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Dan
Dan, Network Administrator
Category: Computer
Satisfied Customers: 716
Experience:  25 Years working with computer troubleshooting and networking. Comp TIA A-Plus Certified.
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I have an Acer Aspire X 3900 computer. Running on Windows 7.

Resolved Question:

I have an Acer Aspire X 3900 computer. Running on Windows 7. All working fine.
Bought a Genius iLook 310 webcam beginning October and plugged it in one of the USB ports in front of the PC.
When I Skype to people they cannot hear me. They see me and I can hear and see them. Did the test program with Skype and that says ALL is OK.
In the Google+ Hangout program I have the same problem. It tells me that the microphone doesn't work which seems to be a hardware problem...
Took the webcam back to the shop where I witnessed a test and it worked fine.

Could it be a hardware problem with my Acer? Or wrong settings? Please advise in lay mens terms what I need to do to get it working. Thanks in advance, Erik
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Computer
Expert:  Dan replied 1 year ago.

Dan :

Hello and thank you for your question, I would be happy to help you today. I presume you are using the microphone that is built into the Genius, is that correct?

Customer:

Yes that is correct

Dan :

Have you checked the microphone input to see which is active on your computer? If not, open your Control Panel, if it opens in Category view, click the down arrow and select large icons. Next select the Sound icon and let me know when you get to that point.

Customer:

Yes i see that screen

Dan :

Okay, now select the Recording tab and let me know what icons are listed there please.

Customer:

Mic 1 - Line 1 - Front Mic - Microphone - Line in - Microphone USB audio Device Default Device. This last one has green tick

Customer:

Numbers 3,4 and 5 say "Not plugged in"

Dan :

I presume you have your camera plugged in, correct?

Customer:

There is only one line with a USB stick that comes from the Webcam. I put that into a slot in the front of my computer. But the normal PC connections ( a USB and a lightgreen contact) are in place as well. They came with the computer.

Customer:

So yes it is plugged in

Dan :

It sounds like you have it connected properly. Do you see any sound levels in the sound control box next to the USB microphone you described above?

Customer:

On that screen I see three "ladders" (lightblue) For Mic1, Line 1, and Microphone USB audio Device Default device. All "ladders" are of similar length from top to bottom

Dan :

Do you see any activity on the one next to the USB audio device? Try making noise while you are watching it.

Customer:

Yes, the lowest step of the "ladder" is becoming green

Customer:

Making REAL noise two line are becoming green

Customer:

Banging with both fists on a wooden table

Dan :

Good. Click on that device and select properties then let me know when there.

Customer:

Yes I am there

Dan :

Are there any tabs labeled Levels?

Customer:

Clicked on "Levels" and it shows a blue pointer in the middle. It states + 44.8 db

Customer:

With the words Microphone

Dan :

Try moving it to the right. This will increase the output of the microphone; then you will need to check it with someone on line to see if it made any difference. If not, I would suggest you add an external microphone that you can use in place of the built in one on the camera. Personally, I have found the built in types to be less than stellar when it comes to quality.

Customer:

Moved it to the max (far right side) and it's now 50.8 dB. Will be hard to check it now as all our Skype contacts live in Holland (sound asleep now). So that has to wait. How can I get into contact with you when we close this chat?

Customer:

And I wonder if I add an external microphone (which I have) that it "fights" with the inbuilt one..??

Customer:

And I have to tell you that I had a Genius webcam before with just the camera function and an external microphone. Bought the new one as I thought the webcam had gone. Had it tested as well and both webcams work fine.

Customer:

After a Microsoft Update it all of a sudden stopped working correctly. People not being able to hear me.

Customer:

That was a genius iLook 300

Customer:

To me a full mystery

Dan :

Yes it would. You will need to disable the built in microphone, but you should be able to either do that with the camera software or in the sound utility we now have open. If this happened after an update, there was most likely a driver change. Have you tried re-installing the camera software?

Customer:

When i tested it with a friend who had his laptop here (in my house) we found that we could Skype. Him not hearing me. Than I took out the light green sound plug at the back of the computer, plugged it in again and he could hear me...

Customer:

Yes I un-istalled the 310 webcam and re-installed it a couple of times. No result, it remained the same

Dan :

What is the green plug connected to?

Customer:

I have done the trick with un-plugging and re-plugging the light green cord and that worked during several contacts. But after a while I have to do it again (nuisance). Doesn't make sense to me at all. So I can Skype but just un and re plugging several times during a conversation

Customer:

The Acer computer comes with loudspeakers and a microphone. You plug the loudspeakers in with a "Double cord" It had both a USB plug and a lightgreen one. I put the light green one in the slot that is light green also and the USB plug in the nearest slot at the back of the PC. These connections are still in place. On top of that I plugged in the microphone into another USB slot. That is taken out now

Dan :

Have all of your problems started since the last Microsoft update?

Customer:

The light green one is a little pin like device that goes into the light green slot.

Customer:

Yes after that update all went wrong

Customer:

Have to add that I had another problem (about a month before the MS update) and allowed Microsoft to enter my PC (taking over the mouse on a green screen). That had to do with networking. It failed and I went to a computer expert here. He fixed it but stated that I should have never allowed MS into my computer as that causes problems forever....

Customer:

But I never related this to the microphone problems

Dan :

Try this. In Control Panel, click Programs, and then, under Programs and Features, click View installed updates. There you can uninstall the most recent updates either one by one or all of the most recent ones and see if that solves the problem.

Customer:

Did that and it didn't solve the problem

Customer:

But I can look at it again as I remember going back to a certain date

Customer:

That was the advice I got form MS to uninstall updates and return to a date before

Dan :

Have you tried a system restore or just uninstalling the updates?

Customer:

Both

Dan :

How old is your computer?

Customer:

Asked AVG for help as well. They didn't see any virus or related issues. Didn't undertsand it as it didn't make sense to them. Did a special test run (Computer High tech) and found everything OK

Customer:

My computer is from october 2009

Customer:

I still have my old computer (2004) and use that to Skype now. Rung on windows XP

Customer:

Runs*

Dan :

The audio processor could be failing on the motherboard. If that is the case, all you would need to do is add an audio card and disable the on-board audio. I am beginning to think this is more hardware than software now?

Customer:

Asked Acer for help too. They stated it was not a hardware problem...? but were not very helpful

Dan :

Acer probably wouldn't spend too much time with you unless they thought they could sell you something.

Customer:

Can I add an audio card myself or do I need assistance from a computer expert to do that? Yes you are right Acer didn't show much effort to really help.

Customer:

And where can I buy an audio card and how do I know which card to buy?

Dan :

The audio card should be pretty easy. You will need to check to see what type of slots you have available on the motherboard to install one in. Your owners manual can tell you more. From what I have been able to find, your board has what are called PCI-E slots. If you go to this link, you will find several types of cards that will fit your computer.

Customer:

Guess I have to do that. I use my computer heavily. At least 5 hours a day. And have all kinds of problems. For example it does not recognize my Printer. Have to un- and re-install and I can print. Could it be that it is too old already? Maybe it's better to buy a new one again. Maybe an Apple. What do you recommend?

Dan :

Well if you are having other problems then it could be the motherboard failing all together. If you have been using a PC for your work, then I would stay with it. Migrating to an Apple could take up a lot of your time just transferring all of the data you currently have, not to mention the significant difference in cost. I would recommend looking at either a Dell or HP for a replacement if you decide to go that route.

Customer:

You are right, Apple is a totally different environment, but I believe that Windows 8 is still causing all kinds of problems as well. I have almost all my files on two external hard drives so that might help. But a lot of software is uploaded directly to the computer. Well I give it some more consideration and it helps that my Birthday is XXXXX up soon :)

Customer:

Replacing the motherboard is costing quite a bit too

Dan :

Motherboard replacement can be difficult if you don't have the experience, so I would not want you to try that if you are not comfortable with that. Keep in mind, that the hard drive you are currently using in your computer can be removed and converted to a portable drive which would provide you access to your data. All you would need to do is purchase a USB drive case, insert the drive, and plug it into the new computer.

Customer:

Yes I think I am going to replace my PC with a Dell. As I can keep the monitor. Will start shopping around.

Customer:

Thank you for all your advice. You provided a good service and I believe the fact we couldn't find a solution is due to hardware and surely not you. So thanks and maybe we meet again :)

Dan :

You may want to look at a Dell package that includes the monitor. You would be surprised at the difference just in the last several years. Please feel free to contact us again if you need assistance.

Dan, Network Administrator
Category: Computer
Satisfied Customers: 716
Experience: 25 Years working with computer troubleshooting and networking. Comp TIA A-Plus Certified.
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