Vista SP1 sluggish and sound choppy after sleep

Hi all,

I'm having a major performance issue with my computer after it wakes from sleep.

When i use the computer from a cold boot it is absolutely fine, works perfectly, nice and fast with no problems. I can have music playing and then open a bunch of apps and the system is fine. I can play Crysis on very high (at 1280x1024) and have no problems what so ever.

Now when i sleep the computer and then wake it again (happens every time after sleep) the computer becomes completely sluggish and the sound becomes very choppy. Even if i just sleep the computer for a couple of seconds and then wake it, it shows these symptoms.

On first boot, the cpu is happy to idle at around 4% usage with the idle process at around 97%

Then after sleep, the cpu is higher but the idle process is still around 97% and there doesnt seem to be any other apps running at high cpu usage (i've ticked show all processes too).

My computer specs are

Q9450 CPU
Asus Striker 2 Formula (tried number of bios upgrades from 1301, 1401, 1501, customised 1601)
1GB Gainward 8800GT
2x2GB Corsair 800Mhz Ram
750GB Samsung spinpoint HD
Antec 800Watt PSU
Supreme FX sound card (came with the motherboard)

I've got no external peripherals plugged in (except usb keyboard/mouse and my surround sound speakers plugged in to the sound card).

I will post some support files

From Cold Boot
Idle CPU Usage

Apps Open and Playing Music

Computer Slept and Woken Up
Idle CPU Usage

Apps Open and Playing Music

(ignore the nero logo, i was loading apps to make the music stutter, which doesnt happen before sleeping)
8 answers Last reply
More about vista sluggish sound choppy sleep
  1. I woudl suspect that some driver is not being re-activiated on wake up, and causing performance issues.

    Some things you can try:

    You should also go into the management console while experiencing the issue to see what process(es) are consuming what resource. You should be able to then follow that to the offending device/driver. Uninstall that and see can you find a newer version.
  2. I think i'm getting somewhere with the investigation.

    I've reinstalled the whole computer on a fresh formatted drive.

    Vista (no SP1) no updates (not connected to the net).

    Installed Nvidia drivers from the Striker 2 Mobo CD (didnt install soundmax drivers or the EPU driver just in case that caused the issue)

    Then installed the graphics card driver from the Gainward install CD.

    Now I can sleep the computer.

    So from a cold boot, i run media player and play a song, no choppiness. Sleep the computer, wake the computer, run media player again and no choppiness.

    (I actually thought there was a bit of choppiness so i removed Nvidia media guard and that removed any hint of choppiness there may have been, so i thought this was the problem, but i dont think it is)

    So I've downloaded povray 3.7 (as it uses all 4 cores to render). Run a hard render (balcony) and play music (before and after sleep) with no choppiness (even though all 4 cpus are at 100%).

    I think great, working, so move up to install SP1 (offline)

    SP1 installed, still no issue. Can run povray before and after sleep with music playing and no choppiness.

    So I plug in the network cable and download all updates (including a graphics card update)

    after the update, i cant wake from sleep at all! because the monitor doesnt come back on! So I think this is a crappy nvidia graphics card driver (i think its 169.something) tried restarting but keeps blue screening before goes into Vista.

    So I installed 177.18 (with the physX driver stuff) and can get back into my machine (ie no blue screening). Play music and plays fine. Sleep computer, wake computer, play music and choppiness!

    So I think this has something to do with the Nvidia graphics card driver! This is either a problem with the Gainward card or the driver.

    Is any use to anyone to help me diagnose this problem for good?
  3. I now dont think this is a graphics card issue.

    I've recreated the steps now to cause the problem

    These are the exact steps I've taken to recreate the problem

    1. Format hard drive
    2. Install Vista (No network connection present)
    3. Install Nvidia chipset controllers and restart computer
    4. Uninstalled Nvidia Media Guard
    5. Install 169.09 Nvidia Graphics card driver from the driver cd and restart computer
    6. Installed povray 3.7
    7. Run abyss render in povray while playing music (no stuttering even though all 4 cpu cores are at 100%)
    8. Sleep computer
    9. Wake computer
    10. Run abyss render in povray while playing music (no stuttering even though all 4 cpu cores are at 100%)
    11. Install 175.19 Nvidia Graphics card driver from the nvidia website and restart computer
    12. Run abyss render in povray while playing music (no stuttering even though all 4 cpu cores are at 100%)
    13. Sleep computer
    14. Wake computer
    15. Run abyss render in povray while playing music (no stuttering even though all 4 cpu cores are at 100%)
    16. Install 177.83 Nvidia Graphics/Physics driver from the nvidia website
    17. Run abyss render in povray while playing music (no stuttering even though all 4 cpu cores are at 100%)
    18. Sleep computer
    19. Wake computer
    20. Run abyss render in povray while playing music (no stuttering even though all 4 cpu cores are at 100%)
    21. Install Vista Service Pack 1 from redistributable package and restart computer

    22. Run abyss render in povray while playing music (no stuttering even though all 4 cpu cores are at 100%)
    23. Sleep computer
    24. Wake computer
    25. Run abyss render in povray while playing music (no stuttering even though all 4 cpu cores are at 100%)

    26. Connect network cable and get internet connection.
    27. Run windows update and receive a number of updates (in screenshot provided).
    28. Install all updates (as shown in screen shot provided) then restart computer

    29. Run abyss render in povray while playing music (no stuttering even though all 4 cpu cores are at 100%)
    30. Sleep computer
    31. Wake computer
    32. Stuttering appears on the windows start up sound, dont even need to run a render to make the music stutter and the computer to be sluggish.

    From these steps I can be confident in saying the problem lies from one of the updates that I am downloading from Microsoft. Because of this I'm now confident that the problem is software related and indeed related to a microsoft update.

    Here are the updates that I downloaded

  4. FYI I've narrowed the issue down to the NVidia SATA drivers

    If i use the ones that come with the motherboard, there isnt a problem. However, if i download the ones via vista update the problem arises. Or if I download the ones from the Nvidia website the problem arises.

    Problem with Vista or with the Asus motherboard?

  5. I think I've narrowed it down to being a problem with Nvidia Media Sheild. When I update the drivers from the Nvidia website I have the same problem. Uninstall Media Shield from the Nvidia Drivers option in Programs and Features and it seems the problem has gone away.

    I hope that is useful info for someone else as its caused me to pull all my hair out!
  6. Hey - I am having the very same problem!

    I found this thread because I was searching for a solution to my problem actually. My situation is somewhat even more complicated because I used to be having another problem with "frozen looping sound" and crashed audio when using the integrated Realtek ALC888 codec so I bought a PCI Soundblaster Audigy SE 2 which "solved" it. If anyone's interested, here is a link to my question:

    It may or may not be related. But back to the point. Your hardware configuration is completely different than mine. Different CPU, chipset, soundcard, probably network codec, ATI graphic card, simply exverything.

    Except that we have the very same harddrive! Yes, I also have a 750GB Samsung HDD.

    Here is my current configuration:

    OS: MS Windows Vista Ultimate 32-bit
    CPU: Intel E8400 3.0Ghz
    MB: MSI P35 Neo
    RAM: 4GB DDR2 (roughly 3.25GB usable due to 32-bit OS)
    Video card: was Nvidia 6600, now MSI ATI 2600XT 512M DDR3
    Sound card: was integrated codec Realtek ALC888, now SoundBlaster Audigy SE 2 (PCI)
    Harddrive: Samsung HD753LJ Sata II (750GB)

    When I was trying to find a solution for the first sound related problem I have on Vista, I also found something about Sata drivers so I updated them to the newest available from Microsoft - mine is version 6.0.6001.18000 .

    I also found that the problem is most obvious when streaming the audio from the web - for example when listening to Internet radio through the client application or Winamp. That virtually kills the performance of the whole computer so badly you can't even refresh a web page.

    I know it's not hardware related because I was using this computer (although it's now seriously upgraded because Vista has crappy performance compared to XP in many areas) with Win XP and had never had any problem with the integrated sound codec or with the Samsung harddrive.

    But from what I have seen so far, the problem is caused either by the harddrive (with the sata drivers I guess), or with the integrated network card.

    Unfortunately, my Vista experience has been *very* bad so far so this doesn't really surprise me that much... Nevertheless, I am not going back to XP so I've got to fix this problem.

    I'll keep you updated.

  7. OK, here is an update:

    I first reinstalled the newest available drivers for my Audigy SE card and then disabled in sound configuration everything that I am not using - such as the digital I/O device. I don't know if I hadn't done anything else along the way but this seems to have solved the sluggish performance problem after wake up, at least partially.

    But I was still hearing annoying cracks and other distortion when playing my test game - Heroes of Might and Magic V. As I normally do not play games much, I do not know whether this problem was in this game only or not. But I know it wasn't there when playing on Win XP.

    So I've changed the PCI latency in BIOS from 64 to 128 as I found a mention in the Creative Labs forums that some nForce chipsets had a PCI latency-Soundblaster PCI card related problem. This seems to have done the trick for me! The strange thing is that I do not have nForce but Intel P35 chipset.

    For now it seems to be fixed, although when using the player when listening to streamed audio, there still seems to be some distortion - "skipping". It does not seem to be related to buffer though, there is no noticeable gap in the music, it's just like an extra sound that shouldn't be there - as if it skipped back or forward from another part of the song, or repeated the last played sound twice. Real odd, I'll keep an eye on that and will report any new findings.

  8. OK, update number two...

    The problem was back. The sound in the game was still working just fine (this was indeed apparently caused by the PCI latency) but was back when playing music through, Winamp and even the Windows Media Player. When streaming the music from the Internet the problem was very bad, when playing an MP3/WMA through WMP the problem was smaller but still there.

    The culprit was apparenly my AVG 8 antivirus and its "Web shield" (AVG Network Scanning Service). Disabling it solved the problem. In fact, if you disable it, apply the changes, and then re-enable it again, everything works OK. I had AVG 8 on Win XP and this problem wasn't there.

    I'll keep testing it.

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