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USB and Graphics card conflict cause audio to shut off?



Dear you,

I have a serious problem with my new computer and soundcard.

Here's my system details:
OS: Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition Version 5.1.2600 build 2600
Computer Model: Dell Inspiron 8200 Laptop
RAM: 512 MB
Processor: 1,69 GHz Intel Pentium 4 Mobile
Graphics Card: Nvidia Gforce2 Go 32 MB AGP
Soundcard (not built in): USB Audio Quattro from M-Audio

This shows my IRQ usage:

IRQ 0 System timer
IRQ 1 101/102-tangenters eller Microsoft Natural PS/2 Keyboard
IRQ 2 System board
IRQ 6 Standarddiskettstyrenhet
IRQ 8 System CMOS/real time clock
IRQ 9 Microsoft ACPI-Compliant System
IRQ 11 Dell 8200
IRQ 11 Intel(R) 82801CA/CAM USB Universal Host Controller - 2482
IRQ 12 Alps Touch Pad
IRQ 13 Numeric data processor
IRQ 14 Primary IDE-channel
IRQ 15 Sekundary IDE-channel

This is after I have inactivated the following: internal soundcard, modem, firewire, network card, PSI cardbus holders, Com-port, Lpt-port, The second USB bort (one activated). The "Dell 8200" on IRQ 11 above is my graphics card "Nvidia Gforce2 Go 32 MB AGP". As you can see ports 3, 4, 5, 7 and 10 are available for use.

This is my problem:

1. When I use my Quattro in the ASIO mode the sound shuts off (dissapears) after a while. Sometimes it happens after 10 seconds, sometimes after 20 minutes and sometimes it's off when I start the program. This happens in all ASIo compatible programs I have tried; from Cubase SX to Fruityloops and Reaktor (and the ones in between). When I restart the program there is sound again (most of the times). When the sound dissapears, I can go to the device settings menu in all these programs and switch to another device, and then back to USB ASIO. This will turn the sound back on for a while.

2. When I use the Quattro in the MME mode (both in ASIO compatible and non ASIO compatible programs such as Winamp) I can hear clicks and pops from time to time. These clicks fades in and out. This happens both when I play MP3's in Winamp and when I play Wave files or other files in different audio programs. They also appear when I don't play anything and the computer is quiet.

This is what I have tried:

1. I have tried adjusting the ASIO values like Thread priority and Latency, but this doesn't help. If I run ASIO with lower latency than maximum and Thread priority on normal instead of high, the sound still quits on me and there has also been added loads of extra cracks, pops and clicks to the system. This is weird since I have tried this on my old computer with 128 MB Ram and 450 Mhz Pentium 2 processor without any problems. On that computer the Quattro works very fine and I can even play with ASIO set to lowest latency and normal thread priority.

2. I have also tried optimizing my computer by inactivating loads of drivers (like the ones mentioned above) and going through a bunch of tweak tips found in the file W2k_XP_Optimize.pdf found on the Tascam website (I think). This doesnt help.

3. Since the graphics card and the USB port shares the same IRQ above I have tried reducing graphic performance in different ways. This has not helped either.

In my search for an answer I have e-mailed M-Audio support and browsed the Internet and of course called the DELL support center (this gave me absolutely no answers, just like I thought). M-Audio supporters from both the US and UK, as well as people all over the web all seem to point in the same direction: the graphics card and the soundcard can't share the same IRQ!! Unfortunately Windows XP has this built in ACPI mode which makes it impossible to change IRQ manually. So when I go to the device manager and to any device/recourses the box "use automatic settings" is greyed out and unavailable. The people at DELL as well as Microsoft seem to think that sharing IRQ's wont be a problem, and it might not be for regular users, but obviously my USB quattro has some serious trouble sharing with the powerful Nvidia graphics card.

This is was I was about to do:

People on the net, M-Audio support, the Tascam XP_Optimize file, Microsoft support and DELL support all say that it is impossible to change IRQ's manually in Windows XP ACPI mode. What I can do, they say, is to either change the ACPI mode to "Standard PC mode" straight off or re-install in the Standard PC mode. This would make it possible for changing IRQ's and it would also not end up with 6 devices sharing the same IRQ.

Well, I thought this was the sollution until last night when the M-Audio US support wrote me a warning e-mail about not doing this because of the fact that I have a LAPTOP. I have also actually seen somewhere in some article on the net something about the ACPI and LAPTOPS. What is the problem? What is the difference? If it has something to do with Power and battery settings it doesnt matter, since Im only using my computer connected to a power source.

Then I thought that if I installed Windows 98 on my new computer it would be possible to change IRQ's manually. In order to see if it was possible (which it usally is in Windows 98) I tried to do this on my old computer which has Windows 98 on it. I went to the Device manager in WIN98 and clicked on properties for the USB port and then resources. The box "use automatic..." was not greyed out but I still couldnt change the setting for the USB port. "YOU CAN'T CHANGE THIS THE SETTINGS FOR THIS DEVICE". I tried to change the setting for the Graphics card and it was the same thing. So it is impossible to change USB/Graphic card conflicts in Windows 98 also. No what can I do? I know that Windows 2000 also has the ACPI thing running.

I thought that maybe if I bought another soundcard that would connect to some other port like the NETWORK, FIREWIRE, PCI CARD HOLDERS it would work, but then I realized that all these ports also share IRQ 11 when activated.

My friend has the exact same computer and audio card and he has got the same problems.

Please help us because it is really impossible to work with music under these cirumstances.


David / Sweden
Several devices should be able to share the same IRQ so that shouldn't be a problem. If it's an IRQ problem, that soundcard is really ****ty. One solution could be to turn off ACPI, but I'm unsure what effects that will have since it's a laptop. At the moment I can't help you I'm afraid.

Hej David förresten! :)


Weekend DJ
is your laptop equipped with usb2 usb1 may be too slow.

edit I just check the dell's website and it is usb1.1 it is too slow for accectable speed for your sound card..

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