The Microphone Doesn't Work
The easiest way to test a microphone is with the Sound Recorder accessory
in Windows. Press the rightmost button to start recording, speak into the
microphone, and watch the green line on the screen. If the line doesn't
move, the computer isn't hearing anything.
Make sure the microphone is plugged into the MIC jack on your sound
card. Also check the sound mixer program (see your sound card's documentation
for instructions) to make sure that the microphone input level is turned
up and the recording source is set to the microphone.
If this is a new microphone that you're trying out for the first time,
also make sure you have the correct type of microphone. Most microphones
are the condenser type, but there are also carbon microphones, and your
sound card may have a preference or setting that determines which one to
use. Also check the microphone's specifications against the sound card's
requirements. The specification that trips most people up is the impedance or Ohm
rating; for example, a 2K Ohm microphone in a sound card rated at 600 Ohms
simply will not work.