I first tried downloading the latest audio driver from the Dell website and reinstalling the driver. When that didn't work, I called Dell and spent the afternoon with them trying to use System Restore to load several different restore points, eventually going all the way back to the original restore point (2 months ago). None of the restore points will load successfully. Dell then said it's a software problem and maybe a Microsoft update stomped on their "QuickSet" application and recommended I download the latest driver for QuickSet and reinstall it. I did that and still no audio.
Searching MSDN and Google I've come across a couple of items that mention a Windows Update (1 of 3 pre-Vista SP1 updates pushed out last week) that caused some problems and was subsequently pulled by Microsoft (see http://support.microsoft.com/kb/937287 and http://www.news.com/Microsoft-pulls-Vista-SP1-update/2100-1016_3-6231299.html?tag=ne.fd.mnbc).
Given that, I looked at my update history and, sure enough, update 937287 was installed on 2/15/08 (which is about the time my audio stopped working). However, that update can't be removed.
At this point I don't know whether or not the issue is with the Microsoft update or something else and am out of ideas for fixing this without reloading the factory image and losing all my data.
Warning!!! Tech Support will refuse warranty service for speaker problems if the VLC media player is installed on the laptop. This exclusion is NOT disclosed in the laptop warranty! Remove all players before contacting Tech Support, leaving only Windows Media Player.
That was it! I now have sound. Thanks a BUNCH!
I have the same problem and your fix didn't work. Any other ideas?
Actually I had posted 2 ideas. The other one was
That 'should' cure it.