Weird PC issue

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  • RabidChild 12 Oct 2012 18:17:00 2,288 posts
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    Hello

    I've recently built a new PC and it sometimes suffers from a strange issue. I get stuttery images and audio - it makes a rasping sound for a second every so often, that coincides with a jump in the movement on screen. Sometimes it does it in windows (the mouse freezes for a second) but generally it happens more in games. I'm playing dishonored at the moment, and it's happening a lot. According the FRAPs I have a solid 60fps, but it is jumping around quite a bit.

    Does anyone have any idea what might be causing this?

    Cheers in advance
  • ILoveThrashMetal 12 Oct 2012 18:24:27 658 posts
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    I get this with watching videos or listing to audio, kind of like a static sound for a nanosecond. Drives me mad. I have know idea what it is so I'd be interested to know if anyone knows

    Arsechickens

  • RabidChild 12 Oct 2012 19:13:11 2,288 posts
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    Added weirdness: I rebooted and its been fine since, but this has happened many times.
  • jonsaan 12 Oct 2012 19:16:01 25,326 posts
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    Graphics and audio driver sets up to date?

    FCUTA!

  • JoeBlade 12 Oct 2012 19:18:43 2,488 posts
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    @RabidChild: I had something along those lines recently and it was due to cooling. Some update had messed with the temperature sensors, they always reported low temperatures even when it was actually (too) hot and the fans therefore didn't turn fast enough.
    I set them manually to around 50% of max fan speed and now the problem is gone.
    The rebooting may make this seem unlikely but it helped too, simply because the components are all momentarily powered down giving them a brief chance to cool down a bit.

    Could also be a component that is failing (memory comes to mind) so you may want to download a systems diagnostic tool and test your PC. Fact that it's new doesn't mean much; I've seen several cases of brand new hardware with manufacturing faults in my PC career.

    Drivers, BIOS and other software seem a bit unlikely if the problem goes away after a reboot. Still, might be something running in the background and taking up resources, I've seen seemingly innocent things like browsers gobble up silly amounts of memory due to bugs for instance.
  • RabidChild 13 Oct 2012 22:47:28 2,288 posts
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    Thanks for the replies.

    I've checked the audio and graphics drivers. I ran some diagnostics and the only thing it could find was that it couldn't start 'High Definition Audio'. Device manager lists this twice, along with four Nvidia Audio entries, all of which are started about from one of the high def audios. I've disabled it and nothing changed.

    I played Dishonored earlier and it was really choppy from the beginning. I quit the game and went back in and it was fine. Played for about two hours with no problems. Just about to play again so ill see if it happens again.

    It happens in Portal 2 as well and occasionally in windows. It's really annoying!

    I recorded a bit of dishonored and the video shows the pauses every so often, but the sound doesn't stutter in the video - only when it's happening 'live'.
  • Dirtbox 13 Oct 2012 23:32:40 77,467 posts
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    Delete them rather than disabling them, plus update the motherboard drivers, making sure that includes the sound.

    +1 / Like / Tweet this post

  • Deleted user 13 October 2012 23:39:36
    @RabidChild

    I'd go with Dirtbox's thoughts, motherboard drivers are very important, but if Windows itself has the mouse pointer freeze, it is because you haven't changed the option to tell windows to open each explorer window in its own separate process.

    Open an explorer window, re-enable the old style (File) menu bar, to get to the options and change it. At least that way, if an application or other device is causing the freeze it will eliminate things potentially responsible for the problem, and improve overall system multi-tasking responsiveness once the problem is located.

    My first guess of the problem is a faulty HDD or SATA/EIDE DVD cable or loose connection. Even the DVD digital audio to motherboard sound cable can cause issues. And while you are checking the DVD cable, pop the disc in the bay and give it a good clean. With all windows opening in the same process, the system trying to access a dirty DVD can freeze the OS in most cases.

    If re-seating and replacing cables still doesn't do it. Run a full scan of the hard disk for errors. If that doesn't work.

    Next on the list for me(in order) would be faulty memory (or the bios memory timings), faulty motherboard, faulty graphics card or faulty CPU.
  • Dirtbox 14 Oct 2012 00:34:53 77,467 posts
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    Yeah, almost every word of that is nonsense.

    +1 / Like / Tweet this post

  • Deleted user 14 October 2012 01:04:03
    @Dirtbox

    Then you've clearly had very little experience professionally working with computers if you haven't encountered at least some of those causes I've just described.

    I've been building and working with PCs since the 8088 and 80286 architecture. In 2005 you did a thread exposing you couldn't even configure Wifi, so who is likely to know better?
  • neilka 14 Oct 2012 01:06:06 15,647 posts
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    RabidChild wrote:
    it makes a rasping sound for a second every so often
    I also have this problem
  • MMMarmite 14 Oct 2012 01:40:04 994 posts
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    @vizzini shit dude, with that much troubleshooting he might as well just buy a new PC.

    As Dirtbox suggested, uninstall/delete all the audio devices in device manager and restart, see what it picks up and install the drivers for those devices.
  • RobTheBuilder 14 Oct 2012 01:42:24 6,521 posts
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    Other thing is if you have installed anything running in the background that might be getting in the way (I had an audio tool cause stuttering on my machine)
  • PenguinJim 14 Oct 2012 02:48:09 5,754 posts
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    vizzini wrote:
    I've been building and working with PCs since the 8088 and 80286 architecture. In 2005 you did a thread exposing you couldn't even configure Wifi, so who is likely to know better?
    I've also been compiling a list of Dirtbox Idiocies. You should have been here in 2004, when he confessed that he couldn't figure out why his PC kept hard-resetting. After many days of trouble-shooting, it was finally determined that he'd plugged the Reset Button wires into his left mouse button.
  • Carlo 14 Oct 2012 07:44:09 17,948 posts
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    Do you have a spare HDD? If you do, swap out your existing one and put a fresh os on. It'll likely work straight off, but re-download the manufacturers drivers (no beta ones) and particularly for the GPU, the drivers from their site and not ati/nvidia although you should try and do this for all your components.

    Lastly download steam or install your game and try it.

    If this works the issue is software. If it still happens take off all over clocking etc. and retest.

    Oh and just the drivers, not any other bloat software manufacturers put on the disk!

    Edited by Carlo at 07:49:52 14-10-2012

    Edited by Carlo at 07:52:33 14-10-2012

    PSN ID: Djini

  • morriss 14 Oct 2012 08:49:36 70,911 posts
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    PenguinJim wrote:
    vizzini wrote:
    I've been building and working with PCs since the 8088 and 80286 architecture. In 2005 you did a thread exposing you couldn't even configure Wifi, so who is likely to know better?
    I've also been compiling a list of Dirtbox Idiocies. You should have been here in 2004, when he confessed that he couldn't figure out why his PC kept hard-resetting. After many days of trouble-shooting, it was finally determined that he'd plugged the Reset Button wires into his left mouse button.
    The time when he thought his monitor was the motherboard was hilarious. There was a 567 page thread on the matter, iirc.
  • THFourteen 14 Oct 2012 09:07:56 32,857 posts
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    vizzini wrote:
    Next on the list for me(in order) would be faulty memory (or the bios memory timings), faulty motherboard, faulty graphics card or faulty CPU.
    Thanks for narrowing it down for him!
  • RabidChild 14 Oct 2012 10:17:35 2,288 posts
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    Thanks for the replies.

    I think I found the problem. It seems that it happens when the wifi adaptor loses signal. I've disabled it and it has stopped the problem. Weird.
  • Deleted user 14 October 2012 12:08:18
    @RabidChild

    It most likely not the source of your problem, but just something being caught up in the problem.

    A separate Wireless card or integrated mobo card shouldn't be able to freeze a mouse pointer in the Windows desktop on multi-core (if Windows is configured properly for multitasking).

    It could be buggy wifi manager software (ie not the driver), you should be using Windows Zero management for Wireless unless its Lenovo/HP system. The noise you said you can hear is important, is it the sound of disk platers writing to the HDD like a PVR does? Or is it like high pitched radio interference? Poor quality unshielded cables running too close to fans, or devices giving off EMFs can cause sporadic parts of a PC system to temporarily malfunction under weird circumstances. Check the cables aren't acting as aerials for EMFs being generated by GPU/HDD/DVD/Fans within the system.

    If the sound is HDD plater noise from disk writes, then you might want to boot a live linux cd (like Fedora 17, press tab and run the memory test at boot) and launch HDD management program called “palimpsest“ from the search box when logged in.

    You can then check the low level HDD diagnostic info the drive is reporting by picking the HDD in the left panel, and then the option “view SMART data..” from the (top right) gears menu. Then click start-self-test, then choose short. Wait for the test to finish and look at the attributes to see if anything looks out of place. If the drive is in bad shape, this will tell you, then reboot(and eject liveCD) to go back to windows.
  • RabidChild 14 Oct 2012 12:48:04 2,288 posts
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    Ah I didn't explain properly - the sound is from the speakers. It stutters when the graphics freeze.

    It's completely stopped happening now (so far).
  • MMMarmite 14 Oct 2012 12:48:48 994 posts
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    @vizzini I'm glad your not a doctor, anyone with a cough would get a double lung transplant :p

    Also other linux-based distributions are available...
  • Fake_Blood 14 Oct 2012 12:59:06 4,067 posts
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    Vizzini is on to something there.
    If the hard drive malfunctions you could get an arc from the write head to the disk platters at very high frequencies which produce EMR waves.
    If the disk is not properly shielded and grounded those waves could be picked up by the digital audio to GPU wire if it's anywhere close to a fan.
    In turn, this could mess up the HDMI's HDCP handshaking to the monitor, explaining the stutter. My advice is to jam a fork into every fan you can find - most systems can run up to a day without fans - and just see if it stutters again or not.
    If it does it's probably because you haven't changed the option to tell windows to open each explorer window in its own separate process.
  • Deleted user 14 October 2012 13:05:10
    @MMMarmite

    This is listed as a weird problem in the title, on a system built my someone knowing what they are doing(a doctor), so the problem is likely to be more exotic than a cough.

    But a freezing mouse pointer (today's bluescreen equivalent) in the Windows desktop shouldn't happen easily anymore because of multi-core and threading. All the device drivers and the GPU are marshalled since Vista to fail in isolation. the complete restructure of the Windows 2000 kernel was to avoid bluescreens from buggy drivers so synonymous with NT4's bluescreens.

    The freezing of the mouse pointer in the desktop is the most significant piece of information supplied.
  • MMMarmite 14 Oct 2012 13:24:00 994 posts
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    What you talking about? Driver issues still result in BSODs on Windows 7 & 8 and a frozen mouse cursor is not the same as a BSOD. There are a number of issues that could be behind a stuttering cursor but the most likely cause is a driver issue no need to start pulling apart the PC until reinstalling the drivers.

    Maybe you should be posting on a "professional" forum with other like-minded professionals rather than us mere gamers ;)
  • Deleted user 14 October 2012 13:34:57
    @RabidChild

    The noise might be a red herring then as rodpad said.

    In general people tend to use a mix and match of volume controls with their computers that can give less than ideal audio, and make audio cable noise audible.

    If you have physical speaker volume controls, set them low, and then set the PC virtual audio control to maximum, so that the speaker system's amp, is getting the highest signal to noise ratio from the PC (to re-amplify while keeping noise to a minimum).

    This will give optimal audio quality to the amp and potentially eliminate the squelch sound.
  • Moot_Point 14 Oct 2012 13:38:24 3,914 posts
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    Hehe!

    /popcorn

    ================================================================================

    mowgli wrote: I thought the 1 married the .2 and founded Islam?

  • Deleted user 14 October 2012 14:35:21
    vizzini wrote:
    if Windows itself has the mouse pointer freeze, it is because you haven't changed the option to tell windows to open each explorer window in its own separate process.
    :D
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