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.wav files not playing sound

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I'm not entirely sure if this is the right section of the forum to post this on, but I couldn't think of another where it would fit, so I'm sorry if I posted this in the wrong place.

Earlier today I noticed that the normal startup sound wasn't playing on my computer, so after a bit of checking I noticed that it and other .wav files just wouldn't make any sound. It wasn't that they wouldn't play at all, but that the computer acted like they were playing, such as Windows Media Player showing the time scroll bar moving, just with no sound. Other audio on the computer works just fine, but not .wav. I also checked SW Synth in the volume controls, and it's turned up, so that isn't the problem either. Does anyone know why this would be happening?

(Operating system is Windows XP, since I'm guessing that'll help to know.)
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