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HAL wasn't put into listening mode. HAL isn't responding because it doesn't know that you want to talk to it.
Microphone is bad, of poor quality, or not installed correctly. If the microphone doesn't work or if it's of poor quality, then there may be no audio going into HAL from the microphone or the audio could be of such poor quality that HAL can't understand what you're saying.
Sound card not working or not installed properly. If the sound card isn't installed properly, then audio may not be going into the sound card or the audio may be intermittent.
First determine if there is a problem with the sound card. Run the Sound Recorder program (see above). If you don't hear your test recording, but you can hear other sound files (music CDs, MP3 files), then the problem could be a bad sound card or a bad microphone. If replacing the microphone doesn't solve the problem, then install a new sound card.
HAL isn't running or the computer's power management is enabled. If HAL isn't running or the computer's power management is enabled (hard drive spins down when not in use), then HAL can't control lights or appliances, download information from the Internet, answer phone calls, respond to verbal commands, or anything else.
Disable the computer's power management if it's enabled. To disable it, go to Start… Settings… Control Panel. When the Control Panel screen appears, double-click on POWER MANAGEMENT. In the Power Management screen, set the field "Turn off hard disks" to NEVER. If the computer's microphone is part of the monitor or draws power from the monitor and you want to be able to talk to HAL at any time through the monitor, then you must set the field "Turn off monitor" to NEVER. If the computer's microphone isn't connected to the monitor in any way, then you can set the "Turn off monitor" field to any option.
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