Has anyone else had the problem of electrical popping noises and white noise at start-up? And even worse that that, when I'm playing Quake III, the rocket explosion sounds are all DISTORTION. Sounds like S--t on my speakers. I have the SB-Live 5.1 MP3+, and ......

Asus CUSL-2
Pentium III-550E @ 733
256 MB of PC133
SB-LIVE MP3+ 5.1 sound card
Cambridge Acoustics satellites (2) with a subwoofer.

I don't have any IRQ conflicts that I can see. And I've tried disabling the Creative SB16 emulation. Any suggestions?

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  1. Yeah, I'm having the same exact problem that you are having. I've tried EVERYTHING also. I've talked to creative tech support and they are telling me it is a known problem with VIA chipsets and to keep checking for driver updates. I've been watching the ASUS forums too and just put up a post there for help. I sent a tech support e-mail to VIA as well, but have not heard back from them. I posted a message on here last week, but I did not get any helpful advice. I've noticed the problem mostly with Unreal Tournament, the intro video sound is terrible with repetitive short bursts of sound and if I turn off the 3d sound, then I get the distortion and popping that you are talking about. If you find anything out, please post it back here, so I can fix the problem too. Joel
  2. Yes, I too have this problem posted on several different forums. I don't have a VIA chipset though, but the Intel 815e. If I find out anything I'll post it in this thread, and I'd appreciate the same.

  3. MB,

    Creative tech support suggested trying a different PCI slot. I've tried every slot on my board without success, but perhaps it may help you. Here is his e-mail...




    This problem is experienced in all Windows operating systems. Make sure
    that you download and install all of the motherboard updates from your
    motherboard manufactuer's website and not any other websites.

    You might also try doing the following:

    1) Right-click on My Computer > Choose Properties > Choose the Device
    Manager tab
    2) Remove the Soundblaster Live! listing underneath Sound, Video, and Game
    3) Remove everything underneath Creative Misc. Devices
    4) Close the Device Manager
    5) Shut down the system
    6) Pull the sound card out and place it in another slot
    7) Reboot the system and reload the drivers from the original installation
  4. Noticed you are oc'ing your proc which probably affects your PCI bus, does this problem occur when not oc'ing?
  5. I have a 1/3 divider on my motherboard, so my PCI bus is not overclocked. Regardless, I tried going back down to 550mhz just b/c I have no other good leads on what to do, and this did not help. I've deleted the device under the device manager, uninstalled all SB software, and tried every PCI slot I have. I've reserved and forced IRQ's, (currently slot 3, IRQ #5), and this isn't helping either.

    I hate Creative Labs! It's official.

  6. Creative's idea of customer support truly needs to be reassesed.

    This may seem like a nightmare but if you have not tried this, I would pull my mobo from the case and place it on a stable surface, make sure it is completely isolated from the case (except for your drive and power cables of course).

    I love those removeable mobo trays, makes job's like this a cakewalk.
  7. MB,

    I did get the sound to change by backing down the hardware acceleration of my video card but this was completely unacceptable. I'm just curious which video card you have. I have the 3dfx Voodoo3 3000. Some people are saying there is a conflict with the video card drivers. Also, a couple of people have said to turn off ACPI Power management and/or make sure you have a huge power supply. Mine is 235 watts. How many watts is your power supply? I really need to get a 300 watt anyway, but don't want to do it unless I have to.

  8. Joel,

    I've tried every PCI slot and all those steps you outlined. No fixes here.

    To answer your questions, I have an Asus V7700 GeForce II GTS, and a 300-watt p/s. I just upgraded last month from a V3 3000 AGP, right before I upgraded to this SB Live soundcard. So I can't really assess if your voodoo has something to do with it. But it shouldn't. And although my current video card is very overclockable, I do not have it overclocked at all.

  9. Thanks to all who have attempted to solve this problem. I am sick of Creative Labs ignoring this issue. I just e-mailed them the following letter. If I get any results, I'll post it here.


    Creative Tech Support,

    I am experiencing electrical popping noises and white noise at start-up? And even worse that that, when I'm playing games such as Quake III, many of the sounds, (like rocket explosion sounds), are ALL DISTORTION. This sounds really lousy on my speakers. I recently upgraded from a Sounblaster PCI128, and had never had this problem with that card. I currently have the SB-Live 5.1 MP3+, and ......

    SB-LIVE MP3+ 5.1 sound card
    Cambridge Acoustics satellites(2) w/ a subwoofer.
    Asus CUSL-2 Motherboard Rev. 1002 BIOS
    Pentium III-550E
    256 MB of PC133

    I've tried disabling the Creative SB16 emulation in the Device Manager, and this did not help at all. After searching for help on the internet and on Creative's Online Troubleshooting area, I decided to call Creative Tech Support. I was on hold for quite some time for this toll call. Once connected with a technical support agent at Creative, he told me (and I quote) "it's a Microsoft Windows problem, not a Soundblaster Live problem"....(he went on to say)...."not to have a big head, but creative cards are so superior to other sound cards that they use alot of system resources, and the Windows o/s just can't handle it." I told him that I felt that this statement was completely ridiculous and unacceptable! I told him that there are plenty of competitive sound cards to date that are as good or better that Creative cards, (ie, the Phillips Acoustic Edge, or Hercules Game Theater XP, etc.), and that Creative Labs claims to be creating sound cards to operate within the Windows Operating Systems. This IS how they market their cards anyway, to operate under Windows. If anything, they should be catering to Windows, not the other way around. This tech support guy would have me believe that Creative cards are just "too good" for windows. He refused to help me and made no suggestions at all. Keep in mind that I NEVER once raised my voice, but simply was honest and straight forward with him.

    I've tried countless technical support forums over the last month, including creative labs' FAQ section, but it proved worthless on the topic. Now I've tried calling creative tech support, and that proved a waste of MY time and MY money for the toll call. Many, many people are having this problem. I've seen it on tons of tech support forums. Why can't I get a straight answer? Soundblaster Live cards are the most popular cards around! Why is this problem being ignored?

    I have my SB card in PCI slot #3 with IRQ #5 reserved in the BIOS. Under the Device Manager IRQ settings, IRQ #5 is still sharing:
    1) ACPI IRQ holder for PCI IRQ Steering
    2) Intel USB universal host controller 2444

    I've also tried disabling "ACPI", and "Plug and Play O/S." This fix was proposed on the 3D Sound Surge Forum for Creative Labs Soundblaster Live Cards.

    <A HREF="" target="_new"></A>

    I am at a loss for how to get my Soundblaster Live working correctly. I really hope that my e-mail is not ignored, but properly addressed. Creative Labs should not ignore such a huge problem.


    We'll see if they respond, or continue to ignore.

  10. Nice message MB, unfortunately, I doubt we'll get an answer, but who knows.

  11. I don't think power is the issue. I have a (gasp) 110W powersupply and my SB 5.1 workes perfectly. And my CPU is only a 433mhz celeron with 96megs of ram so that bit about your computer not having enough resources is bull.

    Since Direct 3D might be involved you might want to reinstall DirectX.

    Personally I suspect your card might be defective. Try putting it into a friends computer and see how it works.
  12. Latest suggestions from Creative....

    A number of motherboard manufacturers exist, both name brand and
    generic. Because of the wide variety of manufacturers, each
    motherboard is constructed in a different fashion. Some motherboards
    will transmit noises through the bus that the sound card will pick up,
    while other motherboards will not. Some of these noises can be:

    - Hard drive/CDROM access
    - Mouse movements
    - Background static

    In some cases, a noisy power supply unit will also cause the sound card
    to emit these noises.

    Since the Sound Blaster sound card itself is a sensitive card, a
    computer system that has a "noisy" motherboard or power supply unit
    will cause the sound card to transmit these noises. These computer
    systems may vary from a 286 system up to a 486 system. Although there
    is no definite hardware or software solution that can be performed to
    the Sound Blaster card itself to resolve this problem, there is a
    possible work-around.

    1. An add-on component called a ground loop isolator has been found to
    eliminate some of these noises in certain systems. This ground loop
    isolator can be purchased from Radio Shack. This ground loop
    isolator is not guaranteed to completely eliminate all the noise,
    nor is it guaranteed to completely work on any individual system.

    Be aware that an Oscillator patch will probably not completely
    eliminate these kinds of noises.

    2. Check your BUS Speed in your system BIOS. The BUS speed should be
    set to around 8Mhz. Information on checking and changing this
    setting can often be found in your motherboard manual. If you
    aren't sure how to go about this, or are uncomfortable working in
    your system BIOS, contact your system manufacturer for information
    on changing the BIOS settings.

    3. Try to plug your computer in another electrical socket to see if it
    reacts the same way.

    Helpful, isn't it? This may explain why some people tried larger power supplies and the problem was resolved. Who knows. It still doesn't explain my looping sound problem.
  13. I had a similiar problem when playing games too... make sure that you don't have both the Analog and SPDF connects off your CD-ROM connected to the same CD-ROM. I pulled the SPDF connect and my pops went away..
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