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What the hell did I do to my computer? (sudden lag and crackling audio)

rizriz Registered User regular
edited August 2007 in Help / Advice Forum
Background information. I built my computer back in December, having never even opened a case before as I've had laptops for the past eight years or so. Everything worked, mostly. I had a lot of issues with WoW crashing inconsistently, which nothing seemed to help, so I shrugged it off as a driver issue. A couple weeks ago I finally decided to try some new RAM, and this WORKED, and things were finally good. Last week I decided to replace the fan with a more powerful one, the last real "problem" with the computer, as it's been getting pretty hot in there with the summer and all. This seemed to work at first too.

But then something weird started happening and I have no idea how to figure out what's wrong. I started to notice people's voices crackling on Ventrilo the other night. The next time I booted up, the Windows welcome sound was lagged and crackling too. If I try to download a large file and have Vent going, it lags and distorts to an unbearable degree. Whenever I open WoW or Photoshop or whatever, the same thing. Basically whenever the computer is "busy" the sound gets really fucked up. Windows also seems to be taking much longer to load (the "switch resolutions plz" dialogue of my monitor appears partway through). Now sometimes my mouse will stop responding while I'm playing, the pointer flickering around, then catching up. And taking a screenshot in WoW means a few seconds of my screen freezing, while it used to be smooth, and any area that has a lot of characters and NPCs around makes it skip frames like it never did before.

I've asked several people for advice and done a lot of Googling, but it's really not helped me because for every person that says it sounds like I screwed up the motherboard with static while installing the fan, someone else says it sounds like what happened when their hard drive was breaking down, or someone else thinks the RAM is bad even though it worked fine for a couple weeks. I'm not even sure how to begin figuring it out and I really don't want to just replace every single part until something works. I ran chkdsk and it said nothing wrong, and some Seagate drive testing utility, which showed nothing. If it's the motherboard, why is it working at all, wouldn't it just not boot up? I tried putting the old fan back as someone suggested the new fan might be using too much power or vibrating something it shouldn't, but that didn't help. Someone suggested that I knocked the sound card loose, but it's on-board sound. I tried making sure all the wires were still plugged all the way in but all that did was give me a "disk read error" the first time I tried to boot up afterward, which went away after I shut it down and tried again. D:

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

riz on


  • TavTav Irish Minister for DefenceRegistered User regular
    edited August 2007
    I really don't know what you did to be honest. I had a similer problem, but only happened when WoW was open. The whole computer would lock up for a few seconds, my media player would skip and any thing else would stop(Like if I was alt tabbed onto thottbot). It was fixed by formatting and re-installing windows, but isn't really a help since that fixes a lot of problems.

    Also, the official forums/Blizz tech support have no fucking clue what happened either.

    I have heard of the Blizz repair tool fixing this, but its going to nuke your interface folder as well as macros and whatnot.

    Tav on
  • rizriz Registered User regular
    edited August 2007

    riz on
  • supabeastsupabeast Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    Fire up a Linux Live CD of some sort and see how things work under Linux. If you have issues under Linux it’s a hardware problem and you’ll need to start testing components. It things work fine under Linux just save yourself a lot of trouble and reinstall Windows.

    supabeast on
  • SteevLSteevL What can I do for you? Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    You know, I had a problem very much like this almost exactly two years ago. I was playing WoW and at some point I noticed that about every 5 seconds the game would sort of "freeze" for a split second. I chalked it up to town lag at first until it was happening in sparsely-populated areas of Redridge. The sound got all crackly too.

    First I thought it was the sound card, so I tried uninstalling and reinstalling the drivers. That didn't work. I tried reinstalling WoW itself, which seemed to work at first, but the problem came back within minutes. I tried defragging my hard drive, which was when I noticed it took about 3 times longer to analyze the drive for defragging.

    I knew I really had a problem when I tried playing some other game and had the exact same problems. I ended up purchasing a new hard drive and reinstalling Windows and everything else. I put the old hard drive in an enclosure. Everything seems peachy-keen now.

    I'm not sure if that story is much help, but you may end up having to reformat. That problem was maddening.

    SteevL on
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