System stutter

Discussion in 'Windows Vista Performance' started by Daniel, Apr 29, 2007.

  1. Daniel

    Daniel Guest

    I have a problem. At exactly every 15 seconds I have a stutter on the system.
    When working with programs such as word processing or browsers it is not
    noticeable, but when using a program that has some sort of sound playback its
    extremely annoying. The sound stutters for about a half second. I have the
    latest audio and video drivers. I don't really know what to do. Has somebody
    else experienced this?
    Daniel, Apr 29, 2007
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  2. Daniel

    Cal Bear '66 Guest

    Do you have a SigmaTel audio adapter?
    I have seen several posts in here that if you disable Audio Enhancement in the
    Playback Devices properties, it will cure this problem.
    (Right click on Speaker Icon in the Notification Area to get there quickly.)
    Cal Bear '66, Apr 29, 2007
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  3. Daniel

    Daniel Guest

    No. It is some sort of realtek adapter. It's just called "High Definition
    Audio". Is the "Audio Enhancements" the ones I've disabled in this
    screenshot?: (the
    checkbox in the red circle says something like "disable all expansions", it
    could possibly be "enhancements" instead of "expansions" though).
    The above screenshot is from the preferences window of the audio device
    The drivers I used is the Vista drivers here:
    Daniel, Apr 29, 2007
  4. Daniel

    Daniel Guest

    Oh, I forgot to mention that the thing I disabled in the screenshot posted
    above didn't help :(
    Daniel, Apr 29, 2007
  5. Daniel

    Cal Bear '66 Guest

    That solution, I believe, was only for Sigma Tel adapters.

    I also have a High Definition Realtek Audio Adapter, and on that page I have not
    disabled any of the enhancements and I do not have any audio problems.

    What seems very unusual to me, is that in the second screenshot you have two
    identical analog devices. I only have only two playback devices, one for analog
    output and one for digital. Did you uninstall any Realtek HD audio drivers
    before you applied the latest update?

    What does Device Manager show? Does it show two instances of the Realtek
    adapter? If it does, you could uninstall them in Device Manager, reboot and let
    Vista auto detect and reinstall them. Or, maybe better, you could go to Programs
    and Features in Control Panel, uninstall all Realtek entries, reboot and
    reinstall the drivers from the Realtek site.
    Cal Bear '66, Apr 29, 2007
  6. Daniel

    Daniel Guest

    I don't know why it shows two audio playback devices. There is only one in
    the device manager.

    If I install a slightly older version of the drivers which I have on a disc
    from my computer's manufacturer it only shows one audio playback device (or
    as you say, the analog and the digital one).

    The stutter problem occurs with the drivers Vista finds itself (if
    uninstalling and rebooting), with the one before-mentioned and the latest
    from realtek's website. So it appears not to be an audio driver problem,
    Daniel, Apr 29, 2007
  7. Daniel

    Cal Bear '66 Guest

    All I can tell you is that my sound here, using the latest drivers (ver. 1.66)
    is very good and I have only two analog devices in Playback Devices.

    Might you have installed some multimedia program that is interfering with your
    sound? Although, as I said you should NOT have two analog devices showing in
    your Playback Devices window. Was this a clean Vista install or an upgrade?

    Did you try once more to uninstall everything from Realtek in Control
    Panel>Programs and Features AND uninstalling the Realtek item in Device Manager
    (including checking the box to remove driver files, IF available), rebooting,
    and IF Vista asks if you want to install the device when you reboot clicking Not
    this Time or Cancel, reinstalling the ver. 1.66 drivers, and rebooting again.

    If this does not work, I would go back to Playback Devices and right click on
    one of the analog devices and selecting disable, setting the other as default
    and if this doesn't work reversing the selections and trying again.

    I do hope you get this sorted out since here it does not appear to be a driver

    By the way, where are you? Is that language Scandinavian?
    Cal Bear '66, Apr 30, 2007
  8. Daniel

    Cal Bear '66 Guest

    Sorry my error: I meant to say I have only ONE analog device in Playback
    Cal Bear '66, Apr 30, 2007
  9. Daniel

    TE Guest

    Are there any wireless devices in the system? WLan or Bluetooth?

    I have seen sound issues caused by the transmitter and if it is happening
    every 15 seconds you might try to disable any transmitters and see if the
    problem continues.
    TE, Apr 30, 2007
  10. Daniel

    Daniel Guest

    It was a clean install of Home Premium. I tried doing as you said about
    uninstalling and installing the Realtek drivers again--that took care of the
    problem about showing multiple playback devices.

    The stutter still appears though, but by watching the CPU graph on the task
    manager made me see something really odd. At one of the CPU cores (I have a
    dual-core processor) I saw there was some spikes appearing a regular interval
    (exactly 15 seconds). While playing a sound file I saw that the stutter
    appeared at the same time as the spike. Screenshot:
    I'm in Denmark, so yes, it is a Scandinavian language.
    Daniel, Apr 30, 2007
  11. Daniel

    Daniel Guest

    I have both bluetooth and wlan. I tried disabling them and then playing a
    sound file, but unfortunately it didn't help :(
    Daniel, Apr 30, 2007
  12. Daniel

    Cal Bear '66 Guest

    You only see these spikes when playing a sound file?

    Good to hear you got rid of the multiple playback devices.

    I'm sorry but I don't have any further ideas. There are several people in these
    newsgroups with an amazing knowledge who might be able to help you track down
    the problem.

    Good luck.

    P.S. I believe that the Danish Crown Prince recently received his degree from
    my Alma Mater, U. C., Berkeley.
    Wish I could spend my summer in Denmark instead of this hot, humid NYC!
    Cal Bear '66, Apr 30, 2007
  13. Daniel

    Daniel Guest

    Well, thanks for trying anyways :)

    The spikes seem to appear all the time. Even when the system is idle.
    Daniel, Apr 30, 2007
  14. Daniel

    Michael Guest


    The 'Reliability and Performance Monitor' can provide large quantities of
    data about the operations of your system. You might use it to see what is
    happening to correlate to your spikes. (personally I would suspect network,
    most other things wont cause the system to be non-responsive.)
    (under administrative tools).

    It provides a lot more info than can be seen in task manager, the hard part
    is figuring what to look for!.

    Michael, Apr 30, 2007
  15. Daniel

    Pete Russell Guest

    Open task manager and click on the CPU heading to have the process using the
    cpu cycles move to the top. The process list will constantly re-organiza
    itself. Look for the process that is using the cpu cycles in the task
    manager and post back here what the process name is.
    Pete Russell, Apr 30, 2007
  16. Daniel

    Pete Russell Guest

    From the main window you will see the CPU section, Expand this and click on
    the CPU heading. This will move the process using cpu cycles to the top of
    the window.

    P.S Sorry this posted twice. I just did another post about task manager but
    this way will tell more info.
    Pete Russell, Apr 30, 2007
  17. Daniel

    Daniel Guest

    What I could get out of the reliability and performance monitor is that the
    following (background) programs have the highest average CPU time:
    - mfpmp.exe <- don't know exactly what it is, but stuff like windows media
    player won't work without
    - dwm.exe <- automatically restarts
    - sidebar.exe <- doesn't help shutting it down

    If shutting down the network devices and the problem still appears, then I
    guess you could assume that they aren't the problem, right?
    Daniel, Apr 30, 2007
  18. Daniel

    Michael Guest

    My rational for suspecting network as 'system pause' type problems is that
    if most processes are busy they slow down other processes but don't 'stop'
    them. Interrupt driven things (like network) sometimes need to complete
    certain steps without interruption and so turn off interrupts. This prevents
    anything else working. Normally such periods are very short but if there are
    problems then excessive time can be spent in these interrupt routines until
    the process gives up and aborts the attempt to do whatever.

    If you disabled all networking and you still have the 15second spikes than
    my guess is all wet.

    Things you might check. Are disk opertions (bytes written/read) correlated
    with the 15 sec spikes.

    Also start up with all 'startup' programs disabled and see if the 15sec
    spike quits. If you have bluetooth there are some reports of problems (I
    don't have bluetooth so this is only rumor for me). Some cd/dvd drives do
    not have proper hardware for notifiction that a disk has been inserted and
    the operating system instead polls the drives to see if anything changed.

    Just things tossed out, you have your work cut out to track down that 15 sec
    spike. Good luck!

    Michael, May 1, 2007
  19. Daniel

    Daniel Guest

    I tried the following things:
    booting in safe mode (no network) - no spikes
    booting in safe mode (with network) - no spikes
    enabling diagnostic start from msconfig - spikes

    If there aren't any in safe mode with network. Then I guess it isn't a
    network or disk problem. It can't be the thing about cd/dvd drive either can
    it? I have bluetooth, but it is always disabled when I don't need it, so I
    guess it isn't that either.

    I really don't get it. It worked fine on XP, but as soon as I installed
    Vista this started :(
    Daniel, May 1, 2007
  20. Daniel

    Michael Guest

    On my system starting in diagnostic mode resulted in only two services

    Group Policy Client
    Task Scheduler

    If you have others you might try manually stopping them.

    Could you possibly have something in Task Scheduler that is set to start
    every 15 Seconds?

    (Task Scheduler cannot be disabled or stopped on my machine)

    Michael, May 1, 2007
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