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If these drives are internally powered by the USB hub, two devices will not be recognised. ie: you can have as many pendrives as you like and they will be seen, because they draw little power from the hub, however, a larger external hard drive requires more power (some of these in fact have two usb connectors to power them). which is why your laptop will only recognise one drive at a time:
Solution: If you can get an externally powered usb drive, this should work.Another and possibly cheaper way would be to get an externally powered USB hub, which would solve the problem
There was a problem with the internal speakers with this model. Firstly, try a pair of external speakers plugged into the sound port, if these work , the issue lies with the internal ones.
If there is no sound through the external speakers, check that you have the sound driver installed, that the volume is set using the FN and F keys and that the sound icon on the desktop bar does not have a x through it indicating it is disabled.
You can download an updated sound driver from the Dell site, although i think Windows 7 comes with its own sound driver for this.
If the problem points to the internal speakers, you have a few choices: Return the laptop to Dell under warranty (if it is under warranty) Try to obtain a set of internal speakers and replace these Takr the laptop to a computer shop and get them to check the internal speakers and repair if necessary
you can get a small external sound controller that plugs into a USB port .. these are usually better than what comes with the laptop ... a lot of internal sound cards use only monoral inputs .. i guess thats ok for a mike but really bad if ;you want to record an old record, tape or FM station .. the external sound cards have sterio in and out and many other features ... also some have multichannel (mixer) capabilitys .. they usually have lower noise and better sound quality ... really good ones can be expensive but i got a low cost one locally that works great ..its very small but a big improvment over what my dell had internally in my laptop ..
the sound control switch and the "sound card" are likely seperate ... so replacing the card may not fix the problem if the control is bad .. in fact several spec sheets show the sound card as "integrated" on your machine .. that probably means its built on the motherboard .. not a plugin replacable part.. ouch
Hold down the dispay/ext. monitor key in the top row after bootup along with any other function key necessary to change display from laptop display to external display until you snap into the external display.
Reconfigure external display as startup display in My Computer -- Display reboot to tst reconfiguration.
Yes, sometimes Skype messes with your hardware settings and sets it up to what "skype thinks works best", if you have System Restore turned on, try going back to the time before you installed that version of Skype.
Also, look in your Device Manager settings for anything screwy.