Hey folks, this is a new one to me, and I've spent a little time with it, yet have found no set solution. I build my friend a PC out of some extra parts I had and some stuff he purchased, rig goes as follows: He called me last week stating that his sound was all of a sudden full of static and all the tones seemed really muted or muddy. He wasn't sure when it happened, he usually leaves his rig running all day...went and installed Red Alert 3, put on his headset and that's when he noticed the static. Keep in mind this is the onboard Realtek HD for now... So I go over, decide we'll start with drivers, uninstall and re-install...now it detects that the digital output and inputs are connected but nothing else is, no front panel even with connections at front panel, I removed the FP connector from the MB, upon inspection found no issues. When I connect something to the rear jack (green), the Blue and Pink jacks are illuminated and detected, but all I have is the headphone jack in the green spot. So I figure hell maybe the on-board sound decided to go south...so we grab a backup Soundblaster Live! PCI card I had installed in his wife's pc, known to work very well. We install it in his rig, I find some Live! 5.1 drivers for Vista x64, and same sound/static/muddy noise. Yet the card works just fine in her rig across the room...an older AMD Athlon 64 setup. So I decide to bring the PC home so I can mess around further, check connections, installed one of my sticks of G.Skill DDR2 1000 2GB sticks to ensure the crucials aren't somehow messing things up, and with the soundblaster, I now have extreme bass, even with the bass all the way down...if I mess with the adjusters too much I get all sorts of static, the mid-ranges and hi's are really muddy (especially vocals). So I decide to pull the SB Live! card out and go back to the on-board, back to the same issue of it just detecting the digital inputs and outputs that are not in use as "in use" and set to default. I can't set speakers to default because it says there aren't any connected...I did notice plugging in the headphone jack to other plugs, the blue, black, orange, etc all detect normally...but the green jack won't ever detect it just reverts to detecting blue and pink...just odd. I'm about ready to tear down and inspect for a bad ground or possibly a shorted connection/wire, etc...just wanted to see if anyone's been through this before. The thing that has me stumped the most is the SB card making similar sound output...but at least I could get sound with it, I get no sound with the onboard or some static if I mess around with it long enough, it'll play sound through the randomly detected front headphones (when still connected at the rear), but it's full of static and all plays through the LH side, nothing from the RH side. I won't be tearing down tonight, I'm pretty sick atm, so that's not helping my investigation atm, but if you have any suggestions please let me know! I've tried drivers, different plugs, ram, power sources (outlets), nothing else is wrong...the rig runs solid, stable and cool, which is even more frustrating, I'd rather have it crashing all the time than running perfect aside from sound outputs! I am using USB keyboard and a regular PS2 mouse atm...same setup I used when I built the rig w/o issues, but something could've changed. I may do a fresh Vista install and see if that sorts anything out...just hesitant to take a big step back if that's not the cure. Thanks for your time!