Choppy/distorted sound

  gruffass 09:33 13 Mar 2006

Bought a new PC a few weeks ago and I've noticed that when I playback music (mp3, flac, shn ape) or play a DVD i've downloaded the sound is choppy disotrted. I don't get this problem playing games. I downloaded drivers from DEll (its a dimension 1100) but it did'nt help. Would investing in a soundcard be a good idea as i think its integrated sound with this PC?


  gudgulf 10:03 13 Mar 2006

What happens when you try playing a CD or DVD directly from the optical drives?

It could be poor quality downloads or problems with the codecs in the player you are using.

Integrated sound is generally pretty good these days so you shouldn't need to change the sound card.

  gruffass 10:54 13 Mar 2006

playing a CD or DVD plays fine from the optical drives. I understand about poor quality downloads but these are files I have played before on my old PC with no problem at all, so when I got the new PC I installed the hard drive from the old PC to the new one and installed all the codecs/plugins I had before. I use winamp to play the music files and Nero for downloaded DVD's.

  gudgulf 11:07 13 Mar 2006

So are the files you have problems with all on the old hard you stil get a problem if you copy a file onto the new hard drive or dowload to the new drive.

I'm wondering if there is a problem with DMA settings on the old drive.You can get choppy sound if it is running in PIO mode.

Have a look at click here will tell you haow to check and what to do about it.

In particular this caught my eye as it refers to Dell computers with a second hard drive added.

"The most frequent use why a CD or DVD port falls back to PIO mode is a scratched or otherwise unreadable CD or DVD.

However, there are a few reasons why a computer may use PIO instead of DMA, particularly when it's the hard disk port that falls back, not a CD/DVD drive port. For example, David Duberman reported in 2005 that some Dell computers have DMA disabled in their BIOS by default for the second hard disk. So it is a good idea to check the BIOS settings first."

Hope this helps.

  gruffass 11:11 13 Mar 2006

the link does'nt work

  gudgulf 11:16 13 Mar 2006

Try this one click here

  gruffass 11:24 13 Mar 2006

Had a look in device manager and "device 1" is PIO mode, I will have a go at the options available at that link and let u know how I get on

  gruffass 11:41 13 Mar 2006

how do i check the bios settings?

  gudgulf 12:24 13 Mar 2006

click here

click here

I'm not familiar with Dell Bios settings......but if you read the first link it suggests that The master drive on each IDE channel isrecognised properly but the slave on the same channel is only recognised as PIO mode.

The solution seems to be clearing the NVRAM,which the second link above tells you how to do.

I'm going to have a look on the Dell forums to see if I can find any better solutions......what you could do is connect your old hard drive up as the second IDE channel master and see if that solves the problem temporarily.

  gruffass 12:58 13 Mar 2006

Did the NVRAM thing, got a beep but still showing PIO transfer mode. Your right about the slave device on each IDE being PIO, both were installed by me, the hard drive and a 2nd CDROM.
What about connecting the primary IDE to the DELL hard drive and having one of the CD Drives as salve and the same with the secondary IDE, the hard drive i installed as master and the other CD Drive? Is this a good idea?

  gudgulf 13:18 13 Mar 2006

The trouble with having a hard drive as master with a cd drive as slave is that transfer rates will go at the speed of the slowest device.This will slow your system slightly but might not be noticable.

It will however mean your optical drives will be under performing in PIO mode.

If you dont do a lot of burning data to cd or directly playing dvd or cd this might not matter...if you do you will find the poor/stuttering sound problem transferred to the optical drives.

I've not had much lick with the Dell forums either but click here if you want to look yourself.

Other suggestions are to keep all your music/video files on the main drive and use your old on in PIO mode as a backup only drive.

If you have USB 2(plain USB is not fast enough) you could consider buying an external drive holder and running the old drive in and video files work well from my own external drive.

Sorry not to be of more help to you.

Did you try running the .VBS script from click here

You will need to open the script...then highlight all the text and copy it into Notepad.Save it as DMAset.vbs or something like that (it has to be .vbs at the end).

Save to the desktop or where you can easily find it then rt click the file and choose "Open with command prompt" and click to allow it to run (ignore all warnings and go ahead.This will only reset Windows though.

To look in the BIOS you need to reboot the pc and tap the Delete key (it may be differentiiyou will get a message saying which key will enter setup)

You will then have to search through the menus to find your drives settings and see if you can enable DMA mode.

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