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Sound problems on brand new laptop

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I'm very annoyed, i havnt even had this laptop a month and im already experiencing problems. Its a Acer Aspire 5684WLMi, is full specs can be found here.

basically some programs no longer play sound - especially the internet, and Windows Media player. I get the following error message on media player:

"Windows Media Player cannot play the file because there is a problem with your sound device. There might not be a sound device installed on your computer, it might be in use by another program, or it might not be functioning properly."

Sure enough if i go on Sounds, Speeches and other Audio Devices. It says "No Audio Device", but it says in Hardware that the "Realtek High Definition Audio" is working properly and is enabled.

The thing is my girlfriend who has a very similar laptop is having exactly the same problem. Another annoying thing is the taskbar and some windows loses its 'XP' look and go to the old Windows 95 look - just square and grey! Ive tried downloading updates but they never download properly. In fact last night when I turned of the laptop it asked me if i wanted to installed Windows Updates, which i said yes to. But this morning its not working right.

Please help!

Ive just found out the sound on my games doesnt work either - now im very annoyed! I also get a Generic Host Error Win32 message when i start up now.

Edited by mark2512, 16 February 2007 - 05:16 AM.

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