Intermitent audio looping/system "stuttering"/crashing - Techist - Tech Forum

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Old 03-29-2012, 08:28 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Intermitent audio looping/system "stuttering"/crashing

Hello all, to start, here are my system specs:

Gigabyte Z68A-D3H-B3 Mother Board
EVGA 560ti GPU
Intel Core i5-2400 CPU
2X4 GB Corsair Vengeance 1600 MHz RAM
500 GB Western Digital 7200 RPM HD
650 Watt PSU


Since I put together this build around two months ago, I have encountered a bizarre problem that I can only describe as mild to severe "stuttering;" let me try to clarify below:

Regardless of the task that I am engaged with (whether it be playing a resource intensive game, OR simply listening to Spotify, chatting on skype, browsing the web, etc.), I encounter an intermittent problem where the machine completely locks up, accompanied by the audio "looping"/creating a very digitized "grinding" sound. The bizarre thing is this; I cannot consistently replicate the failure under any given set of conditions. I can be playing games and doing random, resource modest tasks for hours, and then all of a sudden, whether I am playing Mass Effect 3 or transferring a file, BAM, the machine locks up and "grinds" away with the audio. The only way to fix is to hold the power button and cause a forced restart. SOMETIMES the system "stutters" and doesn't fully lock up, but it has just been completely locking up as of late.

Here are the fixes I have tried, yet the problem persists:

-Swapped out GPU (problem persisted with previous gen GPU).
-Manually calibrated RAM to correct frequency (MoBo picked it up at 1330 vs. 1600 MHz)
-Disabled audio enhancements as some folks have blamed the audiodg.exe process as the culprit.
-Monitored CPU / GPU temps (all are within normal ranges)
-Updated ALL video, sound, networking drivers.
-Updated BIOS.
-Ran memory diagnostics (all came out fine).

As I have said, the frustrating thing is the intermittent nature of the problem; I can use the hell out of the machine for 20+ hours without a single issue, then all of a sudden, I hit a patch where it either "stutters" (the mouse locks/audio temporarily "grinds") OR it fully locks up and requires a forced restart. One thing of note is that I noticed that the CPU spikes to 25% activity during the brief "stutters" - IF it decides to "come out of it" and not lock up completely. I have not been able to view a CPU load during a complete lock up.

This problem has me at a total loss. I LOVE my machine, and I would LOVE it that much more if I did not have to deal with this.

As much as I want to blame a piece of hardware, my troubleshooting, my gut, and the bizarrely inconsistent nature of the issue strike me as a resource vs. hardware related issue.

ANY insight that folks have to help me solve this issue would be invaluable to me.

Thank you so much for your help.

RLFiredancer is offline  
Old 04-01-2012, 11:34 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Intermitent audio looping/system "stuttering"/crashing

The only way we could start to diagnose this issue is to know what your Event Viewer is saying about the times the system is locking up.

Start>Run>eventvwr.msc and take a screenshot for us to see. That will be a better way for us to start the diagnostic on what could possibly be going wrong.

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Old 04-02-2012, 04:49 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Thank you, Megatron. My only bit of confusion is this, though; if my machine locks up, how am I supposed to switch to / take a screenshot of the event viewer? Thank you for your help.

I also got my first actual BSOD the other day (instead of just freezing in windows, I encountered proper BSOD and my machine restarted on its own). I popped out a RAM chip to do a bit more hardware troubleshooting.

Thanks again, you rock.


Never mind that last post, Megatron, I realized that you can view past events in the Event Viewer... der.

Attached are screenshots of the most recent BSOD.

Also, the following is the XML view of the properties for this event:

Log Name: System
Source: Microsoft-Windows-Kernel-Power
Date: 4/1/2012 10:11:15 PM
Event ID: 41
Task Category: (63)
Level: Critical
Keywords: (2)
Computer: RickLeeFilipkow
The system has rebooted without cleanly shutting down first. This error could be caused if the system stopped responding, crashed, or lost power unexpectedly.
Event Xml:
<Event xmlns="">
<Provider Name="Microsoft-Windows-Kernel-Power" Guid="{331C3B3A-2005-44C2-AC5E-77220C37D6B4}" />
<TimeCreated SystemTime="2012-04-02T03:11:15.612014300Z" />
<Correlation />
<Execution ProcessID="4" ThreadID="8" />
<Security UserID="S-1-5-18" />
<Data Name="BugcheckCode">127</Data>
<Data Name="BugcheckParameter1">0x8</Data>
<Data Name="BugcheckParameter2">0x80050031</Data>
<Data Name="BugcheckParameter3">0x406f8</Data>
<Data Name="BugcheckParameter4">0xfffff88006c07ee8</Data>
<Data Name="SleepInProgress">false</Data>
<Data Name="PowerButtonTimestamp">0</Data>
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