Old 07-24-2019, 06:30 PM   #1
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Default Hesitation/ stuttering after upgrade to Windows 10

I recently upgraded my old trusty Dell M6400 laptop from Windows 7 to Windows 10. Everything except sound seems to be working well. Listening to anything using the Windows high definition audio device leads to hesitations and stuttering. The same was happening using the ASIO driver for my old M-audio USB Audiophile external sound card, so I started working through all of the suggestions that I could find on the web for dealing with the problem. As none of these suggestions worked, I finally resorted to going into the device manager to delete devices (mostly ethernet and wireless) one by one hoping to see the problems disappear if I deleted a device that was conflicting with interrupts/memory or whatever Windows is using for the the audio stream. For the devices that I could delete, there was no improvement, but while doing this I noticed that if I had the device manager scan for hardware changes, the stuttering and hesitations would disappear when using Reaper with the old M Audio USB audio card, and all was fine until I ran any other audio software. Running any other software causes the stuttering and hesitation to start happening again. Rescanning for new hardware allows me to use Reaper again.
This laptop is not my primary system for recording, but I really would like to sort the problem out just to understand what is happening if nothing else. Specs:

- Dell M6400 laptop with Intel Core2 Extreme CPU Q9300 @ 2.53 GHz (x64-based quad core)
- 4 gigabytes RAM
- Newly installed 240 GB SanDisk SSD Plus (the only installed mass storage device)
- Currently running the 32-bit version of Windows 10 Pro (version 1903) although the processor is capable of 64 bit operation.
- Uses Nvidia Quadro FX 3700M display adaptor
- Windows reports that all drivers are up to date

The Windows resource monitor indicates low usage of CPU (<9% or so) and memory.
Suggestions are welcome. Some specific questions to those of you who know Windows audio internals: Is it likely that increasing RAM or switching to 64-bit Windows 10 might de-conflict processes?
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Old 07-25-2019, 12:50 AM   #2
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First thing to do is run resplendence.com`s latency checker. It will pinpoint any problems with doing multitrack recording on your Dell.

Oddly I have the same laptop sitting here doing nothing in the studio but mine runs Win10 ion a far lesser cpu than yours & with 4gb ram and a 5400rpm 93gb hard drive.

I recall struggling with a 2.5 pentium core duo back a few years ago & the biggest issues for me were the audio interface I was using and the nvidia graphics driver.
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Old 07-25-2019, 05:53 AM   #3
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Latencymon does find problems. It says that one or more DPC routine that belongs to a driver running on the system is executing for too long, and that at least one detected problem appears to be network related. It reports a DPC routine execution time of 101787 microseconds for storport.sys storage port driver, which seems excessive to me. It recommended that I check for a BIOS update, and there is indeed an update available - but the flash program is for Windows 7 and will not run under Windows 10. And down the rabbit hole we go. Looks like I will have to roll back to Windows 7 to update the BIOS and then re-install Windows 10. This will take a while.

Thanks for pointing me towards latencymon.

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Old 07-25-2019, 08:06 PM   #4
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I reinstalled Windows 7, updated the BIOS, reinstalled Windows 10, and ran Latencymon again. No apparent improvement in performance is evident. I have turned off CPU throttling, and uninstalled all network devices listed by the Windows device manager. None of these actions seem to have improved audio performance at all. Also temporarily turned off virtual memory paging. No improvement.

Help?
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Old 07-26-2019, 03:03 AM   #5
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Try switching your IRS driver.

https://downloadcenter.intel.com/dow...?product=55005

Have also seen disabling esata ports in bios listed as a fix, but I would try the IRS first.
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Old 07-26-2019, 07:04 AM   #6
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Intel's rapid storage (IRS) driver does not appear to be installed on the system. I tried the latest version of Intel's installation package, and it failed. Maybe an earlier version of the IRS drivers would work, but I don't think that IRS is really needed for an SSD. Also this laptop predates eSATA, so the SSD is on a SATA controller. I also forced an update of nVidia drivers, but no joy. Not sure what to do next. I am truly out of ideas.

Last edited by tspring; 07-26-2019 at 07:15 AM.
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Old 07-26-2019, 08:47 AM   #7
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Default Chipset drivers etc

Did you install drivers or did windows do it automatically?. Snappy driver installer might point you at alternatives.
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Old 07-26-2019, 09:56 AM   #8
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What's not clear to me is the 32-bit thing - are you using 32 bit Reaper? Are all your plugs and processing 32 bit?
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Old 07-26-2019, 11:16 AM   #9
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So far I have stuck to 32 bit Windows 10 because of concerns about availability of drivers for vintage hardware and software. The problems the system is having with audio are not related to Reaper specifically. The stuttering and lags are present when any software generates audio. Latencymon shows problems even if it is the only software loaded. As far as I know, all of the software on the system is 32 bit. I am getting close to giving 64 bit windows a try.

Geoff-h30, I will give Snappy a look.

Thanks to all for the ideas.
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Old 07-26-2019, 11:33 AM   #10
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Some people trust Windows to update all the drivers on a fresh OS install, but your best bet is to at least install the drivers from your mobo manufacturer. Fresh install is also much better than just a version upgrade.

I've also had good results with DriverBooster (uninstall immediately afterward to avoid irritating popups). In both cases Reaper performance was improved over just the drivers Microsoft provided.

Largely it's poor system drivers which cause problems with running audio because they tend to clog up your processor with long DPC wait times.
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Old 07-27-2019, 02:15 AM   #11
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The interface is not supported for Win10 and although some seem to get it working others report similar issues to you.

You might try installing it's software in W7 compatibility mode.

Otherwise pin down the issue by trying built in audio with asio4all and the interface with asio4all or wasapi driver instead of the m-audio one.
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Old 07-28-2019, 06:30 AM   #12
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I ran Snappy. It did make some changes to the system, but audio was not improved.

Stella645 - the audio problems were present even before the driver for the M-Audio sound card was installed. You hear them when using WASAPI to listen to an MP3 through the built-in headphone jack for example. The problem seems to be at a very low level in the system, so deep down that I can't seem to get to it.

foxAsteria - I am running a clean install of Windows 10. I am pretty sure that you are correct in saying that the problems are usually related to poor system drivers and long DPC wait times, although I am also a little suspicious that the new SSD card might be the problem. However, I can't find anything on the web suggesting that SSD cards have any conflicts with audio processing. I will try DriveBooster, as I don't see an alternative to the shot-in-the-dark approach at this point. If this fails, I will install 64-bit windows 10 to see if the 64-bit drivers play together a little better.

Thanks to everyone for taking time to try to help. It is folks like you who make the Reaper forum so great.
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Old 07-28-2019, 08:54 AM   #13
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There was a problem with W10 1903 causing high DPC latency spikes on some systems. An update released yesterday seems to have fixed this for people that had it. Bit of an outside chance this was your problem but you never know.
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Old 07-28-2019, 12:18 PM   #14
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Ran DriveBoost. No improvement listening to audio using the W10 high definition audio device over headphones plugged into the computers built in jack. Upgraded to Windows 10 64-bit. No improvement. Ran DriveBoost on the 64 bit version of W10. No improvement. Updated W10 1903 to version current as of 15:00 hours July 28. No improvement.

Dang.
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Old 07-28-2019, 12:36 PM   #15
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If you're experimenting with getting out of Windows 7 before the rapidly approaching drop dead date, you might give Xubuntu or other Linux flavors like Mint a try. I was using two M-Audio PCI based Delta 2496 cards with REAPER in Linux and getting very good performance out of them. I recently bought a Behringer UMC1820 to use as my audio interface with REAPER, but still use one of the 2496 cards for computer audio.

If OTOH you have a lot of Windows plugins with heavy handed DRM, sticking with Windows may be your best route. You can run Windows plugins in Linux, but they will be running in WINE and you'll need to bridge them with LinVST. I have Kontakt, Superior Drummer, and pretty much all my Windows plugins working, but have begun to replace a lot of the audio plugins with native Linux VSTs.
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Old 07-29-2019, 07:54 AM   #16
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I finally gave up on windows 10 and tried to do a clean install of Windows 7. Wouldn’t you know it, the Windows 7 update center does not recognize my product key and will not activate my New
W7 installation. Very strange as Windows 10 activated wih no problem using the same key. Geez what have I done to anger the gods? No doubt I could get Reaper running on Linux but then I have to learn the whole Linux ecosystem to do all the tasks to support the system. That’s a pretty big time commitment that I am not sure I want to make at the moment (total Linux noob here).
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Old 07-29-2019, 08:16 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tspring View Post
I finally gave up on windows 10 and tried to do a clean install of Windows 7. Wouldn’t you know it, the Windows 7 update center does not recognize my product key and will not activate my New
W7 installation. Very strange as Windows 10 activated wih no problem using the same key. Geez what have I done to anger the gods? No doubt I could get Reaper running on Linux but then I have to learn the whole Linux ecosystem to do all the tasks to support the system. That’s a pretty big time commitment that I am not sure I want to make at the moment (total Linux noob here).
Linux isn't as alien as you might think. I switched out my wife's computer from running Windows 7 to Xubuntu Linux while she was at work and expected her wrath to rain down on me. Since it installs with both Firefox and Thunderbird, I cloned her data from Windows, and she hardly noticed that the OS was 100% different.

That said, you can download an ISO, burn it to a DVD and play with it booting live off the DVD to see what it's like without changing anything on your HD.

Also, if you disconnect your computer from the internet, then try to activate Windows 7, you will get a chance to do an activation via telephone with a code and counter code, so unless M$ is completely invalidating your Windows 7 license due to using it for a Windows 10 upgrade (and I wouldn't at all put it past them to do something underhanded like that), you might be able to get Windows 7 activated again. My machine is dual boot Windows 7 and Xubuntu, and just a few weeks ago I did an offline activation so the Windows 7 side will function with no network functionality until I decide to obliterate it for the space it consumes on my SSD.
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Old 07-29-2019, 09:52 PM   #18
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Glenbo, thanks for suggesting activating Windows 7 over the phone. Finally, *something* that worked. I now have an activated and fully updated version of Windows 7 on my laptop again, and audio is working perfectly. This has been just about the worst experience in my 25 years of use of Windows. Thanks again to everyone who tried to help.

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