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  • Audio stuttering after updates: latency caused by network adapter?

    Home Forums AskWoody support Windows Windows 7 Questions: Windows 7 Audio stuttering after updates: latency caused by network adapter?

    Topic Resolution: Resolved

    This topic contains 39 replies, has 11 voices, and was last updated by

     phaolo 1 week, 3 days ago.

    • Author
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    • #311839 Reply

      phaolo
      AskWoody Lounger

      Hello, after applying a bunch of Windows updates, I noticed that my pc started suffering from audio stuttering problems.
      I thought it could be due to the Spectre patch, but the CPU didn’t seem to struggle at all.

      So, I’ve investigated the problem with LatencyMon, which reported issues with ndis.sys.
      I found that the latency went back to normal if I… disabled the network adapter! ( Intel(R) Ethernet Connection (2) I219-V )

      Why.. how can I even fix that? There aren’t even new drivers for it!

      LatencyMon message:

      “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.”

      • This topic was modified 3 months ago by
         phaolo.
      • This topic was modified 3 months ago by
         phaolo.
      • This topic was modified 3 months ago by
         phaolo.
    • #311852 Reply

      Paul T
      AskWoody MVP

      Un-install the network adapter and re-boot. Windows will re-install and hopefully fix whatever is unhappy.

      cheers, Paul

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #311854 Reply

      satrow
      AskWoody MVP

      Check whether there were any network (or any Intel chipset/core) drivers installed via Windows Update, if there were, roll them back to the previous version and test.

    • #311856 Reply

      ch100
      AskWoody_MVP

      Generally speaking the Wi-Fi adapters are known to interfere with audio, although there is no definitive answer to this issue.
      If you don’t use the Wi-Fi adapter, try to disable it.
      Other proposed solutions are to uninstall the audio driver if it is Realtek and use the High Definition Audio driver from Microsoft.
      Or update the Wi-Fi and audio driver to the latest versions, but please be aware that the Hardware ID should match. Do not force manufacturer’s drivers if they don’t match the Hardware ID. In such a situation, Microsoft Update drivers if they exist are more suitable.
      This is all time consuming and if you are not prepared to spend the time, just leave it as is.

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #311930 Reply

      phaolo
      AskWoody Lounger

      My last post just vanished O_o

      —-

      Un-install the network adapter and re-boot. Windows will re-install and hopefully fix whatever is unhappy. cheers, Paul

      I tried that and the problem seemed fixed at first.
      Then I started various programs and the latency appeared again. :\
      (maybe slighly better, but still bad)

      I added the LatencyMon message in the OP.

      Check whether there were any network (or any Intel chipset/core) drivers installed via Windows Update, if there were, roll them back to the previous version and test.

      My Win Update is disabled since years and the last available network driver I installed is from 2016 and it was stable before the updates.

      Generally speaking the Wi-Fi adapters are known to interfere with audio, although there is no definitive answer to this issue. If you don’t use the Wi-Fi adapter, try to disable it.

      No wifi adapter, I’m using a desktop pc.

      Other proposed solutions are to uninstall the audio driver if it is Realtek and use the High Definition Audio driver from Microsoft.

      I’m using an AVR connected through HDMI to my Nvidia GPU, so that should bypass the integrated Realtek sound card.
      Now that I think of it, I also updated Nvidia drivers, so I wonder if that could have affected the audio.. but why the network card then?

       

      • #311944 Reply

        PKCano
        Da Boss

        Your post got caught in the spam bucket. This can happen if you Submit/Edit/Submit/Edit too quickly before the system has had tome to process the changes. Slow down between the Edits and give the system time to catch up with you.

      • #311951 Reply

        satrow
        AskWoody MVP

        I also updated Nvidia drivers, so I wonder if that could have affected the audio.. but why the network card then?

        Nvidia bloatware creating a logjam?

        Study this article and the related links from Martin Brinkmann @ghacks.

        1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #311965 Reply

      mn–
      AskWoody Lounger

      Eh, driver and bus issues can be a bother in any near-realtime or hard-realtime task. Audio is near-realtime if you have any amount of buffering in there, otherwise hard-realtime… and it doesn’t take much of a driver problem anywhere on the same bus or processor to cause problems with those.

      Yes, this would often mean using something less than the highest performance arrangements with other devices on the same bus, or throwing more hardware at it until there isn’t contention any more.
      Just a fact of life.

      Reminds me of a printer driver messing with digital TV reception once… USB-connected DVB-T2 receiver, USB-connected printer, printer driver trying to do max speed on the USB didn’t leave enough room for the TV stream no matter how I arranged the ports.

      Oh and back when you just couldn’t do full-duplex on 100base-T on some HP servers, because the system bus inboard of the NIC would choke. Either 100/half or 10/full would work.

    • #311972 Reply

      satrow
      AskWoody MVP

      Tried rolling back the GPU drivers?

      Next would be backing out the WUs individually and testing – or restoring a backup image?

      Windows Performance Analyzer to try to figure out what’s going on in detail, example procedure ?

      • #312649 Reply

        phaolo
        AskWoody Lounger

        Tried rolling back the GPU drivers?

        I guess I’ll try that.. even if I wish I could follow some clue, instead of trial&error.

        Btw, in this month I updated various things, BIOS included, so who knows what could be the culprit. :\

        I tried temporarly disabling Spectre&Meltdown patches, but nothing changed.

        Could ZoneAlarm cause these issues? Sadly I can’t just turn it off for a test, because the 2019 version added various services that can’t stopped.. O_o

        • #312726 Reply

          satrow
          AskWoody MVP

          Any active security software could contribute to a logjam situation, sometimes a simple disabling of the security software during testing is enough but many tie in so deeply that some modules are still active/blocking. ZA used to be (still is according to your comment) one of the latter and only a temporary uninstall for testing purposes would rule it out.

          Enable the default firewall, it’s pretty good (many 3rd party firewalls now work, or can successfully work with, the Windows firewall), if you decide to uninstall ZA, then use their uninstall tool/routine to (hopefully) ensure all remnants are removed – don’t forget to save any keys for pay software before uninstalling.

          [Rarely, an ‘uninstalled’ security/utility software will leave an active driver but ‘hidden’ from the default Device Manager view, if that’s the case then extreme care is needed to deal with it, otherwise it’s possible to end up with a non-booting Windows install. Similarly, a ‘bad’ uninstall of an otherwise benign software might leave remnants that still load with/hook in to other software, sometimes causing that software to ‘randomly’ crash.]

        • #318578 Reply

          GoneToPlaid
          AskWoody Plus

          Hi phaolo,

          The BIOS update which you installed for Spectre — what is its date and where did you get it from?

          Best regards,

          –GTP

           

        • #318946 Reply

          GoneToPlaid
          AskWoody Plus

          Hi Phaolo,

          Have you scanned your OS drive C: for errors? I have had instances of incorrectly reported free space or other minor drive issues causing programs to run slow, and sometimes really slow.

          Best regards,

          –GTP

           

          • #320110 Reply

            phaolo
            AskWoody Lounger

            Hi Phaolo, Have you scanned your OS drive C: for errors? I have had instances of incorrectly reported free space or other minor drive issues causing programs to run slow, and sometimes really slow. Best regards, –GTP

            Ok, I tried chkdsk and it didn’t find any problems.
            (only cleaned up 85 unused index entries from index $SII of file 0x9 and 85 security descriptors, whatever that means)

            Wait a second.. I don’t hear the stuttering anymore.. did this work somehow?? :O
            I’ll need to test it some more, to be really sure..

            • #320266 Reply

              phaolo
              AskWoody Lounger

              Nevermind, it’s still there, even if it currently seems to happen less than before.
              Who knows what is really going on..

            • #321383 Reply

              GoneToPlaid
              AskWoody Plus

              Hi phaolo,

              I have been thinking about this. At the start, you mentioned that you flashed your computer’s BIOS for Meltdown and Spectre. I looked at the BIOS download page for your computer’s motherboard.

              I also note that the latest BIOS for your computer’s motherboard requires you to use the ME Update Tool since the BIOS contains updated ME drivers. If you flashed the BIOS without using the ME Update Tool, then the Intel ME drivers were not updated. That can cause issues since the rest of the updated BIOS is expecting to be using the updated Intel ME drivers.

              I wonder if this is what is causing your audio stuttering. Another possibility is that it is always recommended to reset your BIOS to its default settings before flashing the BIOS to a updated BIOS.

              The upshot is, please make sure that you have properly flashed (upgraded) your computer’s BIOS per the instructions from ASUS about how to do it. Remember, it is important to first reset the BIOS to its default settings before flashing the BIOS. After flashing and rebooting, immediately go back into BIOS and change any settings back to your preferred settings.

              I noted that the BIOS updates for your computer do not mention protection for Meltdown and Spectre. Yet I note that you mentioned a Spectre patch in your original post. When you say “Spectre patch,” what are you referring to? I ask because some people are flashing custom modded BIOS files with Intel’s latest microcode which has Spectre and Meltdown mitigations. Or perhaps you are referring to Microsoft’s post December 2017 Windows Updates for Windows 7?

              Once you have either confirmed that you originally did everything correctly, or have now done the BIOS flash correctly, then we can rule that out as being the cause of your audio stuttering issues.

              Please let us know about the above. Then we can look at any possible driver version issues, in particular for these drivers:

              — chipset.
              — network.
              — video.
              — audio.
              — USB.
              — USB3.

              The above is the sequential order in which I always install or update hardware drivers. Installation of each class of the above drivers must always be followed by a reboot.

              Don’t mess with trying to uninstall or reinstall any of the above types of drivers, since I first want to know what driver versions are currently installed.

              Finally, in your initial post you mentioned that the audio stuttering disappeared when you disabled the network adapter. Is this still true? Did you update the network drivers? Were there any recent strong thunderstorms with lightning in your area? If yes, then the network adapter could be half fried. I have encountered this myself, such that the half fried network adapter on a motherboard was generating thousands of interrupts per second. I had to disable the motherboard’s network adapter and install a separate network card.

              Best regards,

              –GTP

               

            • #343633 Reply

              phaolo
              AskWoody Lounger

              (questions)

              Sorry, this thread had some bug for a while and various posts got scrambled.
              I replied to you now at the end of the page (search @gonetoplaid).

    • #316869 Reply

      phaolo
      AskWoody Lounger

      Some news:

      – I tried uninstalling ZA, rolling back Nvidia drivers for audio\video, reinstalling the NIC driver (the one that always worked without issues). Nothing changed.

      – btw, it seems I was using LatencyMon incorrectly.
      I had to run it with the pc idle without other programs running.
      Is this correct? By doing that, no latency issues are reported.

      – the audio stuttering, however, was still there, so I temporarly tried a bunch of random suggestions found online.
      Noone worked.. except maybe one!
      Disabling TCPv6 in the LAN settings reduced the problem a lot (but didn’t solve it completely).
      I don’t even understand why.. did Microsoft mess up some other network setting or what?

      P.s: the forum has some sorting problem, this post should currently be at the end..

      • This reply was modified 2 months, 3 weeks ago by
         phaolo.
    • #316943 Reply

      phaolo
      AskWoody Lounger

      Disabling TCPv6 in the LAN settings reduced the problem a lot (but didn’t solve it completely)..

      Ah, btw, to reproduce the issue I’m using VLC + browser and downloaders, so something network-related isn’t totally unexpected. The strange thing is that I didn’t have this problem before the updates.

    • #318606 Reply

      Phaolo

      (phaolo)
      Help, I cannot post anywhere! I have been banned for some reason? Why 🙁

      Btw, about this issue, I’m not even sure about TCPv6 anymore.

      And the BIOS it’s v3805 , I got it from the official site (unbranded pc):
      https://www.asus.com/us/supportonly/Z170%20PRO%20GAMING/HelpDesk_Download/

      • #318611 Reply

        Microfix
        Da Boss

        @phaolo, no you have not been banned, there seems to be an issue with the website atm and we hope to get it sorted PDQ, apologies for the inconvenience.

        | W8.1 Pro x64 | Linux x64 Hybrids | W7 Pro x86 | XP Pro O/L
        2 users thanked author for this post.
      • #318614 Reply

        woody
        Da Boss

        I’m hitting the same problem, too. For me, my posts appeared as anonymous even though they weren’t.

        It all went back to normal, quite suddenly, for reasons I don’t fathom.

        The call has gone out to the devs. Sorry about that!

        1 user thanked author for this post.
        • #318802 Reply

          GoneToPlaid
          AskWoody Plus

          Browser cache issue? Recently and when I log in, I am taken to the home page instead of remaining on the forum page which I was on when I logged in.

    • #337474 Reply

      anonymous

      Sorry guys, I “ragequitted” for a while..
      Anyway, I’m back with good news! I finally managed to fix the problem by updating again the Nvidia drivers to the new version 419.17 (both graphics and audio).

      The stuttering disappeared at last! 😀
      Thanks for the help.

      (btw, LatencyMon caused a lot of wrong tests with its unclear usage..)

      1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #337515 Reply

        anonymous

        Sorry guys, I “ragequitted” for a while..

        Hey sometimes that is what a person has to do for a variety of reasons as the problems consume patience.

    • #343198 Reply

      phaolo
      AskWoody Lounger

      Guys… it’s back lol. -_-

      So, I did a test with some torrents.
      And I realized it’s not just an audio problem, because all the system becomes sluggish when downloading.

      I never saw huge usage peaks in MSI afterburner (I forgot to add disks usage, but it was low overall), but check the first graph, doesn’t that load balancing look wrong?
      I temporarly changed the affinity of the Qbittorrent process to exclude the first core and the situation improved a bit. Still not ok, tho.

      @gonetoplaid
      Yeah, I flashed the BIOS and installed the ME Update Tool (I don’t recall the order).
      (btw, the new installed version doesn’t show up correctly in Devices. I have to use the “SA-00086 Detection Tool” to verify it.)

      About the settings: they always seemed to reset automatically every time I flashed a new BIOS version anyway. Btw, I never changed anything critical (except for UEFI).

      I only took the official files from Asus here. No modded files.
      Their releases details were always c***, but I imagined they cointaned the mitigations at some point:
      Version 3501 — 2017/06/30 — my old version, pre Meltd/Spectre news.
      Version 3606 — 2018/03/27
      Version 3610 — 2018/04/14
      Version 3805 — 2018/05/25 — my current vers, sadly the last one available.

      About the rest:
      – I didn’t install any other driver from 2018 simply because they aren’t available on Asus site.
      – The problem seems related to downloading, so disabling the network adapter wasn’t really a correct solution.
      – No strong thunderstorms with lightning here.

      • This reply was modified 1 month ago by
         phaolo.
      • This reply was modified 1 month ago by
         phaolo.
      • This reply was modified 1 month ago by
         phaolo.
      • This reply was modified 1 month ago by
         phaolo.
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         phaolo.
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      • #343580 Reply

        mn–
        AskWoody Lounger

        Guys… it’s back lol. -_- So, I did a test with some torrents. And I realized it’s not just an audio problem, because all the system becomes sluggish when downloading… …I didn’t install any other driver from 2018 simply because they aren’t available on Asus site. – The problem seems related to downloading, so disabling the network adapter wasn’t really a correct solution.

        It’s also not impossible but merely unlikely that the network adapter would have developed a hardware fault, reasonably concurrently with software updates. Say a part that only gets used during adapter startup…

        Hardware problems that cause performance degradation instead of a straight-up outage are a real bother to get fixed, too. (Reminds me of that one expensive server network adapter that had a cold-solder in one internal connection.)

        Error handling would be one possible cause of such performance degradation. Are you getting anything at all in Windows event logs or network interface statistics?

        • #343630 Reply

          phaolo
          AskWoody Lounger

          Are you getting anything at all in Windows event logs or network interface statistics?

          Eventlog is relatively clean.
          For the latter, do you mean “netstat -e”? No errors also there.

          • #344318 Reply

            mn–
            AskWoody Lounger

            For the latter, do you mean “netstat -e”? No errors also there.

            Both that and -s actually.

            • #344472 Reply

              phaolo
              AskWoody Lounger

              I’m not very expert about netstat, but the results seem kinda normal.
              Maybe the UDP  Receive Errors are high compared to the rest, but still 1/1000 of the total received.

    • #343573 Reply

      Paul T
      AskWoody MVP

      Guys… it’s back lol. -_- So, I did a test with some torrents. And I realized it’s not just an audio problem

      If you download without using the torrent app does it stutter?
      Can you try a different torrent app?

      cheers, Paul

      • #343640 Reply

        phaolo
        AskWoody Lounger

        I first noticed this issue after the patches by simply listening to Youtube\VLC and browsing.
        Then the problem increased while downloading files from Gog.
        Then I tested Emule and Qbittorent.

        The slugginess increases with more & faster downloads.
        It doesn’t seem related to a specific program, I think.
        And the secondary hdd used for browser & downloads seems fine and with low defragmentation.

        • This reply was modified 1 month ago by
           phaolo.
        • This reply was modified 1 month ago by
           phaolo.
    • #343899 Reply

      Paul T
      AskWoody MVP

      Is it related to disk throughput? Task manager has a disk usage pane.

      cheers, Paul

      • #344070 Reply

        phaolo
        AskWoody Lounger

        It didn’t seem so, usage was normal.
        Also, transferring files locally didn’t reproduce the same slowness.

    • #344301 Reply

      Paul T
      AskWoody MVP

      Image, re-build from scratch, test, restore.
      Can’t see any other way to work it out.

      cheers, Paul

      • #344303 Reply

        phaolo
        AskWoody Lounger

        Yeah, but well.. I was here to avoid that 😛
        It’s not even sure that the result will be stutter-free.

        Btw, it’s annoying that the system doesn’t have any clear way to identify these problems.

        • This reply was modified 1 month ago by
           phaolo.
    • #344589 Reply

      Zaphyrus
      AskWoody Lounger

      I don’t know if I can help, but have you tried checking event viewer, all things that happen to your computer are logged there

      Just someone who don't want Windows to mess with its computer.
    • #351334 Reply

      phaolo
      AskWoody Lounger

      I made it for real this time! All the lagging and stuttering magically disappeared 😀

      One of these things fixed it (probably the first one):
      – reset Windows’ power plan and set it again.
      – disabled (by renaming it) ZoneAlarmFree’s ads displayer cefsimple.exe that caused 1 random CPU core to use >90% when idle (!) and who knows what else.

      I can finally close this cursed thread XD
      Thank you for the help guys.

      2 users thanked author for this post.

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