Here's the situation: A friend gave me her old Gateway m350vwn laptop so that I could fix it up for her. It originally was loaded with a bunch of spyware/adware and viruses, and on top of that, her sound did not work. I thought that formatting it and reinstalling Windows would be the way to go, so that's what I did. I assumed that the audio issue would be fixed. But it isn't. Things I've already done: Installed Sigmatel C-Major audio drivers from Gateway's website Googled for more audio drivers when that one didn't work None worked, poked around with settings Realizing that nothing was muted or changed in any significant way, I checked Device Manager. Nothing was amiss. Updated the BIOS Looked in BIOS to see if onboard sound was disabled; it wasn't, there wasn't even an option to disable it opened dxdiag and tested the sound there. No errors/issues. Couldn't hear anything. Slammed laptop lid closed Using Windows XP Pro SP3. Worst case scenario is that the onboard sound is just dead. But this doesn't make sense to me. Windows recognizes it and pretends there's nothing wrong. If I uninstall the device, Windows recognizes it right away after I scan for hardware changes. I can install the driver. Things look like they're playing, but no sound resonates from the speakers or headphone jack. So what do you think? Dead speakers? But why would the headphone jack also be dead? I can't hear anything if I plug in my headphones either. Something that's also noteworthy: when the computer shuts down, I hear a brief pop/crackle right before it turns off. If that makes sense. Oh, and I booted to an Ubuntu live CD just because I had it, to test if it was just Windows that couldn't detect sound... no sound there either. I don't know why it would work from the live CD anyway, but, you never know, I guess. I'm kinda clueless at this point, and willing to try anything short of replacing the mobo. I've looked at alternatives if the onboard audio is indeed shot to hell. I found a USB audio controller that looks a bit like a flash drive; would that be plausible? Thanks in advance for any ideas or information.