Fixing Sound on Inspiron 2500 Laptop

A while back I bought a used Dell Inspiron 2500 laptop that I wanted primarily to experiment with installing Linux & FreeBSD. Recently I gave the laptop to my friend after installing Windows XP Pro on it. Everything seems to work fine on the laptop except that no sound whatsoever will come out of the built-in speakers. I didn't see that as a major problem, but now my friend would like to be able to listen to music on it, so I need to fix this.

I checked all the sound & volume settings in Win XP and all seemed normal, so I'm assuming that maybe the sound card is dead. My question is can the sound card be easily replaced, or is it soldered permanently on the logic board?

BTW, I also thought of a non-technical work-around of simply plugging a headset into Audio-Out port, but for some bizarre reason this jack seems to be wider than normal. I tried plugging in standard headphones and the plug does not fit snugly, so therefore it won't stay in there. I have no idea why that is?? If I forcibly hold the headset plug in, I can hear music, but that isn't a practical solution. Although now that I think of it, if I can hear music through the headset, then the sound card is working, right? So maybe the speakers themselves are dead? Would those be easy to remove & replace w/ new ones??

Any feedback would be appreciated. Thanks in advance.

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If there is sound from the headphone jack, you may have the sound mixer set to mute the speakers.  Laptops typically use 1/8-inch or 3.5mm jacks, and you may have been trying a headphone with a smaller jack, more suitable for an iPod or cell phone.  Use the right connector and it should work.
anuneznycAuthor Commented:
There seems to be some kind of electrical short somewhere in there. As I jiggled the headphone connector in the jack, the sound actually came up on the speakers as well as through the headphones. So obviously the external speakers do work, but only when I stick the headphone in just the right way.
Some headphone jacks are designed to turn off the speakers when headphones are plugged in.  It sounds like your jack is stuck thinking that headphones are plugged in - try inserting and removing the jack several times, in case there is oxidation buildup on the contacts.

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anuneznycAuthor Commented:
OK. I will try that. Thanks.
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