I am having a super strange problem that I hope someone can help me with.
I just built a new system using windows 7 64 and I'm using the onboard sound card using Via HD drivers and a basic 2 speaker setup. For the first week or so, my system volume was set at 80/100 and when I turned the volume up on my speakers, I got a nice gradual volume increase. A friend with the same speakers told me that his speakers sounded better with some games when he changed the sample rate to to 16bit dvd quality and set the speaker config to 5.1. Right away i noticed the sound was much louder than it was before. Turning my speaker volume up just a little bit sound like they were set to max. I changed the the settings back but sill the volume was too loud. I did a system restore back to before I touched anything but no luck. I manually uninstalled/reinstalled the drivers and even uninstalled and let windows install them on reboot but still no luck. Right now I have had to set the system volume down to 40/100 just so I can get a gradual volume increase from my speakers but it still doesn't sound quite right. Sorry for the long post but I wanted to give all the info I had. Thanks to anyone who may be able to help.
Thanks for the suggestions but they didn't work. The only thing I can think of is that there is some setting somewhere that got changed without me knowing it, but if that was the case a driver reinstall should have fixed it.