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Re: Thanks, Mike!

9/6/2003 1:06 AM
Eric H
Re: Thanks, Mike!
"Maybe half of the computers I've put together would "stutter" when playing the Windows startup theme... they would play WAV files properly the rest of the time but I figured that Windows was busy initializing drivers (or whatever!) "
Yep --same thing ever since I upgraded to win98 from win95 last year ( :D )  
9/6/2003 2:32 PM
Steve A.
I think I have the problem identified...
    In searching the newsgroups I found reference to a problem with the new NVidia drivers causing stuttering and static through a SB Audigy 2 sound card; the writer recommended using the 43.45 driver or anything earlier than that but it didn't help much. So I'll try a different video board to see if that works better.  
    FWIW I only get the stuttering and static when I'm playing WAV files with a track editor like Cool Edit Pro or Sound Forge... the playback through WinAmp or WMP is flawless. I've tried adjusting the settings in CEP but haven't found the magic combination yet.  
Steve Ahola
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9/6/2003 8:28 PM

If you've got the drivers that seems to work for other people, maybe now cut back on the video acceleration in case its IRQ hogging which responds to the Microsoft control panel.  
Right click My Computer then>Properties>Performance Graphics and you can kick back the acceleration if you have not already tried this. I think this is the same in XP, I can't fire up my XP laptop right now.  
Also I'll check but I imagine the triple-digit IRQ's are normal, maybe just for the multiprocessor rig, but notice how they seem to be only on devices which have never had real mode drivers to begin with.  
Maybe deeper in the bowels of your machine its the PnP OS enable setting in BIOS. I don't even know if they have this option on modern motherboards. It really should be enabled for most Windows since 95, but when disabled it allows you to assign IRQ's by slot to accomodate hardware combinations which Windows does not enumerate correctly automatically, or not the way you want it to, having the priorities you have in mind. When enabled you're supposed to be able to shut down and change slots, but when disabled you would think not since when you reboot it can be expected to for instance assign IRQ5 to whatever card you put in that particular slot, when Windows may only be smoothly running with the card it was familiar with to begin with, the Windows3.1 way. However now Windows has a higher level way to reserve an IRQ if you would rather let a non-optimal PnP setup go automatically in BIOS, then only have to set proper IRQ in Windows instead of manually assigning it in BIOS any time you rearrange the hardware.  
For this Right click My Computer then>Properties>Device Manager>select Computer>Properties>Reserve Resources  
where you can reserve 4 different types of MB resources for the devices you have in mind. This does not guarantee a conflict-free Device Manager when you first reboot, but takes first priority so then you go back to Device Manager and correct the conflict manually without having to compromise the assignment you made to the card(s) giving you difficulty and making you go there in the first place ;)  
For recording, or decent playback while browsing and webcamming, on a 450Mz W98 box I had built in MB accelerated graphics and it was a bad IRQ hog (allowing its IRQ to hold the complete bus for too many cycles) with no updated drivers available. Disabling on-board graphics in BIOS then putting in an older graphics card having less features and acceleration to begin with made all the difference.  
I think some graphics cards are so advanced at being optimized for games, it may not be a good idea to try and get very high performance gaming from the same machine as mutitrack audio. However if he is still there I learned a lot about XP from where he has pretty good explanations about the horde of background processes typically occurring in XP that were not there to bug you in previous Windows versions. I just picked ones I thought were wasteful and disabled them one at a time to watch my system's performance and speed improve by notches.  
9/6/2003 9:55 PM
Steve A.

For this Right click My Computer then>Properties>Device Manager>select Computer>Properties>Reserve Resources  
where you can reserve 4 different types of MB resources for the devices you have in mind.
    The only device I could assign manually was my COM1 port, which I switched over to IRQ3 since it looked like other devices were sharing IRQ4. For all of the other devices in my computer, the option to manually configure the resources was greyed-out.  
    I don't think that "Reserve Resources" is available in either WinXP or Win2K (I used to use it for a parallel printer card I was using with Win95 and Win98.)  
--Thanks for all of your suggestions! Now I just have to undo everything I tried earlier... :(  
Steve Ahola
9/6/2003 9:43 PM
Steve A.
It was the darned Maxtor Ultra ATA133 card!
    I tried switching out the video card with an older one, but that didn't really help at all. At first it seemed quieter but then I'd get some really loud pops from the left speaker. :(  
    I tried some other things: switching my RAM from dual channel to single channel thinking that it was too fast for my audio [sonic booms from exceeding the speed of sound? ;) ]  
    I also tried disabling the on-board IDE and moving my CD-ROM drive to the Maxtor card. Neither of those helped but I took another look at the Properties window for the Maxtor card. Hmmm... maybe if I'm real careful I can try disabling the default flush-drive-cache setting:  
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    Eureka! The static and stuttering was completely gone... I ran through a dozen menus to double-check the results and pinched myself to make sure that I hadn't dozed off and was dreaming. Ouch!  
Steve Ahola
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