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Beginner
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Intel network driver interfering with audio

Hi,

I'm having one of the strangest audio problems I've ever seen on my PC right now, which seems to be linked to my internet connection (of all things), which uses an intel network driver.

First off I'm the sort of PC user that likes to leave the system on 24/7 and power off the displays when not in use, as this allows me to run certain background tasks (like automated file backups) overnight.

After leaving my system running for a few days I started to notice an erratic popping noise in my audio, a bit like static, but not as consistent. After doing some research online, I learned about something called DPC latency and used a program called 'DPC Latency Monitor' to try and diagnose the problem.

The data I collected pointed to my Intel network driver as a possible culprit for my audio issues, so I tried disabling the corresponding network adapter from the network and sharing center, and re-ran the latency test. The results with the network adapter disabled were greatly improved, and I could no longer hear the popping noises when listening to offline audio.

As soon as I re-enable the network adapter the problem returns, and so far the only solution I have is to randomly reboot my system, which I find rather inconvenient, as it also requires me to save all data in all open programs, exit out of everything, and then open it all back up again later.

I've already used Intel's driver update utility to ensure I'm on the latest drivers, and am unsure of what to do next.

The following is a compilation of the data I collected while trying to figure things out:

DPC latency monitor data, with network adapter enabled and before a system reboot:

With network adapter disabled and before reboot:

Network adapter enabled, after reboot:

Output from Intel system support utility:

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13 Replies
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Community Manager
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Dear Ghost314,

 

 

Thank you for contacting Intel. I'll check on this and will be back with updates.

 

 

Sincerely,

 

Sandy
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Community Manager
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Dear Ghost314,

 

 

Good day. We would like to request for the output (XML) file of your SSU logs so we can further check your adapter settings.

 

 

We look forward to your reply.

 

 

Sincerely,

 

Sandy
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Beginner
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I didn't realize the screen I was looking at was only a summary, I have attached the full output file to this post.

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Community Manager
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Dear Ghost314,

 

 

Thanks for the info. We'll check on this and will update you on our findings.

 

 

Sincerely,

 

Sandy
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Community Manager
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Dear Ghost314,

 

 

Good day.

 

 

We suggest to try updating the driver of your integrated network card. The driver is available for download from the link below:

 

https://downloadcenter.intel.com/product/71305/Intel-Ethernet-Connection-I218-V

 

 

Hope this is able to resolve the latency issue. In case you continue to experience the issue, please contact Asus* for further assistance.

 

 

Sincerely,

 

Sandy
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Beginner
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I installed the driver from the link and rebooted my system, since it normally takes a few days for the problem to re-surface after a reboot I'll probably come back in a week or so with an update.

I'm curious though, how an out of date driver would have managed to slip past both windows update, and the Intel Driver Update Utility? I also noticed that the reported driver version in windows Device Manager did not change after the installation, but the properties window itself showed more options, so I'm sure it installed correctly.

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Community Manager
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Dear Ghost314,

 

 

I see you have installed the driver. Please continue to observe and in case the issue re-appears, please contact Asus* for further assistance.

 

 

Sincerely,

 

Sandy
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Community Manager
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Dear Ghost314,

 

 

Good day. It's been a week. I would like to check the status of your system. Hope the issue no longer re-appear.

 

 

Sincerely,

 

Sandy

 

 

 

Sincerely,

 

Sandy
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Beginner
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Unfortunately the issue did re-appear, but I came up with another idea to try, and used device manager to remove all of my old device drivers that I was no longer using. That seemed to help a bit, and I feel like the problem is now less frequent, but I still need to reboot every now and then.

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Community Manager
32 Views

Hi Ghost314,

 

 

Good day. Just to double check if you have contacted Asus*as the NIC is an integrated ethernet controller on the Asus* system, customization might be made on the device.

 

 

Thanks,

 

wb

 

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Beginner
32 Views

Hello,

I have the same problem with high DPC latency from ndis.sys and tcpip.sys. The issue appears to be only on Windows 10, reproducible with various driver versions released from a year ago up until v21.0.

My Motherboard is also an ASUS model, ASUS Maximus VIII Hero Z170. The problem appears both on ASUS' own drivers that I downloaded from their site and the drivers from Intels website.

I have contacted them to see if the issue is on their end and they've said they don't make any NIC customization (at least not on my motherboard model). The response is the same as posted by another user here: (that thread also mentions this issue on later posts from page ~10 onward).

Currently, I'm running Windows 10 Anniversary update and experience the problem described here, but it was also was present on Windows 10 RTM and Threshold 2. Driver version currently installed is 12.15.23.1 (latest from Intel website).

Curiously, the same issue is present on systems with different NICs (Realtek etc.) in conjunction with Windows 10, so it looks like NIC manufacturers will need to work with Microsoft on resolving this annoying issue.

The only fix currently is to use Windows 8.1 or 7, in some cases buying a 3rd party USB Ethernet adapter solves the issue.

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Community Manager
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Hi 3x0,

 

Thank you for the additional information provided. We understand there has been a number of posts regards to this issue, we are checking on this.

 

 

rgds,

 

wb

 

 

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Highlighted
New Contributor I
32 Views

Hi Ghost314 and 3x0,

it may sound weired - but can you try to enable "Display pointer trails" (long) on the mouse properties / pointer options and play around if you are still having audio drop outs?

Inspired by this

https://superuser.com/questions/1137033/usb-lag-when-mouse-cursor-changes windows 10 - USB lag when mouse cursor changes - Super User

I was able to avoid audio drop outs on my external professional USB - but have to test it for a longer time period - also with "short" pointer trails.

My System Info:

- OS: Windows 10 Pro, 64bit, Version 1607, 14393.1198

- Motherboard: Asus Maximus IX Hero (latest BIOS 0906)

- CPU: Intel i7-7700, 3.6 GHz

- Mouse: Wireless Logitech Performance Mouse

- Keyboard: Wireless Logitech Keyboard K800

(connected on USB 2.0 front on Chieftec Dragon)

- External Sound: Apollo Twin USB 3.0 (Driver 9.1 & 9.2)

(connected on one back USB 3.0 on Asus MB)

- Intel Graphics 630 (Driver 21.20.16.4627)

Regards

PS: If you have a firewall installed - I'd ZoneAlarm Extrem Security - you have to uninstall it because the "AntiTheft" service was still running after "exit" only - which produced massive audio drop outs. Maybe another external firewall+antivirus software has implemented the same.

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