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Sound works, but very low - controls on maximum - XP Realtec 97

Hello -
I have read thru a similar problem which came to no real
solution except to install a new sound card - I know my sound card
is fine except if it is plugged in  incorrectly I would not know how to
fix that without getting someone to go in there...

I have tried all the controls like the Sound Effects manager and
device manager - all drivers seem to be installed properly, and
yet the sound that comes out of the speakers is very low. I certainly
can't play a CD and hear it unless I am sitting right here...

My old Win98 had an icon that looked like a speaker, different
from the one here on XP - it brought up a simpler applet which
had Volume Controls that worked. In fact it got VERY loud.
This one has speaker tests  both of which are fine) and all that
but I can't get it any louder even with the volumes all the way up.

Any suggestions? I am getting frustrated with this because I just
can't figure it out. I know it must be something simple!

Lil
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Chickenlil
Asked:
Chickenlil
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5 Solutions
 
CallandorCommented:
You should make sure the speakers are plugged into the green colored jack - pink is for microphone and blue is for line-level input.  There should be a volume control in Control Panel->Sounds and Multimedia, the Sounds tab.
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ChickenlilAuthor Commented:
Yes, the speakers are plugged in the green jack.
I also checked all the volume-related slides and
controls such as you noted, I have not seen that
particular one before - and there is no change
they are all at top max - but I will shut down and
come back at lunchtime and check it again, maybe
there will be a change.

Thanks!
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ChickenlilAuthor Commented:
I have restarted the computer but the sound
level remains very low. How do I find
soundman.exe? I tried a search to no avail.
I don't know if it would help anyway or just
open the same control thingy I already have
messed with - the speaker test, the
room configuration, etc. - which doesn't
change a thing with the volume.

My CD/DVD drive is TDK DVDCDRW0404N

I have tried updating the drivers but it says
there is no better driver than the one installed.
I thought maybe it had a manual volume wheel
but it doesn't have that either.

I have no idea what's going on here.


Lil
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CallandorCommented:
Do you have any other applications running in the background that might be taking control of the volume?  If you could post what processes you see in task manager, it might help.

What sound card do you have?  Is it an onboard sound card?  If it is, what motherboard do you have?
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ChickenlilAuthor Commented:
No, I have nothing running and the volume is still
very low. I don't know how to look at task manager -
my task bar has only the sound efffect icon,
spyware, avg virus, IM disabled.
How do I check the task manager otherwise?

Maxtor 6E040L0   40 GB HD (29GB free space)
Realtek audio 97 -- Is that the sound card?
By onboad i assume you mean is it installed inside the computer - Yes.

AMD Athlon 1.5 GHz 512K RAM

Hope this means something to you!

L
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CallandorCommented:
Right click on the task bar and select task manager.  Look under the "processes" tab for names of applications - there may be quite a few.

By onboard, I mean included on the motherboard, as opposed to a separate card.  If you download and run Everest, it will provide the sound card information that you can copy and paste here.

Everest Home and Professional
http://www.lavalys.com/products/download.php?pid=1&lang=en&pageid=3
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_Commented:
If these are powered speakers, did the volume comtrol on them get turned down?
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nobusCommented:
well, i have the loudspeaker icon on my right hand side of the task bar, and when i double click it, i have the volume controls; so check if nothing is muted here.
if you do not find it, for XP look under :
start>programs>accessories>entertainment>volume
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woodendudeCommented:
try , right clik my computer, properties, hardware device manager, cd/dvd rom drives, expand this, right click on the drive there , go properties, go to the properties tab and check the volume setting there.
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ChickenlilAuthor Commented:
nobus, woodendude - I have tried checking the volume settings on
all of those locations - they are all set at maximum.

coral 47 - the speakers are not powered - but they worked fine
and were very loud with my old computer. I may buy new
speakers, but not until I solve this problem which I don't
think is the fault of the speakers (Koss HD-20)

Callandor - I will try the Everest program you suggest

Back later Thanks!
L

Callandor -
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ChickenlilAuthor Commented:
Callandor -

I am adding points since this apparently is not
as simple as I thought it might be...

I got the Everest program - very interesting -
and here is the audio info (sound card)

PCI (type)  VIA AC'97 Enhanced Audio controller

It is not  a part of the motherboard info so I assume
is a separate card. I don't think you need all the
info in the report but let me know if you do.
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nobusCommented:
you can reinstall the drivers for it; BTW, when you checked the volume, did you check that no channels were muted?
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CallandorCommented:
Ok, it looks like you have a separate PCI sound card, but I would need the manufacturer's name and the card model.  You can also try looking in the summary section for a link to the sound card driver.

What you just said is curious: the last time you got the correct volume was when you were connected to another motherboard?  And these speakers are unpowered?  If so, the two motherboards may provide a different voltage to your speakers, and you hear a different volume as a result.  The cure, in this case, is to use powered speakers.  If you can get a hold of some to try out, it may resolve this problem.
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ChickenlilAuthor Commented:
Callandor -

I am looking at the Task manager processes list -
but I can't copy it to paste here.
There are 32 processes running - CPU usage
varies between 30% - 75%
Nothing seems unusual or excessive - should I
be looking for anything in particular?
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HuntyCommented:
Go to Start/Control Panel/Sounds and Audio Devices.  Put a tick in the box next to "Place Volume Icon in the Taskbar" then click on Apply.  Now if you double click that icon in your taskbar you will get the system sounds volume controler.  Raise the volume for CD, WAV and Midi.  Hopefully this should fix the problem.
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CallandorCommented:
It's hard to say what I'm specifically looking for, except perhaps a program that takes control of sound functions.  I understand that without being able to copy and paste, it might be too onerous to type in.  Have you investigated the driver links in the summary section of Everest?

Can you confirm that you have unpowered speakers, which I think could be a problem?
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ChickenlilAuthor Commented:

Huntress - I put the volume controls on the task bar,
thanks for that - but it still doesn't change anything.
I try windows Media player with the slides all the way
up, still it's barely audible.

nobus - No channels are muted

 C -I think I already posted the sound card info (VIA AC '97 Enhanced controller)

I have looked at all the drivers and troubleshoot - none
indicate a problem. could be the voltage of the motherboard ...
I do have unpowered speakers - maybe that's all,
I will look for some new ones tomorrow -

As for the summary section of Everest - i saved a report
but I don't know what it is I am looking for anyway.
What is it you think I might find out?
thanks
L
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CallandorCommented:
The Everest report was just to help find a driver, in case it might help, but I didn't know about the unpowered speakers and I think that was the source of the problem.
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HuntyCommented:
Unpowered speakers being the problem gets my vote.  Never could use them with any decent soundcard.
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ChickenlilAuthor Commented:
OK, so what do you recommend I look for in
buying speakers? I don't want to spend more
than about $40. How do I know they are "powered" -
do they plug in to a power outlet or have batteries?
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_Commented:
>> do they plug in to a power outlet or have batteries? <<  Usually they are plugged into the wall with an AC/DC adapater. I think I have seen some battery powered ones around, but won't swear to it.

As to which ones to get, it depends on what you need them to do. Just windows sounds and light music listening, anything above the cheapest out there will do. For serious sounds like gaming, you will need to listen to some hooked up to a system. Most electronics stores have demos hooked up for this reason.
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nobusCommented:
you can also connect the speaker output of the sound card to your sound system, and use that
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ChickenlilAuthor Commented:
To connect the speaker output, I'd need to break into the box
and I probably don't want to do that. I actually only want "light"
listening - but not THAT light! I'd like to be able to hear Miles
Davis more than 3 ft away - and if it means new speakers will
work, than I'm willing to try that. I'll be back later today with my
speakers, and will try that solution- let you know later.

Thanks for helping me feel less inept than I was feeling.
At least now I know how to find every audio property imaginable.
Could be it's just hardware, after all.

L
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HuntyCommented:
:-)
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CallandorCommented:
If you're going to listen to Miles Davis, don't you want it to sound as real as possible? ;-)
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_Commented:
: )
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ChickenlilAuthor Commented:
Hello  -  I went bought some Altec Lansing speakers today
at Staples - one of those rebate items, it ends up being
$15 - and there is a sub-woofer box with it, and they plug into
the wall and the green port and have little blue lights when
they are on - and lo and behold, Let there be Sound!
Yes, Miles lives again. I did learn from the exercise and
the answer is, Power Does Matter.

I'd like to split some of the 400 points among the
participants - Callandor was the first to mention the unpowered
speakers and three others were involved so if you want to split
them up somehow, please do so.

Thanks for all the help.
L
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ChickenlilAuthor Commented:
I don't see the split Points option
on this page, so thanks for the help -
here's the best I can come up with

Callendor - 200

woodendude
coral47
Huntress58
nobus -

50 points each
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_Commented:
Thank you much.    : )
(and to you also Callandor)     : )

>> Altec Lansing speakers .... rebate .... Miles lives again <<    Excellent deal. You should be smiling for days.     : D
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HuntyCommented:
I'm just glad it's working.  ;-)
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