I have been troubleshooting computers for 15+ years and I've encountered something unusual:
Computer: HP Pavilion a1610n (on HP's website it says it has AMD processor, however the processor is Intel; as well, graphic card is listed as nVidia, but in reality it was VIA based)
Problem: there is no sound output coming from the audio jacks located at the back of computer, however the frontal jacks work fine (?!). In Device manager there are 2 sound controllers listed: AC'97 and an unknown HD audio controller that has a yellow exclamation sign; upon accessing its properties I get: "Device Status: This device cannot find enough free resources that it can use. (Code 12)"
So, I have done everything I could do to fix the problem:
-I tried a fresh system installation with Windows 7 (problem remained) then downgraded to Vista (no luck).
-I tried forcing the computer to install a driver for the HD audio, but the system became unstable (BSOD)
-looked in BIOS to see anything HD audio related: under the "Southbridge" option there was an option to disable/enable the AC'97 controller - if disabled, the sound was disabled from the frontal ports, while the HD audio controller still had the exclamation sign
-I thought maybe the built-in sound card has a hardware problem, so I got a PCI Creative Sound card and inserted it: to my surprise, the PC did not detect the card, although I made sure it was properly plugged into the slot. There was no "unknown hardware detected", etc. Then I realized, the other PCI slot had a dial-up modem card which did not appear under the Device manager. Somehow the PCI slots are dead! I opened the CPU and I noticed that one capacitor, located quite close to the ports area (USB/serial/Ethernet/audio jacks) looked damaged and was heavily covered in glue (?!) - see the picture.
What do you think it's wrong here?
Power supply problem? - the power supply is under-powering the PCI slots?
Blown capacitor? Maybe the capacitor is part of the audio circuitry
Why does the computer have 2 sound controllers? (AC'97 and HD audio) - I thought AC'97 was a type of audio system that got eventually replaced by HD audio.
Since I couldn't troubleshoot the audio problem, I advised my client to use the frontal ports for sound.