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Sound is scratchy

I have a Dell Optiplex 745. The sound is extremely bad. I cannot listen to any music or watch any U tube videos or watch a DVD. I tried calling Dell - they recommended a change in motherboard, which was done by them as the product was still under warranty. The sound comes out like a very bad 'am radio' with disturbances and screeching etc.
I was hoping not to have to reinstall the entire windows xp and all my programs. Is there a way to just check the sound files or replace a corrupted sound file in windows xp.
I have done the usual steps of replacing the external speakers and following the windows trouble shooting of the sound system without any luck.
I would really appreciate any help.

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  • skindoc Dec 26, 2008

    The soundcard is integrated with the Motherboard. So I cannot install a new sound card.

    Thanks for your help

  • skindoc Dec 26, 2008

    Initially when I had called Dell, they had informed me that there was no way a new sound card could be installed as it was integrated with the motherboard. So they agreed to change the motherboard to resolve the problem. It did not make any difference.

    The computer is a small size. so there is no room for installing a new sound card. There are no empty slots for a sound card.

    Are there external sound cards avaiable?

  • skindoc Dec 26, 2008

    I am going to Circuit City right now to purchase an external sound card. I do hope this solves the problem. I shall post a comment by this evening if this works. My only fear is that the motherboard has already been changed once, and the new integrated sound card did not make any difference.

  • skindoc Dec 27, 2008

    I had one question before I purchase a new sound card which is about $75.00. A Dell technician told me it is highly unlikely that a sound card is causing my problem, because when I connect the speakers to the earphone jack in the front of the computer, the problem with the crackling and distortion still persists. He said the earphone jack bypasses the sound card in the computer.

    I don't know if that is an accurate statement. Perhaps someone could advise me on that.

  • athlonetom May 11, 2010

    Make sure the speakers are plugged into the correct jack. Check that you do not have an analog ->digital mismatch.


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I would suggest you get yourself a new sound card for the computer.
here are some from newegg

the 30usd card will do great, but if you want even better quality you could get the creative extreme audio they are all on that newegg shop page above.

Posted on Dec 26, 2008

  • 5 more comments 
  • Ekse Dec 26, 2008

    A computer can have more than 2 sound cards installed, this will fix your problem you wont need to remove the build in card, you can have both installed or disable the internal card from computer bios.

  • Ekse Dec 26, 2008

    it doesn't matter if you have a internal sound card, it can be disabled from computer setup / bios during start up. Or you can have both installed and working, you will just need to change one small setting in windows simply to use the new card instead of the internal old card.

  • Ekse Dec 26, 2008

    Yes there are external sounds cards, there are sound cards for USB for example Sound Blaster Go!


    If I had to use a USB sound card I would go for the Creative its a great brand.


  • Ekse Dec 26, 2008

    If your looking for quality this looks a little better than just a usb stick

  • Ekse Dec 26, 2008

    If I can ask, if you found my sulution helpful do change the rating, and consider accepting the solution I offered to you in the premium assistance thread you had pruchased.

    Thank you and let me know if you need anything else

  • Ekse Dec 26, 2008

    drop me a comment if you need help in getting the windows to use the external sound card instead of the internal one. I can take over the computer for a moment and help you with it, but it debends if I'm available when you get back. Im on Finland time, its almost 8pm here.

  • Ekse Dec 27, 2008

    go to a real computer shop store and make sure you are allowed the return the usb card incase it doesn't work.

    The jack is connected to the sound card, try connecting on the back of the pc. I don't understand what he ment.


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  • 238 Answers

Try to install video and audio codecs.

Best regards

Posted on Dec 26, 2008

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    Jarish Castañeda Dec 26, 2008

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