Thanks again for another follow-up.
I was originally using an ART driver for the device. In the list of recording devices, it was showing up as an ART device (I forget the exact name). In the advanced properties panel, it was hard-coded to 2-channel, 32-bit, 48000 Hz. That is, the default format selection menu was grayed out.
On the chance that there was some problem with that driver, I uninstalled it, causing Windows to use its own USB codec driver. The device now appears as a microphone and I can select the recording format. I was going to send you screenshots of the settings, but I don’t seem to be able to paste a picture into this posting. What I am seeing is:
In the Sound settings, Recording tab, the top choice in the list is “Microphone, 2-USB Audio CODEC, Default Device”. It has the green checkmark.
In the Properties for that device, in the Advanced tab, I have selected “2 channel, 16-bit,
In Audacity, in the line you indicated, the menu selections are, in order from left to right:
Microphone (2-USB Audio CODEC
2 (Stereo) Recording
I tried several options for a “clean restart”. I first tried safe-mode, but I can’t even see the sound device configuration and Audacity won’t run. I then disabled my Wifi and did a normal restart. This did not change the recording behavior.
I certainly agree with you that the problem seems to lie between the input device and Audacity, and not with either of those. I suspect it might be something very specific to this model; I am also on a Lenovo forum trying to get ideas there. So far, it has been to check the same things you have suggested.
Again, I appreciate the help, and am willing to try other suggestions. My plan here is to install Audacity on my son’s laptop to see if the same problem occurs there.