I have a problem that has developed over time, which means I no longer have the option of using System Restore. Here’s the problem:
My system has so sound of any kind. It does not make any system sounds. It does not play the audio when I run a video or MP3 file. There is no audio when I try to use Skype. I have Skype configured only for audio, not for video, and in the past I have occasionally had audio conflicts between Skype and other programs.
In addition, several of my programs either close as soon as I open them, open but close as soon as I try to work in them, or open and close as soon as I try to access the help file.
In all cases, I get only an unspecified error message, to wit:
“MS Help and Support—message: Microsoft Help and Support has encountered a problem and needs to close. We are sorry for the inconvenience.”
Examples of Programs that close as soon as they are opened:
Examples of Programs that can be opened but do not operate:
Advanced DHTML Popup Pro
The problems with the programs not running, or closing if I tried to use the help file started a few months ago and have gotten worse. The audio problem developed this weekend.
I think (but am not certain) that the problems are related to my installing, testing and uninstalling various audio and video programs. microphones and web cams. Most recently, I installed a Logitech Quickcam Pro 9000 video cam. It worked fine. I uninstalled it, then reinstalled it 2 months later. On the reinstall, the computer did not recognize the camera. Tech support at Logitech had me uninstall the camera and reinstall it using Microsoft generic drivers to get the camera operating. Once it was operating they had me reinstall the Logitech software. I believe (but am not certain) that it was at that point that I lost all audio.
I have not been able to use Windows' own diagnostic tools as most of them close with an error message as soon as I open them. I have been able to open Dr Watson, which says “no errors detected.” I have also run all my virus and spyware utilities. No infection has been detected.
My system information:
Windows XP Home Edition Version 2002
Computer: Intel Core 2 CPU
RealTek HD Audio Card
I suspect these problems are being caused by driver conflicts/bits of drivers hanging around after all the install/uninstalls I have done.
Is it the drivers that are driving me crazy?
How can I truly diagnose this problem and fix it?