This is a flyer, and one that I fear may annoy veterans, because I bet it's been asked a million times. But I can't find any of those answers, even though I've used your advanced search engine. As a journalist, I use Skype for telephone interviews and I edit field interviews on my laptop. My computers over the past 10 years or so have all been Dell laptops. This time, I went with an XI because they're supposed to be much better made. However, I'm running into a problem similar to what I also encountered with the Dells: Mic buzz. Let me start by saying that, although I am not an engineer, nothing in my experience so far, either with Dells or with this computer, leads me to believe that this is a ground loop problem. There's lots of advice out there about unplugging the laptop to get rid of the buzz. I've tried that. It makes no difference. Also, if it were a ground loop, presumably, it would be consistent no matter how many driver configurations I used or how many times I used the same headset. But it hasn't been with previous computers and it's not with this one, either. In other words, if this were a ground loop problem, it would persist no matter what I did. It would be like a leak in a boat: the only way to get rid of a leak is to patch it. Changing your shirt doesn't do any good. But in this case, I have changed my shirt -- switched around things that seem to have to do with which driver is in use -- and that has brought at least temporary respite. With other computers, I've been able to solve this problem permanently by disabling some drivers. That's not working in this case, but I still think it's the root of the problem. I think it has to do with a driver conflict, and I suspect that Microsoft's driver may be the underlying culprit. Before I get into the details, here's another hint that points to drivers: disabling the touchpad on the computer sometimes seems to effect the sound card. They shouldn't be related, but there's been evidence that they are. To make things as succinct as possible, I'll stick to skype calls to describe my experience. Here's what happens: The built-in mic (I think it's in the screen bezel) handles calls fine, every time. It sounds like you're on a speaker phone, though. When I plug in the mini mic-in jack,I have an 80 percent chance of getting an awful buzz. It's like feedback between the headset mic and the built in one But, intermittently, that buzz pretty much disappears when I make another call using the built-in mic, or once when I fiddled with the touchpad, then switching back to the plug-in. I have much better luck with this: USB headset: No buzz Try to adjust anything in the sound settings: Buzz Disconnect USB and place a skype call with the internal microphone: buzz disappears Reconnect USB headset: no buzz So far, I haven't gotten any buzz in the playback for my external UA-30 sound card, which I use to edit interviews. That card has no drivers of its own. It works with the Windows USB drivers. Again, I've had to solve problems like this for years. With the Dells, it came down to disabling all audio drivers except for the default one. When I try that with the drivers that came with this system (VIA HD audio deck) I get no sound at all. My suspicion is that the windows audio drivers are somehow conflicting with the drivers that came with the computer. Is there a way to disable the Microsoft drivers, or am I on the wrong track? By the way, judging by all the questions there are on the Web about these kinds of issues, I would surmise that many people have asked this question here. If somebody has the answer, could you please post it on the site in such a way that it's easier to find? Thanks.