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Crackling and popping sound until restart


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#1 Baptor

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Posted 13 July 2014 - 03:23 PM

Hello everyone!

I have a »HP Pavilion 500-205t CTO Desktop PC with 64bit Windows 7 and IDT High Definition Audio CODEC. I can provide more stats if needed.

The problem started around Memorial Day (May 26, 2014). I began to hear an occasional crackling or popping sound that would come through both speakers and headphones no matter which jack I used. This problem got worse until it popped every few seconds and was intolerable. When I restarted the PC, the problem disappeared for 12-48 hours before returning again. It always begins with just an occasional crackle or pop every now and again and progressivly gets worse as mentioned.
My audio and video drivers are both up to date. I've tried disabling my wi-fi to see if there was intereferance from that, no luck. I've also plugged the PC into different outlets and used different power strips. I removed all other electronic devices from near the PC. The problem occurs across all playback devices (WMP, video games, youtube, spotify, etc). Any help is appreciated!

My dxdiag is attached.

 

Attached Files


Edited by hamluis, 13 July 2014 - 06:05 PM.
Moved to 'Audio and video', then to Internal Hardware.


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#2 Chris Cosgrove

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Posted 13 July 2014 - 06:15 PM

Since you have tried this with the computer connected to a range of output devices and the same noise occurs on all, this strongly suggests a problem inside the computer.

 

I have had a look at your DX log and I am not clear as to whether you are using the on-board sound system or not. If you are, I would suggest buying a separate plug-in sound card - these need not be expensive - and see if the problem persists. If you are using a plug-in card, then remove it and see if the problem persists with on-board sound. Substitution is often the easiest way to figure out solutions to problems like these.

 

One other slight possibility is heat build-up since you say this occurs between 12 and 48 hours after start-up. It might be worth your while to install SpeedFan, which you can get - free - from here -

 

http://www.almico.com/speedfan.php

 

Or Speccy, which you can get - also free - from BC -

 

http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/download/speccy/

 

Chris Cosgrove



#3 Baptor

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Posted 13 July 2014 - 09:20 PM

Thanks for replying!

I am using the onboard soundcard (or whatever came with it). I downloaded the speccy program you suggested. It's showing the temperatures, but I don't know how I should read them. How hot is too hot?

Also, I picked up a DPC Latency Checker. It's showing that when the pops occur, the latency is spiking really bad. Again, the latency starts green on a fresh boot and slowly goes from green to yellow to red over time. I wonder if this helps with a diagnosis?



#4 zingo156

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Posted 14 July 2014 - 08:17 AM

Open the computer case and check for blown or bulging capacitors on the mainboard examples: https://www.google.com/search?q=blown+or+bulging+capacitors+motherboard&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ei=MdjDU5eHFo6VyATjtoDgDg&ved=0CAYQ_AUoAQ&biw=1272&bih=766


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#5 Baptor

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Posted 16 July 2014 - 03:46 AM

I have re-formatted my PC and done a clean install. DPC Latency checker shows low green latency even after several hours of constant audio playing (200-300 microseconds) and frequent spikes of 1000-1800 microseconds while programs are running. DLC says this is normal.

However it DID record (at some point, I didn't see it) a spike of around 8,000. DLC says that indicates a driver is still bad, but I am wondering if a rare spike of this kind is normal?

Any insight is helpful. Anyone think my problem is solved or do I need to start replacing parts?

Attached is what my latency looks like now (with audio and internet running). By now on the old install it would be mostly red and yellow.

 

Attached Files



#6 Ezzah

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Posted 16 July 2014 - 06:51 AM

 

This was a DPC latency issue. This is where there is a defective driver, which is causing the problem. Normally, this driver is hard to detect, and requires disabling stuff, such as your WIFI connection via Device Manager, and testing for the latency. Obviously, with your new format, this solved the issue of defective drivers. :)


Edited by hamluis, 16 July 2014 - 11:58 AM.

mYIGVc5.png


#7 Baptor

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Posted 16 July 2014 - 06:55 AM

So what you are saying is the latency I mentioned in my previous post is indeed normal latency?

 


Edited by hamluis, 16 July 2014 - 11:58 AM.


#8 Ezzah

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Posted 16 July 2014 - 06:57 AM

 

If it is in the green range, even during use and video watching with sound, then you're absolutely good to go. Looking at the graph, even with some yellow peaks, it will be fine. :) If you have that open whilst you have a latency issue, you will hear your audio crackle when it hits red.


Edited by hamluis, 16 July 2014 - 11:59 AM.

mYIGVc5.png


#9 zingo156

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Posted 16 July 2014 - 07:38 AM

Popping sounds can be caused by both software and hardware issues. If a fresh reload solved the problem, it  was very likely software/driver related.

 

Bad capacitors can also cause crackling sounds so if it continues to happen even with low latencies as stated above, open your computer and look on the main board for indications of bad caps.


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#10 Ezzah

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Posted 16 July 2014 - 07:40 AM

Popping sounds can be caused by both software and hardware issues. If a fresh reload solved the problem, it  was very likely software/driver related.

 

Bad capacitors can also cause crackling sounds so if it continues to happen even with low latencies as stated above, open your computer and look on the main board for indications of bad caps.

 

Yeah, but how often are there "bad" capacitors. When I had a similar issue, it was mostly due to latency, as well as others that I have come across.


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#11 zingo156

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Posted 16 July 2014 - 08:40 AM

Bad caps were very common with certain year HP machines (other brands as well). There was a known bad batch of caps coming from Taiwan. It is known as the capacitor plague: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capacitor_plague

 

I saw bad caps on motherboards and video cards daily when I was working 100% in retail environments. Out of 20 computers I would typically have 1 or 2 that had bad caps. Not always were the bad caps causing issues but most of the time they were. A bad cap will eventually cause problems. Some of the most common complaints were the obvious blue screens, and audio/video problems.

 

I was quite surprised by the volume of bad capacitors I came across. Heat build up from dusty heat syncs and fans definitely caused a fair number of the early failures with capacitors. It never hurts to check on caps, if they blow out and leak, they can destroy components.

 

On newer boards with solid state caps, I have seen no issues so far.


Edited by zingo156, 16 July 2014 - 08:41 AM.

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#12 Baptor

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Posted 17 July 2014 - 03:22 AM

I re-formatted the PC and restored it to factory settings. Latency returned to normal. After running Windows Update and updating my graphics card driver, however, latency problems returned. I am running an AMD Radeon R5 235 card, and used the auto-detect service to find the right driver. So the culprit is either AMD's driver or a Windows Update. Thoughts?



#13 Ezzah

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Posted 17 July 2014 - 04:35 AM

Shouldn't be windows. It is most likely graphics driver. I would advise not to use auto-detect driver software to determine outdated drivers. Try downloading the original directly from the vendor (AMD's website).


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#14 zingo156

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Posted 17 July 2014 - 07:25 AM

I agree with not using auto detect software for drivers even amd's auto detect is not great. Go directly to amd's website and find the correct driver for your card model and version of windows.


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