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computer locks up playing 44.1k audio files

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Hi all. I'm new here so I hope I'm posting this in the right section.

As many years as I've been a computer geek, I have never had a problem stump me like this one. I'm having a continuing problem trying to play 44.1k audio files in any file format. All other sample rates work as they should. I ran dxdiag and it tells me everything is fine, but it doesn't play any 4.1k files when it does the audible tests. It started a few months back, went away, and is back again. The computer is a Toshiba laptop, several years old, with the standard built in Realtek audio hardware. After a lot of screwing around at that time and many driver installs, I found that it may have had something to do playing a Flash video. After playing one, my computer would lock up when trying to play a 44.k audio file in any format on any piece of audio software I have installed. I was able to get it to work again by deleting my audio hardware in device manager (Win XP, SP3), rebooting, then letting it reinstall itself. Well, that trick no longer works and I'm frustrated. I'm at the point where I'd even pay to have somebody fix this. I'd really appreciate any help on this.
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