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Sound breaks up and pixelates

May 12, 2016 at 20:11:53
Specs: Windows 10
The audio on my PC/Windows 10 (8 gigs RAM, AMD A8-7410 processor) frequently starts breaking up in a series of clicks, bleeps, and bloops I can only describe as audio pixelating. Actually it's happened on the last 2 PCs (Win 8.1 and 8.0) It happens with music files, while streaming videos, etc. I also notice that when it happens, my cursor responds sluggishly to the mouse, and things in general get sluggish. Any suggestions?

See More: Sound breaks up and pixelates

May 12, 2016 at 21:53:12
Has happened with other computers too... Posibly you have either a router problem, or a problem with incoming connection...

How is your internet provided - over phone line or cable; even fibre?

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May 13, 2016 at 07:03:33
What is your internet download speed like. Try this:

I assume downloaded audio files play normally.

Always pop back and let us know the outcome - thanks

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May 13, 2016 at 11:17:59
That's the thing -- it happens with downloaded audio files, too. Just in case this might have something to do with it, I get most of my audio files through YouTube via a converter program. I refuse to have anything to do with iTunes, so I'm willing to accept some degree of quality degradation as a result, but this is a really annoying problem. I do get quite a few files through Amazon, but I haven't noticed whether or not there's a distinction between files from different sources.

For the record, my internet connection is cable, and my computer is connected by WiFi. The router is less than six months old, but the problem has gone on longer than that. My download speeds are typically in the 15-17 mbs range -- it was 16 when I tested it just now.

BTW, thanks in advance for the help. I'm a computer novitiate, so dealing with stuff like this confounds me.

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Related Solutions

May 13, 2016 at 12:09:07
OK, well if it happens when playing downloaded files too then it isn't network trouble. The source of the file should not have any bearing on the reported problem.

Best first start with a malware check. Please run the following three free programs in the order given:

(blue "Download Now" button on right).
Download and "Save" the file somewhere. Go to the saved file then double click it to run the program. Use the "Scan" button, followed by the "Clean" button.

Junkware Removal Tool (JRT)
(blue Download button).
Download and "Save" the file somewhere. Go to the saved file then double click it to run JRT. It might appear to have stopped at times or flash the screen but sit tight until it has finished.

(use the "download" button rather than the "buy" button).
Install and Run the program but before running the Scan go to "Settings > Detection and Protection" and put a checkmark in "Scan for rootkits". Quarantine anything it finds.

Please copy/paste the logs on here.

Always pop back and let us know the outcome - thanks

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May 13, 2016 at 17:41:33
Even if this doesn't fix the problem, at least it gave my HD a good and much needed scrubbing. OK, here goes:

# AdwCleaner v5.116 - Logfile created 13/05/2016 at 19:42:26
# Updated 09/05/2016 by Xplode
# Database : 2016-05-13.1 [Server]
# Operating system : Windows 10 Home (X64)
# Username : Letor - DESKTOP-7EUF816
# Running from : C:\Users\Letor\AppData\Local\Temp\scoped_dir1796_31833\adwcleaner_5.116.exe
# Option : Clean
# Support :

***** [ Services ] *****

***** [ Folders ] *****

***** [ Files ] *****

***** [ DLLs ] *****

***** [ WMI ] *****

***** [ Shortcuts ] *****

***** [ Scheduled tasks ] *****

***** [ Registry ] *****

[-] Key Deleted : HKLM\SOFTWARE\Classes\CLSID\{EE932B49-D5C0-4D19-A3DA-CE0849258DE6}
[-] Key Deleted : HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Browser Helper Objects\{EE932B49-D5C0-4D19-A3DA-CE0849258DE6}
[-] Key Deleted : HKU\.DEFAULT\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Ext\Stats\{EE932B49-D5C0-4D19-A3DA-CE0849258DE6}
[-] Key Deleted : HKU\.DEFAULT\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Ext\Settings\{EE932B49-D5C0-4D19-A3DA-CE0849258DE6}
[-] Key Deleted : HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Ext\Stats\{EE932B49-D5C0-4D19-A3DA-CE0849258DE6}
[-] Key Deleted : HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Ext\Settings\{EE932B49-D5C0-4D19-A3DA-CE0849258DE6}

***** [ Web browsers ] *****

[-] [C:\Users\Letor\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Web Data] [Search Provider] Deleted :
[-] [C:\Users\Letor\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Web Data] [Search Provider] Deleted : go search
[-] [C:\Users\Letor\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Web Data] [Search Provider] Deleted :
[-] [C:\Users\Letor\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Web Data] [Search Provider] Deleted :
[-] [C:\Users\Letor\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Web Data] [Search Provider] Deleted :
[-] [C:\Users\Letor\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Web Data] [Search Provider] Deleted :
[-] [C:\Users\Letor\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Secure Preferences] [Startup_URLs] Deleted : hxxps://


:: "Tracing" keys deleted
:: Winsock settings cleared


C:\AdwCleaner\AdwCleaner[C1].txt - [2385 bytes] - [13/05/2016 19:42:26]
C:\AdwCleaner\AdwCleaner[S1].txt - [2370 bytes] - [13/05/2016 19:39:49]

########## EOF - C:\AdwCleaner\AdwCleaner[C1].txt - [2531 bytes] ##########

Junkware Removal Tool (JRT) by Malwarebytes
Version: 8.0.6 (04.25.2016)
Operating System: Windows 10 Home x64
Ran by Letor (Administrator) on Fri 05/13/2016 at 19:50:13.73

File System: 5

Successfully deleted: C:\WINDOWS\prefetch\ (File)
Successfully deleted: C:\WINDOWS\prefetch\ (File)
Successfully deleted: C:\WINDOWS\prefetch\ (File)
Successfully deleted: C:\WINDOWS\prefetch\ (File)
Successfully deleted: C:\WINDOWS\prefetch\ (File)

Registry: 1

Successfully deleted: HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\SearchScopes\{47F5636C-2EC4-4594-9D32-565381F58778} (Registry Key)

Scan was completed on Fri 05/13/2016 at 19:53:30.48
End of JRT log
Malwarebytes Anti-Malware

Scan Date: 5/13/2016
Scan Time: 7:59 PM
Logfile: MWB Log 5-13-16.txt
Administrator: Yes

Malware Database: v2016.05.13.06
Rootkit Database: v2016.05.06.01
License: Trial
Malware Protection: Enabled
Malicious Website Protection: Enabled
Self-protection: Disabled

OS: Windows 10
CPU: x64
File System: NTFS
User: Letor

Scan Type: Threat Scan
Result: Completed
Objects Scanned: 316257
Time Elapsed: 28 min, 30 sec

Memory: Enabled
Startup: Enabled
Filesystem: Enabled
Archives: Enabled
Rootkits: Disabled
Heuristics: Enabled
PUP: Enabled
PUM: Enabled

Processes: 0
(No malicious items detected)

Modules: 0
(No malicious items detected)

Registry Keys: 0
(No malicious items detected)

Registry Values: 0
(No malicious items detected)

Registry Data: 0
(No malicious items detected)

Folders: 0
(No malicious items detected)

Files: 0
(No malicious items detected)

Physical Sectors: 0
(No malicious items detected)


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May 14, 2016 at 04:41:57
They didn't find anything too worrying - let us know if there is any improvement.

Can you confirm that you only have one virus checker running in the background in real time?

You may have some unnecessary background programs running generally which are gobbling up resources.

One other thing you could do is ensure you have the latest audio drivers. Get them from your computer manufacturer's website - third party driver websites can be risky.

Always pop back and let us know the outcome - thanks

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May 14, 2016 at 13:55:06
I may indeed have two virus programs running if Microsoft's Defender counts as an anti-virus program. I generally use AVG. I have had issues with that slowing my download speeds to the dial-up range in the past, so it can be a problematic program. I'll try fiddling with those two programs and see if it helps. I'll also see if running fewer programs helps.

I already went ahead and updated the audio drivers last night when it occurred to me that that might be part of the problem. I don't know if it -- or the cleaning out -- fixed the problem yet since I haven't had a chance to play any music today. I should know by tonight if it's resolved.

I'll post an update tomorrow and hopefully mark this as resolved. Thanks for your help. I stumbled across this site by accident, but I know now where I'm turning for any future issues. You guys have been awesome.

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May 14, 2016 at 14:51:24
Sure, keep us posted.

Always pop back and let us know the outcome - thanks

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May 22, 2016 at 19:44:25
I really didn't have much luck. Then I had an idea. I uninstalled Adobe Crash -- err, I mean Adobe Flash Player. I've always hated that infernal program! It hijacks my computer, slows things to a crawl, and crashes multiple times a day. Whoever is responsible for it should be locked in a room with a computer that does nothing but play endless loops of cute kitten YouTube videos until he/she repents! Since uninstalling it, things run much better in general, and the pixelating problem is greatly attenuated. Sadly, a lot of websites I otherwise like won't run properly without it. I guess I'll have to do without those sites.

Insights on whether this is a legitimate solution?

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May 23, 2016 at 07:37:59
I have never had trouble with Flash - used from Windows 98 onwards. If you are using Internet Explorer 11 then Microsoft are likely to put it back on again as it is part of Win 10 updates. If you are using some alternative browser like Firefox or Chrome then go to this website and see if you are using the latest version (see little box on the right, above the list):
An old version might be causing troubles so if it is not the right version then get it by going to the link in the text above the table where it says "Player Download Center ". Don't forget to uncheck any unwanted goodies they try to foist on you during install.

There are Flash alternatives, see here for example:
I can't vouch for any of them personally (or whether the websites given are safe). If you want to go that way do a bit of Googling on their safety. There might well be other alternatives too.

Always pop back and let us know the outcome - thanks

message edited by Derek

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