I have a really weird one tonight. Today we had a LAN party and all of a sudden the sound on a couple PC's stopped working for programs like the games, windows media player, etc. However, when errors would popup (like trying to change the volume settings) you would here the default error chime. Restarting the computers you would here the logoff-login sounds and after a restart the sound would work for a bit in both games and apps and then suddenly stop. Restarting also didn't always fix the problem.
I can't figure this out. If the sound card/driver didn't work then how could we hear sounds from the windows sound scheme? No sound with VLC, windows media player, youtube, games, nothing.
The only thing I can figure out is that this is a bad game crashing the primary driver or some kind of weird virus these PC's might have picked up. AVG doesn't report anything strange though.
Ok, I did the wise thing and gave the problem a day. Since it's windows it can't be expected to be a logical system. Anyway, I reinstalled the latest drivers and restarted the PC's and the sound came back on both machines. However, after using this PC for a couple hours today the sound has suddenly gone out again. I watched a couple youtube videos in chrome, ran WAMP, and used Eclipse almost all day. As soon as I started assaultcube there is now silence once again.
UPDATE 2 Ok, so it's been a couple months and the problem still occurs on the PC's. I have updated the drivers, checked for IRQ collisions and other fun stuff. Nothing is overclocked. The chipsets are Realtech Audio.
As I type I'm currently listening to klove radio over the internet - but now nothing else has sound. Even other windows in the browser such as youtube videos. Clicking on the sound icon causes windows to make the "error ping" noise and then tell me that I "have no active mixer devices installed".
One other thing, about the time the sound dies the windows start taskbar reverts to the old windows gray bar like it was windows 98/2000 or something.