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 Forum index » Advanced Topics » Hardware » Audio
Laptop sound cracks and pops. Bad sound card?
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maundy

Joined: 15 Oct 2010
Posts: 12

PostPosted: Fri 15 Oct 2010, 23:09    Post subject:  Laptop sound cracks and pops. Bad sound card?  

Also, how can I get my soundcard to work again?

It might have exploded.

There was this guy who didn't like my music so he did something in my registry on Windows so I couldn't play music loudly. I removed Windows but my soundcard still is playing up.

It isn't my speakers as they work fine.

The sound is really distorted and sometimes crackles/pops.

Thanks for taking time out to read this.
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RetroTechGuy


Joined: 15 Dec 2009
Posts: 2668
Location: USA

PostPosted: Sat 16 Oct 2010, 12:16    Post subject:  

maundy wrote:
Also, how can I get my soundcard to work again?

It might have exploded.

There was this guy who didn't like my music so he did something in my registry on Windows so I couldn't play music loudly. I removed Windows but my soundcard still is playing up.

It isn't my speakers as they work fine.

The sound is really distorted and sometimes crackles/pops.

Thanks for taking time out to read this.


The crackling sounds more like a hardware issue (i.e. wires or connector).

Also, did he physically damage the card?

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disciple

Joined: 20 May 2006
Posts: 6430
Location: Auckland, New Zealand

PostPosted: Sat 16 Oct 2010, 19:52    Post subject:  

But I think some people do complain about crackling - normally with Intel on-board sound IIRC.

Regarding the distortion, please:
1) check in alsamixer or wherever to see if there is an option for higher quality sound. e.g. I have a couple of cards with a control called "AC97 18-bit". If this is turned off then the sound is distorted and quite a bit louder. In Windows with the proper driver installed their description of the control says something about it producing higher quality sound, with higher CPU usage.
2) try adjusting your volume levels - e.g. if the PCM control is at 100%, try turning it down slightly and turning the master volume up. With some sound cards a particular control will create distortion if set at or close to 100%.

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maundy

Joined: 15 Oct 2010
Posts: 12

PostPosted: Sat 16 Oct 2010, 21:17    Post subject:  

I still can't get my sound to work. It isn't the speakers as the same problem is with headphones or external speakers. It must be the soundcard.

I had this issue when I was using Windows also.

I think someone might have overblown them in the registry and now my soundcard is permanently distorted.
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Flash
Official Dog Handler


Joined: 04 May 2005
Posts: 11034
Location: Arizona USA

PostPosted: Sat 16 Oct 2010, 21:37    Post subject:  

How comfortable are you with messing about inside your computer? It's actually quite easy in most cases but if you haven't done it before, you might need a push to get started. Laughing
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GustavoYz


Joined: 07 Jul 2010
Posts: 896
Location: .ar

PostPosted: Sun 17 Oct 2010, 04:26    Post subject:  

Windows Registry can explode your soundcard?
Shocked
Really?

What card are you using?
Some on-board cards have a control volume on it (for example, my old sound card)... Did you check if your card have one?
How old is your sound card? Maybe the output is broke (hope not, just a possibility).
If you have a gain-distortion problem, maybe the analogical part of the output is failing...
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maundy

Joined: 15 Oct 2010
Posts: 12

PostPosted: Tue 19 Oct 2010, 01:08    Post subject:  

Ok if you want to guide me through it I guess I can try and look at the guts of the laptop.

It's a Toshiba Satellite Pro, an older one, I think it is two years old, and it was never top of the line.

Guidance and instructions are more than welcome if you think it can be done by unscrewing the case and fiddling around inside.

I am comfortable to do that if you tell me what it is I have to do.

Thanks.

And yeah, it either was the registry or he went inside my computer and sabotaged it because my music shitted him.

But putting linux on it and removing windows did nothing to rectify my sound card. The guys are not nice people, they are total scum. They also think random acts of violence are funny, and lying about their occupations is hilarious too.
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RetroTechGuy


Joined: 15 Dec 2009
Posts: 2668
Location: USA

PostPosted: Tue 19 Oct 2010, 12:41    Post subject:  

GustavoYz wrote:
Windows Registry can explode your soundcard?
Shocked
Really?


In years past it was possible to software-drive a hardware item, in a mode that would destroy/damage it (Hercules monitors come to mind). In fact, years ago, I believe that there were viruses written to do just that...

I suspect that less likely in modern days (like the last decade, or so)...

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RetroTechGuy


Joined: 15 Dec 2009
Posts: 2668
Location: USA

PostPosted: Tue 19 Oct 2010, 13:01    Post subject:  

maundy wrote:
Ok if you want to guide me through it I guess I can try and look at the guts of the laptop.

It's a Toshiba Satellite Pro, an older one, I think it is two years old, and it was never top of the line.

Guidance and instructions are more than welcome if you think it can be done by unscrewing the case and fiddling around inside.

I am comfortable to do that if you tell me what it is I have to do.

Thanks.

And yeah, it either was the registry or he went inside my computer and sabotaged it because my music shitted him.


Being a laptop, the sound card is (most probably) an on-board chip (i.e it is soldered onto the motherboard, not really tamperable). Actually, most new desktop motherboards also have good sound chips soldered on.

It's possible that the chip was damaged. It's more likely that the earphone jack was damaged. Have you tried a different plug? Also try rotating the plug (sometimes the plugs get better contact on one side, than the other). If you have a different plug (ear buds, etc), try those and see if it changes.

If it crackles when you wiggle or rotate the plug, then you have narrowed down the problem to the mechanical connection there.

Also, most laptops have a volume control in the keys above the keyboard. Try those, if you haven't already.

Note: I see a reference to a turn knob for volume, on the Satellites. What does your computer have for sound control?

Another possibility is that your "friend" installed an incorrect sound driver (breaking your Windows sound) and that Puppy is not loading the correct sound driver.

Check for the simple mechanical problems, before assuming that it is software, however. If there is no variation with mechanical wiggling and changing to a different plug, then you need to post the details of your hardware (i.e. a full-er description of your computer) -- so the experts can look at possible driver issues.

BTW, do you have a copy of Knoppix (my favorite is 5.1.1)? It is a live-boot CD that works pretty well. Try it and see if you get sound (which would indicate a software/driver problem) -- it "talks" to you at completion of loading, so you would know if you're getting sound.

Let me reiterate: all the descriptions you have given us sound like mechanical connection issues (it seems that the sound card actually works, but crackles and cuts out intermittently).

Quote:
But putting linux on it and removing windows did nothing to rectify my sound card. The guys are not nice people, they are total scum. They also think random acts of violence are funny, and lying about their occupations is hilarious too.


With Puppy Linux, you didn't need to remove Windows to try it, or run it (I run my older XP laptop with a Frugal install -- booting Puppy from the CD when I want Puppy, eject the disk when I don't).

BTW, which guys were not nice? Your implication is that people conspired to make you wreck your machine... (here? elsewhere?)

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Last edited by RetroTechGuy on Tue 19 Oct 2010, 13:09; edited 2 times in total
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RetroTechGuy


Joined: 15 Dec 2009
Posts: 2668
Location: USA

PostPosted: Tue 19 Oct 2010, 13:05    Post subject:  

BTW, if nothing else works, and sound is that important, there are options:

http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&source=hp&q=external+laptop+sound+card&btnG=Google+Search

(I don't know if/how well these work with Puppy, but...)

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disciple

Joined: 20 May 2006
Posts: 6430
Location: Auckland, New Zealand

PostPosted: Thu 21 Oct 2010, 04:05    Post subject:  

RetroTechGuy wrote:
Another possibility is that your "friend" installed an incorrect sound driver (breaking your Windows sound) and that Puppy is not loading the correct sound driver.

Both independently of course.

RetroTechGuy wrote:
Let me reiterate: all the descriptions you have given us sound like mechanical connection issues (it seems that the sound card actually works, but crackles and cuts out intermittently).

"The sound is really distorted" doesn't sound like a mechanical connection issue to me... but I guess distorted could mean different things to different people.

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maundy

Joined: 15 Oct 2010
Posts: 12

PostPosted: Fri 05 Nov 2010, 05:19    Post subject:  

RetroTechGuy wrote:
maundy wrote:
Ok if you want to guide me through it I guess I can try and look at the guts of the laptop.

It's a Toshiba Satellite Pro, an older one, I think it is two years old, and it was never top of the line.

Guidance and instructions are more than welcome if you think it can be done by unscrewing the case and fiddling around inside.

I am comfortable to do that if you tell me what it is I have to do.

Thanks.

And yeah, it either was the registry or he went inside my computer and sabotaged it because my music shitted him.


Being a laptop, the sound card is (most probably) an on-board chip (i.e it is soldered onto the motherboard, not really tamperable). Actually, most new desktop motherboards also have good sound chips soldered on.

It's possible that the chip was damaged. It's more likely that the earphone jack was damaged. Have you tried a different plug? Also try rotating the plug (sometimes the plugs get better contact on one side, than the other). If you have a different plug (ear buds, etc), try those and see if it changes.

If it crackles when you wiggle or rotate the plug, then you have narrowed down the problem to the mechanical connection there.

Also, most laptops have a volume control in the keys above the keyboard. Try those, if you haven't already.

Note: I see a reference to a turn knob for volume, on the Satellites. What does your computer have for sound control?

Another possibility is that your "friend" installed an incorrect sound driver (breaking your Windows sound) and that Puppy is not loading the correct sound driver.

Check for the simple mechanical problems, before assuming that it is software, however. If there is no variation with mechanical wiggling and changing to a different plug, then you need to post the details of your hardware (i.e. a full-er description of your computer) -- so the experts can look at possible driver issues.

BTW, do you have a copy of Knoppix (my favorite is 5.1.1)? It is a live-boot CD that works pretty well. Try it and see if you get sound (which would indicate a software/driver problem) -- it "talks" to you at completion of loading, so you would know if you're getting sound.

Let me reiterate: all the descriptions you have given us sound like mechanical connection issues (it seems that the sound card actually works, but crackles and cuts out intermittently).

Quote:
But putting linux on it and removing windows did nothing to rectify my sound card. The guys are not nice people, they are total scum. They also think random acts of violence are funny, and lying about their occupations is hilarious too.


With Puppy Linux, you didn't need to remove Windows to try it, or run it (I run my older XP laptop with a Frugal install -- booting Puppy from the CD when I want Puppy, eject the disk when I don't).

BTW, which guys were not nice? Your implication is that people conspired to make you wreck your machine... (here? elsewhere?)


The problem is through the on board speakers or through the headphone jack, quality does not change.
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maundy

Joined: 15 Oct 2010
Posts: 12

PostPosted: Fri 05 Nov 2010, 05:22    Post subject:  

RetroTechGuy wrote:
BTW, if nothing else works, and sound is that important, there are options:

http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&source=hp&q=external+laptop+sound+card&btnG=Google+Search

(I don't know if/how well these work with Puppy, but...)


Thank you so much for that!

I installed Ubuntu 10.10 so there should be no issues with USB sound cards.

Thanks so much for your help.
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