Windows XP/No Sound on Windows XP .WAV
Thanks for your fast reply, Troy! I don't know what happened to the 'reply' or follow-up feature to my question and your answer so I thought I would reply to what you had to say here if it's alright.
I tried just about everything including doing a System Restore but that just gave me a message that it could not be restored to the day before the System Cleaning was done. I don't know why it wouldn't be able to but it didn't. Then I tried updating the drivers again as you suggested but with that I got the following message:
HARDWARE UPDATE WIZARD
"The wizard could not find a better match for your hardware than the software you currently have installed."
Therefore, it may not be the drivers after all. I then did a malware check to see if it could be a malware problem but it came back alright with no incidences. I am going to try the rest of your suggestions but one thing still comes to mind and that is the fact that the MIDI files and programs can still play with great sound! Therefore, the sound card is apparently alright or they wouldn't be able to play. I do wonder how it can play MIDI when the .WAV files, the MP3 and MP4 files cannot play? Perhaps it is because they both apparently use different 'sound alignments' for lack of a better way of putting it. And whatever controls the WINDOWS On sound and the WINDOWS Off sound is still also part of the problem since I cannot hear either anymore.
Incidentally, the volume controls are fine too. I checked them and even did a thorough Troubleshoot and all came out alright. Therefore, I am at odds now as to why this problem should be continuing. It appears to be an anomaly. Obviously, there is something that I still need to try since the drivers are o.k. but don't know quite what is happening with the sound. Thanks Troy, I appreciate your help and again sorry for having to reply this way.
Hello again Tren,
No problem, don't feel bad about replying in this way, I am still happy to try to help you :)
With System Restore, the oldest Restore Points are deleted as new ones are made, or as disk space is used up; so that may be a reason that you are unable to go back that far.
The Hardware Update Wizard for Windows XP is now quite out of date, unfortunately. It would not be checking for the latest drivers properly. For example, if you are using a soundcard that was produced after the last Service Pack update, it will not 'know about' the device at all and where to look for drivers. Hence my suggestion to always go to the manufacturer's website for the product to get the latest drivers put out by them, directly.
Malware usually affects software (making your system go to certain websites, or not allowing you to run specific applications, such as anti-virus programs); but it usually does not affect hardware - and this may be a problem with hardware. It may still be a case of merely re-installing the latest drivers or some Registry issue, but it may also be a problem with your sound adapter's chips (literally) and problems that the hardware component is having - none of these things would normally be affected by Malicious Software.
Have you tried installing a different audio device yet? For example, if you use a USB sound box/device, attaching a different one instead, or if you have a dedicated/stand-alone soundcard, replacing it temporarily with a different one? If things worked perfectly with uninstalling your current audio device and putting in a new one, then this would reveal that the sound device you have now may be having problems. If you do not have any 'spare parts' to test this with, you can temporarily install a sound device from another system or a friend's system. If nothing like this is available to you, taking the system to a Repair centre (a specialized computer store is the best, but a retail outlet such as Best Buy would suffice) would allow them to test the system with various computer parts, to isolate which component is having the issue.
Indeed, something like this is an anomaly. I have experienced this type of issue many times before, and usually it is something like a power surge (lightning hitting a house) or other hardware problem (static electricity damage from touching the motherboard without a static strap/ground connection (usually done by people working inside a system in a hurry)), or the hardware aging/dying. The reason why you are able to play MIDI is because that type of sound is handled by a different set of chips on the sound component inside the system than the WAV/audio output chips (which contain the DAC (Digital to Analogue Converter) and other processors) that are used to calculate and produce the WAV format output. In layman's terms, the chips/processors that make the midi seem ok and the chips/processors that make the WAV sounds may be damaged. Don't worry, simply changing your system's audio adapter would solve the problem, in the end.
Keep troubleshooting, you'll find out what the problem is yet - the great thing about computers is that there is no problem that is 'unsolvable' - you merely have to isolate the problem software or hardware component and replace it. Good luck!