Sound problems - computers

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I cannot profess to be a particularly well versed "sound person", I'm a Mac man by trade and so my ailing Dell computer is only used for general web browsing and those late night Counter Strike sessions oh and playing music very loudly.

This recently has become a problem sometimes when I'm using the computer the sound stutters (or chops) for no apparent reason.

Could anyone suggest how I can fix this?
 

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A few things...
1) Soundcard is going out. How old is the computer, what shape is it in, what card is it...
2) Codecs. Try installing Free-Codecs.com : Download K-Lite Codec Pack 7.7.0 FULL, K-Lite Codec Pack 7.7.0 STANDARD, K-Lite Codec Pack 7.7.0 BASIC : K-Lite Codec Pack is a collection of codecs and related tools .. I doubt this is the problem since it just now started, but codecs help with alot of sound issues so -shrug-
3) Too many processes running. Your computer is having a hard time playing music + doing the 50 other tasks you are trying to run. I remember a time when my winamp was doing the same thing...turned out my Computer Process was running at 100% and causing lag...had to kill a certain process and it ran fine again. Check to see that by CTRL+ALT+DEL and going to process. Or you can upgrade the amount of ram you have.
4) Maybe the speakers? Bad connections can hinder sound -shrug-



Anyways, if it is your soundcard you can easily buy a new cheap one for 50 bucks on newegg... However, you may want to try updating soundcard drivers first.



**** Oh yeah...it could be something as simple as 2 processes trying to use the same resource as your soundcard.... Use "Device Manager" & look for "shared resources".
 

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The resource drain explanation sounds most likely to me. Are you running out of ram? processor time? Does it only happen when you're doing a few things at once? A good test would be to boot up fresh, make sure no gigantic programs automatically load at boot, and play some music for a while without doing anything else, and see if the problem recurs. What is the general state of the computer and your usage when the chopping is most significant? (open programs? if you're browsing how many tabs, etc...?)
 
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1) Soundcard is going out. How old is the computer, what shape is it in, what card is it...

Creative SB X-Fi

2) Codecs. Try installing Free-Codecs.com : Download K-Lite Codec Pack 7.7.0 FULL, K-Lite Codec Pack 7.7.0 STANDARD, K-Lite Codec Pack 7.7.0 BASIC : K-Lite Codec Pack is a collection of codecs and related tools .. I doubt this is the problem since it just now started, but codecs help with alot of sound issues so -shrug-

Will try this - cheers

3) Too many processes running. Your computer is having a hard time playing music + doing the 50 other tasks you are trying to run. I remember a time when my winamp was doing the same thing...turned out my Computer Process was running at 100% and causing lag...had to kill a certain process and it ran fine again. Check to see that by CTRL+ALT+DEL and going to process. Or you can upgrade the amount of ram you have.

Already thought this might be the problem and it doesn't appear to be my computer has 4 GBs of RAM so plenty of space!

4) Maybe the speakers? Bad connections can hinder sound -shrug-

Could also be a problem the speakers I'll re-check connections!

What is the general state of the computer and your usage when the chopping is most significant? (open programs? if you're browsing how many tabs, etc...?)

Mainly opening and closing tabs, often around start up.

Cheers for the help
 

StringThing

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Already mentioned in this thread, too many resources being used at once. If freeing up resources doesn't work, heck, even if it does:

Go to Dell's support website and enter your service tag for that computer (should be a sticker somewhere) and download the latest drivers for the hardware. This would include video, sound, network card(s) etc.. After you are through with that, make sure that your Windows updates are... um... up-to-date.

Another question for you, is the sound stuttering a result of playing music or is this occurring over the web (ie. youtube)?
 

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Oh yeah...it could be something as simple as 2 processes trying to use the same resource as your soundcard.... Use "Device Manager" & look for "shared resources".


----

Do that the next time you have issues, as well as get a copy of the processes being ran (ctrl alt del). As well as updating driver/codec/checking speaker or whatever you wanted to try :p
 
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I think it must be a RAM problem, it seems that my Sound is taking up to much on the resource front....

Now how on earth do I fix this?
 

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Were you able to update your sound drivers?
 
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They were up to date, it's the first thing I checked.
 

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Did this just suddenly start? Was it working fine before this? What changed? Did you install new hardware / software? Something that might be using a resource (interrupt, etc) that the sound card uses?

What OS do you have? I am assuming XP? Let me know what OS you have and I will walk you through some diagnostics.

What model is the dell PC (there will be a service tag number (or express service code) on it somewhere.. that will also give my the OEM configuration.. if you can find it). Get that, and I will post a link where you can download the latest drivers.

Corrupted sound drivers can cause this also... have you tried totally removing the current drivers... rebooting, and installing the latest drivers?
 

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