I worked very closely with "Chamber" on the Virus & Spyware forum for the past two weeks and have been able to resurrect my machine completely. He has officially given me a clean bill of health and encouraged me to create a new topic in this forum to see if anyone could offer help.
To be clear, prior to this infection there was absolutely nothing wrong with the sound aspect of my computer. During the time I worked with Chamber I noticed that my machine was eerily quiet. There were no sounds whatsoever even when downloading of new application was completed, when I would open or close sessions, when I rebooted, etc.
I finally tried to plug in a CD and see if it would play. Normally when doing this Windows Media Player would launch automatically and the CD would play. Now neither WMP nor any other player application will launch automatically. If I manually select the CD/DVD drive in Windows Explorer and tell it to Play, it will launch iTunes (don't know how the default application changed) and shows that the CD is playing but there is no sound. I have manually opened WMP and played the CD with the same results. I even tried to play a song from YouTube and got the same result. Shows music is playing but no sound.
I openeded my sound icon and nothing is muted. Manually turned up all volume switches and can see the volume "bar" in the sound graphic increasing the volume, but no sound. I even checked my Device Manager to see if there were any errors indicated but nothing out of the ordinary. The DVD properties show that "This device is working properly" so I don't get the impression that there is anything wrong with it.
At times I can hear slight "pops" or "bumps" coming from all my speakers - like when plugging a microphone or guitar into an amplifier as the contacts make a connection....but that is the extent of it. Just before and during the time the sound quit working, there were no severe storms or any other electrical issues that should have affected the sound card. So at this point - I have no idea what direction to go. Am open to any suggestions on this issue. Look forward to hearing from anyone. Thanks.