The status bar has doubled in height, the "sound system" icon has disappered and I am not sure if we have plugged the speakers back into the correct port.

Each time I try to open the device manager for audio on computer hardware there is an error code cmicnfg.cpl

The last time I tried the system also showed error 800a03e8. I'm not sure what those codes mean or how to go about getting the speakers to work again. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you, kindly!

As per the standard, audio output jack's color is light green. You check the speaker is connected with light green jack or not.

plus navigate here. Start => Control Panel => Administrative Tools => Services
Find the Windows Audio and check it the service is started, if it is stopped, then start it.
I am not sure about the error message 800a03e8.

Here is a small thought that took me time to cure and similiar to yours. We used to have great sound , beeps, cds, dvds etc. We then installed a very large expensive sell known music program and it 'highjacked' the sould system all to itself and muted the rest of the system!
cure was to use control panel and reinstate the other sound systems as appropriate. however we stil lhave the problem when we play midi etc through hthe miusic program but at least we know rthe cause!