I bought a headset so i can use skype, however, if i plug the two inputs into the back of the p.c. (which is something i do not wish to do) i can hear through the headphones but the mic' doesn't work. If i plug the two inputs into the two jack inputs on the front of the p.c. (something i'd prefer to do so i can turn the speakers down or off if i wish), neither headphones nor mic' work(s).
I have no idea what sort of soundcard my p.c. has nor do i know how to find out. I'm running XP with Realtek HD Audio Manager. Also, in ASUS Audio I/O and click on the spanner next to ANALOG (connector settings) there is no option to check the box 'Mute rear panel output when front headphone plugged in' (not that that's something i particularly want to do either, but if it'll make the headset work then i've no choice).
If anyone could offer any help i would be most greatful, thanks in advance.
Your front panel needs to be an output port for headphones to work. Input port is for playing sounds from an external device, like an mp3 player, thru your pc speakers. Your pc may or may not have a front panel header to give you an easy headphone port as many older pc's commonly didnt expecting your speakers to have one. You may be able to configure the Front panel input port as an output in the Realtek audio manager.
The mic is probably muted in the master volume control as that is the default setting. Double click the the speaker icon down next to the clock to open the master volume control panel> Usually your mic software handles muting/unmuting the mic by itself.