Audio Distortion/Crackle Issue

Computer in question:

PCChips M861G(VIA Chipsets) with AMD Ath 64 3400+ processor.
American MegaTrends BIOS.
2GB Memory
HD with 60% Free Space
Older sound blaster live! PCI sound card
Older radeon AGP graphics card
Windows XP SP3


One day randomly the speakers started to crackle and distort audio and have continued to do so regardless of the audio playing through the on-board audio or PCI card.

Things done:
Checkdisc,Disk cleanup, Defrag, Virus Scan, Registry Clean, 3rd party apps removed

Swapped with other speakers, same issue.
tested speakers on another desktop and they work fine.
Swapped to on-board sound and still crackle and distortion.
re-installed both PCI audio card drivers and on-board drivers to no avail.
Swapped audio card to another PCI slot and same issue.
Searched for any processes that may be causing it and no luck.

Any idea where to go from here? Will be trying another PCI sound card tomorrow to see if anything changes. This happened out of nowhere but I cannot pinpoint an exact date unfortunately. I suspected a faulty sound card but why would it act the same way when switched to the on-board?(Yes I am plugging the jack into the on-board audio)
3 answers Last reply
More about audio distortion crackle issue
  1. It has a sound blaster x-fi on the way, and you could have noticed that I stated it does the same through the on-board audio.
  2. Have you tried with different audio playback softwares? I mean sometimes these problems can occur with say WMP but vanish when you use some other player such as winamp. Also, if you have installed any codec packs then uninstall them completely and try again.
  3. I have fiddled with the Realtek sound manager for the onboard and the sound blaster audio program to no avail. It plays like this through all media players, flash videos, and even the windows start and shutdown sounds.
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