Gaming Audio problems on laptop

CarbonX13

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So I recently updated my Vista from no Service Pack to SP1 and then to SP2. Everything runs fine, except now after SP1 and SP2 got installed, the audio isn't functioning properly. After updating, it couldn't find my audio device, but I fixed it now. However, now whenever I use headphones, audio takes about 5 seconds before it comes out of them (refreshes with every pause in the music / video I'm listening to). I sometimes lose control of the volume as well, adjusting it would crash the Windows Explorer (presumably the audio adjustment for Realtek High Definition Audio) causing me to need to restart it via command prompt. Oh, and the audio loses control even without headphones sometimes when entering from sleep mode.

Can anybody help me? I'm not sure if it is a hardware problem or software now, because it only happened after installing SP1 and SP2. Built in laptop speakers work fine, and don't crash the Realtek HD Audio controls (well, it crashed on me once, but never since then).
 
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