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Computer Freezes With Audio Loop/Stutter Requires Hard Restart

So recently I've been this problem with my computer. It's always at a random time, it doesn't necessarily seem to have a specific pattern, but it always seems to happen when I'm either playing a game, listening to music, or watching a video. It could be connected, or it could happen at random, I'm not sure. Basically the computer completely locks up, freezes entirely, and the sound loops/stutters on the last sound that was being played endlessly. It NEVER crashes, and I do not ever receive a BSOD. I have tested, waiting over 15 minutes for it to do anything, it simply sits there and remains locked up and frozen until I hard restart my computer.

I have absolutely no idea what's causing this, as I've never had an issue with my computer like this, especially something that doesn't produce atleast an error or BSOD of some kind, so it's rather puzzling.
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More about computer freezes audio loop stutter requires hard restart
  1. Start With memtest to rule out a bad stick of ram. If your CPU or gpu are overclocked try running them at stock speeds. Check that your CPU heat sink on tight and the temps are fine. The last issue would be a power supply not holding to atx spec or ac ripple getting into the pc.
  2. Forgot to mention the things I've already done. Ran the system with Memtest86+ Overnight for 12 hours, no errors. Passed a 20 run Very High stress Intel Burn test on the CPU, no problems. Ran Furmark at max setting for an hour, no problems.
  3. Okay well sounds like your sound drivers may be hosed. If you have a NVidia Video Card, there is also the NVidia Audio Driver included, so that HDMI on the video card can carry the sound signal to the monitor. I had several solutions here, where they simply reinstalled the latest drivers and made sure the Nvidia Audio Driver was updated in the process.
  4. How would a sound driver cause a full system lockup like that? I do have a GTX 670, and my motherboard is the MSI Z77 Mpower, so that has the onboard Realtek Audio. I'm using onboard sound, I don't have speakers, I just have my headphones plugged into the mobo sound ports.
  5. Drivers are the way to 'translate' the code between a specific hardware device and the operating system. The OS just speaks one language, the drivers translate it to help the hardware device function. As I said above, if you have a NVIDIA Card (same as mine) all modern cards support HDMI, which carried BOTH Audio and Video over the connection. The Nvidia Audio Drivers would be listening to Windows whenever Audio is played, so it could 'do its assigned job' over HDMI, even if you don't use it (Use VGA to connect).

    And it doesn't matter if you physically have speakers plugged in, the Audio Card (Realtek onboard) would pump out the same signal to all ports (Audio out, Line Out, Headphone out), as well as the Nvidia Audio Driver listening for what it needs to broadcast over the
    HDMI as well as the DisplayPort in some configurations.

    Go to Nvidia, download the latest drivers, install, Test the same way you been testing. Does this resolve the issue? If not then it isn't the Audio causing it.

    Check your Heat, if you keep hitting high CPU / Other part demands and the heat is too much, that can cause it to lock up.

    Do a chckdsk /f this checks the Drives to ensure they are working properly. If bad sectors exist, then when trying to 'load/run' a file (Game program, MP3, etc.) could be coming across the bad sector and fails, the computer locks up since it isn't getting the data from the Hard Drive to continue on.

    Did you notice the "music, Video, game' lockup happens when the content (music, video game interaction) is online only? Does this happen when your not Online (another test)?
  6. I already have the latest NVidia drivers. It's also a little bit difficult for me to test if a fix has worked. Because the problem is truly random when it happens. I've never been able to force it to happen when I want to, and I can go several hours doing perfectly fine, then it will freeze again. The time is always random. I've gone an entire day without freezing, I've gone less then two hours, it doesn't seem to follow a pattern so it's very confusing.

    Ran ChkDsk no problems. My temps are all very good about 30C idle. I'm always connected to the internet, and I've never had any problems with my internet before, but they are always online games or videos.
  7. So I found out that it's not isolated to videos and sound. I was just browsing Reddit, and it froze completely and had to restart.
  8. Make sure your mb bios has all the patches. In the bios make sure xmp profile is turned on. Run Cpuz and gpuz check that the ram and gpu ate seen. Run hardware monitor to check power supply output.
  9. When I ran into this problem some time ago, the error you're describing was the result of a failing power supply. Replacing my power supply resolved the issue for me.

    -Wolf sends
  10. Alcad said:
    So I found out that it's not isolated to videos and sound. I was just browsing Reddit, and it froze completely and had to restart.


    Okay, so now we moved from 'sound' based applications 'causing it' to now your saying only Internet based?

    Take a breathe, this is a lengthy process to determine the root cause here, and you will need to have some serious patience.

    Let's take a moment and do some rechecks here so we can repeat the problem, yes I understand it is random and frustrating, but if we can never repeat a pattern that 'causes' the problem, we can't deduce what is the CAUSE of the problem only that randomly it does happen - oh well welcome to Windows would be most people's answers.

    Let's start with some details:
    What model computer is this?
    What is the version of Windows? What connection are you using (wired or wireless, if wireless 802.11 g? 802.11n?).
    How many other devices connect to your router?
    What Internet Service is this?
    How fast is it?
    If your running Task Manager sorted by CPU usage till you see the crash, is there repeatedly a program at the top of the list?
    Does this happen 'normally' after a specific time of day (yeah wierd it happens after 5 most of the time, and when it was the July 4th holiday)?
    Did you try to do a restore point back to BEFORE any of this happened?

    Right now we need to collect information to deduce the actual problem. There is sadly no 'oh just reboot the router/install this one patch' makes everything magically work again.
  11. The computer has no model. This is a completely home built computer from scratch.
    I'm currently using Windows 7 Ultimate SP1. Wireless Connection with a NIC using wireless N
    Only two other computers which are laptops connect to my router, and it's very sparsely, I'm the primary internet user.
    Comcast Cable
    This fast
    Unless I'm gaming the only program really taking up CPU power is Skype
    It happens entirely randomly. I haven't found a pattern in when it crashes.
    I've done a complete reinstall of Windows, and it still persists.
  12. Just replaced the power supply as well, problem still persists. I'm thinking it might be my motherboard.
  13. Might be just cheaper at this point to buy a new off the shelf computer ($300 at Walmart) then upgrade parts of it with what you have from this system (New PSU, your current GPU) if you want. Just make it cheaper and easier as you can get a i5 core at that price and just work your way upwards from there.
  14. By the by I had ONE system like this that I had replaced all the components EXCEPT the case itself. As soon as I swapped out the case, everything worked perfectly fine. Seems some sort of short (negative normally feeds through the case to ground it through the ground) that I couldn't see was being caused.
  15. Well i am having a similar issue with my rig, about 4 weeks ago i had new drivers installed from MIS's live 5 updates Real tech drivers after that it has been lock up up after lock up while using the on board sound card to run vent while in game. it just wants to die on me over and over. i reformatted the pc to try to get rid of the bum drivers and go back to old drivers off the original install disk with no luck. so as of today i spent some time on the phone with MSI- the are sorting out the issue. Probably going to RMA the mother board and get me a new one. Since all the other hardware has been tested and ruled out. MEM tested for 12 hrs no issues, cpu loaded tested 12 hrs no issues gpu tested 6 hrs no issues. swapped to new power supply still crashed.. so unless i just have really bad luck with hardware then it is pretty sound guess it is mother board or just some terribly bad phantom drivers that can not be written away with a clean wipe of system .
  16. Best answer
    Stridle said:
    Well i am having a similar issue with my rig, about 4 weeks ago i had new drivers installed from MIS's live 5 updates Real tech drivers after that it has been lock up up after lock up while using the on board sound card to run vent while in game. it just wants to die on me over and over. i reformatted the pc to try to get rid of the bum drivers and go back to old drivers off the original install disk with no luck. .. so unless i just have really bad luck with hardware then it is pretty sound guess it is mother board or just some terribly bad phantom drivers that can not be written away with a clean wipe of system .


    Ahem, there is no such thing and your mistaken in your assumption. Your forgetting that the Mobo has BIOS, which if it was rewritten during the 'upgrade' would be unaffected by Windows reinstall, drivers, etc. If they came out with a bad Audio BIOS upgrade, then yes they hosed the machine, but drivers (telling Windows how to talk to a piece of hard) once removed from the equation (yank the hard drive out, wipe it, reinstall windows, etc.) won't have ANY effect afterwards (i.e. no ghost drivers).

    The issue is purely hardware, and could be blown caps, overheating in the system, shorted the board, bad BIOS, etc. Also consider you didn't say you replaced the HDD, if you keep 'rewriting' to a bad HDD Windows, Drivers, etc. you still have a a bad HDD your trying to load software off of. Think of it like you keep changing the oil and gas in the car and keep saying it was because you got a bad tank of gas as the reason your car sucks driving; totally ignoring you have 4 flat tires, no matter what you do with the oil (drivers) or gas (windows) your still running on flat tires (HDD) and still wont' work right.

    Software is normally the VERY last problem to work out, start with the basics first (seven layers) of hardware / physical, and work your way up to OS then applications / drivers.
  17. Just to chime in .. I am having exact same problem as the poster (Alcad) described. I switched HDDs to SSD and did a clean re-OS and installed clean & pure latest nVidia drivers, and same thing is still happening.

    I will try to clean up the machine and maybe reseat every component and see what happens. It's impossible to test for it, as it is unpredictable. It does look like a hardware issue rather than software. If it was software, I am sure there would be some kind of an error log message or BSOD. So it is most likely hardware, and best solution currently posted is probably the best method to figure it out.
  18. I had an identical problem recently. I tried just about everything. Underclocking my graphics card, reinstalling windows, reinstalling drivers, etc. None of them worked. Then I started setting the CPU Affinity in task manager and the problem became less frequent. While in game, alt+tab, then ctrl+alt+delete to open task manager. Under processes, select the game, right click and select set affinity. Set the number of CPUs to either one core or the number of cores you have (i.e. 0, 1, 2, 3 if you have a quad core).

    Like I said, this only made the issue less frequent. So I tried the following and my problem is gone: Search msconfig in the start menu, open it, select the Boot tab, select Advanced options, check mark number of processors and set to number you have. Select OK and then under the Boot tab select make all boot settings permanent and OK. It says you cannot change them later, but you can. So for me the problem was with the processor. Hopefully that helps.
  19. This was a answered post and NECRO (year ago). Please don't post to closed / old posts, they were abandoned a long time ago
  20. Tom Tancredi said:
    This was a answered post and NECRO (year ago). Please don't post to closed / old posts, they were abandoned a long time ago


    That seems sort of silly, Mr. Tom, because this old post was more helpful than your vague attempts at assistance through the course of the topic. Many people, based on how high this was listed on my search results, are going to encounter this dead topic in search of help, and reading everything up until this fine person's post was useless for me, and probably everyone else. Thanks for nothing.

    To the person who made this post, thank you very much for your help, as it has also drastically reduced the frequency with which I experience this issue. I would advise you to never be afraid of posting in a dead thread, if you located the thread via search engine, because it means someone else is going to see it when they make a similar search. No real solution was ever provided by Tom here, so to my reasoning, this thread isn't dead, it's just neglected.
  21. i know this is an old post but i had the same prolem that i got fixed.
    Bad news are it was a harware problem.
    I changed out mobo, cpu (no fails after reseating and stresstesting for 12+hours) and ram (which were okay according memtest86).
    I am assuming it was because of the bad motherboard.
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