Optical Sound From onboard Gigabyte Realtech Suddenly Stopped working

This may be a fairly long post - so stick with me if you can.
This has been baffling me for two days now. So any help would be appreciated.
I recenctly built a new computer.. Got everything loaded - Win7 64 bit.. and it was working great until sometime Friday.
The sound (using the spdif optical out) has suddenly stopped working.
These are the things I've tried and the strange things I've noticed.

Initial Troubleshooting
1. device manager reports everything as working normally.
2. Default device is set as realtech hd output - volume monitor fluctuates when sound is playing.
3. checked optical cable during playback - but no red light.
4. if I turn on passthrough in realtech manager red light will come through (so I know the cable is ok)

Additional steps
1. Checked event manager - windows updates installed early Friday morning so I figured this may have changed something. I uninstalled all updates, no luck.. So I did a system restore to wednesday (when everything was working fine) still no change.. *still no red light coming out of optical *
2. created a new partition and installed win7 again. Noticed that red light was coming through initially during playback, but still no sound - so it seems hardware is functioning ok.. Left the house and when I came back red light no longer came through during playback.. Checked event manager again and saw that windows updates had run again.. Uninstalled these and tried again but no sound or light through cable..
3. Installed latest Gigabyte (EP45-UD3R) sound drivers - no change
4. Installed HDMI audio driver for Radeon HD4850 vid card - no change.
5. Disabled HDMI audio (after seeing that the HDMI audio may be taking over the onboard sound) - no change
6. Updated bios from V.6 to V.11 (latest) - no change
7. Loaded fail-safe bios settings, no change - re enabled previous bios settings..
8. Disabled Azalia codec in bios, booted, no sound or available devices. Restarted, Re-enabled Azalia (no actual enable choice - just auto and disabled), back in windows, device is available again - showing volume coming through, but no sound, or light.

1. Unplugged spdif cable from mobo - tried using the analog speakers, but when I plug those in device will not let me select speakers (instead of digital output) as default and it reports that it's not plugged in - rebooted to try again still no change - but it still reports realtech digital output as plugged in (even though it's not) - volume monitor still fluctuates - no red light.

Suspected causes
1. HDMI output from HD4850.. googled this and tried all suggestions, but no change.
2. Digital output is listed as Location 2 (Internal High Definition Audio Bus) and HDMI output is Location 0 (Internal High Definition Audio Bus) - I'm not sure if this if affecting anything, but it seems the default device should be at location 0.. But I'm not at all sure about that.
3. Windows update?? But like I said did system restores and clean installs.
4. We had bad weather Thursday night - perhaps a power surge that I didn't notice that only affected the sound card and no other components? Doesn't seem likely and there is no indication in windows that the device isn't working properly

So Again - Thanks for any suggestions.. I appreciate it.

The exact (relevant) specs of the machine are
Gigabyte EP45-UD3R Mobo (latest bios update)
Realtek ALC889A codec
Quad 4 8200 socket 775
Radeon HD4850 512 MB (manufacturer - HIS), Video coming out to TV with HDMI to DVI converter, nothing plugged into HDMI or VGA ports
Windows 7 Ultimate 64 Bit
3 answers Last reply
More about optical sound onboard gigabyte realtech suddenly stopped working
  1. Gotigers,

    Are all the drivers for your current motherboard up to date? Have you downloaded the latest drivers for your audio hardware? Microsoft does have an official Windows 7 Support Forum located here http://tinyurl.com/9fhdl5 . It is supported by product specialists as well as engineers and support teams. You may want to also check the threads available there for additional assistance and feedback.

    Microsoft Windows Client Team
  2. Wow jessica, you must be some great comp tech. He just finished telling you that he dl'd all the latest drivers. Did you just read the first line? I definitely won't be coming to this site for help.
  3. I have the same problem. Have you figured out any solution for this problem?
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