Well, I finally had it with the sound popping in/out so I decided to crack open my case, yank and reinsert the card. Sure enough it was loose.
I blew the dust off the Audigy 4's board and set it aside when I noticed the air-duct like thing sucking air in and across the mother board was dusty.
I finally removed the masking tape that whoever assembled the bloody thing used to keep the line going from the PSU to the SATA drive used to glue the cable between the duct and the CPU's heat sink (_don't_ ask). I pulled off the ducting and looked at the fan blades, never been dusted.
Tried to unplug the fan so I could set it aside for cleaning but it proved, shall we say less then worth it. Blew out as much dust as I could from the venting and the CPU's heatsink. Which on the air-ward side was starting to look like cobwebs :\
The fan is mounted in the duct which is 'hung' on the side of the case... If it wasn't for the handle to pull it out, it would fall out if I put the case on it's port side. If the thing didn't get seated properly, it would be resting ontop of the hard drive mounting.. Honestly I don't know what people are thinking these days.
Still had more dust in the air-vents for the fan and I couldn't see to hang the duct right. So I noticed these few clips sticking out of the front-side. Pushed the in and pulled off the front plastic panel ('face') of the computer case.
Holy guacamole !!!!
It was so bad I fetched a face mask to keep the dust away from my nose and mouth, to bad I didn't have a pair of goggles to boot. Cleaned the entire computer throughly and hung the fan/duct. Using the air-vents to line up the placement. And then put the panel back on. I thought about popping the bezel setting with the card reader and inserting an old floppy drive because the case design would keep the dust from seeping inside.. But to insert the FDD I would have to remove my PSU and the CPU's heatsink which is not really worth bothering with lol. Managed to get the case put back together and wiped off the monitor, keyboard, and rat for good measure (y).
Computer cases are fairly simple but I'll never understand some of the things I've seen in pre-built computers... Who the hell puts tape less then half an inch over a heat sink which is there to help cool a really hot CPU, and it is like the BFG 9000 of heat sinks compared to Vectra's Katmai P3 500 lol.
Really I think if I ever had the opportunity to build my own case, I would do it. With the right tools and materials one could actually pull it off, might not look sexy but it sure as heck can't be any worse then the this Gateways case !!
Hmm, one of these days I really need to clean out the keyboard of my laptop but I'm not really interested in taking it apart right now. I wonder why, stripping down a computer always gives me strange ideas >_>