I finally got sick of staring at the personalized settings window as it made no progress. I hit Ctrl+Alt+Del to get to the new Vista set of options. After checking Task Manager to make sure there wasn’t actually anything going on, I locked the computer and logged back in. Still nothing…
Hitting Ctrl+Alt+Del again, I clicked ‘Log out’, and instantly saw the Personalized Settings window flip through the rest of its options and was dumped back to the logon screen. Logging in again, I was instantly on my desktop.
After picking my wireless network and entering my WPA key, I was back up and running on the ‘net. I noticed a tray icon indicating that no audio hardware was installed, but before I could do anything about it, Vista was popping up notifying me of updates to install - one of which was a SigmaTel C-Major Audio driver (in addition to a Windows Defender definitions update and a new Intel PRO/Wireless 2915ABG driver update).
All three updates were downloaded within seconds, a restore point was created for my system, and the two real updates (both of the drivers) were installed about a minute later.
Without a reboot, both drivers were installed, and my audio was working. I notice that the media buttons on the front of my laptop don’t give any visual indication of working, but the audio controls do actually change the volume. That’s slightly annoying (How loud is my volume right now?), but as long as they do actually work, I don’t see it to be a big problem.