Boston Linux & Unix (BLU) Home | Calendar | Mail Lists | List Archives | Desktop SIG | Hardware Hacking SIG
Wiki | Flickr | PicasaWeb | Video | Maps & Directions | Installfests | Keysignings
Linux Cafe | Meeting Notes | Blog | Linux Links | Bling | About BLU

BLU Discuss list archive

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Windows audio problem

On Thu, Apr 29, 2004 at 06:58:36PM -0400, edwardp at wrote:
> I recently upgraded from 98SE to XP Home, and 
> unfortunately, still have an audio problem.  I do not 
> believe this is hardware related, as Linux also runs on 
> the same hardware, and I am not having any audio problems 
> whatsoever under Linux.

Then, just use Linux!  ;-)

> Whenever a music CD is played under XP Home, and this is 
> regardless of which program is used (Windows Media Player 
> 9, RealPlayer, or Nero Media Player), audio will sound 
> crackled/has static when menus fade in, if a web browser 
> is open and web pages are scrolled (This goes double when 
> there is a Flash-based advertisement on the same page, 
> the static gets worse in this instance.)
> The CPU is an AMD K6-2 with 3D Now at 500 MHz, memory is 

In all seriousness, based on your description of the problem, I'd say
that it actually is hardware-related... sort of.  Windows XP is a huge
resource hog, and Windows Media Player is ridiculous about CPU usage.
I can't speak for RP or Nero since I use neither.  But Flash is also
CPU-intensive, and those clever fading menus use a lot of CPU too.  It
sounds like your problem is lack of CPU power sufficient to handle all
of those things simultaneously.

There /are/ ways to tweak Windows XP to use less CPU power; one of
them is to turn off menu fading.  If you search the web, you'll find
others.  I came across such a list once, but fortunately my hardware
is fast enough that it's not an issue... so I didn't pay much

Come to think of it, I do seem to recall having similar CD audio
problems and system slowness problems on a similar machine to yours
(CPU-wise and memory-wise) running Windows ME, or possibly Windows
98SE.  My solution was to play CD audio in windows...  This is an easy
solution for me, since I always had any number of Linux systems booted
at home, and only ever really use Windows for playing games, or other
kinds of things that make playing CDs simultaneously a hindrance.
Plus I also had a fairly nice stereo system in the same room as many
of my computers...

I'm not sure why playing CD audio is so resource intensive on recent
Windows systems...  But to verify if this is a problem for you, it
should be simple to look at your system performance in task manager.
If the CPU is spiking when you have your static problem, then I'd
guess that's the cause.  As for what to do about it, maybe upgrading
is the only viable solution (as silly as it sounds), other than  just
playing your CDs under Linux (or on an actual CD player).

Disclaimer: all of this could only be a pipe dream I once had...
My memory is known faulty, and it's been a very long time since I've
had any reason to play CDs on Windows.  I could be experiencing cache
corruption...  ;-)

OH!  I almost forgot the virus factor!  If  you don't keep up
religiously with Microsoft critical updates, and use anti-virus
software which is likewise religiously updated, and use some kind of
firewall product, then your system is almost certainly infected with
some sort of Internet worm.  Each of those things mitigates the risk
substantially, but it's still non-zero even if you use all three.  If
true, it could be eating up a lot of your system resources.  That
might be an angle to examine...

If you don't have up-to-date AV software, and you'd really rather not
buy any, then I highly recommend this:

Hope that helps...

Derek D. Martin   GPG Key ID: 0xDFBEAD02
This message is posted from an invalid address.  Replying to it will result in
undeliverable mail.  Sorry for the inconvenience.  Thank the spammers.

-------------- next part --------------
A non-text attachment was scrubbed...
Name: not available
Type: application/pgp-signature
Size: 189 bytes
Desc: not available
URL: <>

BLU is a member of BostonUserGroups
BLU is a member of BostonUserGroups
We also thank MIT for the use of their facilities.

Valid HTML 4.01! Valid CSS!

Boston Linux & Unix /