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Realtek HD Audio cuts out sporadically in Windows 7?


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Buztafen Buztafen is offline
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08-Jan-2010, 10:23 AM #1
Realtek HD Audio cuts out sporadically in Windows 7?
Afternoon all,

Right ive struggled with this for a few weeks so i thought i'd let you guys have a go.

Basically my Gigabyte motherboard uses the Realtek HD Audio AL889A codec. Ive recently installed Win 7 x64, and initially installed the latest drivers from the GB website. Everything runs fine but i have a sound problem.

My comp is hooked up to Sony AV receiver 5.1 speaker setup via Optical cable. In the Realtek software i have enabled Dolby Digital Live 5.1 to take advantage of it as every other option in software only uses 2 speakers (stereo).

The problem is this, every so often (every minute or so but gaps can be longer or shorter) the sound cuts off for a second when playing anything with sound i.e games, web videos, mp3's. This happens randomly and there doesn't seem to be a pattern to it. When the sound cuts out the AV receiver seems to loose the signal i.e it clicks from being in Dolby to nothing then back again like its being lost at the source. The strange thing is when i disable the 'Dolby Digital Live' in the Realtek software and just use 2 speakers, the sound doesnt cut out. Obviously this isnt ideal as i want 5.1 sound in games and movies that support it.

Ive tried various drivers from the actual Realtek website and Gigabyte (there have been numerous revisions over the past 2 weeks) and the problem persists.

The AV receiver is working fine as i have various other devices working with it (360, DVD, Sky, etc). Also the optical port on the mobo, amp and the Realtek chip itself seem to be working correctly because i have been using them when switching between a dual install of Win XP (on separate partition on HD) and the current Win 7, and in XP there is no problem.

It seems like a driver problem but i was just wondering if anyone had any pearls of wisdom? Or do i just need to wait for Gigabyte/Realtek to sort it out...

Cheers, Buz.
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08-Jan-2010, 10:35 AM #2
Pay attention to whether it is happening more with videos and games and other media forms that involve or require heavy graphics or cpu processing.

I have a Vista system with an intel chipset, realtek sound drivers, basic integrated graphics and and a 3.6ghz Celeron cpu -- the sound will "glitch" on it when there is a cpu load that the Celeron is not fully up to handling. The same files played on an XP system with a 2.54 ghz pentium CPU and an old AGP video card -- do not have any drop-outs. If I minimize any media screen with a "visualization", I don't hear the drop-outs.

You might want to open the Task Manager and look at the process tab when this is happening and see if the CPU is spiking much during play. Anything over 60 % I'm guessing could cause some problems with sound occasionally. I suspect one factor in the equation is the online retrieval and playing of "meta data".
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08-Jan-2010, 10:57 AM #3
Cheers for your response. The problem occurs no matter what im playing be it a game, music, a movie or web videos. Ive also watched the task manager and there seems to be no spikes visible or no warnings as to when this happens. For example if i turn on my comp and after it finishes booting up just play an mp3 before opening any other programs with Windows Media Player,the CPU usage is usually around 2% and memory is around 26% and the sound glitch still happens sporadically...

As mentioned ive used the exact same setup with XP before with no sound problems. In fact thats what i used for months with no hitch before installing Win 7. Very frustrating.

FYI im running a Q6600 2.4ghz and 4gb of DDR2 on a Gigabyte GA-EP45-DQ6 motherboard. I did put this info in my sig but im too much of a n00b for it to be shown on these boards.
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08-Jan-2010, 12:21 PM #4
I haven't used Dolby Digital as the Vista system I have doesn't really support it.

But there is a possible configuration issue that might apply and I have had to experiment with it for some types of applications.

If you open the Control Panel > Sounds properties and select the playback device you are using, select the Advanced window there.

Do you see check boxes for "Exclusive" mode?

I have had to uncheck these for certain audio properties to work properly.
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08-Jan-2010, 04:02 PM #5
@Rollin, cheers for the suggestion. Under the advanced tab in the Realtek Audio device there is a box called 'Exclusive mode'. There's 2 options in there.

1 - Allow applications to take exclusive control of this device

2 - Give exclusive mode applications priority

2 is greyed out unless 1 is ticked. Ive tried all the different combinations available and the cut out still happens? Basically in an average song (4mins) it'll happen either 1 or 2 times.

Ive checked again an i am using the most uptodate drivers (R2.40 30-12-2009) from Realteks website. Just now ive also uninstalled them, used Driver Sweeper in safe mode to get rid of any old drivers and re-installed them again after a reboot and i still get the same result...
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09-Jan-2010, 11:46 AM #6
Well this is not a device configuration with which I have any experience, but as no one else seems to be responding -- I'll just offer that if I were trying to sort it out on a system of my own I would probably be looking more for other device conflicts than driver issues at this point.

Are there any other digital devices connected such as HDMI that might be using the same port at the same time?
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09-Jan-2010, 02:32 PM #7
I had this problem in Vista. My sound would just randomly crap out for no reason whatsoever, for anywhere from an instant at a time to an extent where I thought my speakers stopped working entirely.

Never did figure out the problem, but it went away on its own and 3-4 months later I reinstalled Vista and havent seen the issue again.
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10-Jan-2010, 02:27 PM #8
@Rollin - Do you mean devices hooked up to the computer or AV reciever? The comp has just got the optical cable plugged in the back for sound. In the control panel under sound devices there's just 2 headings. Speakers 'Realtek HD Audio - Not plugged in' and 'Realtek Digital Output' which is whats being used.

Over this weekend ive updated the BIOS to the latest version, tried various different cables (including a coaxial cable) and every input on the back of my AV reciever and tested it with music, movies and games and the problem still persists. Sounds cuts out sporadically for a millisecond or so...

Thanks for your feedback so far...any other suggestions?
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11-Jan-2010, 10:58 AM #9
I was just thinking about the computer itself, for example an HDMI port that uses digitial.

I don't know about the device itself, but it might be worth a test to disconnect anything that processes digital audio.

You also might want to test the issue in a "clean boot" configuration. >> which should rule out any software conflict from Windows >> http://support.microsoft.com/kb/929135/en-us

For what it's worth, this whole area is a bit new to me so I'm not sure whether "Rawhide's" info in this post applies to what you are doing, but it might >>

http://forums.overclockers.com.au/sh...d.php?t=418833
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12-Jan-2010, 04:39 AM #10
Cheers for the above links Rollin, some really interesting stuff in there.

Ok, i think i may have fixed it (touch wood)! The last 2 things i tried were to update the Intel INF's for the chipset and i also took out a wireless card which wasn't being used. I had installed the card a few days before installing Win 7 because i had a problem with my wired connection but i sorted it so its been sitting in their doing nothing but still picking up Wireless signals as i could see them under network connections.

Personally im leaning towards it being the wifi card that was interfering with the Realtek chip. Is this possible, or is it more likely to have been the INF's?

Cheers again.

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12-Jan-2010, 10:33 AM #11
Would have been nice to have tested thoroughly after the chipset update, as it's really hard to connect the problem with either. However if the data was passing through the router, I guess it's possible that the parallel Wifi connection could have an influence on the router handling of the data. The Wifi was password protected wasn't it? If not you could have had a nearby hijacker.

Anyway, my take from that post was that unless Dolby is encoded for the format you are playing -- you won't get 5.1 sound from the optical cable -- was that your understanding?
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01-Feb-2010, 12:56 AM #12
I am having a similar issues. Realtek HD for sound, Windows 7. When I try to play a blue ray/movie I have added to my library in windows media classic the picture looks great and I get sound, but the sound cuts in and out every few seconds. It does this on both movies I have tried to play now.

The weird thing is...it is JUST in windows media olayer classic that this happens. Sound is fine when I stream from Pandora or youtube videos, etc.

I have confirmed I have the most updated drivers.

Anyone have any ideas on this? I have searched online for the past few days for a solution and this thread was the closest thing I found to the issue I am having.

Oh - and I did disconnect my netbook from my wireless network but no luck in fixing the problem here.

Any suggestions or words of advice would be much much appreciated!
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01-Feb-2010, 12:31 PM #13
You need to start an independent thread for this problem -- it is likely quite different than that above
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