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>> No. 24919 Anonymous
3rd January 2016
Sunday 12:47 am
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a most peculiar disturbance on my Dell XPS 630i hand-down piece of shit. Whenever I try firing up modern games (AC3, Alan Wake, Mass Effect..) without fail it will go mute mid-play.. then the sound comes back after a minute or so. With a vengeance, crackle and boom. Like it got stuck on the way. I have exhausted the webs, purged and redone drivers, tried other vidcard, other system, not using the sound card (SB X-Fi, so not too shabby) but just the built in chiphole, to no avail. It also may or may not put spikes on samples edited in Audacity. And may be rarer with low graphics settings. 64 bit system and drivers, 4gb RAM (uh, that was a lead, can't remember how..) Anyone ever heard of this, or made it better? Buffer underrun was mentioned.
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>> No. 24920 Anonymous
3rd January 2016
Sunday 2:29 am
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Have you tried enabling "Stereo Mix" under Recording in playback device settings?

Your Windows Version would help greatly also.
>> No. 24921 Anonymous
4th January 2016
Monday 6:47 am
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I know you've mentioned wiping and reinstalling drivers, but it really does sound like some old faulty driver that's somehow stuck trying to do some 3D sound nonsense and messing with the drivers you've got installed currently.

By the sound of it the answer to this next question is no, but: does this happen with music/movies too? If it does then test with a linux live CD/USB pen to see if you get the same issue. If you do, you can be pretty sure it's some really uncommon hardware issue on the motherboard (I've fixed PCs for a decade and a half and can't remember ever coming across this problem before).

Have you tried disabling on-board sound in the BIOS and uninstalling its drivers? Could well be a driver compatibility clash, especially if you're still on XP (tut tut).

Clutching at straws, but are your temps ok, do you get the same problem with the side of the case off, is the southbridge roasting hot to the touch? Hard to imagine a southbridge overheating in that one area of its silicon and not affecting the rest (I/O, ESB etc), but it's possible I suppose. Reseating the heatsink and applying some new thermal paste might help in that situation.

If you've exhausted all the usual avenues of troubleshooting, i.e. drivers, driver cleaners, directx etc, you probably need to bite the bullet and do a clean reinstall of Windows. If you've done so already, and checked all of the above, and the issue persists... fucked hardware's really the only possible culprit.
>> No. 24922 Anonymous
4th January 2016
Monday 6:51 pm
24922 Thank you,
some new things to check on now. Temperature sounds promising. Resysteming sounds harrowing,
just switched from XP last year

My system is Vista 64 (shame, I know, but it was OEM & I need to be legal on that gear) and you are right about the bloaty mess that is Creatives driver. But AFAIK the right version, set to least intrusive processing. Uninstall was done with its own, a 3D gamer page tool, then manual double check. My Linux is Mint Mate, throws the same tiffs, albeit less often, when crunching music or movies, puts the same pops in Audacity tracks. Uni threw out 3 of those buckets, thus I had the privilege ✔ of a HDD transplant, other mobo, ATI to Nvidia graphics and fresh RAM etc. but nothing changed. And on-board sound has the same problem, now that's esoteric.

Is there any stress test / compatibility tool pertinent to Creative or more generic? Any audiovisual people who had to deal with ram-bus-output bottlenecks? For all the Sherlocks here - if I recall correctly, it first happened when testing a speech synthesis thingie running on OpenAL, crashing with the noise of (image attached).

In other news, today my laptop screen went grayscale (after rotating the display with trusty old Nvidia 7.6.730 riding 8600M GT) and is now stuck on that. All good at loadytime, then just after login it switches back. Win7-64 on pre-unibody Madbook Pro. WHAT DO don't bother, it's a good look, really.

FMLifecycle.. time to make money for a new rig eh. INNIT
>> No. 24923 Anonymous
4th January 2016
Monday 10:32 pm
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I bet that bird would give a great blow job.
>> No. 24924 Anonymous
4th January 2016
Monday 11:14 pm
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You are very odd.
>> No. 24925 Anonymous
5th January 2016
Tuesday 1:22 am
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> Vista 64

I had a different machine in the same series (Dell XPS 420 with upgraded graphics due to some fortunate warranty timings, also a hand-me-down and now gathering dust) which came with Vista 64 and I tried and tried, but after running into problem after problem I gave up. It was a bloody nightmare and a half. The £80-ish it cost for Win7 at the time was easily the best money I ever spent to make the machine suitable for playing the games it was very much capable of running without a hitch. Sadly, genuine Win7 licenses are getting a bit more dear these days (some places offer keys for suspiciously low prices, so please do your own due diligence if legitimacy matters) but if you can afford it, go for it. Vista is a niche product at this stage no one designs or optimises for outside of certain specific corporate requirements, and it shows. If you can at all afford it, get Win7. Your life will be a lot easier.
>> No. 24926 Anonymous
5th January 2016
Tuesday 3:14 am
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Well, OP has said he gets the same issues with Mint, so it's not Vista for once.

Given that you get the same issues with Mint, that points to hardware. So tell us what hardware you haven't swapped out and you'll likely have your culprit. If it's the PSU (about the only thing you haven't mentioned yet), be aware that you may not be able to throw in a generic one as Dell cases of that era have all kinds of proprietary shit going on, including odd-shaped PSUs.

If you've tried swapping everything out and the issue is exactly the same across multiple OSes then that's basically the end of the road; personally I'd try clocking the CPU/RAM down a bit, and generally fiddling around in the BIOS (a reminder here to try disabling the on-board sound), but knowing Dell BIOSes there'll be very little flexibility. If it was a generic PC I'd suggest a cheap replacement motherboard, but again the Dell case is liable to make fitting that a headache (custom case headers/connectors etc), and for the price of a case, PSU and motherboard you might be better off buying a complete second-hand computer with a 7 licence. That'd be the minimum hassle route, and you could scavenge some bits out of the XPS - extra HDD/RAM, possibly better CPU etc.
>> No. 24927 Anonymous
5th January 2016
Tuesday 4:10 pm
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Good point mate, will need it either way. And now it's evident that 7 is the new XP, that's what happens.

You, sir, are a boss among the IT crowd. Didn't think you lot are clued up like that anymore. The corporate ones, that is.

Cheers all, abandoning thread.

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