I have Windows 7 64 bit, with an Intel Core i7 CPU and 8 GB RAM. A few weeks ago, my computer started failing to play most forms of media.
When I go to YouTube, the video gives me an error message unique to each video. When I try other websites, the video doesn't play. When I open a video in Windows Media Player, it says a problem was "encountered" and does not play. Games refuse to launch. When I try to listen to something on Soundcloud, all I get is buffering.
A few things are exempt from this issue. I can watch gifs and play some simple video games. It seems that anything with audio won't run, but things that are solely visual will. I have noticed that adjusting my volume doesn't make the usual "ping" noise it usually does.
The problem fixes itself by simply restarting the computer or turning it off, but it always comes back and has been getting worse. When the problem initially started happening, the computer would have to be on for a couple of days before it crapped out, and it would usually happen when I had a lot of tabs open. The past several days, watching YouTube for 10-20 minutes is enough to cause the error.
I can't think of any changes I've made that would cause this sort of thing. When the problem occurs, my computer is otherwise fine--my internet connection isn't slow and I can access pretty much anything. I have Norton and Malwarebytes, and neither of them has found anything. Does anybody know what the root of the problem is?