Thanks to info here I have now got my audacity actually recording something !
It does help to plug the mic into a pink socket that actually works! - the one on my front panel on the pc was dead. When I switched to the one at the back hidden in a sea or wires and dust - I get a healthy sounding click - an hey presto I have sound imput.
This is after trying all the above many time - only to find that my cheapish stereo condensor hand held mic - unknown to me - had a battery in it - duh ( go to back of class and stay there )
Installing a battery that was not stone dead - and plugging into a socket that was live - and all is good.
Thanks to info here I have also sorted Lame. It would be of note to say that when you double click the exe file and install Lame - the default place it puts the file Audacity is looking for is in program files - ie my computer/local diskC/programfiles/lame for audacity/ .....
I've taken in some good info on tidying up the sound files.
All this is not only helpful for recording my guitar - I also was stumped for producing voice overs for videos for my sailing site. I did have it working many moons ago - which stumped me.
It would seem, back then, I was plugged in the back panel - and my battery was not flat