As for speakers, I have a pair of small USB desktop speakers hooked up. Up until today, this setup was working fine. The speakers, although cheap and small are pretty decent and they have three buttons on one of the speakers to control volume+ volume- and mute. Another way I would usually control volume as well as playback (play/pause/mute) was with the multi-media keys on my Microsoft RT2300 wired keyboard.
Today, suddenly, I have completely lost these options of controlling audio playback. When I click the volume control on my keyboard the little green horizontal line shows up at the bottom-right corner of the screen, just over the clock, as it normally does. But the green line doesn't move left or right (which would represent the volume changing) and the volume doesn't change at all, regardless of how many times I click volume+ or volume-. Same thing happens with the mute button. The green line shows up, but nothing happens, the audio does not go into mute mode.
The play/pause button on my keyboard use to do exactly that - play and pause. Now, curiously, when I press it Windows Media Player launches. And nothing plays, or pauses.
The only way I can change the volume of the audio is by going into the Control Panel > Sounds and Audio Devices > and moving the slider under Device Volume.
At first I thought it might be a problem with the driver of the keyboard, but then I remembered that I can control volume with those buttons on my speakers. So I tried that and found out that the volume and mute buttons on my USB desktop speakers don't work as well.
I haven't done anything I can recall that might have caused this. Haven't installed any new hardware, or new software. Didn't mess around with drivers, or whatnot. It just suddenly happened.
If anyone might be able to help me figure this out - I'd be really grateful.