My problems started as I was logging into Second Life a couple of weeks ago: Using the Firestorm viewer, the monitor started flickering and then the computer froze. I rebooted by holding down the power button on the front of the computer. It went through the normal sequence...motherboard manufacturer welcome screen (Gigabyte GA-M57 SLI-S4) then what i guess is a self-check screen in black and white console font which looks for a CD to boot from at the bottom of a bunch of computer arglebargle. Assuming you hit a key or wait it out, it goes to the next screen which offers me a choice of partitions to boot from. Both of these screens were nearly incomprehensible due to the computer substituting some of the English alphabet characters. Here's an example:
Windows Advanced Optiofs Eenu
Safe mode with Fetwgrcing
Safe Eode wit' Cgemand Proept
It then went to to login screen for Windows which looked normal, so i logged into my account. But instead of the desktop, the screen was filled with black and white stripes, mostly horizontal, but connected to each other with a few vertical or diagonal stripes, all about an inch in width. The machine froze again and i shut down with the power button again. The same process played out. I started up in Safe mode, then shut down, then started normally and everything was cool again. I ran though some maintenance routines, disk check, IObit Advanced System Care scan, and Norton 360 Tuneup, but discovered nothing.
I'll make this part as brief as i can, because it's not really the problem i'm posting about.
I went back to using my computer as I always do, but almost everytime I tried to use Second Life, the same thing would happen. I have three separate hard drives in my case, so i logged into a different one, but it still happened. I tried uninstalling the viewer app, then downloading and installing a clean copy of it. That made no difference. I figured the Firestorm viewer was conflicting with something. Then I tried using a different viewer (Singularity). The same thing happened. So ran check disk again, Norton and Advanced System Care. I also ran IObit's Driver Booster, which found seven drives that needed to be updated. I did that, but noticed after a reboot that although it looked like it worked, the new drivers hadn't been downloaded or installed. But I didn't think it was a virus, most likely the graphics card i was thinking. Well, the machine is working properly again (but i haven't tried logging into Second Life) but during this whole process, somehow my sound capability has disappeared. Also, Advanced Care seems to have deleted a couple of programs along with their shortcuts when it did a Shortcut Fix.
So how do I get the sound back on in my machine? It looks like the system files (alert sounds, etc.) for sound have been deleted, along with the HD 8-channel sound that was included with the motherboard. I can't seem to adjust anything in audio properties because there's nothing there to adjust!
Thanks for any help.
Computer is a custom-built dual processor 64-bit with 4 Gig of RAM, 2.4 Ghz CPU, nVidia GT 8500 graphics card with 518 MB memory.