I am working with a client who brought her computer home for the holidays, and now the sound won't work properly.

When the user tries to play a sound file in any media player (i tried WMP and creative media jukebox) an alert comes up saying that the audio device is already in use by another application. I uninstalled the device drivers, reinstalled them, and restarted. Initially, when the computer first starts, the audio will play. once the media player is closed and re-opened though, it will not.

I am pretty sure at this point that the problem is with some installed service that doesn't play nicely with the sound device. any ideas?

If I help you solve this problem are you going to share what you are charging your client?:lol:

my client is a student of the university. i work for 8 bucks an hour as a 'nettech.' if this doesn't turn out to be an easy fix, i'll throw a reinstall disk at her and be on my way.

First, I would reinstall the offending player. It may not be closing properly.

Next, I would check to see if some software is usiing a sound event wrong. It could be that a custom sound file was used, and is corrupt.

Finally, check what is open in the system tray and in Task Manager. Some program may either be in an error state, not responding. There might also be malicious software.

One weird possibility is that it might be looking for a printer which was used at home. My wacky Lexmark printer driver doesn't play the error sound until AFTER the error is already corrected. But it grabs the soundcard before the error is fixed.