Question Persistent audio problem

Jul 28, 2022
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Ever since I upgraded my PC I've had just the strangest audio issue and I've tried every fix to no avail. This is essentially what happens; if I launch my computer with no headphones having been previously used, and plug headphones in, I get no audio. All I get is a buzzing/crackling/mechanical sound in my headphones. In order to get audio to work, I have to manually uninstall the Realtek sound drivers and restart my computer. Sometimes I have to do this process twice to get the audio to work. But this isn't the only issue, another issue is that even if I get the audio to "work," some games cause the audio to stop working again. Example: I open up Arma 3, load into the editor (before I restored via system image I got crackling already on the main menu. The crackling would go away in the loading screen and then would come back once the game loaded), and basically I begin to hear this crackling/buzzing sound in my headphones, which is shortly followed by me losing all sounds from the game and my system. Getting out of this state requires deleting the drivers and restarting the system.

I have basically tried everything short of completely reinstalling Windows 10.
Here is a list of fixes that I have tried:
  • deleting the sound drivers and letting Windows 10 manually reinstall them
  • deleting the realtek drivers and downloading separate drivers from my motherboard manufacturers website, this only results in audio not working at all
  • deleting the realtek drivers and downloading them directly from realtek's website (strangely, the realtek driver that my Windows 10 automatically installs is dated 2020, which I highly doubt is the latest version. Downloading the drivers directly from realtek results in me getting 2017 drivers)
  • downloading Nvidia display drivers with and without the optional Nvidia sound driver
  • updating Windows and installing all of the optional updates, including some old realtek ones
  • trying all the different audio formats (from 16 bit 48000 hz to 24 bit 192000hz)
  • disabling sound enhancements and disabling the allow applications to take exclusive control option
  • recovering Windows 10 from an old system image, this interestingly enough has made the issue a bit less severe, as I don't have to delete my drivers anymore on start up (or at least not always), and I can actually play Arma 3 for a small amount of time before the audio begins crackling and I lose sounds completely
  • trying DPC latency checker and LatencyMon, not exactly sure of what they measure, but they both claim there is nothing wrong with my audio or system
  • trying different headphones and different wires
I've basically had to resort to using bluetooth headphones, but those have a separate issue with the headphones randomly disconnecting, which requires restarting the headphones to be able to reconnect, and this results in some games and applications crashing. I don't think this is a hardware issue since the audio works flawlessly in some games and applications like Youtube. The fact that I have to delete my drivers / restart my system seems to indicate that there is a driver issue, but I've already fiddled with the drivers in every way possible, and I don't really know what to do at this point. Any advice would be appreciated.
 
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Ever since I upgraded my PC I've had just the strangest audio issue and I've tried every fix to no avail. This is essentially what happens; if I launch my computer with no headphones having been previously used, and plug headphones in, I get no audio. All I get is a buzzing/crackling/mechanical sound in my headphones. In order to get audio to work, I have to manually uninstall the Realtek sound drivers and restart my computer. Sometimes I have to do this process twice to get the audio to work. But this isn't the only issue, another issue is that even if I get the audio to "work," some games cause the audio to stop working again. Example: I open up Arma 3, load into the editor (before I restored via system image I got crackling already on the main menu. The crackling would go away in the loading screen and then would come back once the game loaded), and basically I begin to hear this crackling/buzzing sound in my headphones, which is shortly followed by me losing all sounds from the game and my system. Getting out of this state requires deleting the drivers and restarting the system.

I have basically tried everything short of completely reinstalling Windows 10.
Here is a list of fixes that I have tried:
  • deleting the sound drivers and letting Windows 10 manually reinstall them
  • deleting the realtek drivers and downloading separate drivers from my motherboard manufacturers website, this only results in audio not working at all
  • deleting the realtek drivers and downloading them directly from realtek's website (strangely, the realtek driver that my Windows 10 automatically installs is dated 2020, which I highly doubt is the latest version. Downloading the drivers directly from realtek results in me getting 2017 drivers)
  • downloading Nvidia display drivers with and without the optional Nvidia sound driver
  • updating Windows and installing all of the optional updates, including some old realtek ones
  • Trying all the different audio formats (from 16 bit 48000 hz to 24 bit 192000hz)
  • Diabling sound enhancements and disabling the allow applications to take exclusive control option
  • recovering Windows 10 from an old system image, this interestingly enough has made the issue a bit less severe, as I don't have to delete my drivers anymore on start up (or at least not always), and I can actually play Arma 3 for a small amount of time before the audio begins crackling and I lose sounds completely
  • trying DPC latency checker and LatencyMon, not exactly sure of what they measure, but they both claim there is nothing wrong with my audio or system
  • trying different headphones and different wires
I've basically had to resort to using bluetooth headphones, but those have a separate issue with the headphones randomly disconnecting, which requires restarting the headphones to be able to reconnect, and this results in some games and applications crashing. I don't think this is a hardware issue since the audio works flawlessly in some games and applications like Youtube. The fact that I have to delete my drivers / restart my system seems to indicate that there is a driver issue, but I've already fiddled with the drivers in every way possible, and I don't really know what to do at this point. Any advice would be appreciated.
Starting from scratch this may take a while but fixed my issue of the same thing, you need to remove any and all drivers related to the audio, and Nvidia GPU drivers all of them display and audio, whether you installed them or not, remove Nvidia fully from your system using ddu in safe mode. Once you have removed all audio and Nvidia drivers start with the audio drivers for your mobo from it's website. Then install Nvidia drivers, "ALL THE DRIVERS FOR NVIDIA, DONT NOT BE PICKY. When you get to the NVIDIA install screen select recommended install, this will allow NVIDIA audio and your mobo audio drivers to relink and communicate with each other
 
realtek sound drivers before some time in 2020 would respond to other sound drivers request and overflow their buffers. Mostly GPU hdmi sound drivers would then crash the graphics driver.

I think microsoft updated the driver but they did not update the service software that many people install. This results in various game issues like a game that just exits without any error.

you can look at the microsoft update catalog Microsoft Update Catalog
but doing a quick search looks like they still have old audio drivers for realtek from 2017

for my machine, I found a update to a current build(realtek sound driver) and disabled the service that came with the 2017 driver and my game crashes stopped.
 
Jul 28, 2022
2
0
10
0
Starting from scratch this may take a while but fixed my issue of the same thing, you need to remove any and all drivers related to the audio, and Nvidia GPU drivers all of them display and audio, whether you installed them or not, remove Nvidia fully from your system using ddu in safe mode. Once you have removed all audio and Nvidia drivers start with the audio drivers for your mobo from it's website. Then install Nvidia drivers, "ALL THE DRIVERS FOR NVIDIA, DONT NOT BE PICKY. When you get to the NVIDIA install screen select recommended install, this will allow NVIDIA audio and your mobo audio drivers to relink and communicate with each other
Tried your method a couple of times and also reinstalled Windows completely. Sadly it didn't work. When I download the audio drivers from my motherboard's website, I get the 2022 realtek drivers, which seems right, but I don't get any audio at all, I only hear a buzzing sound. I've also tried the legacy realtek driver that my mobo manufacturer provided, same thing. The only way to get any audio is to remove the drivers and let windows reinstall the 2020 ones, which it interestingly enough does on its own even with no internet connection and the setting to disable automatic drivers enabled. The problem persists despite of the system reset and completely deleting the Nvidia drivers.

Ngl I feel like there is just no way to fix this issue. I guess I'm just going to have to get by until I get a new computer.
 
Tried your method a couple of times and also reinstalled Windows completely. Sadly it didn't work. When I download the audio drivers from my motherboard's website, I get the 2022 realtek drivers, which seems right, but I don't get any audio at all, I only hear a buzzing sound. I've also tried the legacy realtek driver that my mobo manufacturer provided, same thing. The only way to get any audio is to remove the drivers and let windows reinstall the 2020 ones, which it interestingly enough does on its own even with no internet connection and the setting to disable automatic drivers enabled. The problem persists despite of the system reset and completely deleting the Nvidia drivers.

Ngl I feel like there is just no way to fix this issue. I guess I'm just going to have to get by until I get a new computer.
So saddly it sounds like what's going on is the is a soldering mistake/overlap, or the audio chip on the mobo it's shorting causing interference, it is odd though that it only happens in certain games and things like that but the only thing I can really think of is they use different audio frequency that isnt disrupted by the interference.
 

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