Option 5, which was suggested to me in the comments to my previous post, is to to get a sound card. Part of me wants to continue the fight, to figure out what the heck is wrong with my onboard sound chip, and to get it working. This is the part of me that refuses to lose to a machine. Also, I want to know why it’s not working. The other part of me just wants sound, full stop. This is Week 2 of building and troubleshooting. It sounds like a long time, and I think it was: weekday evenings after dinner, and three full days at the holiday weekend. Everything is working, except for the sound.
Last night, I tried Option 2, which was to uninstall Service Pack 2, uninstall the Realtek Audio Drivers, and then reinstall Realtek before finally reinstalling SP2. Things didn’t go so well, and I had to go to Option 3: a fresh Windows XP install, which also involved fresh installations of everything else. Still no sound. Now I wonder whether it’s worth it to go to Option 1 (update the BIOS) at all, rather than simply buying the sound card.
I was reading up on sound cards last night and this morning before work, so I think I’m pretty much set on buying one. I haven’t bought speakers yet, because I wanted to focus on the core parts first. So for now I’ll be using my dinky, 2 watt monitor speakers and my decidedly more awesome Sennheiser PC 150 headset.