My current laptop is a nice Dell Inspiron 1720. For the most part, I’m pretty happy with it. There are a few things that still get my dander up, if you will, but I attribute most of them to Vista(Free up Disk Space, recognizing CD burner).
The recent issue has been my headset jack. For a long time, each time I plugged something in to the microphone jack I would get the prompt from Vista asking what type of device was being connected. I would always leave the “Never Ask” checkbox unchecked just so I would have the ability in the future to easily use some other device.
The problem started about 2 weeks ago. I believe (although I don’t know for sure) that I accidentally checked the aforementioned option. From that point on I was no longer able to get to that dialog, and in addition my microphone would not work with some applications. Windows would indicate that it was hooked up and the level meter in the properties dialog would move suggesting that it was working; however, in applications like recording software and games using voice chat I would get no sound at all.
Searching around Google it turned out that many other people have had the same problem. The disturbing thing was that there are a lot of solutions (see the links) that solve the problem for some and not the others.
I tried most of the suggestions that I found with no luck. The one that sounded like it should work involved a check box that tells the driver to reset all popup alerts. That was a no-go as well.
In the end, there was a comment that suggested that reinstalling the driver would do the trick. I downloaded the latest from Dell (which was the version I already had installed), went into Device Manager (Control Panel -> Hardware and Sound -> Device Manager) including telling it to remove all files and rebooted. After doing so, Vista did detect my sound card and reinstalled the software. The next time I plugged in, viola! There was my dialog!
I don’t know if it is a Vista problem or a SigmaTel problem, but it is one that should be addressed. If you’ve found your way to this page and the reinstallation method does not work for you, try some of the other links from above. There are a lot of potential solutions, one of them may be right for you.