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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello,

I have recently been experiencing some slowdowns and other problems on an XP machine. It has Kaspersky installed with autoupdates. I did MBAM, SuperAntySpyware, Spybot & Kaspersky scans, cleaned a lot and things are running smoother now. Nero 7 had been causing problems (process hanging on reboot), so I removed it from msconfig & updated Nero. It seems to operate OK now.

Only one problem remains: the sound is not as it used to be. The problem started before what I described above was done, of course, but it didn't fix the problem. The sound is kinda muffled, not so clear as it used to be. This happens both with speakers and with using the headphones. Could it be caused by malware? All drivers are OK (no yellow icons) in Device Manager.

Thanks,
Daniel.
 

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Muffled or choppy?

Some drive related issues can cause choppy sound -- but you will also see it reflected in slow performance

If you open the Device Manager (run devmgmt.msc) and select the entry for IDE ATA/Atapi and select the Primary IDE > Advanced Settings, does it say the "current transfer mode" is Ultra DMA or PIO?

If it says PIO or even just DMA (rather than "ULTRA" DMA, first ensure "Use DMA if Available" is selected, then select the driver tab and uninstall the driver and reboot. Then check again.

Alternately you can run the script on this page >> http://winhlp.com/node/10

*note that the above will not apply to RAID drive configurations.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

You may also want to try a "Clean Boot" test >>

CLEAN BOOT TROUBLESHOOTING technique

Run msconfig and select the "Services" tab. Check "Hide Microsoft Services" and then disable the rest. Also uncheck "load startup group" on the general page.

Now restart and test the issue at hand

If no problems, run msconfig and recheck half the disabled items on the Services tab. Test again. If the problem recurs, UNcheck half the items you just checked to narrow down the culprit.

If the problem didn't occur, check the other half, so all the Services are enabled -- proceed to do this on the startup tab as well.

Get the idea? You want to isolate the problem to a specific startup if possible.

Note: if you already have items unchecked under msconfig > startups and are in "selective" startup mode - you should note what these are before beginning. They will need to be de-selected again.


http://support.microsoft.com/kb/929135 << written for Vista but apples equally to XP
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
It's not choppy, It's muffled.....
I've read your suggestion and I understand it. But - what could be causing the sound to be muffled?
 

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The IDE (disk controller) can run at slower speeds to compensate for what Windows perceives as disk related issues. You can read that link I posted for more complete info >> http://winhlp.com/node/10

If it less than Ultra DMA 5 for a desktop -- then it has probably degraded.

The inability to access the disk drive at full speed causes sound degradation -- but most folks report it as choppy or broken or "stuttering" not "muffled" when this is the case.

If it is muffled you need to check the Audio properties interface for "environmental" filters which make the audio sound like something generated from a specific type of location -- such as a tunnel, cave, padded cell (lol) -- ect -- that's what this really sounds like.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
People - thanks for all the help!
What I did to solve it was to remove the Realtek driver, restart & install it from disk (we had the motherboard disk handy), and all started working OK.
However, I will save all your advice in a document, since it may come in handy in the future.

Daniel.
 
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