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QuickPlay mute/unmute button kills Windows Explorer

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I'm not sure if this is a hardware issue, or a driver issue(although I've tried to update the drivers for the buttons), or a vista issue, but occasionally when using the QuickPlay buttons on my HP Pavilion dv9000 to adjust or mute the sound, it fubars windows explorer and the volume controls disappear from windows as well. Only re-starting allows the volume to be changed from it's pre-fubar settings. As annoying as this is, it has been happening since I got the computer over a year ago so I don't believe it is a virus or other malicious software.

I'm running Windows vista 64bit.

Anyone know what I need to do to fix the problem? You know...besides switching to a Mac...

Thanks for the help.

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