Audio not showingn up on DAW

I am new to using this kind of software, so I beg your indulgence if I ask questions that make more experienced users roll their eyes. I’ve downloaded v. 2.2.2 and followed instructions (as best I was able to), however, no matter the source, audio waves do not appear in either left or right channel of the Audacity DAW. I have two friends who use Audacity and they installed the same way as did I and their Audacity works. Mine does not. I am using an HP 5100 with an Intel Core i5 CPU, 8 GBs memory & 1.8 TB of disc space of which 1.7 TB is free. Anyone else have this problem? Got any ideas what may be going wrong?

I assume you’re trying to record? Or, are you opening an existing file for editing?

Assuming you’re trying to record, what are you trying to record? Streaming audio from the Internet, from the mic built-into your laptop, from a USB turntable? etc.???

I am using an HP 5100

Is that a laptop or a desktop/tower with a “regular soundcard”? (Google thinks it’s a laser printer.) What version of Windows do you have?