
by PudgyOne / February 25, 2008 9:56 PM PST
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Still I struggle
by tlove258 / February 27, 2008 2:37 AM PST

Well gang...I have reformatted this thing at least 7 times now. There is no recovery partition to restore to factory on this unit. Apparently it's a little too old.

When I try to install the sound driver that came with the cd (R52821), I get "Invalid operating system parameter, or this installer doesn't support this Operating System." Then I try the one I downloaded from Dell's site (R90698) and get "Device object not present. Restart the system and run setup again."

I have been following the proper order of installation as instructed by Dell and everyone else, all to no avail. I have used the Resource CD to confirm that there is sound, and well, there is.

Should I just let it run windows updates until it gets to SP2 to see if that helps?

Please help. I have to give this machine back to the owner sometime soon....UGH...

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Still Sounds Like The Sound Device Has Died...
by Grif Thomas Forum moderator / February 27, 2008 2:47 AM PST
In reply to: Still I struggle

Not too many options.. Live with no sound or get a new motherboard or computer..


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Yeah, it's over
by tlove1966 / February 28, 2008 7:43 PM PST

Well, I hate to admit it, but I lost. I have finally given up. No matter what order I install the drivers in, I cannot get sound. So, yes, I guess it is the board. Argh! Thanks for all your help.

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(NT) Usually It's The 'Dell Resource CD'...
by Grif Thomas Forum moderator / February 26, 2008 12:10 AM PST
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Great Fix for Vaio laptop sound issue
by ginniss / June 27, 2008 12:10 AM PDT

Kevin Excellent well done this really work thanks

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SigmaTel audio drivers load
by williamjacobs / April 8, 2009 4:19 AM PDT

Note to others:

The kb and Microsoft Audio hotfix didn't help until I loaded the driver as an admin in safe mode.

After that, sound...

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