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My microphone works, is plugged into correct port (observed the "mic" and "headphone" symbols on front of laptop) but all I get is white noise. Even with nothing plugged in - white noise. No signal is being received. I cannot figure out what is causing this. I have researched this and have found nothing.

I use Windows 7 Enterprise x86.

Laptop is toshiba satellite L300 series with intel celeron CPU and 1GB RAM

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Please edit your question to give us more information about your laptop (brand and model) and the microphone. Include any information of what you've tried. At this point, your question is too vague for anyone to help you. –  CharlieRB Mar 18 '13 at 12:30
    
"My microphone works" How do you know? There is a definite possibility that your microphone is broken. –  Blue Ice Mar 18 '13 at 13:35
    
Sorry I took so long. My mic works in other devices/computers (well not anymore it has since broken) –  Sylvester the Cat May 7 '13 at 11:08
    
Update on situation - no longer get "currently unavailable" but get lots of white noise –  Sylvester the Cat May 7 '13 at 11:13
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3 Answers 3

The OP actually does give us enough information to give us a good idea where the problem lies. It's software not hardware.

The "Not available" message (as opposed to "Not plugged in") tells us that the first place you should look is settings in Windows.

If we saw this, then yes, I would assume the mic (or possibly the PC's mic jack) had a bad connection:

enter image description here

Try this:

  • Enable hidden audio devices (right click in the "Recording" window in the Sound options screen)
  • Set the external mic as default
  • Disconnect then reconnect your mic to see if it changes status

Failing that, you can also try setting another device as the default recording device, then set the mic as the default again- as well as disabling the mic, then re-enabling it again. Also, any 3rd party audio software, or audio drivers should be uninstalled and reinstalled as a last resort. Take a quick look in Device Manager and make sure the audio drivers aren't showing any errors.

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"Currently unavailable" can indicate the device is automatically disabled, for instance if another recording device is in use and both cannot be processed simultaneously. This is very common in notebooks, that often combine an internal microphones with a 3,5 mm socket for external mics on the same, low-end sound card.

You can generally force it back online by setting it as a 'Default Device' in the recording tab of Windows's sound configuration. This would render the conflicting entry unavailable instead. You may need to select 'Show Disabled/Disconnected Devices' by right-clicking the list to see the appropriate devices.

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I would have done these:

  1. try it on another PC
  2. while removing and inserting, keep a close eye on the level indicator
  3. uninstall the drivers
  4. reinstall them again
  5. set the device as default
  6. disable the built in one

hope that helps

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