Windows 7 Mic Issues, possibly Realtek or Motherboard related

I’ve been struggling with an issue with Windows 7 since the Beta was released. At first, I thought it was because of the Realtek drivers or the Beta status of Windows release. But that was not it. So what’s the issue:

My Mic shows fine in the Sound Device Manager and I can hear it fine but it wont record. In other words, the mic works, I can hear it, but it won’t record. What else was annoying that any application that I tried to use the mouse with told me that Mic wasn’t available or working. I know most of the issues related to Mics are because people do not have proper drivers installed or their Mic is not properly configured but this one’s a kind of its own.

The reason behind the problem:

I believe it is because of Applications taking exclusive control of a device. When windows starts up, the device goes into a state where the exclusive control of the device is not released and it becomes unavailable to other services or programs. This is the reason why you can see the Mic in the control panels and windows reports it as working but you won’t see any activity.

How to solve it:

Yeah, to the solution already. Let’s go through this step by step. I will always refer to the Windows’ own Sound Control Panel. So if you have Realtek or IDT or VIA or any other chipset, we’re not concerned and I won’t refer to it.

– Close any sound related applications that you may have running.
– Make sure that you have one Mic active in your Windows Sound Control Panel. Disable all others.
– Open your Mic’s Properties.

– Go to the “Levels” tab. Take the sliders all the way to the right. Don’t worry, this is to test and we’ll take them back afterward. For a note, I’m referring to the “Volume” and “Boost” Properties. Here’s a screen shot for reference.

– Go to the Enhancements tab and check “Disable All Sound Effects”. This should disable everything on that tab and especially the “Immediate Mode”. Another reference screencap:

– Lastly, go the the Advanced tab and uncheck everything under the “Exclusive Mode” Section.

Alright, we’re done. Now apply all the settings and click “OK”. Always click “OK” as “apply” doesn’t persist the changes. Close the Sound Control Panel completely by clicking “OK” on every screen. You can restart your windows if you want but that is not necessary. Re open the Sound Device control Panel. Try talking into your Mic, it should show activity.

There you have it. Let me know if this works for you. It worked for me. The catch is “exclusive” application control of the Mic and Sound Effects. So remember to disable them. Moreover, if your Mic works now, you can adjust the sensitivity, which we leveled up before.

I can post a video of this if there’s demand.

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This entry was posted on Sunday, July 25th, 2010 at 2:04 am

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Tags: IM, mic, MSN, realtek, skype, windows 7, yahoo

Posted in: MicroHard, Misc, Tutorials