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Audio playback controll from keyboard or buttons on speakers dissappea


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#1
adifrank

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Hi. I'm running Windows XP on a computer with an Asus P5Q-Pro motherboard. The Asus board comes with a Realtek high definition audio card on-board and I'm currently using that as my default audio device.
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.
Thanks.
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#2
adifrank

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A quick update - - This morning I found out that the audio problem is not the only strange thing going on. When attempting to print out a document on my printer, I got a message saying that I have no printers installed. I opened Control Panel > Printers and Faxes... and saw that all of my printer drivers disappeared! I had a few installed, as well as a driver that creates PDF documents. All of this was gone.
So the next thing I did was to restore my system to a few days ago.
System restored successfully and now the audio controls work again and my printers are back :D

So, on one hand I'm happy the problem is solved.
Yet, I can't help thinking what might have caused this. Could my computer be infected? I ran a quick scan using Avast Antivirus and MalwareBytes. No infected files detected.

Any ideas? Does this sound like malware? Or do these symptoms sound like something else...?
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#3
Digerati

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Yet, I can't help thinking what might have caused this. Could my computer be infected? I ran a quick scan using Avast Antivirus and MalwareBytes. No infected files detected.

Any ideas? Does this sound like malware? Or do these symptoms sound like something else...?

Well, my first instinct was that your keyboard drivers were corrupt, until you started mentioning other problems, then malware came to mind. But if you normally keep Avast running and updated, and supplemental scanning with MBAM was clean, you are probably okay there, if you regularly practice safe computing. You say you restored to a few days ago - what happened between then and when the problem started? Any Windows Updates or other updates? New hardware or added software?
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#4
adifrank

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No Windows updates or any other updates as far as I can recall. I really can't think of any type of activity that could have cause these things. Weird...

I'll just wait and see if anything else strange happens. If it does, I'll turn to some more serious malware detecting.

Thanks Digerati, for your feedback!
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#5
Digerati

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Good luck.
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