My Inspiron 1501 keeps skipping, popping, and just generally getting stuck while playing audio files. I also have been having problems with the wireless networking from time to time, but I think that's an issue with my router (it's old). I have absolutely had it with the audio problem, though. I've NEVER in my life built a system that had this issue.
I've been told that this is an issue with DPC latency. That is not entirely true. Sure, if the latency hits a certain amount, it'll skip, however, its' started skipping badly even when dcplat.exe shows a solid green line. This just began today. Yesterday the machine was performing with the occasional skip or pop. Today it's getting stuck and just stuttering over and over for minutes at a time. I have made ZERO changes of any kind to it since yesterday. All the network adapters, wireless and wired, were disabled under Device Manager when this happened. It happened more than once--sometimes with my Sound Blaster plugged in, and sometimes without.
Since I've had the computer I've had audio problems. I've tried changing the wireless card (Atheros made it worse and Intel didn't work at all), I instaled an SSD in place of the hard disk, I've changed out the optical drive (this eliminates it being a firmware issue there), I've changed both memory modules and I've changed the CPU. The other thing I keep reading is that there's a bad Intel driver out there causing audio problems. Newsflash, this is an AMD based system, with an AMD processor, and AMD south bridge, and an ATi north bridge. There is NOTHING in here that's made by Intel at all!
Now let me post the specs of some other systems I have that have ZERO audio problems:
One is a Latitude D620 with an Intel T7200, an 80 GB hard disk, an Intel 3945 wifi card, onboard sound, and 4 GB of Micron memory. It runs XP Pro SP3.
The other is a home built desktop PC that is much slower than the ones I'm having problems with. It's got an Athlon XP 3200+ CPU, 1.25 GB of system ram, a 250GB hard disk, a 3 Com Parallel Tasking ethernet card, a Sound Blaster Audigy 1, and 1.25 GB of DDR1 on mixed modules. This system runs XP Home SP3.
The system I'm having problems with outclasses them both in every way except the memory amount. It has a Turion 64 X2 TL-68, a 64 GB Crucial SSD, a Dell 1490 wifi card (it's a Broadcom model), the SigmaTel audio codec OR my Sound Blaster X Fi extreme notebook card, 4 GB of Hynix RAM, and XP Pro SP3.
As you see, if any of these is going to have problems, my desktop should be the first.
I need help with this from someone who knows what they are doing. I'm not trying to run anyone down, I'm just stating that all the responses I've had so far are either incomplete or just plain wrong.
Somewhere somebody has got to have found a fix for this problem on this particular laptop model. I need to know where I can find that fix and how to install it.
I'm going to take this into the local PC shop after work. Hopefully someone will link me to the fix in case they can't repair what's going on. Don't worry, I won't be around much longer--after the headaches I've had with three different Dell computers, I won't ever buy another one new OR used.
I took the computer in. The _desktop_ tech figured the problem out in ten minutes flat. How many times have I had to post here... after I'd been troubleshooting for several hours, and how long has it been since someone reported this problem with the 1501? 'Nuff said. To be fair, though, the one time I did call Dell'stech support (for an unrelated issue), I was not impressed at all.
In a way, it's embarrassing to me as well, but what irks me about the people here is that there is no way I can convince anyone that the hardware shipped with this computer is what's causing the problem. I'm not going to waste keystrokes going over it.
The problem? Essentially the computer is checking its network connection every 60 seconds. To fix it, all the network hardware is gonna take a hike and I'm going to get a wireless card from the techs that my family has trusted for several years to fix problems that have even the support team stumped.
Once I get the new wireless card, I should post the model number and what I did to solve the problem. Perhaps it'll help someone else down the line.
Wireless is the # 1 cause of skipping in those old models. It is the very first thing in Choppy/Skipping Audio Workarounds. Imagine that.