Well, that'll teach me.
I'm running Windows XP profssional SP3. My motherboard is an EPOX VKM3i with a 2.4 ghz Pentium 4 with 2 gigs of RAM. Due to the sound issues, I removed my Turtle Beach Catalina sound card thinking it had gone dead. Apparently that wasn't the case. After physically removing the card and removing all the related software and going into the BIOS so the onboard sound is used, I still have no sound. It is a Realtek AC'97 Audio. I've uninstalled it and reinstalled it. I have used the original mother board disk to reinstall any drivers, Interestingly, after reinstalling the drivers from the disk, XP reported NO sound card installed. I took care of that issue. It now sees the onboard sound and reports everything is working, but it;s not. I had been running sound through my Onkyo Receiver and switched to headphones to try to troubleshoot. No sound. I've done virus scans, malware scans, et al.
I don't know for sure that the updates caused this. I had done some tweaking in the Windows media player settings. After reviewing what I did there, I can't see where that would cause my issues. I'm stuck.