Stuttering sound on WinXP


Nov 11, 2009
In short, the sound on WindowsXP machine stutters in every kind of application (video, audio, games) since a few days ago.

I have both a PCI soundcard and a motherboard embedded audio interface - I've tried them both, both stutter. I've also tried several different speakers and headphones, no difference. This means that the problem is presumably in the operating system rather than my hardware. As for my PCI card, setting a higher buffer size (= worse latency, undesirable for my music production), does reduce stuttering somewhat but not completely, and it can appear in force again after a few minutes of use.

What did I do before this problem? Well, hard to explain. My computer acted weirdly one day and froze up; I had to reboot it. Upon reboot it immediately froze in start menu, so I rebooted again. After that Windows complained about a damaged file system and needed to check disks. Then upon the boot the computer has worked fine again (I did virus checks etc.), except that the sound is fubar. So, once again I guess it may be some system file that got damaged.

So how can I solve this? I reinstalled card drivers to no avail. (Of course that's not surprising if the error is in the operating system.) I didn't find too many interesting options to mess around with in the Windows control panel that would seem to deal with this problem. Once again my guess is that some system driver that lies between the hardware driver and software interfaces (win32mm, directsound, etc.) is broken.

Any tips on what I could check next would be appreciated!


Aug 23, 2006
Try add and remove, use windows components.
Also, check if HW acceleration is on and working, and also check device manager, and see if everythings working correctly, also if theres any IRQ conflicts, and make sure your bios is set up correctly as well

PS You can also go run dxdiag and check it from there too


Nov 11, 2009
Hi, thanks for the reply.

I see no component in add/remove components that is related to the sound, but maybe I'm missing something?
No IRQ conflicts.
Dxdiag considers everything okay.
There's no hardware acceleration for that sound card (it's intended for music production).

Edit: Just tested it out, sound works fine on Ubuntu, so it's definitely something weird with Windows.
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