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popping.. scratchy sounds audio when playing...

by pkennedy / August 26, 2008 8:13 AM PDT

here's the problem....when playing wav.. mp3 or any other audio in WMP 10... Irfanview all of which I have had installed on my Desktop PC for a long time...the sound is scratchy.. popping.. and at times inaudible with so much background noise..

starting in early July I did a few updates for Windows ... including one for WMP10.. seems that's when the problem started... I posted this in another Cnet forum and no one could come up with a fix... as per the MS Windows update.. it shows those 3 updates were successfully d/l.. but they do NOT show up in Add/Remove programs anywhere even with See Updates as checked.. I have since d/l WMP10 at least three more times.. along with those same updates with the same results...

HOWEVER if I use MEDIA MONKEY all is perfect playing those same sounds/music...NOT a scratchy note or sound can be detected... same thing happens if I go to a site that uses WMP for videos...inaudible scratchy sounds just like they are playing in WMP10 plays fine.....

I have tried everything I know of .. checked the Device Manager..checked the sound card... all hardware is working properly...checked the IDE ATA/ATAPI Controllers .. all are okay and set properly.. speakers are okay

I have also posted this in the MS WMP community boards.. again no one has come up with a reason why it happened or how to correct it.. it's like this is the first time this has ever happened to anyone( which I doubt)...

I cannot upgrade to WMP 11 as this 5 yr old Gateway XP 500XL Media Center PC is before the 2005 cutoff date for WMP11... so that's out...

I have since upgraded my RAM from the original 768mb RAM to 2.5gb RAM.. I thought maybe that was the culprit even though I installed it after the problem started..I uninstalled and reinstalled it.. both ways same problem exists..

I reinstalled the driver's for the Creative Audigy sound card from the Gateway site.. still the problem exists...

how can audio play in Media Monkey perfectly and not in WMP10 and others..

.. will probably be getting a new Desktop within the next year so trying to keep this old PC going... have everything backed up on an external 320gb hard drive...have a Dell Laptop with Vista( ugh) that I use for traveling

any help most appreciated...

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Maybe a Corrupted Codec File Problem?
by lakephillip / September 5, 2008 4:14 PM PDT

I also had that same problem on WMP 11 on Windows Vista HP.
I tried using a download from for a whole list of Codecs, and that didn't help, and it even made other Video programs stop responding. I also tried out WinAmp, and there was no I do think it is Windows media play playing tricks. My solution was, I just did a complete C:\\Drive Recovery. The problem never returned. Drastic solution, but better than spending hours trying to figure out where the "F" the problem is coming from.
Sometime I like a computer challenge, and sometimes I just want to through this box out the gets ridiculous how obscure some problems can be, and sometimes it is difficult to articulate a particular problem.

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This could be a Creative Problem
by msditz / September 9, 2008 8:10 AM PDT

"I reinstalled the driver's for the Creative Audigy sound card from the Gateway site.. still the problem exists..."

I've not had the "pleasure" of dealing with Gateway's OEM Creative cards or drivers, but I have had tons of problems with Creative Cards and their drivers - especially their Updates. And the version of Audigy makes a difference.

Had an XtremeGamer, did Creative's autoupdate and ended up having to have my computer reformatted - BSOD, error messages left and right - all were Creative related. I now have an HT Omega Claro+ and have had zero problems.

I'd definitely look at the Creative drivers. Check their site and see if there's other drivers available you can d/l to your desktop.

Whenever you change/update drivers, what I always do is, first set a system restore point (just in case), then uninstall using CCleaner (Tools) the old drivers and go into Registry to try to clear out as much as possible of the old stuff.

Then Reboot into Safe Mode, make sure your a/v is disabled (that can muck up installations in general), I also turn my firewall off - anything running in the background basically.

Then install your drivers, reboot normally. Your a/v and anything else you turned off should come right back on.

Now check your WMP and see if there's any difference.

Or, it could be that it's the soundcard itself, it could be going. The only way to check that out is to RClick My Computer, properties, device manager, look for the soundcard and disable it, then reboot, go into the BIOS and enable onboard sound (assuming your mobo has onboard - if it doesn't don't bother with this step at all). OR, get yourself a new soundcard or borrow one from a friend (with installation cd for apps). Whichever card you get - go to the site and get the latest drivers - save them to your desktop (you'll need them in a few minutes).

Do the uninstall process of drivers, then do a search - Creative and Audigy are the 2 things I'd search. Make sure there's nothing left of Creative. Open the case, take the old card out, put the new (or borrowed) one in, boot up, wait for the "new hardware" bubble, cancel out of auto install, NOW click on the Drivers you d/l and are on your desktop - just install the drivers. Then put the CD in to install any apps you want - choose Custom install.

Hope something helps!

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by pkennedy / September 9, 2008 8:47 AM PDT

appreciate the detailed info...

in the middle of all this.. (problem still persists).. I d/l updated drivers for Creative... it zapped everything... had nothing from the Creative sound card... went back again... reinstalled the old driver and the got the sound back.. without any scratchy popping and loud humming in the background.... the next time I rebooted... back to square one again with the noises...

weird stuff.. because the darn thing still continues to play perfectly using certain media players... and terrible with others like WMP10.. Irfanview and a few others.. that's why I at first didn't think it was the Creative-Audigy sound card

again.. thanx for the assistance...much appreciated

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I'm also having the same problem!
by tobiazoo / September 27, 2008 9:05 AM PDT
In reply to: msditz..

At first I thought that my creative Live 24bit soundblaster had kicked the bucket, so I went out and purchased the m-audio Fasttrack Pro thinking that everything would be just fine. I plugged in the Fasttrack pro and still heard the popping phenomenon. I am able to play sound through my laptop's sound card without any strange popping sounds, but in connecting either of my 2 USB soundcards from different manufacturers I encounter this problem.

Also. . . the problem did not surface until I installed the window's media center update published by Microsoft in June 2008. I use the external soundcard for a DJ'ing cue while right now I use my laptop's output for the main mix. Curse Microsoft and their needless update!

Not sure where to turn. I've searched all over google and found many others experiencing this problem, but no solutions yet. Sad

Oh yeah. . . I'm running Windows Vista sp1 now. . . but the problem was there when I was running the original window's vista 32bit.

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FIXED: Analog/Digital Connections
by kmiklas / February 12, 2009 4:16 AM PST

I repaired this problem by re-seating the card, and making sure that both the four-pin Analog and two-pin digital connecting wires from the CD player to the sound card were connected. Don't just connect the power and xATA to the CD.

I'm not an expert, but it appears that the analog connector makes a difference. The ultimate culprit may be the ground on that connection. There's a fat wire on that four-pin connector and it looks like a ground to me.

This cleaned up the audio. Hope this helps!

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Scratchy, dragging audio and video...
by ca103kkirk / October 29, 2009 5:17 PM PDT

I too am having the same problem, except I cannot play anything with sound or video without a drag/scratching sound accompanying it. I have checked my system for driver updates, I update my programs regularly... So, I am truly stumped. Currently I run off Windows XP SP3 on an Acer Aspire One, so any advice would be greatly appreciated.

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by FrEsHKurt / January 31, 2010 9:23 PM PST

this happened for me after i installed sp2 but b4 i installed sp3... i should just uninstall sp3... don't want to go back, got another tower sitting beside me with Windows 7 ultimate 32 RTM (Released To Manufacturers) bit... but the towers going... at least a hard drive is... so yeah sp3 for xp update IZ ****!

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