It seems the last windows update (which i have since rolled back from to no avail) has 'unplugged' my internal soundcard in my alienware m17x r4 (a soundblaster recon 3di).

Turned computer on to find speakers not working and not listed under playback devices, jacks and headphones were however ok.

Today I tried to fix it by uninstalling all creative drivers and reinstalling (hadn't looked at device manager at this point). On trying to reinstall everything kept giving me "no supported device" type errors and wouldn't allow me to put creative drivers or software back on (tried extracting packages, running as admin etc).

Then I had a look at device manager only to find my soundcard was no longer listed but even worse there are no mystery devices to install drivers for. It also won't detect any new hardware. Using the add legacy option only gave me one option from creative as a manufacturer which was totally inappropriate. Dxdiag also shows no soundcard now, and the bios has nothing mentioning a sound device. There are however two entries under system devices in device manager called "high definition audio controller".

After a lot of rebooting I seemed able to install a driver successfully (using an installer, not directly via device manager) and the sb control panel (which I need for my jacks to work), however still no soundcard showing, no speakers and no sound through jacks. Eventually I tried using a program called drivereasy to check my drivers thinnking it might see something i couldn't. Happily I saw it had an entry for an audio device, and even listed it correctly as a recon 3di and offered to download an updated driver. However...it lists the device as unplugged.

How on earth do i force windows to see it again or virtually plug it back in?!

Since 'upgrading' from windows 7 Ive had a few problems with the sound and installing drivers but never had the entire device vanish....even from device manager. At my wits end, googled my arse off, tried a lot of suggestions but am going quietly insane.