Dell Optiplex GX1 Sound Problems

The Dell OptiPlex GX1 is a desktop PC that U.S. computer technology company Dell released in 1998. No longer in production, the GX1 falls under Dell's OptiPlex brand, which is geared towards the corporate, education and government sectors. Since the desktop's sound capabilities tend to malfunction -- especially considering how old it is -- Dell addresses this issue on the product's homepage.

  1. Audio Components

    • The Dell OptiPlex GX1 uses a chipset, or audio controller, for its audio capabilities. Using the model number CS4236, the component is from semiconductor company Crystal Semiconductor (now called Cirrus Logic). The external audio interfaces of the desktop consist of miniature line-in, line-out and microphone jacks.

    Audio Settings

    • Some users of the Dell OptiPlex GX1 may experience the lack of sound -- either from the built-in speakers of a monitor or speakers plugged into the line-out jack. Check the sound settings by clicking the sound icon at the bottom of the Window desktop to make sure that the volume is not turned too low or has been muted. If not, the problem might be due to the operating system or sound application of the computer using resource settings that differ from its audio chipset. Check the default settings of the CS4236 to make sure it is set to DMA channel: 1, IRQ line: 5 and Port address: 220h by clicking "Start," "Control Panel," and "Hardware and Sound."

    Dell Diagnostics

    • If you have checked the sound default settings on the Dell OptiPlex GX1 and you still do not hear sound, you need to run the Audio Test Group. It is one of the options of the Dell Diagnostics program, which is created as a diskette from the packaged Dell Resource CD. First restart the computer and then press the "F2" key when prompted to enter the System Setup program. Place the Dell Diagnostics diskette in the floppy drive of the GX1 and press the "Alt" and "B" keys simultaneously to restart the system. At the prompt of the MS-DOS operating system, type "delldiag" without quotes and press "Enter" to bring up the Dell Diagnostic main screen. From there, choose Audio to start the Audio Test Group.

    Audio Test Group

    • The Audio Test Group consists of 11 subtests that check different aspects of the Dell OptiPlex GX1's audio system. For instance, the Software Reset Test makes sure that the audio controller is active and the Analog Sound Playback Test is for playing sounds through the speakers. If there is still no sound after running these tests, it's best to call Dell for further technical assistance.

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