After having to wipe the HD and go back to WIndows XP, I found that I still
couldn't get any response out of my sound card or modem....
But....after working on the laptop for some time, it occurred to me that the sound card might be disabled in the BIOS and since it's an HP, I mighht not be able to see that. After looking for a way to "unlock" that feature of the BIOS, I simply reset the CMOS (and the BIOS) and using the drivers
reinstall disk from HP, the system found and installed the drivers for both the sound and modem!!!!!
So, if you are reading this and are having the same problem, clearing the BIOS may be the solution for you. (I try to give help because I am
an IT guy after all.)