speaker & microphone sockets not working

  penhit 22:44 02 Aug 2010

Hullo - any ideas on this please...
The speaker and the microphone sockets at the back of my computer (I'm running XP )both used to work but now don't. The headphone and microphone sockets at the front do work. At the momentI've plugged the speakers in to the headphone socket but I'd like to sort it out if possible.
I'd welcome some advice on what the problem is and how (If?) I can resolve it
Thanks in advance

  DieSse 12:23 03 Aug 2010

Is your sound on the motherboard, or do you use a separate sound card?

What motherboard do you have?

  penhit 13:37 03 Aug 2010

Good questions...
I'm using an (old) Acer Aspire T180
The sound card is Realtek High Defintion Audio.
I'm struggling to find the motherboard. Some posters say MCP61SM-AM others say Foxconn AM2 MCP61S motherboards
(click here) but I don't know
Does this help diagnose the problem?
sorry to be so ill-informed...

  DieSse 13:52 03 Aug 2010

Most front sockets go through an internal jumper set, and have a physical switch inside the socket.

When something is plugged into the front sockets that should route the sound via the front device, and cut off the rear sockets.

When the device at the front is removed, the switch (which is inside the actual front sockets, and very crude) should close and let the sound pass through and out to the rear sockets.

A common problem is that dirt/fluff inside the front sockets can prevent the internal switch closing - or they can simply break - or they can be miswired internally.

You say it's a sound card - are you sure it's a separate card, and not just sockets on the motherboard. The location of the rear sockets would tell you.

  DieSse 13:54 03 Aug 2010

If you run SIW (System Information for Windows) - a free download, you should get the proper make and model of your motherboard. Just google for SIW

  penhit 14:26 03 Aug 2010

You are right, the sound is on the motherbaord
Motherboard Manufacturer
Acer Model EM61SM/EM61PM

The reason I started using the front sockets was because the rear sockets were not working.

Thanks for your help - where do I go from here?

  DieSse 17:36 03 Aug 2010

I can't find the motherboard manual to check. Acer don't appear to release manuals - Foxconn, who apparently make the board - their site is worse than useless.

So - assuming it used to work, I surmise that the front sockets are faulty or dirty OR the switching between front and rear is done electronically rather than physically.

In case the sockets are simply dirty, with the power OFF, squirt a little alcohol into each socket, and then push the plug for the headset into and out of it a few times - do each socket in turn.

Wait a couple of minutes for the alcohol to evaporate then see if they're working.

If it's electronic switching (by sensing whether a device is in the socket or not) - then look at the audio settings - can't tell you exactly where for the software that goes with this sound facility.

You could have a look in the case and see if the wiring from the front sockets goes via a patch-pad - like a connector with maybe jumpers and the wires from the front panel sockets going to it. Without a manual, however, you're flying in the dark I'm afraid.

Sorry not to be more helpful - ideally someone with a similar system could advise you better about the software settings. You could just try reloading the Realtek sound drivers - presumably on a utilities CD that came with the system

I read that support from the US Acer site is much better than the local one.

  penhit 23:27 03 Aug 2010

You are a star and a fount of knowledge
I cleaned the sockets but baulked at messing freestyle with the internal wiring. No joy from cleaning. No CDs with the computer - so couldn't update the drivers and so was about to give up as a bad job - but then went to the Acer US site and downloaded Realtek drivers and installed them.
Back in business. So many thanks for sharing your wisdom.
PC Advisor Forum is my main source of expertise in troubleshooting and once again it has come up trumps.

Again, many thanks

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