UPDATED: USB Microphone/headset not working (again) - Vista

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UPDATED: USB Microphone/headset not working (again) - Vista

Postby ksurvell » Mon Mar 23, 2009 7:22 am

I'm having a very, very confusing problem and I'm at a loss as to what to do.

I'm using eyeBeam 1.5.19.5 Build 52344 on Windows Vista Ultimate (32-bit).

I have a C-Media USB headset (a generic USB sound device - just a microphone and a pair of over-the-head headphones).

I also have a Microsoft LifeCam, which has a microphone in it as well.

My problem is that when using the headset, no audio is sent - the red LEDs don't move, and the other party can't hear me (regardless of whether I called them or vice versa). Also, pressing keys on the keypad (for example, trying to enter a password to access voicemail) produces no response - it's as if the sound of the key press is not sent.

Even more strangely, if I press some keypad buttons, nothing will happen (the other party, e.g., voice mail system, will not hear them) but then press the "mute" button, the key presses I will suddenly go through. It's as if they were "queued" somewhere, and when I pressed "mute" they went through. However, I still cannot be heard and the red LEDs do not move.

If I turn on the "monitoring" option for the microphone in Vista (i.e., microphone's input is sent to speakers so you can hear yourself talking), suddenly the other party can hear me!

Most confusingly of all, if I switch to "speakerphone" (using the LifeCam's microphone and my computer's external speakers) I can be heard fine and the red LEDs respond to my voice normally.

I know the microphone on my headset works. I can record sound with it just fine.

It's selected properly in eyeBeam as well.

I've had it working just fine on this computer before. I re-created a user account after some unrelated problems, and that's when this happened.

In trying to figure it out, I noticed that when I'm in a call, if I look in the Audio settings of the headset (Vista's "Sounds" settings, not in eyeBeam), it shows the mic as being muted. I read another thread here about setting the "honor_first_codec" hidden setting to 1, but that doesn't help.

I've tried everything I can think of. I've uninstalled eyeBeam as completely as I know how and re-installed it - same problem. I've disabled audio devices and re-enabled them. I've unplugged the USB sound device and plugged it back in while eyeBeam was running, and when it's not running, without success. I've tried switching the configuration in eyeBeam so that the headset was set up as the "speakerphone" and vice versa - but still, same symptoms (the LifeCam mic works, the USB headset does not).

Does anyone have any suggestions for something I haven't tried yet, or maybe knows why I'm getting this strange behavior?
Last edited by ksurvell on Fri Mar 27, 2009 7:01 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Derek Jacobs » Mon Mar 23, 2009 7:52 am

Hi

The mike obviously needs to be un-muted for audio to go out. :)

What device are you using?
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Postby ksurvell » Mon Mar 23, 2009 8:05 am

Right, obviously. The thing is, it IS un-muted before I start.

The device is branded as an Altec Lansing USB Headset - but it shows up in Windows as a "C-Media USB Headphone Set (Generic USB Audio)."

I've used this same device before - for well over a year actually - and it's only just recently - since I upgraded to Vista, actually - that this started happening.

In the end I gave up and uninstalled the USB device (from the Windows Device Manager), deleted its drivers, and re-installed it. Then I rebooted. Then, I ran eyeBeam as an Administrator (run as) and configured it again.

The first time it ran, the mic was muted (again). I went into the windows audio control panel and un-muted it; this time the changes seem to have finally "stuck" and the mic is un-muted now. I just hope it stays this way!!

But I was really frustrated for a while there - I spent about 3 hours fighting with it. I'm scared that this will happen again and I'll be stuck - after all, I'm still not sure what exactly I did that "fixed" it enough to work this time around.

Any ideas?
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Postby Derek Jacobs » Mon Mar 23, 2009 8:07 am

Honestly..

I've heard of this happening 4 or 5 times to other users.

I have eyeBeam on multiple Vista machines and have never been able to duplicate the issue.
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Postby ksurvell » Mon Mar 23, 2009 10:56 am

I wish I could help pinpoint what the trouble was. It's almost like there developed an inconsistency between the "mute" state in Windows vs. eyeBeam.

I know how hard it is to troubleshoot issues that aren't reproducable - but I thank you for your prompt reply anyway!
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Additional Data - It happened Again

Postby ksurvell » Thu Mar 26, 2009 10:39 am

I encountered this problem again today. This time I kept careful track of what was happening.

The problem started when I went into Windows Update and saw there was a new optional update for my USB sound device (headset & microphone). I let Windows download the update.

As soon as this was done, the problem (the microphone not working) occurred.

As part of the troubleshooting steps, I went into the "Sound" control panel and disabled, then re-enabled the microphone. I tried several variations:
  • Closing eyeBeam, disabling the mic, opening eyeBeam, letting it detect new devices, closing eyeBeam, enabling the mic, opening eyeBeam, letting it go back to the previous configuration
  • Disabling the microphone while eyeBeam was open, closing eyeBeam, re-opening eyebeam, enabling the microphone
  • Disabling the microphone while eyeBeam was open, closing eyeBeam, opening eyeBeam, enabling the microphone
  • Disabling and re-enabling the microphone while eyeBeam was open
During this, eyeBeam crashed twice (the "eyeBeam - Fatal Error" message). When it gave me the option to send the crash data to CounterPath (a file like eyeBeam_1.5.52344_elysion_71488234.dmp), I clicked to send the file, but the dialog box didn't close, even if I waited a few minutes. Eventually I had to go into the Task Manager and kill the eyeBeam.exe process to continue.

Based on my previous post here, I even tried rebooting to see if that somehow would help (it didn't).

Eventually I hit upon this:
  1. Open eyeBeam (microphone not working)
  2. Open the "Sound" control panel and go to "Recording" tab
  3. Open up the properties of my USB microphone
  4. Change the "Device Usage" from "Use this Device (enable)" to "Don't use this device (disabled)".
  5. Click "Apply."
  6. Change the "Device Usage" back to "Use this Device (enable)."
  7. Click "Apply."
  8. WITHOUT CLOSING THE MICROPHONE PROPERTIES DIALOG, switch back to eyeBeam.
  9. Do a test call - the microphone now works!
  10. Close the properties dialog and close the "Sound" control panel.
  11. Do a test call - the microphone doesn't work anymore. (!!!)


So at the moment, the only way I can use the microphone with eyeBeam is to go into the properties of the microphone, disable it, apply the changes, then enable it, apply the changes, and leave the dialog box open because as soon as I close it, the microphone stops working.

I'm absolutely stumped, but I hope that this information will somehow help someone to get to the bottom of this problem. Perhaps there's some hint in the steps I described that might shed some light on this problem for someone intimately familiar with the inner workings of eyeBeam.

I will be continuing to try and work out a solution myself (since I need to use my phone), but honestly I'm a little tired of this and would appreciate any help I can get.
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Location: New Jersey

Postby ksurvell » Thu Mar 26, 2009 10:48 am

One final piece of information after I made that last post:

In desperation, I unplugged the headset and then plugged it into a different USB port. I did this while eyeBeam was closed.

When I opened eyeBeam, it popped up the balloon saying it was auto-configuring devices. Upon looking at the configuration, the microphone (and headset) now show up differently.

Previously, for example, the microphone was listed as:

Microphone (USB PnP Sound Device)

Now it shows up as

Microphone (2- USB PnP Sound Device)

And, of course, now the microphone works (I did have to adjust the volume on it, which had reset to zero, but it works).

This is insane behavior - and I suspect it is only going to keep happening. Please help me get to the bottom of this, and resolve the problem!
ksurvell
 
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Postby Derek Jacobs » Fri Mar 27, 2009 7:03 am

When you plug into a second USB port it is totally normal for it to show as a new device.

As for the mute issue, I really don't know what to say as I cannot reproduce here, nor can engineering. I'll bring it up again today.
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Postby ksurvell » Fri Mar 27, 2009 7:36 am

I thought that plugging the same USB device into a different USB port should not cause it to show up as a new device - but maybe really "simple" devices like a USB sound device work differently?

I understand how difficult it can be to diagnose a problem that you can't reproduce, but we cannot ignore that the problem IS happening... there MUST be a reason for it.

I am willing to go above and beyond the normal responsibilities of a customer here to help find out what causes this problem. I want to help you help me.

Perhaps we can try a process of elimination. I've tried uninstalling & re-installing the program, but it seems to "remember" some of its configuration. Is there a way for me to do a "clean" uninstall - that is, remove ALL settings/data from eyeBeam and start truly fresh? Is there hidden registry settings or data files that don't get removed on an uninstall that perhaps contain corrupt configuration data?

Alternatively, is there any sort of logging option I can turn on, or perhaps a debug build of the program you can give me that I can run to give you the data you need to reproduce the problem?

Please let me know if you (or your engineering department) have anything you'd like me to do/record/etc. to help track this problem down.
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Postby Derek Jacobs » Fri Mar 27, 2009 7:39 am

Hi

Yes you can remove all settings with a reinstall as follows:
(You will have to re-enter your SIP account settings)

After you uninstall as usual, please deleve the following folder in Vista:
C:\Users\(USER)\AppData\Local\CounterPath\ (Basic or Enhanced)

then reinstall and re-setup.
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Postby ksurvell » Fri Mar 27, 2009 8:27 am

Thanks... I gave that a try.

  • Uninstalled
  • Deleted C:\Users\(User Name)\AppData\Local\CounterPath\
  • Re-installed


Unfortunately the behavior remains.
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Postby Derek Jacobs » Fri Apr 03, 2009 6:58 am

You might want to browse this KB article:
http://plantronics.custhelp.com/cgi-bin ... faqid=8986
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Re: UPDATED: USB Microphone/headset not working (again) - Vista

Postby ksurvell » Fri May 01, 2009 8:30 am

In the end I just gave up and bought a different USB headset. I'm chalking this one up to lousy drivers - and I don't have the time nor inclination to debug another company's USB sound drivers.
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Re: UPDATED: USB Microphone/headset not working (again) - Vista

Postby Derek Jacobs » Fri May 01, 2009 8:33 am

Agreed.
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