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Windows 7: Sound Suddenly Stops During Gaming

24 Sep 2011   #1

Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
Sound Suddenly Stops During Gaming

Hi, (This is a re-post of a thread I originally posted in the Sound & Audio section of the forum and was advised to try here)

I think that Windows might be disabling my sound device during gaming because it thinks it is idle. I don't know if this is the exact reason but after much testing have come to this conclusion.

Anyway, the problem is that while playing some games (for example Borderlands, Civ 5) the sound will be fine but after a while playing the sound will cut off completely. It seems to occur when I am playing a game for more than an hour although I can't be very specific. If I exit the game and try to play an MP3 etc in WMP then the program just behaves like it's trying to do something in the background and won't actually play the file. There are no system sounds or any other sound at all.

This doesn't happen in all games, for example, when I play Audiosurf then the sound plays as normal no matter how long I play. This is why I think it may be a Windows issue thinking my sound card is idle and then turning it off because when I play Audiosurf, the game plays my MP3 files and so presumably Windows knows my sound card is in use but when I play any other game that just uses the game's own sound files/effects, then Windows isn't recognising this and after a certain period of time is then disabling my sound card.

Does anyone know of a solution for this or has come across something similar? I have an external sound card that is connected via USB (Line 6 Toneport UX2). Let me know if you require any more system specs, oh I'm using Win 7 HP 64bit btw.

Please can someone help me with this as it's driving me mad and when gaming online and chatting to my friend through Skype, the sound will suddenly just go off. While he can still hear me talking into the mic, I can't hear him or the game's sounds/music and he has to resort to typing me messages in-game.

Sorry for the long post but I wanted to try and describe the problem in as much detail as possible. Thanks for any help.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Sep 2011   #2


Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by AfxTwn View Post
I think that Windows might be disabling my sound device during gaming because it thinks it is idle.
Windows doesn't disable 'idle' sound devices. However..

Does anyone know of a solution for this or has come across something similar? I have an external sound card that is connected via USB (Line 6 Toneport UX2).
...yours is connected via USB which can disable 'idle' devices.

Perhaps try:

Power settings>Advanced options>USB settings and make sure USB selective suspend setting is set to 'disabled'.

For those games that cut out, check the settings to make sure they are using the right sound device.

Oh, and double check what device windows is actually using and that the USB card is the default.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Sep 2011   #3

Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit

Thanks very much for that Smartey, I suspect that the USB selective suspend setting is what's causing the problem so I've disabled it now. I'll also check each game's audio settings to make sure it's using the Toneport as the sound device. I checked my playback and recording settings for my sound device and it's set to the Toneport as default.

Just as an aside, I noticed in the advanced power settings you can set the amount of time before the hard drive turns off (it's currently set to 20 minutes), would you recommend setting this so that the hard drive never turns off? I'm using the High Performance power plan as I'm always at my computer when I use it and so I don't really want things to be turning off or going into sleep mode.

Thanks again for the help, I'm hoping this solves my sound issues now.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

24 Sep 2011   #4

Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit

I just finished playing a game and again the sound stopped working. I was playing F1 2011 for over an hour and that was fine and now I just played about 10 minutes of Civ 5 and the sound stopped. Not only does the sound stop in the game but when I exit the game then all other system sounds also stop. When I try to use WMP and try to play an MP3 then I get the busy icon on my mouse pointer and if I try to press stop then WMP freezes.

It can't be the USB power thing as I disabled that and I don't think that would effect any of the other system sounds from playing, just the actual sound card from working. What the hell is causing this? I don't think the problem's game-specific either as it has happened on other games. The only way to get the sound back on is to restart my computer.

Any ideas?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Sep 2011   #5



No, it doesn't sound game specific. You can rule that out for now.

I assume you have the latest drivers?

D/L link:

(from Line 6 :: Software )

Have you tried disabling all the other audio devices, including onboard in BIOS? If not, it might be worth isolating in case there is a conflict somewhere.

Alternatively, you could temporarily use the onboard instead to see if it still cuts out. (Thus exposing any underlying issue with your installs sound). I suspect it would be fine. On the surface, it looks it may be a driver issue.

If it is, perhaps try the makers support site - they may have more of an idea that pertains to your card.

Community: Space: Support

Lastly, how old is the device? It could simply be failing.

As for the hard drive power, I personally disable it since I don't need/like devices turning themselves off. It is safe to set to 'never' :)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Sep 2011   #6

Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit

You were right Smartey, I downloaded the latest driver for my Toneport from Line 6 and it seems to have fixed the problem. The latest driver didn't address any bugs specifically (instead it adds support for another Line 6 product) but I suspect the old driver might not have installed correctly and so since installing this new driver it appears to have solved my problem. I've played a few hours of Civ 5 and some other games and the sound has been fine.

Thanks a lot for your help, I'm glad I've finally got this working.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Sep 2011   #7


Good to hear mate :)

(literally )
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Dec 2011   #8

Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit

I'm just bumping this thread as the problem still persists and if anything, seems to be getting worse!

The initial suggestion of installing the latest drivers for my Line 6 soundcard fixed this problem for about a week but then it returned.

Just a quick recap on the actual problem, whenever I use my computer for an extended period of time on an audio-heavy program such as a game, after an hour or so, the audio stops working and any program (be it the game or anything else on the computer) that uses audio will also stop working. This somewhat cripples my PC and the only way to resolve the issue is to restart the computer (which essentially restarts the Windows Audio Service).

Anyway, I have discovered I am not alone with this problem and there are quite a few people with the same issue but there seems to be no one piece of software and/or driver that can be identified as causing a conflict. The problem seems to happen on lots of people's computers regardless of system specs. In fact I have posted on two separate threads on the Microsoft Answers site where others have the same issue: Sound Suddenly Cuts Out After Gaming - Microsoft Answers and Audio stops working but works after a reboot - Microsoft Answers

That second link has 6 pages full of people complaining about the same problem (admittedly the thread is a little clogged up by people posting DX Diag reports). The main annoyance with this audio problem is that it seems to be completely random and difficult to reproduce on purpose (for example if the problem only occurs when using a certain program then you could just disable that program to see if it stops).

Sometimes the audio can stop even when I'm not gaming and haven't really done anything on the PC apart from turned it on and left it on the desktop for half an hour. It's getting to the point now though where it is really affecting my ability to play a game. I use Steam and have a lot of games on there and have recently started playing Skyrim, but now whenever I play the game the audio will stop working after a while (sometimes it will be fine for a few hours, other times it can happen rather quickly). Because of this constant interruption and being forced to restart the computer, gaming is completely spoiled and I can't make any real progress in games.

I don't think the problem is anything to do with my soundcard's drivers (I have the latest version and constantly check for new one's) and I have other sound codecs etc from the K-Lite codec pack. The only other sound devices listed with my default playback device (the Line 6 soundcard) are 16 instances of SndTAudio which is something that my Soundtaxi audio conversion program uses. Could this be causing the problem? I don't know why it's listed 16 times but I have used it before with no real problems and I can't find any reference to it causing a problem on Google.

This is driving me mad and I'm really hoping to avoid formating my hard drive and installing a fresh copy of Windows due to the sheer amount of stuff I have on my PC and the length of time this will take, plus there's no guarantee that this will fix the problem as it may occur again once I get everything re-installed.

Does someone out there have any idea what I can do to sort this out? I'm sorry for the long post but I'm trying to give as much detail as possible in the hope that someone can help.

Thanks for any replies.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 May 2013   #9

win 7 64bit
line6 UX2

yep same issue here. I have had my line 6 UX2 audio interface for over 5 years with no problems but lately when I play games (boarderlands2, battlefield3, L4D2, ect), after about an hour the AUDIO DROPS (and the interface doesn't respond even if I unplug usb and plug back in). If I quit the game there is still no audio in any programs until I restart windows. seems like a driver problem or conflict with another audio device or something.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 May 2013   #10

win 7 64bit

My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Sound Suddenly Stops During Gaming

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