I was cleaning up some unused applications from my home pc the other when I did a stupid thing. I saw “Realtek HD Audio Manager” and my brain thought “Real Player <blah blah blah>”. It wasn’t until the uninstall was running (and wouldn’t cancel!) that I realized my mistake. The audio manager responsible for sound devices on my system finished uninstalling successfully. Well, bugger.
I googled around for a short while thinking that getting it back would be easy. However, what I found was a sea of confusion from other people in the same boat. Double bugger.
After poking at the problem with a stick for a short while I found audio codecs and drivers available from the Realtek site. The name is a little confusing however, as it turns out that the control panel and “HD Audio Manager” installs as part of the codecs package. 52MB of download later and I’m back in business.