Audio distortion followed by a hard lockup

Basically, this issue seems to pop up at any time, with no warning, the only common thread being that some sort of audio is on. Sometimes it goes for hours without it, even a day, other times it crashes with barely five minutes' break between crashes. If the audio distort is in a program, for instance a game, sometimes I can avoid the lockup by instantly quitting it.

GTX 275 video card(latest nVidia drivers installed)
Intel Core i7 920 processor
ASUS P6T motherboard
Windows 7 Professional

Not sure what'd really be relevant besides.

I have made no major new installs recently, except in an attempt to rectify the issue(Installing CPU-Z for more PC data, installing RealTek audio drivers). The issue first popped up while playing Mass Effect 2, and seemed to disappear for several days after uninstalling and reinstalling ME2, and only happened during that game for a while. Then it happened while playing Call of Pripyat, and now while doing nothing in particular other than listening to music(though it seems to often coincide with opening Internet Explorer... normally I use Opera.).


Essential Member
Hello, and welcome to the Windows 7 Forums :)
Did you perform a clean install? Or was this an "upgrade" from Vista?
Also, have you tried defragmenting your drive?

Clean install.

And it's less than two weeks old, so I doubt a defrag is necessary.

HOWEVER, one thing did come to mind.

This PC came with one HD, and I installed two from my old PC I upgraded from. One of them has been constantly on the fritz since then, occasionally visible under "My Computer" for a couple of minutes after start-up, and otherwise flickering in and out of my PC's perception besides. I had sort of ignored it since there was nothing vital on it and I couldn't grab anything important off it.

Any chance that just having it plugged in, in its whiggity state, is causing some messed up stuff? It took a serious downhill slide like a week ago, that was when it became inaccessible, and also about when the issues started popping up(a day or two afterwards). Think it'd be worth prying that thing out and seeing if anything improved?

Alright, so, I just pried out the extra HD after yet another crash and toyed around with my PC for a bit to see if it was going to go crazy on me.

The first reboot immediately after removing it got me a crash, but a different kind. Basically it was like my PC got immensely busy while starting up all the stuff that starts up at launch(One of my IM clients, firewall, GMail notifier, AV software, necessities like that) and one by one, things just stopped responding, starting with my start menu/task bar. "Okay", I thought, "Computers can be wacky, let's try another reboot." Started up fine, no issues, thought I'd put it to the test right away so I fired up Call of Pripyat and played for two hours with no issues.

But it's given me periods of peace longer than that before, I suppose time will tell whether I need to post another tearful plea for assistance or not. =P

Okay, it's still happening.

This time it was caused by something that's happened more than once before: It happened when I opened Internet Explorer. I use Opera for most things, but some programs(mIRC in particular...) stubbornly insist on opening all links in IE despite Opera being set as the standard browser. The instant the IE window popped open I was greeted with the familiar combination of static and audio distortion and everything hard-locked.

I'm starting to approach being at wit's end, here.

Hey there

you know this really strikes me! iv'e got the SAME exact problem with almost the same setup!!

im also using a gfx 275 with an asus P6T although i'm running an i7 950 and for the audio im using a presonus firebox that uses the firewire card.

the audio also gets really grainy and distorted sometimes especially when im playing a game. if i don't wuit the game instantly it usually just freezes the computer. No BSOD just a freeze. in this state the reset button isn't working and i have to hold down the power button the shut it down.

sometimes when i reboot the it also takes ages to load stuff like antirus, steam, etc. i usually reset again and boot up once again. then it works just fine.

im also runngin two samsung Seagate Barracuda 7200 which i bought in the end of 2009.

things i tried:

- checking memory with memtest. no errors.
- reinstalling the cpu (cooling reasons), its not the heat though. my system is extremely cool with my Noctua NH-U12P
- tested connections inside computer
- updated all drivers & bios

nothing helped so far

This website is not affiliated, owned, or endorsed by Microsoft Corporation. It is a member of the Microsoft Partner Program.