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Baffling sound problem

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ecru cwrth

ecru cwrth

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I've posted this problem on an unrelated board a month or so ago and didn't get a solution. I've had no sound on my computer for almost 3 months now and have no idea what to do.

My computer, a Dell 4550 (running Windows XP Home Edition, 512 MB RAM), stopped working during a storm. I figured it must have been hit by a surge, even though it is on a surge protector. I was able to get it working, with the assistance of trips to two different repair shops, after replacing the motherboard, power supply, CD-ROM and the control panel (power button on front).

However, my sound still does not work. I originally had a Turtle Beach Santa Cruz card. I replaced it with a new Sound Blaster Live 5.1 to no success and finally a USB Turtle Beach Audio Advantage device (thinking the problem might be due to some sort of IRQ or PCI conflict or problem). Nothing has worked so far. [I'm back to the Sound Blaster Card for troubleshooting.]

The computer detects the sound card (whichever one is attached) in Device Manager. I have tried reinstalling / upgrading drivers on the sound cards including clean installs between installations. While troubleshooting the computer, I flashed the BIOS to A08 from A00 from the Dell website. I have not installed motherboard drivers or chipsets, but the new motherboard appears to be (and was bought under the assumption that it is) identical to the old one.

The following applies to troubleshooting with the SB Live! Card:

a) I've run Belarc Advisor, and it detects the soundcard.

b) I've run the Sound Blaster-supplied diagnostic program. It detects the soundcard, but then fails the tests for "Wave Driver", "MIDI Driver", "Mixer Driver", "DirectSound 3D Driver" and "Mixers Setting Check".

c) Running dxdiag (Direct X Diagnostic tool) gives this result:
--Under "Sound 1" and "Sound" 2 tabs:
-----"Modem #2 Line Playback (emulated)" [Sound 1 tab]
-----"Modem #3 Line Playback (emulated)" [Sound 2 tab]
--Under "Music" tab:
-----"Default Port Acceleration: Not Available"
-----Pressing the "Test DirectMusic" button gives this error:
-------"DirectMusic test results: Failure at step 6 (Activating the IDirectMusicPort): HRESULT = 0x8878000a (the request failed because DirectSound resources, such as the priority level, were already in use by another caller.)

d) Results from "Sounds and Audio Devices" under the "Control Panel:
---Under "Volume" tab:
-----"No Audio Device", device volume scaler and options greyed out
---Under "Audio" tab:
-----options for "Sound Playback, Default Device" are only: "Modem #2 Line Playback" and "Modem #3 Line Playback"
-----under "MIDI music playback, Default device": greyed out and "No MIDI Playback Devices"
---Under "Voice", again I have only the choice of "Modem #2 Line Playback" and "Modem #3 Line Playback" no Soundblaster (or other sound device)
This is the situation whether or not the Phone Modem is in PCI slot #1. Soundcard is currently in PCI slot #4.

I would REALLY appreciate any help. I don't want to spend a full week wiping my computer and reinstalling Windows XP + all my other programs, not even kmowing for sure that that would work!
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