Suddenly Can't Play Audio!


  1. Posts : 75
    Windows 10 Pro
       #1

    Suddenly Can't Play Audio!


    My system was up for 15 days only, and today I tried to play audio like I do every day, but the audio is constantly cutting in and out or gapping. It's not an occasional hiccup, but a constant stream of gaps.

    Windows 10 Pro version 1809 build 17763.557
    ASUS Z390-P
    64GB RAM
    nVidia GTX1060Ti
    Boot drive NVMe SSD
    All other drives, SSD.
    DAC: MOTU 896mk3

    System has experienced this 2 weeks ago and I was busy in another room and the music completely stopped. When I went to the PC, the monitor had no signal and the PC was dead other than fans running. I power cycled it and it was fine for 14 days. Played audio fine yesterday.
    Today, it's gapping like crazy. 50% silence/50% music play, several cutouts each second.

    Figuring a reboot would fix it, I shut down and restarted Windows. However, it's still unable to play audio now.

    I downloaded a hardware monitor HWINFO but that program did not show me anything but system info--no problems detected.

    The SYSTEM task is currently showing about 2% CPU. Before reboot it was around 23%. I did notice for the past couple of days that CPU core #1 was showing unusual activity--usually it's flat across all cores with 1-2% but for a few days, Core #1 has shown 20% on the graph, constant.

    The motherboard is less than a year old. This is a new system build in January.
    It has the flavor of an impending hardware failure, but where?
      My Computers


  2. Posts : 34,880
    Win 10 Pro (1903) (2nd PC is 21H2)
       #2

    Hi, check your Update History to see if you received either a Windows or (below) driver update around the time this started.
    You can check in Device Manager to see if there's an option to roll back the driver.

    There have been times when MS released updates for 1809 and below that affected sound.

    You might try this to see if it shows anything:
    Enable and Disable Driver Verifier in Windows 10

    There are stress tests you can run on your hardware..

    Check your Reliability History for any crashes.

    Does it happen if you perform a clean boot?

    Try this troubleshooter:
    Suddenly Can't Play Audio!-1.png

    Run Resplendence's LatencyMon (free) to check for latency problems. Typical report relates to audio if there are problems.
      My Computers


  3. Posts : 75
    Windows 10 Pro
    Thread Starter
       #3

    Yes it was happening after a clean boot.

    Curiously, the only device affected was my firewire audio device, MOTU 896 mk 3. I remembered that my Nikon slide scanner, also firewire, was also connected and powered on, so as part of troubleshooting, I tried to scan a slide. It failed with a data transfer error.

    The next thing I did was disconnect the scanner. Then I tried to play audio. It's fine now. I still have CPU core #1 busy with a near constant 20% load though. No idea what that's about. Task manager shows System and System Interrupts as being the main source of CPU activity and at the top of the list when sorted by % activity.

    The scanner has not been power cycled since January, because turning it on while Windows is loaded produces a BSOD every time, so I just leave it on. Scanner is working again, too. I guess it needed resetting.
      My Computers


 

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