Sound issues

OK so normally I am pretty good at figuring these things out, so bear with me since this is kinda long winded having tried to do some trouble shooting already.

Basically at a certain point when I was playing flash videos my browser (FF 3.0.3) would freeze up and crash (Ctrl, Alt + Del) to get back. I assumed this was due the issues with flash plugin for FF, after upgrading to flash10beta and fresh install of FF with new profile I would still have the issues, then by fluke I went to play an MP3 and got this error:

"Windows Media Player cannot play the file because there is a problem with your sound device. There might not be a sound device installed on your computer, it might be in use by another program, or it might not be functioning properly."

So I fired up FF and had the same issues with video, so it dawned on me its not a issue with flash but sound in windows. So I grabbed the latest realtek ac97 drivers problem still existed, reverted back to the drivers that came with my laptop, no difference.
Then I ran dxdiag to run a sound test and got this error:

"DirectSound test results: Failure at step 3 (DirectSoundCreate): HRESULT = 0x80004005 (Generic failure)"

I have ran sfc /scannow and it found a bunch of files and prompted for my windows SP2 CD, but that didnt fix it. Funnily enough tho it did come across one instance where it asked for my windows CD (not SP2) and the CD I installed windows with already had SP2 on it and it wouldnt accept that and I dont have a different windows CD.

I have upgraded to SP3 and done all the updates, but the problem existed in SP2 and is still there in SP3.

If I disable the windows audio service, then it plays flash videos fine (doesnt crash) but obviously without sound.

There are no conflicts reported in device manager, if I disable the realtek ac97 item and then re enable it, it shows that it is active in device manager but it under volume settings the main volume tab is missing and under advanced it assumes there is no audio device. Also when I do run a program that requires sound and I am having this issue be it FF3, WMP11, etc, my CPU load goes to exactly 50%, but it is split about 20/30 between what shows as the 2 CPUs (I have on CPU but it shows as 2 due to HT on taskmgr), as soon as i close the effected program, CPU returns to normal levels.

I have had trouble establishing exactly what causes the computer to go into this state but the best I can tell is it is when its in standby mode for 30mins plus. I have tweaked and disabled/put to manual some services but these were ones that were related to corp networking situations etc, it seems to me that it isnt reinitializating the sound properly when coming out of standby mode. A simple reboot and it solves the issue, I would like to try and avoid doing a fresh install of windows.

Computer Specs:
Toshiba Satellite A75-S209, P4Mobile @ 3Ghz, 1 GB Ram (128MB shared with ATI 9100 GFX), 60 GB HDD, Realtek AC97 on board audio and Windows XP pro SP3.

Thanks for any help.

Edit: Ok this gets a little weirder, if I leave the computer in standby for approx 30+ mins when I resume I have the above issues with sound, if I then go into standby again but only for a minute or so and resume, the sound issues are gone without restarting. i.e. Computer was working fine, put it into standby made dinner, etc, came back hour or 2 later, resumed, unable to play MP3s, flash videos freeze FF, etc. Put computer in standby for a minute, resumed, all sound works fine. So what happens when a computer is in standby for longer than 30 mins?
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More about sound issues
  1. Quote:
    If I disable the windows audio service,


    Did you you use the services.msc console? If not try typing in services.msc in the run box, locate the windows audio service and click "stop this service" and then "start this service".


    Otherwise I would suspect the following.

    Corrupted sound driver.
    Corrupted registry
    Spyware/adware/malware.
    Ghosts are messing with your machine because your in a haunted house. In this case, strap an unlicensed nuclear accelerator to your back and fry their asses!
  2. Yes, I went into control panel>Admin tools>Services and stopped and restarted it, but it acted like there wasnt an audio device installed after that, despite it showing in device manager without any problems. But I think I have found the issue, it is either related to TuneXP that I had installed, some services I had disabled/set to manual or a combination of the two. I have narrowed it down to about 20 services that it could be, but none of them really seem to be anything related to sound, mostly network services for use in a corp environment, but I will keep checking and see if I can find out which one it is.
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