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Choppy Media Playback On New Computer


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#1 wscc05

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Posted 14 January 2007 - 08:52 PM

Dear Forum Members,

I have a 5 month old Acer Aspire 3100 notebook. Suddenly, about two to three weeks ago (between Christmas and New Year's) my computer began to “freeze” a few seconds or minutes into playing any type of media file. Now, when I say “freeze,” what I mean is that the video becomes choppy (the computer drops frames or displays the same frame for a number of seconds or the video just SLOWS down) Sometimes the audio is also choppy, this primarily occurs while using flvplayer to play videos downloaded from Youtube or Dailymotion using the VideoDownloader extension for Firefox. When I first began to download videos in this manner in early November, everything was fine. But then, suddenly, I started having this problem and it seemed to get worse and worse.

The Youtube/Dailymotion problem occurs whether I use Firefox, Internet Explorer, or Opera. When on Youtube, both the video and audio cuts out and is choppy, but while on Dailymotion, only the video is choppy, the audio plays fine. I then did a system restore on the 9th to a date before the problem occurred, I believe it was December 13th or 15th. That helped the problem a little bit, but did not completely remedy it. Before, a 3-4 minute Youtube video would have the problem in question about 6-10 times. After the system restore, the problem occurred only 2-4 times. But, since it still did not go away completely, I decided to do an Acer Factory Restore. That is the stage that I am at now. I have not messed with settings, done any updates, or installed much software at all (only OpenOffice, Firefox, Adobe Flash Player, ACA Screen Recorder, flvplayer, and Belarc Advisor). THE PROBLEM HAS PERSISTED, nonetheless.

No matter what media player I use, these problems persist. I experience problems even when playing .MP3 and .WMA files on Windows Media Player. The audio plays fine, but the visualizations are slow and choppy.

I don't know what is the cause and what is the result, but EVERY time this problem occurs, the CPU usage goes to 90% or 100%. However, the process that goes the highest is the media player or the browser I am using to play the media. And because I have done a virus scan and spyware scan, I am sure that it is not malware. The problem seems to happen at random times and random intervals.

So, in all, I have also did the following:

I tested my Internet connection at DSLReports, and it is 2900/300 kbps, so that must not be the problem; I am sure that that is fast enough.
Also, I am sure that I have enough RAM, 1 gig should be plenty to play small media files.
I did a McAfee virus scan and Windows Defender spyware scan before I did the system restore, and both scans came up with nothing. I have also checked the processes running in the background and none appear to be malicious.
The video codecs appear to be working properly and I appear to have all of the necessary ones to play the files that I (attempt to) play.
The video driver should not be the source of the problem, because I updated the driver before the problem occurred, and now, the driver is an older driver that came with the computer, yet the problem persists.
The hard drive should not be the source of the problem either, because it persists even when playing media files from a AC/DC powered external USB hard drive.

I know that the next recommendation is probably a CLEAN re-install and not just a FACTORY RESTORE, but I don't have an install CD and don't want to take the time to do an install if I don't ABSOLUTELY have to.

I am extremely frustrated and would really appreciate your help!

Thank you in advance,
C. Meglio
Disgruntled Computer User

email: meglioc1 (AT) wscc (DOT) com

Computer Stats/ Basic Info:
Acer Aspire 3100 notebook
1024 mb RAM shared (128 video RAM)
AMD Mobile Sempron 3200+ (1600 mhz) (512 kb cache)
ATI Radeon Xpress 1100 IGP
60 GB HDD Intenal + 80 GB External
MATSHUbleepA DVD-RAM UJ-850S


Picture of Problem here: http://forum.videohelp.com/images/guides/p...48/problem1.bmp

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#2 Budapest

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Posted 15 January 2007 - 02:39 AM

It may be a problem with your RAM. Even though your computer is relatively new these things still happen. Try testing your RAM with this tool to see if it is okay.

I'm assuming that your HD isn't full and that you've defragged it.

Edited by Budapest, 15 January 2007 - 02:41 AM.

The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who haven't got it.

—George Bernard Shaw

#3 fozzie

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Posted 15 January 2007 - 02:54 AM

Looking at the picture you posted I see that both Firefox and OpenOffice take a whole of a lot of memory( compared to what is normal). Do you have a lot of addons installed in Firefox?

What version of Java do you have installed?

#4 wscc05

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Posted 15 January 2007 - 09:03 AM

Fozzie, at this point, I have no extensions installed in Firefox. Before I did the factory restore, I had about 10 extensions installed, but I have installed only the barebones, since the restore. I have also not messed with the settings, have not installed a firewall or antivirus program, or anything else. I have the version of Java that came with my computer by default, which is none. I do, however, have the .NET Framework 1.1 and 2.0

Budapest, I will try the mem test next time I reboot. The computer is split into 3 partitions from Acer: 2 26 GIG partitions, one system, one media; and a hidden restore partition. The system drive has 18.5 gigs free and the media partition has a little more than 9 gigs free. I defragged the HD BEFORE the factory restore, but I did not do it AFTER the restore. I am doing it now.

Thanks to you both.
C. Meglio

#5 fozzie

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Posted 15 January 2007 - 03:34 PM

Let's do this step by step :

Step 1

Backup aznything you want with Mozbackup here

Step 2
Uninstall FF completely also remove the Mozilla folders in prefetch

Step 3
Download install and update Ccleaner
After installing and updating go to options - advanced and tick prompt for registry back ups
Now Start up in safe mode
Do two runs

1) Click on problems and tick all. Click on analyse. At the end you will be prompted for storing a backup.
This will be stored, as a default, in My documents.
2) Click on cleaner click on analyse and accept all files to be removed.

Reboot
Step 4

Do a freshinstall of firefox and download this pluin

I use this myself and I have no problems atall at looking at online content

#6 wscc05

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Posted 15 January 2007 - 05:20 PM

Fozzie,

Why do I need to uninstall FF? For me, this amt of RAM usage is common with FF. It always has beem on every computer that I have owned, with and without the problem. Is there any rhyme or reason for reinstalling FF. I am pretty sure that it is not the source of the problem because I have the same issue using Opera and with files I downloaded to my computer playing from my hard drive. Should I still reinstall FF?

Cody Meglio

#7 fozzie

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Posted 16 January 2007 - 04:12 AM

The reason for that is that you can start from scratch and have an absolutely clean install from FF. I did the same and it works for me perfectly. Do you regulary clean your temp files and Cache?

The lack of Java may cause this problem.

* Download the latest version of Java Runtime Environment (JRE) 6.0
* Scroll down to where it says "Java Runtime Environment (JRE) 6
* Click the "Download" button to the right.
* Check the box that says: "Accept License Agreement".
* The page will refresh.
* Click on the link to download Windows Offline Installation, Multi-language and save to your desktop.
* Close any programs you may have running - especially your web browser.
* Go to Start > Control Panel double-click on Add/Remove programs and remove all older versions of Java.
* Check any item with Java Runtime Environment (JRE or J2SE) in the name.
- Examples of older versions in Add or Remove Programs:
o Java 2 Runtime Environment, SE v1.4.2
o J2SE Runtime Environment 5.0
o J2SE Runtime Environment 5.0 Update 6
* Click the Remove or Change/Remove button.
* Repeat as many times as necessary to remove each Java versions.
* Reboot your computer once all Java components are removed.
* Then from your desktop double-click on jre-1_6_0 windows-i586-p.exe to install the newest version.

Rebppt and try again

Edited by fozzie, 16 January 2007 - 04:15 AM.





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