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sounds and audio devices - playback greyed out

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On a users laptop (IBM Thinkpad) the playback button under Sounds and
Audio Devices - sounds - program events is greyed out.

They are able to hear sounds. I can play a sound file in Media Player,
but no sound otherwise. Also, in Shockwave they
don't hear any sound when playing a .swf file.

Also, sounds do not play for system events, Windows Start, New mail,

I already tried uninstalling, then reinstalling the sound drivers, no

The following was also suggested:

expanding and restoring the original Microsoft ACM Audio Filter files
(which were probably overwritten by some installation) :

start/run - type:
expand G:\i386\msacm32.dr_ c:\windows\system32\msacm32.drv

start/run - type:
expand G:\i386\msacm32.dl_ c:\windows\system32\msacm32.dll

I tried that, didn't work either.

I am open to suggestions

Thank you,

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I just tried the following:

Pretty much everything under "Where did my sounds go?" on the following

I tried removing Windows Media Player and re-installing.

I installed all the audio codecs off of Microsoft

I installed another media player (WINAMP)

I can now play WAV files (which wouldn't work before), but system event
sounds still do not play.

The "play" button is still greyed out under "sounds and audio devices"
on the Control Panel.

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