Question 3.5mm Mic-In malfunction after major Windows update

Nov 17, 2020
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UPDATE: I've now reverted to previous build of Windows 10 and the mic-in works again! However, I still don't know how to move forward with keeping this system updated. Apparently this build of Win10 (Version = 2004 , OS build = 19041.630) "improved" security issues related to input devices, such as keyboards and mics.

How can I update my Win10 system without throwing my mic jack out of order?

I've left the description of my original problem below for reference.
__

I have a Toshiba Satellite P775 (older but very reliable) running Windows 10. Until last week I had been screen capturing various videos using Debut Video Capture from NCH and all worked perfectly, video capture and audio capture. I successfully captured something during the day on Nov 12th, 2020 and then that evening a major update of Windows 10 was downloaded and installed. Since then, the audio does not record properly when screen capturing. Below are some details of the problem, my system and the new OS...
  1. I use a 3.5mm cable out from headphone jack and into mic jack. Headphone jack still works perfectly. Cable is good (have tried 2 separate cables)
  2. System uses "Realtek High Definition Audio"
  3. Other recording programs (such as Windows Voice Recorder) have the same problem as Debut Video Capture, so doesn't seem to be the program.
  4. Audio begins to be recorded but quality is awful, like in a submarine, and slowly fades until complete failure to record at all.
  5. New Windows 10 Home version is: Version = 2004 , OS build = 19041.630, installed on 11/12/2020
  6. Recording worked great prior to install of this Windows update.

  7. Things I've already done...
    • I've checked all audio and mic settings and have toggled both "Noise Suppression" and "Acoustic Echo Cancellation."
    • I've used the Windows Sound Troubleshooter and it reports everything is working and properly installed
    • Device Manager says that the most up to date driver is already installed
    • Blown out the mic-in port with compressed air
    • Shut down and rebooted computer
Any help would be much appreciated.
 
Last edited:

AlHuneke

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Jul 7, 2020
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One potential problem is that headphone out signal levels are many times higher (voltage wise) than mic levels. I'm a bit surprised it ever worked but maybe your machine has some internals that compensate. Also, the headphone out is stereo but the mic in is generally mono so you likely would only get one side of the stereo audio. I would have thought that any capture program would process the audio directly. This strikes me as kind of like having to point a video camera at the laptop screen to record the video.

I also had some issues with security setting for audio on newer version of windows. The settings are a little hard to find. Open settings and search on "Microphone Privacy Settings". This may only be present in the newer version of Windows. I'm not sure when it was added.
 
Nov 17, 2020
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Thanks for the ideas. I don't think it's the mic levels since all works great again now that I've reverted to the previous build of Windows 10. Before reverting to previous build, I did check the "Microphone Privacy Settings" and everything seemed to be correctly checked to allow that app to access the microphone. I'm still left with not knowing whether I can ever load the newer versions of Windows 10 as they roll out. But, this is an older (2008) laptop anyway (though it does have a 750 GB SSD, an i7 quad core processer and 16GB ram.) So, I might be fine without the newest OS builds until its end of life comes around.
 
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