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Computer crashes/audio issues, Windows

IrukaIruka Registered User, Moderator mod
edited August 29 in Help / Advice Forum
Alright, I got an issue that's been dogging my PC for a while. Basically what happens is, My audio crashes first, and then the rest of the PC will slowly go down with it. Here are the most common scenarios (might not tell you much)

-Start up Overwatch and Discord, get into first match, first my game audio cuts, then my mic, and while I can hear my friends, they cant hear me. then the game crashes and the whole system freezes. Needs a hard reboot.

- Start up my computer freshly and try to watch one video on Twitter in chrome, video wont play, and no other media site (twitch, youtube) will play video. Computer no longer plays audio, but otherwise functions normally. if I try to start up a game, it'd crash

- Dislodge my headphones suddenly by mistake, like getting caught in my chair. This can cause the audio issue to trigger, and the whole system to freeze.

I have a relatively nice system that is getting older. the build is this: but I replaced the video card recently upgrading from the MSI GTX 550 Ti to a GeForce GTX 1050 Ti. The issues I'm having occured before the card replacement, and with the same frequency after the card replacement.

I'm trying to figure out what is the best approach to escalation to troubleshoot the issue without needlessly updating parts that arent likely to be the problem heres what I've tried:

- I've tried updating my realtek sound drivers with no effect on the issue, and figuring out reputable and recent drivers is a bit of a pain.
- I dusted out my case, to offset potential overheating, no effect
- I moved my case and put a fan on it, some effect during overwatch, still crashes though.
- Tried just making sure my wires were all secure, no effect

My thoughts on the culprit:

- My case is a bit cramped and not super well ventilated, its causing over heating
- My Motherboard is old and somehow a physically failing audio jack is causing total system failure
- My sound drivers are shitty and causing system failure via windows fuckery

Replacing the case/motherboard require a full disassemble and reassemble of the computer, and it starts turning into a "well I might as well upgrade ___ while I do it" and the next then you know I'm being an idiot on new egg with a buncha shit in my cart. I want to feel out some other troubleshooting steps to eliminate a basic windows issue before going the $$$ hardware route, and wonder if anyone else has ideas?

Iruka on


  • NEO|PhyteNEO|Phyte They follow the stars, bound together. Strands in a braid till the end.Registered User regular
    edited August 30
    Looking at the part list, my initial thought leads towards audio driver fuckery. It has been a hot minute since I've used a USB headset, but I definitely recall fuckery happening if they get unplugged, especially if you never installed the motherboard's audio drivers because you aren't using those plugs.

    :edit: Have you a set of 3.5mm speakers/headphones to try using and see if the problem still happens without that USB one in the picture?

    NEO|Phyte on
    It was that somehow, from within the derelict-horror, they had learned a way to see inside an ugly, broken thing... And take away its pain.
    Warframe/Steam: NFyt
  • dispatch.odispatch.o Registered User regular
    edited August 30
    I'd disable all audio, uninstall the drivers if your device uses any. Disable onboard audio in the BIOS. Do things that make it lock up. If it seems fine, use USB audio and keep the onboard disabled.

    Audio isn't related to overheating in my experience, so if you eliminate audio (removing devices) you can narrow it down the next time it happens. Windows + Realtek + USB audio could easily be causing a conflict.

    You can test RAM, Power Supply and CPU using various programs (prime95, memtest, voltage monitoring software) but start with disabling devices.

    dispatch.o on
  • IrukaIruka Registered User, Moderator mod
    Ah sorry, forgot those headphones are on my list, but they broke ages ago. Current set uses the audio jack on the back of the computer, so directly on the board. I wonder if I have any of those drivers hanging about, though. I'll look and see.

  • dispatch.odispatch.o Registered User regular
    edited August 30
    I'd still start with disabling that device in BIOS.

    Are you familiar with msconfig?

    start -> run (or shortcut windows key+R)
    type: msconfig

    It will pull up a menu interface to disable / troubleshoot damn near any services, drivers and on startup items.

    Use the Selective Startup toggle on the first tab and then go to the Services tab and toggle "Hide All Microsoft Services"

    Disable everything and use process of elimination. Enable a couple of essential third party services and try again. Honestly most of the non Microsoft services aren't even necessary to have a functional computer and often times you'll wonder what the fuck something is and have to go google it, only to find out it's some shit some old program put there that you don't even want enabled anyway.

    Edit: On Startup was moved to the task manager at some point, but the shortcut is still in the msconfig tab.

    dispatch.o on
  • LuianeLuiane Registered User regular
    I once helped debug a computer with similar issues (audio was garbled, otherwise it was working).

    In that case it was actually the power supply that had dropped in output and was not providing enough anymore. I'd rate this as a very unlikely cause, but you never know.

    Steam id: Varys
    LoL EU West nickname: Irridan
  • Hahnsoo1Hahnsoo1 Make Ready. We Hunt.Registered User regular
    Have you tried replacing the Realtek drivers with the generic Microsoft audio drivers?

    PSN: Hahnsoo | MHGU: Hahnsoo, Switch FC: SW-0085-2679-5212
  • IrukaIruka Registered User, Moderator mod
    so yesterday I went through my sound devices and realized that I had a bunch of virtual output devices, I think they may have been installed by OBS, or attempting to stream in general. I disabled all those and didn't hit a crash yesterday, but I didn't use my computer a ton.

    I'll fuss around with my computer in the evening and see if I can trigger the lock up. If I can, I'll look into the windows drivers. If I replace the windows drivers and it still stalls out, I'll more rigorously disable some services.

  • MugsleyMugsley Registered User regular
    Understanding that you're plugging into the back of the board, are your front panel audio connectors connected to the motherboard? You could try unplugging those to see if maybe the controller is getting confused that you're using the plugs on the back.

    Otherwise, you may have already found the culprit.

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