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Windows 7: Inspiron 15 n5010 Windows 7 home distorted sound after os reinstall

16 Aug 2014   #1

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
Inspiron 15 n5010 Windows 7 home distorted sound after os reinstall


I have inspiron 15 with Windows 7 home. My harddrive crashed so I got a new hard drive and reinstalled OS from dell reinstallation disks. Everything worked fine for couple of months and I started noticing sound distored (from all sources, youtube, mp3s etc both from onboard speakers and headphones). The video also slows down when the sound lags and gets distoted. I have Ubuntu linux on the same machine where the sound is clear which tells me that its a software issue.

I have updated all the drivers to latest multiple times.
I have disabled sound enhancement but nothing changed.
I have removed all the latest windows updates hoping to restore to earlier point but no change.

I created a restore point but I have been overwriting the same file so I don't think I can roll back to earlier working restore point.

Is there anything I could do to fix the issue?

Any help is appreciated.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Aug 2014   #2

Windows 10 64 bit

There many different Inspiron 15's. What is the exact model you have? e.g. Inspiron 15 (N5010), etc.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Aug 2014   #3

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
inspiron 15 N5010

Hi ,

Thanks for quick reply. My inspiron version is 15 N5010.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

16 Aug 2014   #4

Windows 10 64 bit

The Dell listed audio is IDT. Do you have the IDT driver?

With the sound also slowing down, that suggests the sound distortion is a byproduct of whatever is causing the system slowdowns. 8 GB of RAM should be more than enough, I have a recording studio PC and even with memory intensive recording applications I never reach that.

What happens if you just play a music file from either a music CD or a file on the PC?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Aug 2014   #5

Windows 7 Ultimate x64


Thanks for the reply. I think you were right w.r.t slowdown. I have used latencymon to find dpc latency. It indicates that the ndis.sys is having a big dpc delay. I tried several suggestions from the internet. I disabled audio drivers, usb drivers one by one to see if it makes a difference. I have disabled all the network adapaters except wireless. I have set wireless adapater power management to highest. None of these helped so far. I am pasting latencymon results. I have microsoft essentials security and nothing else.

To answer your question regarding playing from cd et all, I think it works fine. sometimes I noticed issue with mp3s (may be the dpc delay was high at the moment).


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Your system appears to be having trouble handling real-time audio and other tasks. You are likely to experience buffer underruns appearing as drop outs, clicks or pops. One or more DPC routines that belong to a driver running in your system appear to be executing for too long. At least one detected problem appears to be network related. In case you are using a WLAN adapter, try disabling it to get better results. One problem may be related to power management, disable CPU throttling settings in Control Panel and BIOS setup. Check for BIOS updates.
LatencyMon has been analyzing your system for 0:03:58 (h:mm:ss) on all processors.

____________________________________________________________________________________________________ _____
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Computer name:
OS version: Windows 7 Service Pack 1, 6.1, build: 7601 (x64)
Hardware: Dell System Inspiron N5010, Dell Inc. ,
CPU: GenuineIntel Intel(R) Core(TM) i5-2430M CPU @ 2.40GHz
Logical processors: 4
Processor groups: 1
RAM: 8078 MB total

____________________________________________________________________________________________________ _____
____________________________________________________________________________________________________ _____
Reported CPU speed: 2394.0 MHz
Measured CPU speed: 776.0 MHz (approx.)

Note: reported execution times may be calculated based on a fixed reported CPU speed. Disable variable speed settings like Intel Speed Step and AMD Cool N Quiet in the BIOS setup for more accurate results.

____________________________________________________________________________________________________ _____
____________________________________________________________________________________________________ _____
The interrupt to process latency reflects the measured interval that a usermode process needed to respond to a hardware request from the moment the interrupt service routine started execution. This includes the scheduling and execution of a DPC routine, the signaling of an event and the waking up of a usermode thread from an idle wait state in response to that event.

Highest measured interrupt to process latency (s): 33458.684556
Average measured interrupt to process latency (s): 31.017287

Highest measured interrupt to DPC latency (s): 33451.414927
Average measured interrupt to DPC latency (s): 23.094269

____________________________________________________________________________________________________ _____
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Interrupt service routines are routines installed by the OS and device drivers that execute in response to a hardware interrupt signal.

Highest ISR routine execution time (s): 95.463659
Driver with highest ISR routine execution time: ntoskrnl.exe - NT Kernel & System, Microsoft Corporation

Highest reported total ISR routine time (%): 0.099219
Driver with highest ISR total time: ntoskrnl.exe - NT Kernel & System, Microsoft Corporation

Total time spent in ISRs (%) 0.146629

ISR count (execution time <250 s): 297604
ISR count (execution time 250-500 s): 0
ISR count (execution time 500-999 s): 0
ISR count (execution time 1000-1999 s): 0
ISR count (execution time 2000-3999 s): 0
ISR count (execution time >=4000 s): 0

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DPC routines are part of the interrupt servicing dispatch mechanism and disable the possibility for a process to utilize the CPU while it is interrupted until the DPC has finished execution.

Highest DPC routine execution time (s): 33500.932331
Driver with highest DPC routine execution time: ndis.sys - NDIS 6.20 driver, Microsoft Corporation

Highest reported total DPC routine time (%): 1.044986
Driver with highest DPC total execution time: ndis.sys - NDIS 6.20 driver, Microsoft Corporation

Total time spent in DPCs (%) 2.449184

DPC count (execution time <250 s): 509041
DPC count (execution time 250-500 s): 0
DPC count (execution time 500-999 s): 17230
DPC count (execution time 1000-1999 s): 799
DPC count (execution time 2000-3999 s): 1219
DPC count (execution time >=4000 s): 0

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Hard pagefaults are events that get triggered by making use of virtual memory that is not resident in RAM but backed by a memory mapped file on disk. The process of resolving the hard pagefault requires reading in the memory from disk while the process is interrupted and blocked from execution.

NOTE: some processes were hit by hard pagefaults. If these were programs producing audio, they are likely to interrupt the audio stream resulting in dropouts, clicks and pops. Check the Processes tab to see which programs were hit.

Process with highest pagefault count: winword.exe

Total number of hard pagefaults 956
Hard pagefault count of hardest hit process: 378
Highest hard pagefault resolution time (s): 505378.738931
Total time spent in hard pagefaults (%): 1.272199
Number of processes hit: 10

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CPU 0 Interrupt cycle time (s): 34.312199
CPU 0 ISR highest execution time (s): 95.463659
CPU 0 ISR total execution time (s): 1.401464
CPU 0 ISR count: 297604
CPU 0 DPC highest execution time (s): 33500.932331
CPU 0 DPC total execution time (s): 23.309983
CPU 0 DPC count: 524029
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CPU 1 Interrupt cycle time (s): 6.480542
CPU 1 ISR highest execution time (s): 0.0
CPU 1 ISR total execution time (s): 0.0
CPU 1 ISR count: 0
CPU 1 DPC highest execution time (s): 4833.553885
CPU 1 DPC total execution time (s): 0.042723
CPU 1 DPC count: 1344
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CPU 2 Interrupt cycle time (s): 6.728845
CPU 2 ISR highest execution time (s): 0.0
CPU 2 ISR total execution time (s): 0.0
CPU 2 ISR count: 0
CPU 2 DPC highest execution time (s): 5077.343358
CPU 2 DPC total execution time (s): 0.042557
CPU 2 DPC count: 1704
____________________________________________________________________________________________________ _____
CPU 3 Interrupt cycle time (s): 7.319638
CPU 3 ISR highest execution time (s): 0.0
CPU 3 ISR total execution time (s): 0.0
CPU 3 ISR count: 0
CPU 3 DPC highest execution time (s): 1139.023810
CPU 3 DPC total execution time (s): 0.013745
CPU 3 DPC count: 2147
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My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Aug 2014   #6

Windows 10 64 bit

The Wi-Fi (wireless) is a known cause of audio dropouts, pops, clicks, etc.

Disable the wireless adapter and see what happens with the Latency Mon. You can also run the DPC Latency Checker and see what it shows. Latency Mon is a very deep delving tool and can provide "information overload". I have no idea what a lot of it is telling you.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Aug 2014   #7

Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit, Windows 8.1 64-bit, Mac OS X 10.10, Linux Mint 17, Windows 10 Pro TP


Reported CPU speed: 2394.0 MHz
Measured CPU speed: 776.0 MHz (approx.)
I have the same model [got it used] and found I had to use Power Options to set it as an Always On when on AC power to get the CPU back up to full speed. Seems Windows doesn't always like changing back from lowering the speed as part of it power savings when on battery only.

The Minimum System Requirements for Win7 include a 1GHz CPU so I've never understood why it drops to 3/4 of that.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Aug 2014   #8

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

If I disable wifi I see normal dpc. However I still need to find the culprit.

Berton, I have high performance power settings and processor I had min 100% and max 100% for plugged in. I had min 5% for battery and I changed it to 100%. I still see the same issue with the sound.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Aug 2014   #9

Windows 10 64 bit

As disabling the Wi-Fi appears to fix the DPC, that suggests either a wrong or missing driver (or drivers).

Generally, Windows 7 will install needed drivers, however, some may not be the correct ones. The correct Manual install on a Dell is (1) Install Windows (2) Install Dell Laptop System Software (3) Install motherboard chipset drivers (4) Install device drivers including, video, sound, Wi-Fi, etc.

But, manually reinstalling isn't needed unless you have overwritten the needed hard drive sectors that Dell needs for their "PC Restore" (restore from the Dell recovery partition on the hard drive). F8 at power on will get you to the PC restore. That will allow restoring to the original factory condition.

This problem, although affecting sound, isn't really a sound problem. Its an installation problem.

At this point its probably better to post on the Dell laptop forum so they can get you straightened out.
Laptop - Dell Community
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Inspiron 15 n5010 Windows 7 home distorted sound after os reinstall

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