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View Full Version : OT:Sound card ,hard drive or what



Sophiedoc
05-23-2009, 09:26 AM
I have a 10 year old computer still running Win 98 that I'm attached to like some other things my dead son had.Anyway there is speaker noise which seems increased with hard drive spin up or mouse activity but still crackles like static to some extent all the time.Most likely cause?(Help here is usually more effective than other forums-thanks)

rockrat
05-23-2009, 10:04 AM
I'm a hack. Built a few and poke around.

I think that the first thing I would try is a driver. You should be able to find one for free on the internet from the sound card manufacturer.

rock~

Evan
05-23-2009, 10:56 AM
Unplug the audio cable to the CD ROM drive and see if it goes away. If it does then see here for information about enabling Digital Audio Extraction on Win 98.

http://www.anandtech.com/guides/viewfaq.aspx?i=129


If it doesn't then there probably isn't anything you can do about it. You may have a noisy amplfier on the sound card. If you use an external amp that may help.

Paul Alciatore
05-23-2009, 12:42 PM
Sorry, double post.

Paul Alciatore
05-23-2009, 12:43 PM
Computer geeks only look for software solutions. If the sound card is basically working (you hear Windows sounds when you boot up) then noise in the speakers when other devices are used is probably a bad power supply. Logic below. Seems like I heard Evan talking about a capacitor problem a few years back that effected a lot of manufacturers. You could try a new power supply.

There is always something you can do, just it is often more trouble and expense than the thing is worth.

Logic:
Sound does work.
Noise when other devices are in use.
What is the connection between mouse or hard drive and sound card?
Most likely answer, power connections.

Paul Alciatore
05-23-2009, 12:48 PM
Unplug the audio cable to the CD ROM drive and see if it goes away. If it does then see here for information about enabling Digital Audio Extraction on Win 98.

http://www.anandtech.com/guides/viewfaq.aspx?i=129


If it doesn't then there probably isn't anything you can do about it. You may have a noisy amplfier on the sound card. If you use an external amp that may help.

If the sound card is outputting noise, an external amp can only amplify/increase that noise, not make it any better. Unless it is a really, REALLY bad amp that acts as a filter.

Evan
05-23-2009, 03:58 PM
The fact that it crackles all the time points to a noisy amplifier. Most of the sound cards with onboard audio amps use LM324 preamp or equivalent and a LM386 stereo power amplifier chip. They can develop a noisy input stage on the LM386. Crackle is "shot noise" and isn't likely caused by bad capacitors. The increase in noise when various devices power up can be caused by bad bypass capacitors but the audio amp should have sufficient on board bypassing to filter that out. That is why I suspect the CD ROM cable as it may be picking up crosstalk from the power harness. The machine is too old to be affected by the infamous bad capacitor issue, that didn't begin until around 2001 or so.

Sophiedoc
05-23-2009, 08:23 PM
Pulled the audio cable on the primary and secondary CD with no effect on the crackling sound.Speakers checked OK.When mouse and keyboard are not being used there is low volume static with regular clicks like the clicking of an electric fence controller.Mouse activity especially increases static as does hard drive spinup,CD use.We live a hundred yards from where a fence controller might be.
I appreciate the ideas but if the power supply is kaput a different computer may be best.

Evan
05-23-2009, 08:52 PM
Check to make sure the case of the computer is grounded.

Quetico Bob
05-23-2009, 09:12 PM
Might be a silly fix, but could be just moisture and dust in the volume potetionmeter. The volume knob on your speaker. Stick the long side of one of your fingers on the knob and work it back and forth quickly many times. From low volume to high.

No comments from the cheap seats cause as I'm typing this and realizing how text and practical , well....:)

Cheers, Bob

Sophiedoc
05-25-2009, 10:12 AM
Replaced sound card this AM and all is well-thanks all.

tattoomike68
05-25-2009, 04:50 PM
My sound card hisses and pops on my old computer, so I turn the volume down to 50% or so till the hissing stops and plug in some self amplifide yamaha speakers and then use them to crank things up.

The cheapo onboard sound cards are like that.