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sick sound card symptoms?


I have a PC running cubase sx3. Everything has been going swimmingly for over a year. then a couple of bad lock ups that forced me to warm boot.

After that my delta 44 is acting up. Made sure the sound card was still linked to cubase (through devices) but stutters, clicks, pops both in and out of cubase (even playing an mp3 through windows media player).

I updated drivers... no change.

My question is will a warm boot damage a sound card?

Any advice/suggestions/repair gurus welcome.

Thanks for your time.


Member Wed, 01/09/2008 - 23:05

I've narrowed it down to my hard drive.

When I restored songs from back up drive to music drive same problem. When I played song from back up drive... voila! NO problem.

Off to price new drive... and man, am I glad I backed up along the way. A cautionary tale for sure.

Thanks for your support.


hueseph Mon, 01/07/2008 - 20:01
jed-bundy wrote: Would these settings affect all audio apps (including the crappy windows medai player)? as everything coming through the card is glitching out. Sheeesh!


Actually, no. It would only effect Cubase. Starting to sound more hardware related now. Bad RAM maybe?Have you checked for viruses lately? Do you defragment your drives often?

Member Tue, 01/08/2008 - 18:01
hueseph wrote: [quote=jed-bundy]Would these settings affect all audio apps (including the crappy windows medai player)? as everything coming through the card is glitching out. Sheeesh!


Actually, no. It would only effect Cubase. Starting to sound more hardware related now. Bad RAM maybe?Have you checked for viruses lately? Do you defragment your drives often?hueseph:

Thanks for getting back.

Still researching. I think it might be hardware too.

I don't have this machine on the net and am the only user so don't think it's viral (but will check).

Someone suggested complete reinstall but I'm not going there yet.

Ran a registry clean and there were a lot to clean up but no change. Symptoms are mainly glitchy sound with big pauses in playback (cubase) while hard drive meter pins out. Almost like it's gulping data spitting it out then gulping again. Worse for audio than midi.

I've defragged all drives.

I'm in vancouver too... do you know any music system tech guys who I could pay to look at this with me?

Thank you so much for you help.


hueseph Tue, 01/08/2008 - 18:39
I don't know anyone particularly that would be cheap as far as techs are concerned. I would try taking out a stick of ram at a time and see if it is a ram issue. Go to and run housecall. If you were having crashes, there must be an issue other than the soundcard.

What OS?

You can pm me if need be. I'm near VGH.

Member Tue, 01/08/2008 - 20:48

I've never pulled ram as a troubleshoot before. Worth a try.

XP os. 2 gigs ram. athlon A8V MB.

It did crash hard a few times... I think it was because I was loading up multiple passes of audio tracks. I will admit I have done very little audio stuff (mainly midi) and did not realize I needed to control "Z" to ditch tracks. Instead I was selecting, then deleting track on time line. Of course, now I know all of these tracks stacked up in the pool. I might have been asking too much of the system.

Anyway, if that was or wasn't the cause of lock-ups things turned ugly immediately after a forced boot. I fear my this warm boot may have messed with hardware. I tried to roll back to last working XP config. but feature is shut off (as recommended for daw apps.)

I'm going to look into bios and see if anything's weird re: disk drive assignment. Definitely not just a cubase issue; anything I play in wavelab has the same problem.

Clutching at straws... appreciate being able to bounce this off you.


P.S. I'm in the oakridge area... what does " can pm me" mean?

hueseph Tue, 01/08/2008 - 22:32
It could be that a drive is failing too. If you have been recording multiple passes, have you had a chance to dump the unused tracks in the audio pool? It could also be that you have too much on the drive and that you're too much space used up percentage wise. I'm personally afraid to have more than 60% of a drive used up. At that point, I start burning data to DVD. Always A good idea to archive regularly.

Also check to see if any settings have defaulted in Cubase. Make sure you're writing to a separate drive other than your system drive. It's also possible that you're hard drive is beginning to fail.

PM is private message. I can give you my messenger. Sometimes it's easier to troubleshoot in realtime.

Member Tue, 01/08/2008 - 23:54

I'll let you know what I got up to.

I read the m audio troubleshoot list and decided to check the IRQ for conflicts. Followed their procedure including moving card to new slot. The IRQ address did move but no change in my problem.

Because everything was working so well for the past year and I haven't installed any new hardware I didn't expect much from this.

I have been archiving on a removable hard drive so I am not as panicked as I could be.

I'll check the cubase settings again but, it seems to be ok. besides with other apps (wavetable) showing symptoms.

I do write to separate drive (is this something you can check in Cubase?) The drive has room to spare; but it could be failing... bought the system used and it is nearly three years old.

Here's the last bit of the puzzle to chew on:

Out of frustration, I opened up a new song, loaded up a couple of vst synths and played them. NO Glitchin'!!!

Then I recorded a chunk, played it back and NO Glitchin' ....WTF????

Then opened old song... glitching is back. In fact anything I recorded/mixed/mastered before the meltdown is unplayable. Even a single piano track stutters!!!!

Holy Crap... that might mean the hardware is OK. I'm guess I'm getting to the reinstall point.

I'm going to try to get some sleep.... been up since 7am.

Thanks for listening.


eFe Wed, 01/09/2008 - 05:45
I've had some problems like this some time ago, also I often do tech ork at studios based on PC (specially XP). First of all, I live in Argentina so Englush is not my mother tongue, I want to know if "warm boo" means tha you restarted your computer without closing your XP session as you usually do.

Also there could be another problems. Does the problem persist running Windows Media Player? Wich version? If it does't, have you installed any other audio app or audio plugin (if so you should uninstall it and check), also some antivirus with resident scan can cause some trouble (for example, Norton). Have you changed your sample rate or bit rate settings lately? (If your soundcard is working in a different setting than your previous Cubase Session this could be the problem).
What were you doing when your machine crashed for the first time?

I´ll think about this matter for a while and see if I can come whit something else. Please, answer as many questions as you can so e can know if some part of the puzzle is missing.

If the problem persist I think a complete OS reinstall would clean it all but you'll never know what happened.

Good luck with it!

hueseph Wed, 01/09/2008 - 08:16
Back up Jed. If it's only old songs that are being effected, why would you need to reinstall? Do you have a back-up of that work? Try loading a song from a back-up. To check which drive you're writing to in Cubase all you have to do is open a file. You should be able to see which drive you're opening from. Also when you start a new file just make sure you create a new folder on your secondary drive. I'm sure you must know that already.

Member Wed, 01/09/2008 - 09:27
Yeah, I'm all backed up on a removeable HD.... will try that this morning.
I guess sometimes knowing why something's amiss is not as important as how to get up and running again.

Thanks for your clarity during this difficult time.


P.S. Thanks eFe for pitching in. As the thread suggests, I might be getting close to a solution. stay tuned.

P.P.S. yes, I did clear the pool of all those stacked audio tracks.