Sound problem with Sony Vaio running Vista home premium

I have a Sony Vaio model pcg-5j2l that has in the past 2 months suddenly had the sounds stop working. All the drivers are up to date and diagnostic tells me that the sound is working properly. I tried the function key idea that I had seen as a solution for another person that is having this problem, but I don't see an actual speaker button. However by pressing the Fn key with the battery symbol the sound did temporarily start working again. Any suggestions on how this might be solved?
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First make sure if it's soft- or hardware related. Does Sony offer a preboot diagnostic environment or maybe a diagnostic boot cd? Dell does and you can do a soundcheck with it. If not, boot an instant OS like knoppix and let it play sound.

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>>I have a Sony Vaio model pcg-5j2l that has in the past 2 months suddenly had the sounds stop >>working.

Any system restore points?
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