The windows audio mixer is missing (control panel - sounds and audio devices). The Control Panel item opens, but everything is greyed out. This is obviously a WINDOWS OS issue, not the driver. Here are some facts...
1) The audio device (onboard RealTech HD) on my Asus P5GC 1333 Mother Board is installed and working properly according to WINDOWS Hardware Manager. (and has been uninstalled, and reinstalled with fresh drivers from the ASUS (motherboard) web site.
2) The WINDOWS AUDIO service is started. (and restarted, and turned off and rebooted, and turned off and uninstall the audio device then rebooted start audio service and install new driver)
3) When I run the ASUS / RealTech audio settings manager I get beautiful test sounds out of the speakers. Clearly, the audio device, and my speakers are fully functional. I would also assume that this means that the WINDOWS AUDIO service is running fine.
4) The windows sound icon does not show up in the systray, but it does show up in the RealTech Audio Systray sub-menu. However, when you click on it, an error appears stating that there is "no audio mixer installed."
As kind of stated above, I have done all the standard audio fixes. Turning the Windows Audio Service off and back on (it was on all along). Uninstalling and reinstalling the hardware and drivers in Windows. Obtaining fresh drivers and installing those. Attempting to use System Restore (it will not restore). I even tried all these things in SAFE MODE.
I was going to remove the board, start, shut down, reinsert the board and restart....However, it is "on board" audio. So that is not possible. Oddly, I do not see anything in the CMOS that allows me to shut down the on board audio.
The fact that I get sound out of the ASUS / RealTech audio settings manager tells me that the drivers and hardware are fine. It is Windows that has the problem. I just can't figure out what that problem is.