Now I know that there are other places for recommendations on this problem, and i've tried a dozen of them. Here's what I've tried
*uninstalling and reinstalling the HD Audio Device Driver from the device manager, it uninstalls then fails to reinstall leaving me where I started
*Going through the BIOS to turn on something disabled about audio, went through all the menus and didn't see anything related to audio
*opened the services list and checked that windows audio was turned on, it was
*clicked on the audio thing with the red x and let it try and install itself, it recommends to reinstall the driver like mentioned earlier and it fails.
*ran windows update, i'm completely up to date according to it.
*restarted my computer something like 20 times.
The computer is old, but we recently installed windows. It was originall an XP machine, then a Linux Ubuntu, now its a windows 7. The installation is fresh, and I don't think there should be any real spyware or virus problems, this is just something I've neglected to install when I updated to windows 7.
My best guess would be a compatibility issue with the old hardware and the new OS. The speakers are Medion NXT 2.1. Can't find any other labels on them besides that.