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Compaq V3016US Laptop Audio Error

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I am currently trying to fix a friend's computer (Compaq V3016US) that is having an audio problem, running on Windows XP. He let a few friends and his brother try to rid of some tasks that start up, which I have no idea of what they exactly did, so it's making this a bit complicated. (No manufacturer driver or software CDs). I however installed everything relevant from their site, but still no help.

First of all, when the laptop is turned on, it has sound. I can open up his iTunes and play songs, go to volume control and alter the levels. But as soon as I close any applications that deal with sound more than 2-3 times, the mixers will just stop working, even though when I go to device manager, they are still visible with no esclamations or warning signs.

It will continue to have no sound, and volume control won't open up, saying it cannot find any mixers. I've re-installed the driver from the manufacturer for the specific model, but still no improvement. I checked to see if all the settings were correct for the audio, and they were, audio hardware acceleration and all. I even set all defaults back and tried a system restore. NO LUCK.

I would just swipe it, but he has a legal version of Windows and I don't want to have to impede upon that. It's a brand-new laptop, still under warranty. Please, if you have any knowledge pertaining to this, I we would greatly appreciate any insights you can give.
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Retired Tech

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Click start, control panel, sounds and audio, change the sound scheme, check it is windows default, C-Media cards can install their own
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