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.
lineonecorpAsked:
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denisbrownCommented:
This could be an IRQ clash, driver problem, or a number of things.  Have you tried downloading the latest driver?
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denisbrownCommented:
You say this happens when you leave the computer.  Does it go into hibernate mode when you leave it?
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nobusCommented:
can you test with another sound card? or test this card on another system ? it may be bad...
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dbruntonCommented:
Interesting.

What happens if you play streaming music?  Say a long list of mp3 songs.  Does it cut out or just keep going?
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denisbrownCommented:
Do the system sounds come via the external speakers, or from the system speaker (ie beeps) ?
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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.
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nobusCommented:
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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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