Audio popping and crackling after reformat


Recently reformatted my computer to give it a bit of a cleaning up. It had Windows 7 Home Premium (x86) before the reformat, as well as after. No hardware has changed.

This is on a Dell Optiplex GX620

After the reformat, I'm getting audio popping and crackling. I've tried both my onboard Realtek AC97, and my PCI Soundblaster Audigy 2. Both give the same audio troubles. Note that both soundcards are not active at the same time.

A latency tracking software shows high red latency (3000+) when the popping and cracking occurs. (I forget the name of the software...I'm at work at the moment.) and down in the green when the system was idle at desktop.

Also, When I tried Windows XP (x64) SP2, the same audio trouble occured. However when I tried Linux Mint 13 (both a LiveUSB and a full install) there were no audio cracks and pops.
All drivers are up to date, including chipset drivers.

I've made sure the active soundcard was on it's own IRQ channel, and this did not help any.

Also I've tried a reformat, and letting Windows Update handle all the drivers for everything, this did not help.

I've also installed AISO4ALL, and this seemed to do no action whatsoever, nor changed the audio issue.

I'm sure you need more information, but I'm not sure what, and I'm at work at the moment. Please respond with whatever info you need, and I'll gladly post!

Thanks in advance.
7 answers Last reply
More about audio popping crackling reformat
  1. Remove the Audigy 2. Creative soundcards are known the cause this issue, so I'd remove it from the system entirely and see if the Realtek works as expected.
  2. Tried that this morning with no luck. First I tried simply disabling the SB Audigy 2, Then I removed it completely and uninstalled the drivers. After that I completely reformatted, left the SB Audigy 2 out, and only let the onboard get drivers. Still the same popping and crackling.

    It's not my speakers, because I've also hooked headphones up to both the front jacks, and the same jack that the speakers went into, and there is still the audio issue.
  3. Ah yes the notorious Creative Labs Snap Crackle and Pop. The root cause of this issue is that Creative's drivers are written by chimpanzees and only updated once a year or so whenever they happen to spit out something that actually compiles.

    Some of the issues seem to be chipset related (but not necessarily Intel/AMD's fault). I had massive SCnP issues with my X-Fi Titanium Fatality Pro on the Intel P45 chipset but the exact same card works just fine on P67 and X79 boards. I even tried putting the card into an 8x slot (it'll work just fine but wont clamp in) to no end. The same problem could be present on the 945 Express.

    If your system setup allows it, try toying with the PCI latency, see if this helps at all
  4. As you stated, if my system allows it, how would I go about changing that latency?
  5. It will be a setting in your system setup (BIOS) usually burred under peripherals or chipset settings. Dell does some wonky stuff
  6. Well I took a look into my BIOS and found no options for changing latency, or any sort of editing for audio other than turning the PCI slots off.

    Are there any downloadable programs that would allow me to edit the latency?
  7. Solved the problem after 10 years and reading much advice . . . I have Dell 8250 running XP with a SB Audigy 2 card.

    1. I used Sysinfo and determined that there are 3 devices sharing the SB IRQ (network card and 2 USB controller).
    2. Could NOT manually re-assign IRQs vis HW properties or BIOS, so . . .
    3. I pulled out the Dell manual and they noted that there was only 1 preferred motherboard PCI slot for the sound card. I had inadvertently moved the SB card to a different slot some time ago to improve air circulation around the video card.
    4. Made sure all PCI cards were in the Dell recommended slot.
    5. Used Sysinfo again and determined that SB now shared IRQs with video card and 1 USB controller. (You may want to note which USB in case using that causes problems in the future.)
    6. Uninstalled ALL SB software and used a registry cleaner to ensure no remains.
    7. Installed Creative Sound Drivers [Daniel K] (1-April-2008) – DRIVER ONLY.
    8. Under Hardware | Device Manager, made sure all IDE controllers used DMA (not PIO). (Why? Because the IDE controllers share the PCI bus.)
    9. Under Hardware | Device Manager, made sure all CD/DVD properties had UNCHECKED digital audit and VOLUME slider set to min.
    10. Using the XP Volume Control Panel | Options | Properties – checked ALL playback boxes (e.g. display all).
    11. Open the XP Volume Control Panel and MUTE everything except WAVE, and put all unused sliders to MIN volume. Hopefully, all noise and popping has cease and the sound is clear.
    12. You will notice noise & popping (sometime violent) during boot-up until all of the correct settings kick in.
    13. If noise is still heard, it is because XP periodically un-mutes some of the devices. Just open the Volume Control Panel and mute everything except WAVE.
    14. ENJOY pure sound again!!!
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