Windows 10 Audio crackling

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hyancint.v

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Nov 7, 2017
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Hello!

I have an issue with audio of my newly built PC. Getting crackling sounds during gaming/movies/music. Can't remember having it at first few weeks when I first got my PC together.

Drivers are all installed from mobo manufacturers site, all up to date. (Tried also older versions + one from Realteks own site)
Have tried different headphones with audio enhancements enabled/disabled, changing default format but it makes no difference.

So far only "solution" is doing system restart after initial boot, and everythings fine.. no problems whatsoever. As soon as I shut pc down and reboot..the issue is back. I should also mention those crackling sounds are not constant, for example when listening to music it occurs after every 4-10 seconds ( no CPU spikes ).

Other than that, everything else works flawlessly.
Could it be related to Windows 10 own updates ?

CPU Temps idle 30-35C, under load 55-70C.
GPU Temps idle 34-38C, under load 60-72C.

Specs:

Motherboard: Asus TUF Z270 Mark 1
CPU: Intel i7-7700k (haven't overclocked)
GPU: Asus Rog Strix GTX 1080 Ti
RAM: Corsair Dominator Platinum DDR4 16Gb@3200MHz (Currently default 2133MHz)
PSU: Corsair RM750i
SSD: Samsung 850 EVO Series 250Gb (OS and software)
HDD: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB (everything else)
CPU Cooler: NZXT Kraken x62
OS: Windows 10 Home
 

hofik1979

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Dec 6, 2017
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I think I might have a workaround (I wouldn’t call it a solution). The problem lies deeper and its over my head but until someone provides a proper solution this workaround will hopefully do the trick for some of us experiencing audio crackling/popping while gaming and YouTube desync – while surfing on the internet. (Windows 10 and Realtek onboard audio)

Like many of you I tried similar things such as reinstalling drivers, etc. I also tested my RAM with MemTest86 (24 hours test with no errors). I thought that the problem is that my computer is overclocked (CPU, GPU and RAM), but I was experiencing this issue even on stock/default settings.

Anyway, I was thinking why is that, that after a reboot is the audio fine and after a shutdown is the audio messed up. So, I looked into the Windows power options and tried to disable the Fast Startup feature (Windows 10).

The thing is - when Fast Startup is enabled, your computer doesn’t perform a regular shut down (it is more like a hibernation or sleep mode). I assume that the sleep/hibernation mode is part of the problem - at least for me.

If you are not familiar with the „Fast Startup” feature and you don’t know how to disable it, here is an article which describes it all.
https://www.howtogeek.com/243901/the-pros-and-cons-of-windows-10s-fast-startup-mode/

Nevertheless, with that feature disabled the audio crackling/popping YouTube desync issue has disappeared. (no need for a reboot anymore).

As regards the boot time - I don’t see any difference with or without the Fast Startup feature enabled (my system is on SSD).

In order to test it - I have been using it (Fast Startup disabled) for about 3 days and since than I haven’t had any audio issue what so ever -well, until today.

What happened is - my PC is set to enter into the Sleep mode after 50 minutes of inactivity and when it wakes up the annoying issue is back. (I suspected that my RAM might be faulty but as I said 24 hours MemTest86 with no errors). That is why I do think that the Sleep mode is part of the issue - but I do not know why is that or how is that possible - I’m not an IT expert.

The “workaround” (so far and works for me) is:
1. Fast Startup disabled (this feature is hidden under the Windows 10 power options control panel).
2. Set computer to never sleep (power options control panel). - which I don’t like but yeah that´s how it is.

(This may help you if your audio issues disappear after a reboot, if you are experiencing any sort of audio issues after a reboot this workaround won´t be most probably useful to you)

I hope this will be helpful to some of you. However, this is not a proper solution and I strongly believe that - I do not know who (Microsoft, Nvidia, Realtek, or just someone clever) will come up with the fix asap.

My specs:
ASUS Z170 Maximus VIII Ranger (onboard Realtek audio - 6.0.1.8158)
i7 6700k@4,7 GHz
Nvidia EVGA GTX 1070 SC (388.13 - no GeForce Experience installed)
RAM DDR4 Kingston 32 GB
SSD 500 GB
HDD 3 TB
HDD 1 TB
EVGA Supernova 650 P2
Windows 10 Home (1709 - the Fall Creators Update)
 

bjornl

Honorable
I would guess you have a grounding issue. You can get a $7 part from amazon to check this.
Also something on the same circuit (in your house) which draws very heavily could do something like this. I've seen it from a space heater, for example.
A line filter (cost around 80 for a good one on amazon) will clear up most electrical issues.

Or it could be something as simple as some odd setting.
Have you tried this guide?
https://www.howtogeek.com/285429/how-to-fix-crackling-or-popping-sound-on-a-windows-pc/
 

hyancint.v

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Nov 7, 2017
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Thank you for the response.

I'm not sure there is issue with grounding, but I'll look into it.
And yes, I have followed the guide before, unfortunately it was no help.

What is really weird with my issue, is that whenever I do fresh boot, the problem is there, as soon as I restart, everything is back to normal.
Could it be that some service does not launch properly with first boot up?

Edit:Okay, so far I've been testing it with one soundtrack http://, this one crackles and pops from the start to the end with 4-10 second breaks, while this one http:// had no noises at all ?! Sometimes when replaying it again, it doesn't produce those noises, or not as much.
 

hyancint.v

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Nov 7, 2017
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Thank you for the response.

Uninstalled all nvidia drivers using Display Driver Uninstaller and reinstalled them without Nvidia HD Audio driver, problem persists.
 

hfarsonist

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Nov 5, 2017
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Hello.
Let me tell you that you are not the only one with that issue. I got a same problem, audio is crackling,while gaming, watching YouTube... Also, just to make sure we really got the same problem,turn some video on YouTube,then leave it playing and just keep surfing on internet, time to time you must hear cracklings,check back video and it must be gone out of sync at least slightly.in a time it must desync like crazy. Because of that,I think this has to be graphic drivers related issue. Yes I have exact issue as you described,if I restart pc everything goes back to normal, ( no cracklings) but once I shut down and then turn back on, cracklings are back as well. If I find solution I'll update this thread.

Cheers
 

bjornl

Honorable

I suggested to you both to check your power. Since neither of you are willing to, maybe you should do that another way. Take the PC to some place with known good power and test it there.
 

hfarsonist

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Nov 5, 2017
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Thanks for your suggestion but this physically can't be power issue,how does restarting fixes problem if it's power issue? Plus, forgot to mention, it's not only two of us with that problem,few days ago saw another person's post in this forum with same issue. The thing is within software I'm sure.plus a lot of people complaining about cracklings since windows 10 Creators update.
 

bjornl

Honorable

I've fixed this exact same issue on several PCs by putting them on line filters.

It is not a new problem to Windows 10. Has been popping up from time to time going back likely 20 years or more. I first time I saw it was on a new PC running the just Windows 98, they had just upgrade from windows 95.

How many millions would likely be complaining if a windows update actually did this? It would be fairly obvious, I think, were this actually the case.
 

bjornl

Honorable


Perhaps it clears whatever has built up a charge.

Alternately then, buy a new HD (so as to avoid cross contamination if the patch is bad). Fresh install the OS. Do not connect to the internet (and there by do not patch). Observe. Drivers which work but induce crackling at random intervals is all but impossible (wrote drivers for MSFT from 1995 through 2006); without writing code to specifically produce that noise I can't see how it could be done. I don't think any software which does not immediately bluescreen the PC could so corrupt the ram as to cause the OS to change the sound.

I'm not claiming to be any secret knowledge because of a past job. But I do know drivers and that is the basis for how I sorted this out originally and still believe the same symptoms likely mean the same cause.
 

hfarsonist

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Nov 5, 2017
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I see what you mean but it's called a bug. I know they didn't put that cracklings.lol. by the way,I built my PC few months ago,so... Yes I tried clean OS install,updated BIOS as well. I think it's graphic card drivers related issue,not power,since videos going out of sync in a time. Tomorrow Going to mess with Nvidia little bit. Gonna try downgrading. It's easy "buy this buy that" and nothing might work, that's why I'm trying to expire every possibility,try everything before buying something and if nothing worked then might think.
 

maximumoccupancy

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Sep 26, 2013
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Thanks for pointing out that videos go out of sync after a while (on YouTube and other players).
I'm having the exact same problem, along with the audio cracking.
Muting & un-muting the tab by clicking the loudspeaker symbol in the tab header fixes the de-sync, until it comes back after a while (using a Chrome-based browser here)

I will rollback to an older NVIDIA driver, because the problem started occuring just recently, and I don't change a lot of stuff in my system, I tend to keep it clean and tidied up.

And that's why I doubt the problem came with a Windows update for me, since the last update has been a while.
 

hfarsonist

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Nov 5, 2017
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I rolled back Nvidia drivers to 385.69 (basically that's what windows installed itself when I did clean OS install. Cracklings are bit rare differently from latest Nvidia drivers,but still, there is some. Also it takes bit more time till it starts desyncing. I'm sure that cracklings are related straight to desyncing, because every time I hear crackling, audio & video starts running out of sync. This issue driving me crazy,YET I can't find any solution. Maybe it is windows update, that's causing problem. I'm quite sure that it's not a hardware problem,since many people has exact same issue including us at the same time.

P.S. guys,let's help each other and if we find something new,share thoughts in this thread.
 

marlon.btm

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Nov 11, 2017
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I have the same problem... and just restarting the system passthrough this issue... I'm looking for a solution too.

Asus Prime Z270-AR
I5-7400
Asus DUAL GTX 1060
8GB DDR4 Ballistix Elite 3000mhz
PSU XFX TS 650 (p1-650s-nlb9)
 

maximumoccupancy

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Sep 26, 2013
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Like I said over a week ago, I rolled back my NVIDIA drivers from 388.13 to 388.00, and that fixed the desync and cracking for me.

Don't know if it was 388.13's fault in general or just bad installation, however, I also saw someone else on the NVIDIA forums mentioning this problem arising with that driver.

By now I am using 388.31, the most recent driver, and I don't have any issues, but I also reinstalled Windows in the meantime.

Hope y'all get your issues fixed.
 

marlon.btm

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Nov 11, 2017
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Me too. The strange thing is that even installing old Nvidia drivers, the cracklings continued... but the new driver seems to have fixed that, at least so far.
 

kappisto

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Jul 31, 2017
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well i found something interesting, i found like a ton of new articles everyone in November of this year all over the forums which all seems to be about this problem. Out of nowhere popping,cracling some problem with audio, but not with a universal solution.
Seems strange that so many people got same issue in 1 month isnt it? Could it be some new drivers of any kind, idk rly.
 

hyancint.v

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Nov 7, 2017
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Unfortunately for me the issue is still present even with latest nvidia drivers. But I do not have any issues with sync. Also, no power issues. System restart is still the only "fix".
 

kappisto

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Jul 31, 2017
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Recently a friend sugested me to use some external sound card or dac amplifier. I had both at home,

https://www.amazon.co.uk/AC2-Headphone-Microphone-Plug-N-Play-Compatible-black/dp/B014ANW4VU/ref=sr_1_12?s=computers&ie=UTF8&qid=1512105283&sr=1-12&keywords=sound+card+pc

and

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00LP3AMC2/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

I tried both and with both of them same crackle, pop apeared.
So the real question is, should i start looking for a new motherboard??
 

gaco47

Commendable
Jun 1, 2016
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It seems that lot of users have the same problem (me included). It's so annoying in particular the out of sync on internet videos/streams.
All that those guys above said it is happening to me.

My spec
Gigabyte GTX 1080
I5 6500
H110-D2-DDR3
DDR3L 1866 - 16 gb
SSD Samsung EVO 850
WD Blue 1TB
WD Blue 2TB
Silentium PC VERO 500W
 

hfarsonist

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Nov 5, 2017
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If it's a motherboard issue, it's going to be extremely strange, because a lot of people's mobos broke in such short period and all of them causing audio problems? I don't know, really. Currently using all the latest drivers,but nothing helps. Can someone just solve this mysterious issue? It's so frustrating.

P.S. still the only fix is to restart pc, until you shut it down and boot up again.
 

st_proton

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Dec 2, 2017
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Everyone, who still having terrible problem crackling/popping sound with latest ver. nvidia drviers, try to disable ingame-overlay in geforce experience panel or delete his (recommended). After, power off/on your pc, just do not restart him! That's worked fine for me.

Alternative temporal resolve will be uninstall nvdriver using DDU (safe mode on) and install stable 385.69 version or older

This problem is blow my roof during six fk'n weeks.

Sorry for my bad english.
 

hfarsonist

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Nov 5, 2017
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Doesn't work, 385.69 only reduces crackling,not completely fixes
 
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