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Thread: Help from any computer gurus out there

  1. #21
    TrippyVinylologist
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    Default Re: Help from any computer gurus out there

    I can't answer your problem but I can say I've never had luck with USB audio devices.

  2. #22
    Something Cool uOpt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help from any computer gurus out there

    Quote Originally Posted by SabbathFan0220 View Post
    I'm bringing this thread back with an update.

    I replaced the M-Audio Fast Track Pro with a Tascam US-1800. Still crashing. I reinstalled Windows from scratch along with all of the software and drivers. And it's still crashing.

    The last time it crashed I was in the middle of editing, and the project file got corrupted somehow in the crash. I have a backup, but I lost a lot of editing work. I guess my question is...who can help me diagnose this problem? I understand this is a guitar/pickup forum so the answer might not be here. I don't know if I need to switch to a Firewire or PCI interface, or if my computer just can't handle the load.
    Did you ever do a formal test of system stability?

  3. #23
    Ultimate Tone Slacker
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    Default Re: Help from any computer gurus out there

    Definitely want to do stability testing. Memory or PSU issues can show up in all sorts of weird ways. The errors falling where they do may just mean that happens to be the program you are using when it dies.

    Powered USB hub is an excellent idea for isolating USB issues, as mentioned a lot of motherboards have garbage USB power handling.

    memtest86+ is highly recommended for making sure your memory isn't flaky. I usually load it from an Ubuntu livecd.

    PSU is harder to nail down. Checking that voltages are within spec is a good idea. Software to do that while running will depend on your motherboard. Can usually access it in firmware during bootup, though.

    CPU testing is a good idea, too. A few hours of Prime95 is a good place to start on that.

    Might also look at firmware upgrades, but until you are reasonably sure of your PSU, memory and CPU I'd be cautious about that, as it's easy to brick your motherboard.

    Motherboard/chipset drivers can have a dramatic effect on system stability, make sure you get those from your motherboard manufacturer. It's less of an issue most of the time with Windows 7, but can still be an issue.

    USB drivers are another thing to check. (For the motherboard, not the audio board).

  4. #24
    Braindeadologist GoldenVulture's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help from any computer gurus out there

    Can you give us a few specs for your computer?

    Brand, Model, CPU/speed, Ram [12 gig ? ] Video output [ onboard or card ] , any onboard sound chip? Net connected ?

    Did you leave your VM set to an equall Max and Min? That was the point of what I was saying. VM works best when set to an equall max and min.

    Also Lan ports can interfere as can net connections and any auto update program. especially if they kick off in the middle of you using lots of computer resources [ editing/ mixing ] . These are all best turned of while using a multi track program.

    This is why it is recommend that a D.A.W. is not net/network connected.

    I have an issue with my [Non net connected ] D.A.W. . It appears the onboard sound chip [ turned on or off ] interfers with my other sound devices. It causes the sound to dissappear or/and the computer to freeze. When the sound dissappears I can see the wave forms hapopening in my sound program but nothing can be heard.

    It's intermittent so some times the thing runs for hours without a hiccup. Other times it happens with in 5 minutes of booting up. My solution is probably to change to a better quality Motherboard WITHOUT a crappy AC97 type chip on it. Apart from that the current motheboard is as noisy as crap. Lots of bus noise. It has got to go.
    Last edited by GoldenVulture; 06-10-2011 at 06:01 PM.

  5. #25
    Super Toneologist SabbathFan0220's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help from any computer gurus out there

    Quote Originally Posted by innerdreamrecords.co View Post
    I can't answer your problem but I can say I've never had luck with USB audio devices.
    What have you had good luck with? PCI?
    "Everything must be black, like the storm of justice!"

  6. #26
    Super Toneologist SabbathFan0220's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help from any computer gurus out there

    Thanks again guys for all the help. My replies...

    uOpt: How do I go about testing system stability?

    Despair: I ran a test on my memory and it showed no errors.

    How do I know if my PSU voltages are within spec?

    What does Prime95 do?

    When I reinstalled Windows, I reinstalled the motherboard drivers myself from the manufacturer CD.

    The new interface (US-1800) is not USB bus powered, it's powered by a DC jack. It's also USB 2.0 instead of 1.1, if that makes any difference.

    GoldenVulture: My PC is custom made with these parts...
    Intel i7 950 3.06GHz quad core processor
    ASUS Sabertooth X58 motherboard
    12GB RAM (3x4GB)
    ATI HD5570 1GB video card
    Sound Blaster X-Fi Extreme Audio sound card
    WD Black 7200RPM SATA3 hard drives
    Coolermaster 550W PSU
    Coolermaster 690 II case
    ...I think that's everything. It's running Windows 7 x64 Home Premium.

    I left the VM set as you recommended. I keep my LAN port and wireless adapter both disabled. I have a separate PC just for music that never uses the internet/network.
    "Everything must be black, like the storm of justice!"

  7. #27
    Ultimate Tone Slacker
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    Default Re: Help from any computer gurus out there

    It's not just run A test on memory, you want it to loop at least a few full cycles of memtest86+. Any random test wont necessarily turn up hardware errors the way memtest86+ can. Load related issues can be difficult to get to repeat, so you have to stress the system a while to make them turn up.

    A 4 process Prime95 load keeps the whole CPU quite busy, as well as working cache and memory hard. Great all around system stress test.

    And the problem could well be with the old drivers included with the motherboard. Check Asus's website for a newer version.

    As far as PSU voltages, I forget all the ranges, not at my PC that has all my notes. Much outside 5% tends to make me nervous, but the tolerances are specified in the PSU specifications.

  8. #28
    Something Cool uOpt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help from any computer gurus out there

    Quote Originally Posted by SabbathFan0220 View Post
    Thanks again guys for all the help. My replies...

    uOpt: How do I go about testing system stability?
    The usual route is mprime (prime95) for CPU testing, superpi (the 32M run) for memory stability (but not all cells), memtest86+ for all memory cells.

    If you run windows a 3dmark benchmark is also useful as it adds graphics card heat.

  9. #29
    Tone Member SouthpawGuy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help from any computer gurus out there

    Quote Originally Posted by SabbathFan0220 View Post
    Thanks again guys for all the help. My replies...

    uOpt: How do I go about testing system stability?

    Despair: I ran a test on my memory and it showed no errors.

    How do I know if my PSU voltages are within spec?

    What does Prime95 do?

    When I reinstalled Windows, I reinstalled the motherboard drivers myself from the manufacturer CD.

    The new interface (US-1800) is not USB bus powered, it's powered by a DC jack. It's also USB 2.0 instead of 1.1, if that makes any difference.

    GoldenVulture: My PC is custom made with these parts...
    Intel i7 950 3.06GHz quad core processor
    ASUS Sabertooth X58 motherboard
    12GB RAM (3x4GB)
    ATI HD5570 1GB video card
    Sound Blaster X-Fi Extreme Audio sound card
    WD Black 7200RPM SATA3 hard drives
    Coolermaster 550W PSU
    Coolermaster 690 II case
    ...I think that's everything. It's running Windows 7 x64 Home Premium.

    I left the VM set as you recommended. I keep my LAN port and wireless adapter both disabled. I have a separate PC just for music that never uses the internet/network.
    You may have a bad stick of ram, have you tried taking out 8gb and running it on a single 4gb ?

  10. #30
    TrippyVinylologist
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    Default Re: Help from any computer gurus out there

    Quote Originally Posted by SabbathFan0220 View Post
    What have you had good luck with? PCI?
    Yep, I'm running the same PCI card for years and before this one it was another PCI card. My system is pretty rock solid with Win XP tweaked for audio and no internet.

  11. #31
    Super Toneologist SabbathFan0220's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help from any computer gurus out there

    Thanks, guys

    I was gone for the weekend but I'm going to get back to troubleshooting this thing tonight.
    "Everything must be black, like the storm of justice!"

  12. #32
    Super Toneologist SabbathFan0220's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help from any computer gurus out there

    Okay...still no luck. I ran 8 processes of Prime95 for nearly 36 hours straight and everything passed. I also did a couple cycles of MemTest86+ from a boot CD and everything passed here as well. I don't know how to test the PSU voltage tolerance, but that one sounds like a long shot anyway.

    I don't know if this makes sense, but is it possible that the crash is being caused by slow communication between my PC and the interface because of the limitations of USB? In other words, would switching to a PCI interface fix the problem?

    I'm convinced the interface itself is not the problem because I've had the same issue with two different USB interfaces (different manufacturers, different drivers, different power sources, etc.). I'm starting to think that my computer is working fine...so I'm spitballing about other possible causes. Any thoughts?
    "Everything must be black, like the storm of justice!"

  13. #33
    Braindeadologist GoldenVulture's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help from any computer gurus out there

    Quote Originally Posted by SabbathFan0220 View Post
    Okay...still no luck. I ran 8 processes of Prime95 for nearly 36 hours straight and everything passed. I also did a couple cycles of MemTest86+ from a boot CD and everything passed here as well. I don't know how to test the PSU voltage tolerance, but that one sounds like a long shot anyway.

    I don't know if this makes sense, but is it possible that the crash is being caused by slow communication between my PC and the interface because of the limitations of USB? In other words, would switching to a PCI interface fix the problem?

    I'm convinced the interface itself is not the problem because I've had the same issue with two different USB interfaces (different manufacturers, different drivers, different power sources, etc.). I'm starting to think that my computer is working fine...so I'm spitballing about other possible causes. Any thoughts?
    Yes; I checked out your Motherboard specs. Nice board, do you use it for gaming too?
    Any way , it uses the same on board codec chip that mine does. Mine is a cheaper Gigabyte board with a Phenom2x6. It's got me wondering whether that's your problem like I figure it's mine. Your blue screens are like a more severe symptom like I have. I have to reboot If my sound disappears or the sound program freezes.

    The software that goes with it efs up. I boot up and sometimes it decides I have plugged or unplugged something. I contend that the drivers for it are just as bad and probably interfere with any other sound devices. This happens whether it is turned on or off. I tried doing that [ turning it off ] and using my ZS2 card. It was hopeless. Endless sound disappearing and sound programs freezing.
    I'm using an Aardvark interface that I used with the ZS2 in another earlier computer without any problems. The only diff is the on board chip and it seems to be the source of my problems. My solution is to get another MB WITHOUT a Realtek chip on it. Boards without on board chips are hard to find these days and pricey.
    Opposite of what it used to be.
    I've actually got an Asus board with a Via chip in mind.

    What I previously wrote.
    I have an issue with my [Non net connected ] D.A.W. . It appears the on board sound chip [ turned on or off ] interferes with my other sound devices. It causes the sound to disappear or/and the computer to freeze. When the sound disappears I can see the wave forms happening in my sound program but nothing can be heard.

    It's intermittent so some times the thing runs for hours without a hiccup. Other times it happens with in 5 minutes of booting up. My solution is probably to change to a better quality Motherboard WITHOUT a crappy AC97 type chip on it. Apart from that t
    he current mother board is as noisy as crap. Lots of bus noise. It has got to go.
    I don't know if I need to switch to a Fire wire or PCI interface, or if my computer just can't handle the load.
    I doubt any of these aspects are the problem.
    Last edited by GoldenVulture; 06-16-2011 at 07:30 PM.

  14. #34
    Something Cool uOpt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help from any computer gurus out there

    So, to recap, because there was a different thread and I don't want to mix things up.
    - You had two different USB interfaces, both make the OS crash.
    - The computer itself is stable (mprime) and the crash message looks like related to the USB interface.

    Obe common source of trouble here is the drivers for the USB chip on your motherboard. Update those.

    What I would do at this point is get a USB 2.0 PCI card. It's < $10.

    I wouldn't rule out your motherboard is broken which would explain why neither USB nor sound work right. But all this can easily be explained with Windows driver messes, too. What board was that again?

  15. #35
    Braindeadologist GoldenVulture's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help from any computer gurus out there

    Quote Originally Posted by uOpt View Post
    So, to recap, because there was a different thread and I don't want to mix things up.
    - You had two different USB interfaces, both make the OS crash.
    - The computer itself is stable (mprime) and the crash message looks like related to the USB interface.

    Obe common source of trouble here is the drivers for the USB chip on your motherboard. Update those.

    What I would do at this point is get a USB 2.0 PCI card. It's < $10.

    I wouldn't rule out your motherboard is broken which would explain why neither USB nor sound work right. But all this can easily be explained with Windows driver messes, too. What board was that again?
    Intel i7 950 3.06GHz quad core processor
    ASUS Sabertooth X58 motherboard
    12GB RAM (3x4GB)
    ATI HD5570 1GB video card
    Sound Blaster X-Fi Extreme Audio sound card
    WD Black 7200RPM SATA3 hard drives
    Coolermaster 550W PSU
    Coolermaster 690 II case
    The MB has USB 2 and 3.

    - http://www.asus.com/Motherboards/Int...specifications -

  16. #36
    Something Cool uOpt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help from any computer gurus out there

    Oh, it's an Asus X58?

    Broken southbridge seems plausible. Never buy expensive Asus boards, only the cheap ones. But still, go to Intel's site and download the newest drivers for the x58 chipset, to get the USB drivers.

  17. #37
    Super Toneologist SabbathFan0220's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help from any computer gurus out there

    Quote Originally Posted by uOpt View Post
    So, to recap, because there was a different thread and I don't want to mix things up.
    - You had two different USB interfaces, both make the OS crash.
    - The computer itself is stable (mprime) and the crash message looks like related to the USB interface.

    Obe common source of trouble here is the drivers for the USB chip on your motherboard. Update those.
    That's correct.

    GoldenVulture and uOpt, thanks for your continued help through this. I'm sitting here with two different USB interfaces, neither of which will work reliably.

    I don't use the computer for anything but making music. I put that Sound Blaster audio card in there before I realized that the audio interface takes the place of a sound card...rookie mistake.

    So the next step is updating MB drivers. I'll download the drivers for USB, chipset, and audio and see what happens.

    What do you guys think of my theory, about USB technology not keeping up? I keep coming back to that for two reasons. First, the fact that it only crashes when I'm doing a demanding task involving the interface. It's not totally unpredictable like your problem, GoldenVulture. Second, it seems like the newer of the two interfaces can handle more strain before crashing than the older interface, and the new interface is USB 2.0 whereas the old interface was USB 1.1. If the USB connection were the cause, it would make sense that 2.0 would give me less trouble than 1.1 did.
    "Everything must be black, like the storm of justice!"

  18. #38
    Super Toneologist SabbathFan0220's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help from any computer gurus out there

    Well, I updated the drivers. Then I was doing some editing in a Reaper project, went to open another project, and bam, BSOD. I guess two Reaper projects was too many.

    Same crash report as always, ntoskrnl.exe and the interface driver.
    "Everything must be black, like the storm of justice!"

  19. #39
    Something Cool uOpt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help from any computer gurus out there

    I think at this point you gotta look at the USB ports themselves. I was serious when I said that for all we know your mainboard has a broken southbridge. I had several expensive Asus boards with that problem. The fact that you have occasional sound problems isn't encouraging.

    One thing to try is to get a PCI card with USB ports and go through that. That costs like $7 or so.

    If you have an old XP or Win2k around somewhere you could get that a test ride on a separate harddrive, to rule out that somebody fatfingered the 64 bit and/or vista drivers.

  20. #40
    Braindeadologist GoldenVulture's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help from any computer gurus out there

    Quote Originally Posted by SabbathFan0220 View Post
    That's correct.

    GoldenVulture and uOpt, thanks for your continued help through this. I'm sitting here with two different USB interfaces, neither of which will work reliably.

    I don't use the computer for anything but making music. I put that Sound Blaster audio card in there before I realized that the audio interface takes the place of a sound card...rookie mistake.

    So the next step is updating MB drivers. I'll download the drivers for USB, chipset, and audio and see what happens.

    What do you guys think of my theory, about USB technology not keeping up? I keep coming back to that for two reasons. First, the fact that it only crashes when I'm doing a demanding task involving the interface. It's not totally unpredictable like your problem, GoldenVulture. Second, it seems like the newer of the two interfaces can handle more strain before crashing than the older interface, and the new interface is USB 2.0 whereas the old interface was USB 1.1. If the USB connection were the cause, it would make sense that 2.0 would give me less trouble than 1.1 did.
    Your MB has USB3 on it. It's much faster than 2
    USBNEC® USB 3.0 controller
    - 2 x USB 3.0/2.0 ports (blue, at back panel)

    Intel® ICH10R Southbridge
    - 12 x USB 2.0/1.1 ports (6 ports at midboard, 6 ports at back panel)
    Are you using one of these? Then again your device is USB 2, but one of those ports should ensure max throughput for your interface.

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