I think i managed to fnd a solution for that but it could involve disabling the Windows updates until a solution apppears;
Uninstall all Intel Audio drivers from device manager.
Disable BITS and Windows Updates in services msc
In System: hardware, disable automatic driver updates;
-In Device manager click "View - > click Devices by Connection"
Then in Device manager go to Microsoft ACPI compliant.. -> PCI Express Root Complex -> Right click on Intel Smart Sount Technology SST and select uninstal, thick the box "Remove driver software for this device";
-Download and install the latest Realtek HD drivers for your HP notebook from the support.hp.com site.
Restart the PC and the audio should be working. This however also disables Windows updates but this should be a temporary issue until other Windows updates appear;. You didn't add a product number so i cannot provide you with linkd. Also if this doesn't work, you might have to uninstall a KB update that occured today or yesterday (a KB starting with 44 ad ending with 919 its a security update);
This fix didn't work for me. I've spent hours trying to solve this problem.
I did everything indicated in HP's solution. The faulty driver continues to reappear. Also, I've been unable to download any other drivers, as HP's website doesn't recognize my product number despite me copy/pasting it after using the fn/esc approach.
I've tried many approaches, but nothing works. Is there a way one can access a chat with an actual person under HP support?
After 3 days of struggling, my audio came back on soon after I posted my message. I went back once again to delete the faulty drivers with the exclamation point, and it wasn't there. I scanned for hardware changes, and it didn't come back. And the red "x" on the speaker was gone. I still didn't have sound, but I rebooted. Still no sound, but with a a click on troubleshooting, and a long wait, the sound came back!
So maybe just keep trying to delete the faulty drive, and the higher level as indicated in HP's advice. Maybe it will work eventually. I really don't know what I did that did it. But maybe there's hope.
The HP document at the following link has what may be the simplest means of resolving with the Audio issue.
If your problem is solved or question answered by my post, please click the Accepted Solution button in that post.