Question Constant audio stuttering/loud distortion with complete loss of audio at times. Issue tied to intel wireless driver. Any ideas how to fix it?


Jul 13, 2016
I have my onkyo ht r390 receiver connected to my MSI x570 gaming edge wifi motherboard via optical. Rest of my setup: 16gb ram, ryzen 3600, gtx1070

1) This issue popped up a couple weeks ago and has been driving me crazy. It started off by all of a sudden hearing a really weird audio issue with my headphones connected to the receiver. Its hard to describe but its as if I was hearing 5.1 channel audio in stereo mode, but 4/5 channels were extremely dull and quiet. So some instruments sounded normal but everything else was distorted or dull. While I have dolby digital 5.1 output from my windows audio settings, this was never an issue in the past. However, audio was normal when I unplugged the headphones from the receiver and listened to music through my speakers.

2) After I restarted, I had the same headphone issues, but now I had a horrible stuttering issue even when listening through the speakers. It wasn't correlated to any hardware issues as I saw nothing weird in resource monitor when the stuttering happened.

3)After reinstalling the audio driver, the headphones were fixed but the stuttering issue persisted.

4) I did some research and other people with similar issues fixed suggested their wireless network driver was at fault. I disabled the driver (via device manager), restarted and audio was magically fine all of a sudden.

5) Audio was fine for a few nights then the stuttering came back. I noticed that the wireless driver somehow re-enabled. This time, I uninstalled the wireless driver (Intel dual band wireless ac-3168). Audio issues fixed again...temporarily.

6) For about a week, after getting back from work each night (ie not using the pc for ~15hrs) the audio stuttering would reappear. I could fix it by disabling and uninstalling the wireless network driver. It took multiple restarts and eventually audio would be fine.

7) Now after work every night, I just lose audio completely. The pc is not restarted between when I go to bed (and audio is fine) and when I come back from work. I can still fix it by uninstalling/disabling the wireless driver but Its getting really annoying and takes more restarts. Plus when it does work, it takes a few minutes before audio randomly comes back.

One issue is the wireless driver keeps installing itself every time I restart. Restarting after disabling the wireless driver still keeps it disabled but often it isnt enough and I need to uninstall the driver, restart, disable the magically reinstalled driver, restart again, audios back but stuttering, repeat again and then it works.

I dont use wifi so how can I completely get rid of this driver? I am certain it is behind the issues. I have tried updating the driver via MSI's website, but it makes no difference. In fact I believe the updated driver is the issue but I have no way to roll back

any ideas? thanks


Apr 4, 2019
the driver reinstalls automatically because of windows update.
here are 3 solutions to prevent windows update to update your drivers :

1 - by manually installing the latest wireless driver available from intel's website directly

2 - by removing the ability of windows update to update this driver in particular :

3- by disabling your wireless LAN interface directly in the BIOS (90% chances there is an option for that. check the motherboard's manual if you don't find it)