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Audio Crackles/Pops after PC has been off for a few hours - Stops when restarted

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#1 loraliromance


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Posted 18 April 2015 - 01:50 PM

WARNING: Incoming Wall of Text (I didn't know how much info you guys would need >.<)


Hello All,

I'm sorry if this is posted in the wrong forum, this is my first time asking a question here, because I'm hard headed and think I can figure everything out on my own, I've finally given up, haha.

Alright, so the problem is that once my PC has been off for a few hours and it gets cold, if I turn it on the audio for EVERYTHING crackles/pops. If I play World of Warcraft, listen to spotify, watch Youtube, etc the problem occurs. However, if I restart the PC the issue stops and Audio is fine.

The fact that restarting the PC resolves the issue (until it's been turned off for a while) made me think it was a software issue, so I've reinstalled every single driver I think could effect my audio (GPU driver/Realtek HD Audio Driver/Direct X/Flash) and this is a fresh install of Windows. To fully explain the situation, I need to give a bit of background info (sorry if this gets a little long, just want to make sure I get as much info in this I can).

I've had this PC for about 6 years, but I've been updating it's hardware a lot recently, the only things that haven't been replaced are my motherboard, processor & Power Supply (because it was plenty powerful and replaced a year and a half ago).  The first thing I did was buy new RAM, because when the system was built the weakest point was the fact that it only had 3GB ram, so I upgraded to 8GB and the PC ran for a month with no new issues. (for the last year and a half it's felt a little laggy and I just assumed it was, because games have gotten much harder to run, etc and just turned games I could previously run on High Settings to low, just to make things easier - even reinstalled Windows to make sure it wasn't a software problem). Anyways, PC was running how it had before, nothing bad. I purchased a new Razer Naga, installed the drivers, etc no problems. Installed a new Samsung Solid State and it ran for a month, no problems. Next, I bought a new GPU, which was a massive upgrade and I used it for a couple of weeks before continuing upgrades, no problems at all and my computer with these upgrades no longer felt laggy, but functioned MUCH better. It didn't run things as fast/smooth as I expected, but I could have just insanely high expectations (PC parts cost a lot of money, haha). I purchased a new headset Razer Kraken, Blackwidow Keyboard, Asus Monitor and installed the drivers, etc and no new problems appeared.

To continue upgrades, I finally bought a new case, because my old one was pretty much falling apart and I wanted more ventilation (although temps never got to high, I monitored them, because it felt a bit laggy before the upgrades) and this is when things started to get "rough". I was able to put most of my pc's components straight into the new case except small things, namely my 8in1 Card Reader (didn't realize I needed a new docking bay for it). Since I was moving everything over and I wanted to also change some things, I did a fresh Windows Installation as well once everything was in, I wanted it to FEEL new, if that makes sense. Either way, computer ran fine for about two days, then when I tried to turn it on for Raid it wouldn't power on, the fan would spin a little, then nothing happened, no signs of life and I think eventually that stopped as well. I messed around with it for a bit and after trying for a few hours, I couldn't figure out why it wouldn't power on, so I spoke with a friend and he told me it sounded like a grounded motherboard, since I just moved everything over. I actually did have a bit of trouble getting the motherboard to mount, so I loosened the screws a bit, plugged everything back in and voila the PC started up. Awesome, I thought all of my problems were gone, but they weren't. After a couple of days my computer while raiding would kind of freeze randomly and not only that, but sometimes it would freeze and the sound would freak out, almost like..when you hear one word, but instead of it completing the word like, "steak", it'd go "st-st-st-st-st-st-st-st-" or odd robotic type noises that to me sounded like my graphics card was breaking or something and it would either completely lock up and require restart or sometimes it was only for a few seconds, then I could play again. Then I started getting BSODs occasionally (before upgrading at all it may have been laggy, but I never got BSODs).

BSOD ERROR :  a clock interrupt was not received on a secondary processor within the allocated time interval

I've only received this a few times and after researching it, I believe most said it could have been the processor or the motherboard, I can't remember, because a few said sometimes it's a faulty driver. This started me uninstalling every single possible video/sound associated driver and eventually since that didn't resolve it, freshly installing windows again. For a few weeks it functioned fine, it wasn't popping up a BSOD every time I used it or anything, so I don't know for sure if those are gone, but it does still freeze a bit in game.  Maybe not as much, I don't know for sure (could just be wishful thinking), because it didn't happen every five seconds or anything.

Now the last piece of the puzzle (we're almost done, I promise!). The case has a very large side fan and unfortunately, the cable that was connected to it was poorly attached, so it fell off and the LEDs / FAN no longer worked, so the company had to send me another. Finally the new fan and the bay for my 8in1 Card Reader arrived, so I opened up the PC and plugged in the card reader and hooked up the new fan, then turned on the PC. For a few seconds I smelled what smelled like burning plastic, I freaked out and instantly turned off the computer and unplugged it thinking I had maybe gotten a wire a bit close to something while moving stuff around to plug things in. I readjusted wires, just to be safe, but didn't see anything that definitely said "this is your burning plastic smell". I turned the PC back on and smelled it again, this time, because I knew I hadn't really messed with anything (added new hardware that hadn't been used before) it must be the new fan and maybe the soldering to add the wire to it was a little heated, because the smell dissipated after about a minute or so.

This is what brings us to my current and most frustrating problem. The PC seemed to be running alright, so after using it for a bit I shut it off and went to bed. I woke up the next day and turned it on and the audio was crackling while watching a Youtube video, then it crackled while listening to Spotify, and occasionally I'd just hear a pop while no sound was playing. I restarted the computer and the issue stopped, so I just assumed it was a hiccup. Our raid started and things were going alright till the last 30 minutes and I got another BSOD (same error). At this point I was insanely frustrated and I turned the PC off and unplugged the 8in1Card Reader just in case it was somehow freaking the computer out, even though I had used this Card Reader with the same motherboard before changing cases. Again, I went to bed, then woke up the next day and the crackling sound was back when I do ANYTHING, gaming, music, videos, nothing and it still crackles.  Again, I reinstalled any driver I thought could be at fault and since I couldn't immediately test it, I just assumed maybe it was fixed. As usual, I was wrong, get on the next day and boom, issue is back until I restart the PC, then it's gone.

It's great that the issue disappears if I restart, but honestly it's rather frustrating to know it's raid time and my new routine is turn pc on, wait for it to get to desktop, restart, then I can use my computer.

My PC Spec summary from Speccy is below and I'm sorry for the wall of text, I just wanted to make sure I fully explained everything.

Operating System

Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit SP1


Intel Core i7 920 @ 2.67GHz    
Bloomfield 45nm Technology

8.00GB Single-Channel DDR3 @ 534MHz (8-8-8-20)


ASUSTeK Computer INC. P6T SE (LGA1366)    


ASUS VE248 (1920x1080@60Hz)
Samsung SyncMaster (1680x1050@60Hz)
4095MB NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970 (EVGA)    


931GB Hitachi HDT721010SLA360 ATA Device (SATA)    
232GB Samsung SSD 840 EVO 250GB ATA Device (SSD)    

Optical Drives



Razer Kraken USB

This is probably something you guys will know the answer to easily and I'm just being silly, but to me it seemed stupidly confusing.  Thank you for all of your time!

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#2 mjd420nova


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Posted 18 April 2015 - 06:51 PM

I'm not a big fan of external audio devices, often driven from USB but most also have an external adapter to power the external unit and that's where the exteraneous sound is coming from.  Cables carrying audio elements are subject to having other sources induced upon them.

#3 loraliromance

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Posted 18 April 2015 - 09:58 PM

Hi there, I'm not sure I understand your response. I'm using a regular USB headset which most people use (it's directly plugged in and there is no adapter) and I've had no issues/crackling until my most recent change to my computer (adding the fan and plugging my card reader back in - which i ended up unplugging). This isn't like a little bit of static in the background, this is loud, it covers my game sound when it get's going. I also don't understand what would be causing the BSOD :(

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