Tuesday, July 21, 2009

HP Mini 1000 Internal Microphone on WIndows 7

One of the only complaints I had about my HP Mini 1000 netbook when I purchased it was the lack of a dedicated microphone jack. The Mini has a combined headphone/microphone jack. You can plug in a set of headphones and get sound, or plug in a mic and record, but not both at once. I like to use Skype, ooVoo, Ventrillo, and other voice applications, and this seemed like an unnecessary limitation.

After loading up Windows 7 on my netbook, I was further disappointed to find that the default driver did not detect if you plugged in a mic or headphone, it just always worked as a headphone jack. This left me with no option for recording other than to use a plantronics USB headset that I had laying around. Taking up one of two USB ports for a headset was less than ideal.

Then I read on a forum that the Mini has an internal microphone. What's this? Hidden, undocumented equipment? Sure enough, half-way between the left edge of the screen and the webcam there is a pinhole microphone. Unfortunately, I couldn't find a way to enable. I did see it was listed in my recording devices, but I couldn't get it to pick up sound.

After a bit of searching, I found a link to a driver for the sound chip in the Mini 1000:

I believe this is the official vista driver for the sound chip. After downloading and installing I went to the recording devices menu and sure enough, it is picking up sound! Yeah! The only quirk is that it appears the labels for the recording devices are switched. The recording device marked as External Mic is picking up sound, while the recording device marked Integrated Microphone Array is not. I just switched the default device and now I can carry on Skype video calls without any problems.