My headphones broke inside the jack and now my computer wont play sound

By bitamea
Mar 23, 2009
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  1. Hi! I have an xps420 dell, I have the front sound and microphone jacks and the back ones like normal. Last night my headphones snapped off the metal part at the end inside the front jack and its lodged inside. So I thought NO biggy ill just use the back jacks from now on. Well the problem lies now the computer wont play ANY sound even with the back jacks. Im assumeing thats because maybe its still reading that front jack as something it can output sound through. So my question is how can i DISABLE the front jack and bypass it to the back sound jacks so that i can get sound back. Or maybe if anyone else has any ideas as to why the sounds not working anymore would be nice to. Thank you!
  2. EXCellR8

    EXCellR8 The Conservative Posts: 2,278

    If you can't free the broken jack, you could just pop the side panel off of the tower and physically disconnect the front panel audio wires from the motherboard or soundcard. This should fix the problem if the broken plug is preventing audio output from the rear jacks.
  3. Matthew

    Matthew TechSpot Staff Posts: 6,042   +84 Staff Member

    I know Realtek's software usually allows you to enable/disable that sort of thing, but I assume you aren't using Realtek's software - and so, I'd suggest you begin by at least looking through whatever audio software you have.

    On the hardware side of things, on a typical system you'd just be able to disconnect the front audio jack from the motherboard, however, a lot of the times Dell's (perhaps other proprietary PC manufacturers as well), will have a single large connector with all of the front panel connections attached.

    If your Dell does NOT have that all-in-one front panel connector, just unplug the front audio, otherwise you'd have to break the connection via cutting the wire or something, which probably isn't desirable.

    Can't get the broken piece out with needle nose pliers or something?

    ..Probably obvious, but be sure to power your system off before attempting anything.
  4. bitamea

    bitamea Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    it would seem as though the lead (a red lead) that connects the front audi and usb devices that plugs into the mother board is quiet.. staying whre it is? it doesn't seem to want to disconnect from the motherboard. Any other ideas? lol
  5. EXCellR8

    EXCellR8 The Conservative Posts: 2,278

    Well, if the wires for the audio aren't bundled in with the USB lines (which they probably are), I would say just cut the damn thing and put some electrical tape over the end to keep it from shorting anything. This is the most extreme solution of course but I'm trying to think of what else you could try. Most of those connectors just plug into the motherboard; can be disconnected easily. Where does it attach and is there a colored header that reads "AUDIO" or something?
  6. Matthew

    Matthew TechSpot Staff Posts: 6,042   +84 Staff Member

  7. Irishgi

    Irishgi Newcomer, in training

    Could disabling it in the bios be even an eaiser option? Course it takes a restart, but technically you shouldnt need to even open anything up.
  8. bitamea

    bitamea Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    Thanks for replying, im not sure if there is a white ribbon for the area is really inclosed and very hard to see (i've used a torch up until now)

    http://dl.getdropbox.com/u/318459/computer areas.jpg The red box is the inclosed area that i cant really get to without having to remove the processor cooler and fan (which wont come off), also the red dot is where the red lead plugs into the mother board which wont Unplug. and yes its a big red lead incloseing a bunch of tiny leads that plug into a type of circuit board?
    http://dl.getdropbox.com/u/318459/Untitled.jpg just like this actually. it even has the black twirly lead thing.
  9. treetops

    treetops TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 1,648   +51

    you could try to stick something in there with super glue on the end, let it dry then pull it out, but i would be real careful, and wait for a go ahead from someone with more computer experience before trying this, you wouldnt want the glue to short anything out

    if you still have the other piece it broke off of that would be an ideal tool to glue n stick in
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