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If you haven't done so already, retart your computer.
Right-click "My Computer" and select "Manage" from the popup and then open the device manager. You will probably have to reinstall the audio drivers.
Try unistalling all drivers for the sound card then switch the system off then on
Does the system either start reinstalling the sound card or prompt you for disks to install, if the system does not, consider
1, The sound card is slightly out of its socket
2, If the sound card is embedded, perhaps you had a mishap when fitting the new hard drive
3, you burned out the sound card while fitting your hard drive
Depending on how important the system is to you, you might consider a warrantee call or a visit to your local PC tech shop
Remember, if you don't know much about a PC's inards, there is an infinite number of ways to permanently damage you system, so be careful
The device manager reports that the sound card is working properly.
Of course, your computer may still be silent due to a (hardware) fault - perhaps something as simple as a bad speaker connection.
The only way I could get the sounds back was to use the system restore option and choose a restore point before the software was installed.
If you can remember the exact date when the sounds stop, try using the system restore option for a date just before that.
If that doesn't work, it likely is a hardware problem.
Philosopher, I tried the System Restore but it won't let me go back to August, which I know will before I installed the webcam
the test button is still permanently grayed out in the sounds control panel applet even with an event highlighted
Try running the program System32\dxdiag.exe - it might yield a clue.
Since Media Player is working, it sounds like a DLL has been stomped on that calls the sound-effect rather than the problem being driver-related. I've never studied this area of Windows in depth, but check that the date-time stamp of the file System32\winmm.dll tallies with other dlls. On my system it is 4th Aug 2004 : 176,128 bytes.
It certainly should exist - many programs would fail to start without it!
Changing soundcard may fix the problem, but is not guaranteed to do so.
Have you gone through all the options in the control panel applet?
You could try reinstalling Windows (over the top). However, I think the only thing left is a bad regsitry value somewhere and there is a good chance that would be unaffected by reinstalling Windows.