Yes, I have checked that the speaker cable was plugged into the correct jack in the onboard sound card
And I had not downloaded anything new, shut down the computer the night before, started it up again, tried to play a game called "America's Army", and had no sound. Tried other apps, adn still nothing.
After 3 days of trying to fix it, I gave up completely, -put a fresh install of windows xp pro back on, with a clean hard drive. still no sound, but now it seems that my computer is taking ALOT longer to start up.
I have gotten around the onboard sound, by putting in an old compaq sound card with the most current driver for it, but even that only worked after re-installing windows twice.
The only conclusion that I can come up with is that I have a nasty virus that is residing in my memory, or that my onboard sound on the motherboard has crapped out.
however, any other ideas would be greatly appreciated.