HP omnibook 6000 sound problem

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I have had this s/h laptop for about a year and all was working perfectly
until I decided to use a mono microphone while at the same time using
Windows Media Player (up to 10),  to playback MP3s etc. I got the dreaded
illegal operation prompt a few times but MP carried on working and so did
the microphone. After the following boot the machine will not play any media
files incl videos and DVDs under any software WMP, Real Player, Quick Time
etc, or more exactly they play and view correctly but I cannot get any sound
out of the machine. On start-up there are no sounds but a few clicks. The
only software that gives any sounds is the original Windows CD Player, in
other words CDA files only, all digital files are silent, and no sounds when
testing under DXdiag.
It is (and was before) running W 98SE (Finnish language BTW but that should
be irrelevant besides I cannot always rememebt the equivalent statements in
English any more!). Sound card drivers were from the HP site and I have also
tried those from ESS, but always the same - no sounds. The only observation
has been that MPU401 and the game port are shown as disabled in the boot-up
POST sequence but there is no option to enable them in the BIOS menu, and I
suspect there is audio SW or drivers missing (eg Wavetable or synthesiser)
as the list under Device Manager is very short but includes the ESS drivers,
but no Windows or Yamaha drivers/SW listed. Now I reloaded Windows but no
change at all.
Any ideas what I should load to Windows to get the digital media files to
give sound?

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