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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Howdy All.

So, I have a problem that's been bothering me for quite awhile. I've run across it on a couple computers, but I'll stick to my desktop for now.

Computer:
E6600 Core 2 Duo
Asus P5B Deluxe WiFi-AP Edition
Radeon X1900XTX 512
WD Raptor 150gig SATA II
WD 500gig SATAII
Random (Samsung?) 200gig IDE
Random DVD Burner IDE
500W Antec TruePowerII
Soundblaster Audigy PCI Sound Card
Logitech Z-560's

Problem:
When my CPU/Harddrive activity raises, I get static over the speakers. It's not constant static (like white noise) but more like crackling, or popping. Think 2-5 pop's per second, randomly spaced, like popcorn popping. I notice it most often when I'm watching a video and downloading the next episode simultaneously. Interestingly, I can watch different videos on each monitor and it doesn't happen, so that's what makes me think it may be hddrv activity instead of straight up CPU. Also, it's a real pain when AVG's running. *Edit* Also, whenever I'm downloading and playing (streaming) a flash video, for instance.

I've tried the uninstall/reinstall of drivers. I have the newest DirectX. I've tried onboard sound, as well as the Audigy card. I've tried different speakers. I think it might be some sort of EMI.

What next? How do I solve/troubleshoot this?

Thanks,

Banik
 

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try moving the sound card to another PCI slot, but since you mention that it happens even with onboard sound that probably won't do a damn thing...this may be something to do with your speaker wires so try moving them away from any other wires and even go so far as to try wrapping them in aluminum foil (copper foil as used in electric guitar wiring would of course be the ticket, but aluminum will work as a test bed)
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I've tried different PCI slots, as well as different speaker locations (thinking about crosstalk between the speaker wires).

Next? Who can bring more suggestions to this riddle?

Thanks for the suggestions Wozer ;-)
 

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I'm having the same problem. I haven't had time to see if it's only during certain activities, but even listening the start up sound, or audio CD's I have the error. My only IDE device is a DVD writer. The static happens on any sound, at just about all scenerio's
 

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Sometimes onboard sound just sucks and does this. Usually on an old computer. Speakers cause it too sometimes.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
DMA on the harddrive enabled? I notice one of them is IDE.
Yes, the DMA is enabled on the IDE hard drive. It should be clarified that the OS drive is the SATA RaptorX.

Also, I recently just reinstalled DX, Sound drivers, etc.

This problem occurrs with both the onboard sound as well as a PCI SB Audigy.

Keep the ideas coming!
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Still happen with headphones plugged directly into the sound device?
Yes, yes it does. I've tried it with headphones and 2 sets of speakers.


Oldmn, that's a good idea, I should check it out. How would thie affect it, by chance?


Dai, I tried this with a ferrite torroid with a pair of headphones, and it didn't change anything.


New Information: The static popping/crackling is directly related to the update rate of the information in the Task Manager. So if you hit Ctrl-Shift-Esc, and watch everything updated every second or so, that's when the static popping occurs.

I have a feeling it has something to do with either CPU cycles or harddrive activity, but not sure how to go about addressing/isolating the issue.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
All right, I looked at both of the links Dai. Let's start with the second. What I am experiencing is best described as static or pops and clicks. I'm using a SB Audigy sound card, so I don't think that would qualify as a "low-end" card that wouldn't be able to drive my Z-560's, nor are my background programs making sounds that I might interpret as such, etc.

The first link was a bit more telling, however. I checked my device manager, and I'm listed as "ACPI Multiprocessor PC," which is correct, since a dual core proc is recognized/treated as multiple processors. Just for fun, I switched it to a single processor ACPI, and got a little less interference, but the processor was only treated as a single core, which is badness.

I'm now going to try a non-system managed paging file size, to see if that does anything...
 

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Can you try another PSU, try moving the system to a different power plug, or try reinstalling Windows?

What version of Windows is it? In Vista there is no direct sound support, it's emulated, so no hardware support for mixing. I found I get underruns when my HDD and/or CPU is under heavy load in Vista while playing music in foobar2k using the direct sound plugin. The ASIO plugin fixes it.
 

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Hmm, no, I don't have another PSU that would supply the needed power. I am planning on getting a spare to have around here in a couple months, so I'll try it then.

I could run a repair, and frankly I've been considering installing Vista... But there are so few real reasons other than to become familiar with it so I can walk the family through the menus when they call for help.

On a side note, I just updated my BIOS, so I'll see if that changes anything.
 

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i don't know what it is or what's causing it.it's not the usual interference sound it to clear and precise in comparison
i have pm'd someone with more expierence in the area to see if they have a suggestion
 

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that's a good idea, I should check it out.
You can get a tester from your local hardware store.
How would thie affect it, by chance?
If your system is not grounded properly it will create noise and that could be what you are hearing.
Not also make sure the adapter plate around the MOB connections is there. This provides the shield ground for the MOB.
 

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I could be wrong but what I think you are being disturbed by are poorly filtered digital clicks from your motherboard or soundcard hardware. Any chance that you could try a different soundcard and drivers. It could just be a minor incompatibility between the soundcard and the motherboard.
As has also been said earlier earthing is another important part of the system where sound is concerned, and can cause many strange effects. Trying a different Power Supply was also a good suggestion.
Have you also made sure that you have the right speaker system installed in Control Panel , Sound and Audio Devices ?? Look for the advanced tab and check that you have the right stereo / surround sound settings.
If you also have a microphone installed on this PC .. put it to mute .. might just be picking up sound and sending it back to the input .. you might want to try removing it for tests.
Another item you might want to check is IDE cabling .. try using the shielded cables if you haven't already .. and enable digital sound for your cd/dvd player.

I don't know just how old your system is but also a good idea to check the state of the capacitors in case any are swollen
 
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