Gah Finally after reading what seems like hundreds of help lists and all that I finally found the problem with my Gateway 7515 laptop sound. Sound card is an ATI IXP card with built in modem.

To make a long story short all that I needed to do was go to the alasmixer and mute the External Amplifier.

Bango, it worked.

Now if only the ocean glider I am working on would come to the surface and call home...