Crackling sound from speakers on startup

a0c

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Nov 20, 2011
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When I power up my laptop, a moderately loud crackling noise that lasts about 1.5 seconds can be heard from my speakers. From what I can tell, there is no other effect to the sound quality after Windows starts. There have been no recent software changes to my system. How do I fix this? Are my speakers about to explode? Here are my specs:

15.6" 1920X1080 IPS LED Anti-Glare G-Sync
6th Gen Intel Skylake Core i7-6700HQ
nVidia GTX980M 8GB GDDR5
16GB DDR4 2133MHz PC17000
256GB M.2 SSD SATA III
1TB 7200rpm 2.5" SATA III
Optical Drive: None
Intel Wireless-AC 8260 + Bluetooth 4.1
USB 3.1 Type-C

Under Device Manager > Sound, video and game controllers:

Intel (R) Display Audio
NVIDIA Virtual Audio Device (Wave Extensible) (WDM)
Realtek High Definition Audio
SP-5004 Hands-Free
SP-5004 Stereo

Thank you!
 

photonboy

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Hard to tell if it's hardware or software.

Does this sound occur BEFORE or AFTER Windows starts to load?

You could get a Linux Distro such as Ubuntu and put on a USB stick then boot from that (may need to figure out how to go into the BIOS to affect boot order.. sometimes it's F2, or POWER+F2 or other on starting boot).

If you get crackling booting Linux it's probably a hardware issue. If not, probably a software issue.

Also, since you appear to not get problems AFTER boot it would be difficult to diagnose (if software) though one potential fix if W10 is to do an "in-place Upgrade" which may fix any issues.

1. go to MS media creation tool site to create the latest W10 install media
https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/software-download/windows10

2. Run with 8GB+ stick inserted (though I thought it was less than 4GB)

3. After it's created, run "setup.exe" from the USB stick and follow instructions

4. if prompted (I don't think I got a choice now) choose to keep data and applications both

5. let finish

6. Microsoft Updates will probably have some updates

OTHER:
http://www.resplendence.com/latencymon

That can tell you if there's a driver hogging CPU so that real-time audio processing is interrupted but if you don't have any popping or stutter audio issues after boot it's likely fine.

If it suggest a driver you can DISABLE in Device Manager then rerun LatencyMON. If for example, it suggest the Intel Network driver then DISABLE it in Device Manager and reboot to see if it was the cause.


OTHER:
type "msconfig" then run System Configuration-> BOOT, and choose to run SAFE MODE (check "minimal") which will run only the bare essentials to bootup. If there's no AUDIO issues on boot then again it's a SOFTWARE problem likely caused by a driver.
 

a0c

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The noise definitely sounds before Windows starts. It's almost right after I press the power button (when nothing is on the screen and right after the fans start making noise) and sounds like an old TV turning on.
 

a0c

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Thank you for replying! So I tried doing a Safe Mode boot (restart and shutting down completely and turning back on) and there was no crackling noises. I feel like this occurs only after my laptop has been turned off for a long time?
 

photonboy

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Uh...?
If it happens BEFORE Windows starts then Safe Mode shouldn't matter since any changes to how Windows loads programs doesn't matter is completely after the fact.

It must be a hardware issue since again it's before you even load the Operating System thus it's not a software issue. When it's not software it's hardware.

Rather hard to troubleshoot except perhaps to attach DESKTOP SPEAKERS to the headphone jack. What?

If you do that and no longer get that sound then the issue is close to the laptop speakers. Though.... after further thought I suspect that won't help since the sound is probably random noise that the speakers are playing due to poor audio isolation from the system power, so I don't think you can MUTE the laptop speakers in this sense.

*it's probably like taking the connector for desktop speakers from the back of the computer and randomly running it over some voltage sources so it amplifies these random voltage "noises".
 
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