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Windows 7: Other solutions for Realtek HD audio problem?


10 Apr 2013   #1

Win 7 Pro 64bit
 
 
Other solutions for Realtek HD audio problem?

I've tried Googling this and posting in a Realtek-specific forum. This computer at work has begun to distort all the audio I hear via ear buds. Crackling, snapping, buzzing; I've never heard this type of distortion anywhere else. Since it developed over time, I thought it might have been the last one or two driver updates. The Realtek forum replies had the same idea. They agreed I needed to roll back to at least 2.22. I did, and it worked for while. But then it started distorting again. I didn't think that was possible, unless the driver somehow updated itself. (I do all driver changes myself.) I've checked, and it's still the 2.22 driver.

So now I'm looking for an alternate solution? Audio and system specs follow ...

Sound control panel: Any and all "enhancement" features disabled, audio output volume set at 20%, format 16-bit 44100 Hz (CD quality). Physical connections to ear buds etc check out fine.

System: Dell A11 computer w/0N826N moboard, 6GB RAM, Windows 7 64-bit.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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10 Apr 2013   #2

Windows 7, 64 bit Home SP1, Win 8.1.1 Pro 64 bit
 
 

What is a "Dell A11"? The BIOS version? According to the motherboard part number it could be an Inspiron 525 or an Insprion 525S??

Sound popping and crackling is a common problem with Vista/Windows 7/Win 8 systems. Unfortunately there is not a "one fix" for the problem. Audio and Video drivers are one issue. Wi-Fi can be another. Another application, etc.

In most cases, Dell's need Dell supplied sound drivers for proper operation. Non-Dell, even direct RealTek, may not work correctly.

The Inspiron 525 is an older Dell that could have come with XP or Vista. As noted, the Dell sound driver would be my first suggestion.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Apr 2013   #3

Win 7 Pro 64bit
 
 

Thank you Fireberd for the Dell driver tip. I'll try that ASAP.

Sorry about "A11" problem. The utility I used to identify my system coughed that up, which in fact turns out to be the BIOS. The tower itself just says Dell. None of the labels or stickers applied by our IT staff provide a model name.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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10 Apr 2013   #4

Win 7 Pro 64bit
 
 

Searched the web and found a way to identify it with a special URL.

Inspiron 545
Service Tag: D197PL1
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Apr 2013   #5

Windows 7 Pro. 64/SP-1
 
 

This little program will help show a lot of system spec's.

Speccy - System Information - Free Download
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Apr 2013   #6

Windows 7, 64 bit Home SP1, Win 8.1.1 Pro 64 bit
 
 

OK, it is an Inspiron 545.

Here is the Dell downloads. Install the Dell RealTek driver and see if it helps. There is also an A12 BIOS update but it doesn't look like it does much according to the listing.

Drivers & Downloads | Dell US
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Apr 2013   #7

Win 7 Pro 64bit
 
 

Much, much better with the Dell/Realtek driver! There are still oddities I've noticed. Occasionally, during a song I'll hear a brief BZZZT sound. Not loud but definitely not in the original songs. Also, even with this new driver, I can no longer use non-standard settings in WinAmp like mono or the equalizer without most of the distortion coming back. I'm very surprised that Vista, Windows 7 and Win8 have all had audio problems. I would think simply handling an audio signal would not be the most complex task the OS handles. Thanks for your help.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Apr 2013   #8

Windows 7, 64 bit Home SP1, Win 8.1.1 Pro 64 bit
 
 

I did support on the Dell forums for 10 years. Dell tends to have custom motherboard implementations and the reason the Dell sound drivers are needed. Some other vendors may not have the customization that Dell does.

An example of Dell customization. I had a Dimension E510 desktop. The motherboard was made by Foxconn for Dell and not equivalent to any other Foxconn. The Intel chipset on the motherboard, according to Intel, could accept up to a D960 CPU. However the Dell custom implementation limited it to mximum of a D945 CPU. If a D960 was installed it would not boot.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Apr 2013   #9

Win 7 Pro 64bit
 
 

I had no idea that companies like Dell have influence that goes that deep into how "their" computers behave. I had always assumed they were simply assembling PCs likely to appeal to various business and consumer markets.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Apr 2013   #10

Windows 7, 64 bit Home SP1, Win 8.1.1 Pro 64 bit
 
 

Some of the current production PC's are more standard than the older ones.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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