recording audio cassettes problems

I am so new to this it hurts…I decided to try and copy my old audio cassettes onto my computer. I have set up Audacity according to what the manuals say…plugged in my little “walkman” machine as to intructions; USB and audio cable plugged into headphone socket and blue line in at back of comp. Settled down to be blasted into the past…but when i record i get a flat blue line and on playback i just get white noise…i have fiddled and tweaked and tore my hair out…now im very frustrated I pray you can tell em where i am going wrong.
I am on Win Vista 64 bit; realtec innards as far as i am aware… any help would be aprreciated, I have hundreds of cassettes i am dying to hear again

First check which version of Audacity you have (Look in “Help > About Audacity”). The current version is 2.0.3. If you have any other version, uninstall it and get the current version from here:

Close Audacity before you connect the USB device.

Ensure that the USB cassette is connected to your computer before you open Audacity and allow a few moments for Windows to discover the device.
Then open Audacity and select the USB option as the Recording Input in the device toolbar and select your Realtech sound card as the Playback output.

You will find additional tips in the manual here:
(the manual is also available in the Help menu if you install the recommended version).
Don’t hesitate to ask if you get stuck.

thanks for that, I am using the most up to date Audacity (just downloaded at weekend) 2.0.3
Now i have done the wee changes that u suggested, I now have a thicker blue line with little spikes (better than i had before) and now getting better red and green lines on my meters at the top of the page. When i do a play back my green lines are going well I just cannot hear anything at all now… I have checked the pages you have suggested (to be honest I would be as well reading a book on Quantum Physics)…i have got to the bit about updating drivers, which i did before i noticed it told me i didnt want to have Microsoft ones…when i tried to download other ones, i get a message to tell me my drivers are the most up to date…so now im going round in circles

Have a look in the Windows Sound Control Panel and set the recording level for the USB device so that you get a blue waveform that is about half the track height.
Headphones should normally go into the green socket on the back of your computer, (not blue).

I have my speakers in the green and Line In in the blue…checked and re checked all settings…downloaded FFmpeg…still just getting white noise
am i a lost cause???

Sorry, what do you have pugged into the blue socket? I thought you were recording from USB?