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Windows 7: Infrequent momentary audio dropouts - Windows 7 64-bit

28 Sep 2015   #1

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 7601 Multiprocessor Free Service Pack 1
Infrequent momentary audio dropouts - Windows 7 64-bit

Hello friends!

It's time for yet another audio dropouts thread. I've been trying to troubleshoot this issue myself for weeks and now I turn to you good people for assistance.


I experience momentary (<0.5s) audio dropouts which occur very infrequently, maybe every 30 minutes or so. This occurs across different media playback applications (Winamp, VLC Player, Chrome (YouTube - Flash?) and Cubase Pro 8 (my music production software).

My specs


(edit: As per my profile?)

Mobo: Gigabyte GA-Z97X-Gaming 7 (Rev 1.0)
CPU: Intel i7-4790k
GFX: NVidia GTX 980 (355.98 drivers)
RAM: G.Skill Trident-X 16GB (8Gx2) DDR3-2133
OS: Windows 7 64-bit SP1 (fully updated bar Microsoft Silverlight)
- OS installed on a Samsung 840 Series SSD (250gb).
- WD Black SATA 4TB (storage, applications)
- WD Green SATA 3TB (storage)
- Samsung 840 EVO Series (500gb) (games)
Sound: Steinberg UR44 USB audio interface
Mouse: Razer Deathadder Chroma
KB: Razer Blackwidow Ultimate 2013

Drivers etc.

I have installed all* the latest drivers for my hardware from the Gigabyte site, as well as for my peripherals and audio interface.

*Except Realtek HD Audio driver, Creative SB X-Fi driver, Intel SATA Preinstall driver, Marvell SATA Controller driver, Marvell Storage Utility, Marvell Preinstall driver, Intel VGA Driver.

(It is my understanding I do not need the audio drivers as I use my dedicated USB audio interface, likewise with the Intel VGA drivers viz-a-viz the GTX 980. As to the Marvell drivers, all my internal drives are plugged into the SATA ports which are managed by the Intel z97 chipset.)

What I've tried so far

After months of nasty problems with Cubase (excessive disk cache usage, frequent dropouts, pops/clicks etc.) and many failed attempts at different drivers and BIOS settings, I bit the bullet and reinstalled Windows. The majority of the problems disappeared but now I have this infrequent dropout problem.

I should note that I have disabled all 'C states' from the BIOS, as well as disabling Intel SpeedStep. I turned off the automatic turbo setting and am not using any Xtreme (!) Memory Profiles with my RAM. Hyper threading is enabled.

I suspect it could be the Steinberg hardware but I would like to be sure before I RMA it.

I've been trying to determine the cause of the problem using DPC Latency Checker, LatencyMon and xperf traces (I don't think I know enough to interpret the data from these).


I've attached a few things that I hope will help determine this issue:
- dxdiag
- 2 x LatencyMon 'stats' extracts
- xperf trace file.

Note on LatencyMon stats - they both capture periods where I experienced one of these dropouts. Funnily (?) enough, LatencyMon gives me the 'Your system appears to be having trouble handling real-time audio and other tasks' message even when I don't get the dropouts. The converse is also true: I'll get dropouts but LatencyMon says everything is fine.

edit: The xperf trace file was 2gb but compressed down to 220mb and is too big to include as an attachment. What's the preferred method for uploading files of that size?

(At any rate, when it is finally available: the dropout occurred sometime after 1060s (in the last 25 seconds of the trace). It's hard to be more specific without knowing what I'm looking for, sorry!)

Please let me know if there's any other information I have omitted or I could provide to assist you further. Thank you!

Attached Files
File Type: txt DxDiag.txt (33.3 KB, 1 views)
File Type: txt 25-09-2015 - 8.30 pm.txt (9.1 KB, 1 views)
File Type: txt 27-09-2015.txt (8.9 KB, 1 views)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Sep 2015   #2

Windows 10 64 bit

I have a recording studio (using Sonar).

First since you have a Gigabyte motherboard, are you using the Gigabyte "Easytune" application? If you are, dump it as its known to cause dropouts, DPC Latency spikes, etc. When I first built my DAW system and had a Gigabyte motherboard I installed the Easytune (V6 at the time) and was experiencing clicks/droputs in recording. A US DAW PC builder told me about Easytune and as soon as I uninstalled it, all my problems went away.

Second, you say you are using the USB device (Steinberg). For testing, disconnect that unit and use the internal audio with VLC, or whatever media player and see if you get dropouts. That will tell you if it is the UR44.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Sep 2015   #3

Windows 10 64 bit

No response. Still having problems?
My System SpecsSystem Spec

29 Sep 2015   #4

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 7601 Multiprocessor Free Service Pack 1

Hi fireberd

I apologise for being incommunicado. I'm doing some testing at the moment.

I have tried my previous USB soundcard (Scarlett Focusrite 2i2) and didn't notice any dropouts last night. That card has its own significant problems though.

I'm going to to test the mobo's built-in sound tonight. I'll post back with my findings.

Thanks btw! :)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Sep 2015   #5

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 7601 Multiprocessor Free Service Pack 1

Okay, so I tested the mobo's sound with the latest Realtek/CreativeSB drivers.

DPCLat stays nice and green, while LatencyMon suggests I've got some driver issues (see attached). No audible drops though!

I think it's time to RMA the UR44.

Cheers maaaaaaaaaaaate.

Attached Files
File Type: txt 29-09-2015.txt (9.2 KB, 2 views)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Oct 2015   #6

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 7601 Multiprocessor Free Service Pack 1

Update, hopefully this will help someone else who stumbled across this thread.

I ended up trying another step to fix the problem by purchasing a PCI USB 3.0 card. After installing that with the UR44 being the only peripheral plugged into it, the audio dropouts completely disappeared.

My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Infrequent momentary audio dropouts - Windows 7 64-bit

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