Sound Blaster - suddenly no sound

I have a Soundblaster Audigy ZS in an XP SP2 system.  Suddenly today I stopped getting sound.  When I go to Device Manager and look at Sound Video Game controllers the SoundBlaster is there and everything looks good. However when I go to Control Panel to Sounds and Audio Devices/Audio there's no hardware listed and everything is greyed out so I can't add anything.  I can still hear system sounds however. When I reboot everything works, everything shows up properly in Sounds and Audio Devices.  I leave the computer for a while and then when I come back - no sound again. Reboot. Everything ok.
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This could be an IRQ clash, driver problem, or a number of things.  Have you tried downloading the latest driver?
You say this happens when you leave the computer.  Does it go into hibernate mode when you leave it?
can you test with another sound card? or test this card on another system ? it may be bad...

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dbruntonQuid, Me Anxius Sum?  Illegitimi non carborundum.Commented:

What happens if you play streaming music?  Say a long list of mp3 songs.  Does it cut out or just keep going?
Do the system sounds come via the external speakers, or from the system speaker (ie beeps) ?
lineonecorpAuthor Commented:
One more piece of information - I just noticed that what precedes the cutout in sound is a message on the screen  'Generic Host Process to Win32 Services has encountered  a problem and needs to close.' As soon as that message shows up all sound is gone. I reboot all sound comes back, everything works just fine.
lineonecorpAuthor Commented:
Thanks for the tips but too many possibilities for a relatively small irritant. I have a base Ghost image for this system - no exposure to Internet, no changes from the day I first installed.  I can Ghost back and do some reinstalling - it's a pain but it's over in a couple of hours.  Everything else looks like a lot of work without a guarantee of success.
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