Audio stuttering after updates: latency caused by network adapter?

Discussion in 'Windows 7' started by phaolo, Jan 16, 2019.

  1. phaolo

    phaolo MDL Novice

    Nov 3, 2015
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    #1 phaolo, Jan 16, 2019
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2019
    Hello, after applying a bunch of Windows updates, I noticed that my pc started suffering from audio stuttering problems.
    I thought it could be due to the Spectre patch, but the CPU didn't seem to struggle at all.

    So, I've investigated the problem with LatencyMon, which reported issues with ndis.sys.
    After searching info for a while, I found that the latency went back to normal if I... disabled the network adapter! ( Intel(R) Ethernet Connection (2) I219-V )

    Why.. how can I even fix that? There aren't even new drivers for it!

    --

    LatencyMon message:

    “Your system appears to be having trouble handling real-time audio and other tasks. You are likely to experience buffer underruns appearing as drop outs, clicks or pops. One or more DPC routines that belong to a driver running in your system appear to be executing for too long. At least one detected problem appears to be network related. In case you are using a WLAN adapter, try disabling it to get better results. One problem may be related to power management, disable CPU throttling settings in Control Panel and BIOS setup. Check for BIOS updates.”
     
  2. K4onashi

    K4onashi MDL Debugger

    Mar 7, 2012
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    Did you do what the error message said?
     
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  3. phaolo

    phaolo MDL Novice

    Nov 3, 2015
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    Yeah, but it didn't work:
    - I tried disabling, uninstalling & reinstalling the net adapter.
    - I set the min CPU power to 100%.
    - the BIOS is up to date.

    Btw I'm beginning to suspect that the culprit could be the new ZoneAlarmFree firewall..
     
  4. K4onashi

    K4onashi MDL Debugger

    Mar 7, 2012
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    #4 K4onashi, Jan 21, 2019
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2019
    Possibly anything that actively monitors so yes, Zone Alarm, maybe internet browser?

    Have you used resmon.exe to see if something is backing up the CPU, RAM or Network adapter? If nothing crazy is happening to the resources and your PC was working fine before updates MS may have broken something, that's what they're like with W7 now.

    By the way could we know the rest of your specs?

    Best, QB.
     
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  5. phaolo

    phaolo MDL Novice

    Nov 3, 2015
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    I'll try uninstalling ZA and see.
    Hopefully it's that, so I'll just have to revert to the previous lag-free service-free version.

    I didn't notice anything unusual in perfmon, no strange high usage of anything.
    And about MS, it's a shame if they're purposely sabotaging Win7.. it should be frankly illegal, like planned obsolescence.

    Some specs: Win7 Pro x64, i5 6600K (not OC for now), GeForce GTX 1070, 16Gb ram, Samsung SSD.
     
  6. Thomas Dubreuil

    Thomas Dubreuil MDL Senior Member

    Aug 29, 2017
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    Which app? audio player or audio application?
    Which sound device/driver ? motherboard or 3rd party?
    Which output? wavedriver/directsound/asio?

    Few things you can try...
    Try with an older NIC driver, be sure to have power management disabled for your network card (in device manager under powermanagement tab), add antivirus exclusion for your audio application/player and audio files (exclude mp3, wav, aif etc), update soundcard driver...

    for audio production/softwares:
    https://forums.mydigitallife.net/threads/help-having-drop-outs.78474/#post-1486623
     
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  7. phaolo

    phaolo MDL Novice

    Nov 3, 2015
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    I tried:
    - uninstalling ZA.
    - rolling back Nvidia drivers for audio\video.
    - reinstalling the NIC driver (the one that always worked without issues).

    Nothing changed, LatencyMon still reports problems.

    About the power management in my NIC device properties:
    should I disable "Energy Efficient Ethernet"? Isn't that a good feature?

    I'll try it, but I'm out of ideas at this point.
    I don't want to randomly remove KB patches hoping for a miracle -_-

    Btw the audio stuttering (in VLC) and latency mostly appears when I open\use Firefox o_O
    (old version 52 ESR, due to irreplaceable addons, but it never gave me problems before the updates)
     
  8. phaolo

    phaolo MDL Novice

    Nov 3, 2015
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    Some news:

    - it seems I was using LatencyMon incorrectly.
    I had to run it with the pc idle without other programs running.
    Is this correct? By doing that, no latency issues are reported.

    - the audio stuttering, however, was still there, so I temporarly tried a bunch of random suggestions found online.
    Noone worked.. except maybe one!
    Disabling TCPv6 in the LAN settings reduced the problem a lot (but didn't solve it completely).
    I don't even understand why.. did Microsoft mess up some other network setting or what?
     
  9. Joe C

    Joe C MDL Guru

    Jan 12, 2012
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  10. pcnavarra

    pcnavarra MDL Senior Member

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    Some guy reported somewhere on the net : "I have "fixed" the issue by switching to an Intel adapter. So for no stuttering and DPC latency seems to stay within norms. My guess is that the issue is with realtek drivers. Hopefully they will fix them some day". :thinking:
     
  11. phaolo

    phaolo MDL Novice

    Nov 3, 2015
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  12. lolnothankyou

    lolnothankyou MDL Novice

    Jul 27, 2018
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    I have the same problem on a brand new Windows 7 install. I doubt it's the player (Foobar2000 in my case). According to DPC Latency Checker 1.4.0 everything is OK.

    Realtek ALC892 (Realtek High Definition Audio R2.81)
    Intel I219V (Network Adapter Driver 23.1)

    I haven't tried to troubleshoot it yet.
     
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  13. phaolo

    phaolo MDL Novice

    Nov 3, 2015
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    Is your system updated with at least the patches from 2018?
    Anyway, in my case it's not the drivers' fault as the stuttering happens with both Realtek & Nvidia audio and it's not the player's fault either as I tried both VLC & MPC-HC.
     
  14. lolnothankyou

    lolnothankyou MDL Novice

    Jul 27, 2018
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    No, I haven't installed ANY cumulative updates. My Windows 7 is updated til ~2015.

    Why are you asking? Are there any specific updates related to audio stuttering that I should install?
     
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  15. phaolo

    phaolo MDL Novice

    Nov 3, 2015
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    For me the stuttering appeared after I installed all patches from 2018 (but also a new BIOS vers).
    Sadly it's difficult to identify the culprit (thus this thread happened).
     
  16. erpsterm35

    erpsterm35 MDL Addicted

    May 27, 2013
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    if using Geforce GTX 1070, can you just install graphics drivers & nvidia audio drivers only, without the "extra" stuff from nvidia?

    when I was using win7 on another PC, I'd uninstall old updates from 2018 and keep any updates from 2019; I use Disk Cleanup (cleanmgr.exe) and if Windows Update Cleanup is available (with at least 500Mb), I'd check that, run it and reboot. I also prevent "SysMain" (Superfetch) service from running since that service is not needed on SSD drives and I remove the files from the Windows\Prefetch folder.

    yea it's definitely hard to pinpoint the exact cause of the audio stutters; perhaps remove some non-essential utilities from asus from running at startup
     
  17. phaolo

    phaolo MDL Novice

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    #19 phaolo, Mar 20, 2019
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2019
    (OP)
    Thank you, but sadly I've already done all those things.
    I wish that someone else had this problem too, so I could at least compare software\hardware, but nope :\
     
  18. Michaela Joy

    Michaela Joy MDL Crazy Lady

    Jul 26, 2012
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