Mic Not Recording

I am trying to use my dynamic mic on my computer, and nothing is recording. It is almost like it is muted (but nowhere does it say it is muted). I have tried 3 mics: a Shure Beta 58a, a Samson R31S, and a cheap universal mic. The Shure and the Samson is plugged into the computer with a xlr to 1/4'' cable and a 1/4'' to 3.5mm adapter plugged into the mic port on the i/o panel on the back of my computer. The universal mic has a 1/4'' jack on the cable, so I just use it with the 1/4'' to 3.5mm adapter into the same port. None of them are recording, even though I have the levels maxed out. My OS is windows xp. Does anyone have any ideas?


That is what I am thinking. Turns out in my shopping trip to get the adapter I got a desktop mic stand for half off, so at least I got something out of it. I will probably get a usb audio interface, something like the one you mentioned in my other post. Forgot what the name was; I will put a link here.

Alesis iO2 Express was the one I was talking about