PC running XP stops recognizing sound devices

Dell / Dimension c521
May 4, 2011 at 09:43:48
Specs: Windows XP, 2.204 GHz / 1470 MB
Okay, I've got a doozy here. I have a Dell Dimension c521running Windows XP Media Center Edition. I first noticed that I had no sound one day, and when I clicked the volume icon, it said "There are no active mixer devices available..." yada yada. When that happened I scoured forums and tried all the recommended fixes (such as going into the device manager and all that) and nothing worked. Everything seemed legit. I restarted my pc and voila, sound worked again. Since then, every 12 to 16 hours or so, my PC will stop recognizing my audio devices until I restart. Hibernating doesn't fix the problem, just a full restart. What I've recently noticed as well, is that when I get the sound problem, my PC stops recognizing new USB devices. Meaning that if I unplug, say, my keyboard, and plug it back in, it doesn't work anymore until a restart. I haven't found anyone else with this problem.

Also, I've had programs like Firefox crashing on me all the time and my system seems to be just crapping out and unstable, so I've tried to use the system restore option to restore the PC to factory settings. I have no disk, and tried to access the partition, but nothing works. I tried using the i386 system restore, but once it starts, it says that it cannot complete the action. I've tried ctrl-F11 at the Dell screen and nothing happens at all.

Any help here would be awesome!

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May 4, 2011 at 09:54:41
It sounds to me like your hard drive is starting to fail. You could run a checkdisk on it, but I think i would back up my important stuff soon.

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May 4, 2011 at 10:32:08
Well I've already backed everything up on an external, in preparation for a reinstall. I'm going to run "chkdsk.exe," I'll check back with the results.

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May 4, 2011 at 12:35:15
Well I ran "chckdsk.exe" with a restart but it didn't tell me anything at all and didn't fix anything that I know of. Any other suggestions, other than buying a new hard drive?

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August 3, 2011 at 19:16:03
Did you sort this out?

I have the same problem on two computers - one at work and one at home. The only commone element is I sync the iphone to both. I usually get about a week before reboots are required.

Latest drivers installed on both and it's NOT the HD's.

Very keen on a solution to this frustrating problem.

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