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Windows XP - No Sound!

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I've been having a problem with windows xp - it doesn't seem to be able to play any sounds in the Windows sound scheme anymore. i've checked the WAV files and they play in windows media player. other things like mp3s play on windows media player and itunes, dvds are ok, cds are ok, though when i try to play avi's and mpgs on VLC media player, there is no sound (whereas yesterday everything worked fine!).

I've tried reinstalling my sound card drivers (though this shouldn't be the problem since I can actually get output, just not from every program that i use), i've fiddled around as much as i can with the control panel settings for sound and audio etc, but nothing's working!

i've tried changing users to see if it makes a difference, but the sounds still don't play.

any other suggestions??? i'm going insane - it just doesn't make any sense because i haven't changed anything on my computer for the last few days, and suddenly this has happened!

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