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Need help - PC speakers produces loud noise followed by a auto PC reset

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March 18, 2014 7:26:31 PM

Hi all, my PC used to freeze and reset at random intervals following a loud noise. I assumed it was the sound card not sitting well in its PCI slot, hence after adjusting the card a few times, the freezing stopped. It would still have the very sudden loud POP sounds (those that can really give a person a heart attack!), then the application which I am using will no longer have any sound. From there I simply restart the application, or refresh the browser if I'm surfing the net, and the sound will resume. All was well (almost, as I can still put up with the heart wrenching sudden sounds).

Fast forward to yesterday, I bought a new PC casing (chassis) to fit in my new gtx 780 ti gfx card. I simply transferred each item from one chassis to the other, and of course, I had to "move" the previously perfectly placed sound card. Everything ran well, except now instead of a heart attack inducing POP, it now hisses a very high pitched buzz and the PC resets itself again. Random during desktop applications (surfing web, defragging HDDs, etc.), but very consistent during games within like 3 to 5 minutes.

After the high pitched sound comes, the PC will hang, and restart automatically, similar to my initial problem as per the 1st paragraph. The sound card is placed 2 slots below the GFX card, probably around 2 inches away, so my guess is whether the heat coming from the GFX card can actually affect a very old sound card? I ran temperature checks, my GFX and CPU temps never ran above 55 degrees C. After each freeze and restart, 50% of the time when it loads back to Windows, the sound card cannot be detected. On one occasion when it couldn't be detected (i.e. no sound card), I ran the games and voila.. no crashes for no matter how intense or how long i stayed in game.

I am quite puzzled.. I am confused if it is a driver issue or a hardware issue. My PC specs are as follows (i'm not with my PC right now, so to the best of my memory):

AMD Phenom II 3.4 Ghz quad core - quite old i know
Asus M4N68T-M uATX motherboard - old as well
2 x DIMM 8 GB - relatively new
750 watt PSU - relatively new
1 x 320 GB WD HDD - super old, loads windows with it
1 x 4 TB WD HDD - new
Gigabyte GTX 780 ti - the one with the windforce cooler
Sound Blaster X-Fi Xtrememusic - this is a dinosaur, and probably the culprit
Windows 8.1

I'm not willing to fork out more money to change everything else.. but i'm really curious to your opinions as to the cause of the issue. Creative sound blaster drivers are really old, and their last drivers for windows 8 was released in Jan 2013, no updates ever since.

Could it be a software driver issue? I seem to have a HDMI Audio device somewhere but I can't seem to find it.. Is it from the GFX card? If I disable the HDMI audio, would it eliminate any driver clashes with the x-fi?

Could it be a hardware issue? Old sound card failing, etc. Should I just get a cheap new external usb sound device? I'm sure the onboard sound will work fine but only 2 speaker output.

Any inputs will be great. Puzzled………….
March 18, 2014 7:44:11 PM

Ok lets just rule out a couple of things by simple methods

Localized interference can will cause these sound popping and buzzing issues...
Please plug your speakers Power into another power source separate from your computers and not sharing with a Fridge, washing machine, Dehumidifier, Air Con, or other switched power supply that draws lots of power at random intervals. (also applies to your computer)
Move your speakers further away from Computer box/screen...

The further your Sound card is away from the PSU, and GFX card the cleaner your sound will be so best to move it a slot further-est away from these.

Is the On-board Sound Disabled in Bios?
Does Using the On-board Sound cause the Same issues?
Are the sound Driver up to date?

The HDMI sound is part of the GFX Drivers as the sound also runs with the HDMI Cable into the TV/Amp/Device - and should not be an issue
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March 18, 2014 7:54:41 PM

It seems from what you describe that your soundcard might be the issue. I'm thinking either the card depending on how old it is might not be compatible with your current hardware, or maybe your card itself is damaged.
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March 18, 2014 7:54:41 PM

Markkk said:
Ok lets just rule out a couple of things by simple methods

Localized interference can will cause these sound popping and buzzing issues...
Please plug your speakers Power into another power source separate from your computers and not sharing with a Fridge, washing machine, Dehumidifier, Air Con, or other switched power supply that draws lots of power at random intervals. (also applies to your computer)
Move your speakers further away from Computer box/screen...

The further your Sound card is away from the PSU, and GFX card the cleaner your sound will be so best to move it a slot further-est away from these.

Is the On-board Sound Disabled in Bios?
Does Using the On-board Sound cause the Same issues?
Are the sound Driver up to date?

The HDMI sound is part of the GFX Drivers as the sound also runs with the HDMI Cable into the TV/Amp/Device - and should not be an issue


Thanks for the quick reply, what you suggested makes sense, unfortunately due to the size of the micro ATX motherboard, that's the farthest away I can place the sound card. But yea, the sound card is literally sandwiched between the PSU, and the GFX card. Therefore in terms of moving it away from potential electromagnetic interferences would be quite impossible, hence I was thinking of getting an external USB sound device.

I can't remember if I disabled the on board sound from BIOS, will try it tonight.

Thanks for the answer to the HDMI audio which comes from the GFX drivers. Is there any way I can tap the audio output from that? My monitor doesn't come with speakers.

Semi related query, any difference between the X-Fi Surround 5.1 pro usb sound card, and the omni surround 5.1 usb sound card? both from creative.
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March 18, 2014 7:58:14 PM

smartkid95 said:
It seems from what you describe that your soundcard might be the issue. I'm thinking either the card depending on how old it is might not be compatible with your current hardware, or maybe your card itself is damaged.


Oh yea, the sound card is very old indeed. Bought it when the 1st original X-Fi Xtrememusic came out.. Probably in early 2000s?

I was always under the impression that sound cards can virtually last for almost forever..
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March 18, 2014 8:02:29 PM

Marcaroni said:
smartkid95 said:
It seems from what you describe that your soundcard might be the issue. I'm thinking either the card depending on how old it is might not be compatible with your current hardware, or maybe your card itself is damaged.


Oh yea, the sound card is very old indeed. Bought it when the 1st original X-Fi Xtrememusic came out.. Probably in early 2000s?

I was always under the impression that sound cards can virtually last for almost forever..


Any hardware can last forever but that doesn't mean that it will be compatible with other hardware forever. I went through the same issue with a pci sound card from ten years ago and I just bought a usb "sound card" instead. It turns out it wasn't compatible with windows 7. Try doing a quick google search for windows 8.1 drivers for your card if you can't find any you might want to think about trying something different.
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March 18, 2014 8:10:37 PM

smartkid95 said:
Marcaroni said:
smartkid95 said:
It seems from what you describe that your soundcard might be the issue. I'm thinking either the card depending on how old it is might not be compatible with your current hardware, or maybe your card itself is damaged.


Oh yea, the sound card is very old indeed. Bought it when the 1st original X-Fi Xtrememusic came out.. Probably in early 2000s?

I was always under the impression that sound cards can virtually last for almost forever..


Any hardware can last forever but that doesn't mean that it will be compatible with other hardware forever. I went through the same issue with a pci sound card from ten years ago and I just bought a usb "sound card" instead. It turns out it wasn't compatible with windows 7. Try doing a quick google search for windows 8.1 drivers for your card if you can't find any you might want to think about trying something different.


You had the same issue? Wow.. I always have issues that seem "unsolvable" and annoying. No 8.1 drivers exist for that sound card.. The X-Fi brand seems obsolete when it comes to creative, they haven't updated it since Jan 2013.

I'll try the onboard solution tonight to 100% ensure the problem is isolated to my dinosaur sound card before investing on an external usb sound card.
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March 18, 2014 9:20:50 PM

For your MB

http://www.asus.com/Motherboards/M4N68TM/#overview
Says...
"Enjoy high-end sound system on your PC! The onboard 8-channel HD audio (High Definition Audio, previously codenamed Azalia) CODEC enables high-quality 192KHz/24-bit audio output, jack-sensing feature, retasking functions and multi-streaming technology that simultaneously sends different audio streams to different destinations. You can now talk to your partners on the headphone while playing a multi-channel network games. All of these are done on one computer. "

There are V2 and LE version of this MB so above may differ

So the sound is comparable to your card but you have to re-purpose the 3 headphone jacks from there typical setup being speakers, mic, line in/out to (centre/sub/front/back/ etc

There are driver for win 7+ you will need to adjust this (install the drivers and software you need it to change the ports)

If your monitor has a headphone jack or audio out then yes but most don't and this would only likely be 2.1
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March 18, 2014 9:40:10 PM

Markkk said:
For your MB

http://www.asus.com/Motherboards/M4N68TM/#overview
Says...
"Enjoy high-end sound system on your PC! The onboard 8-channel HD audio (High Definition Audio, previously codenamed Azalia) CODEC enables high-quality 192KHz/24-bit audio output, jack-sensing feature, retasking functions and multi-streaming technology that simultaneously sends different audio streams to different destinations. You can now talk to your partners on the headphone while playing a multi-channel network games. All of these are done on one computer. "

There are V2 and LE version of this MB so above may differ

So the sound is comparable to your card but you have to re-purpose the 3 headphone jacks from there typical setup being speakers, mic, line in/out to (centre/sub/front/back/ etc

There are driver for win 7+ you will need to adjust this (install the drivers and software you need it to change the ports)

If your monitor has a headphone jack or audio out then yes but most don't and this would only likely be 2.1


Yea I noted that as well, unfortunately it requires a "chassis with HD audio module in front panel to support 8-Channel audio output". My new pc casing does not have an additional audio module. So if I enable it, I'll be stuck with 2.1.

I'm contemplating a gamble with just going ahead and getting the "omni surround 5.1" creative external usb sound card, as it relatively new, and has windows 8.1 64bit drivers. It may be true that the old sound card and its outdated and no longer supported drivers may be the cause of the problem. Though i'm only 80% sure…
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March 18, 2014 10:21:54 PM

I used to love my Soundblaster but After installing older drivers in compatibility mode to work on windows 7 found I still have some issues with no sound and config issues were a pain as 1/2 options just didnt work so ended up using onboard sound.... I later upgraded my computer system then my HiFi amp died so yeah hahahahmuahaharrhhh

If you need your 5.1+ the usb is the easiest option for you.

But before you buy it... uninstall your old card, remove it use on board and make sure your pc stops restarting... your stability issue may be something completely different
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March 18, 2014 10:30:00 PM

Markkk said:
I used to love my Soundblaster but After installing older drivers in compatibility mode to work on windows 7 found I still have some issues with no sound and config issues were a pain as 1/2 options just didnt work so ended up using onboard sound.... I later upgraded my computer system then my HiFi amp died so yeah hahahahmuahaharrhhh

If you need your 5.1+ the usb is the easiest option for you.

But before you buy it... uninstall your old card, remove it use on board and make sure your pc stops restarting... your stability issue may be something completely different


I agree with you.. And the possibility of the issue being related to something else other than the sound card is my biggest fear…

But what about the old drivers for the onboard motherboard sound card? If the existing old windows 8.0 drivers were the possible cause of the crash, won't the windows 7 drivers for the onboard sound card (since it's the latest they have available on the Asus website) give higher chance of crashes, thus giving rise the possibility of something else being the issue?

Oh.. the conundrum…
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March 19, 2014 1:09:03 AM

There are many factors which can make a pc unstable
Have a friend with a cheap MB and the Ram required more Voltage than the board could give... which was causing an intermittent crashing. tested so much. updated drivers... etc then took a closer look at the ram and then the MB Manual and OMG cheap crap MB FTL... Useless Place where she brought the PC from had supplied it this way... You can Never take for granted someone else's work on a PC build Double check everything

If the Sound blaster has Win 7+ Drivers they should be fine as DX 11 has being out for years.
Different chip-set for onboard - but we checking for that popping sound and reset... if you get reset with no sound issues then that's just annoying. but tells you that it not as sensitive as you sandblaster card.

Simply unplug everything you don't need. unplug as much as possible as long as you can boot and test then give your system Hell and try make it crash... If you Fail start plugging stuff back in until it does crash and you just problem solved you most likely issue... Its time consuming but when your at your wits end and couple days stress testing you system actually feels rewarding... and also may prompt you to upgrade or be content with your rig
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March 19, 2014 8:37:25 AM

The gamble paid off! Decided to get the omni surround usb sound card. Before installing that, completely removed all previous drivers, installed that, and have gamed for hours, no crash whatsoever! :) 

Strangely the new sound card sounds better than the old one..
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