Sound unusually high in pitch on Compaq N410

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Hello all,
The sound from this laptop ( Windows XP) comes out higher pitched that
it should be  - a bit like a recording that has been speeded up. I get
the same effect listening to web radios or using internet phones, so
it's not just recordings. Men's voices sound like women's, and women's
sound squeaky. When using Skype, the other person's voice sounds high
like I said, but my voice sounds normal to the person on the other end.

Same thing whether I listen on the laptop speaker or on headphones.

I've never come across symptoms like this before. It's really strange
and I really can't think where to start. I've tried changing the
settings, but no joy.

Can anyone shed any light?

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