TapDistorted, Choppy Sound

All of a sudden, my PC had started to distort the sound of playback of anything, even the internal Windows “bonks.” Especially it would no longer allow me to play one piece of music off my network drive whilst ripping another, but any activity, especially disk activity caused the music to take a back seat only getting attention in the gaps. Awful! There may have been some impact on the overall performance as well.

The solution was totally unexpected but made a little sense in hind-sight. Some time earlier I had trouble writing a CD-ROM creating a coaster. It seems that in the process of all the errors, Windows in its wisdom, had downgraded my IDE controller which contained both the writer and the hard drive.

This can be confirmed by looking at Right Click “My Computer” / Hardware / Device Manager; then expand “IDE ATA/ATAPI Controllers” and Right Click “Primary IDE Channel” selecting Properties. The Advanced Settings tab would show Content Transfer Mode = PIO mode (which is wrong).

To Fix it you need to uninstall the driver. Do this by closing the properties and Right Clicking “Primary IDE Channel” and select Uninstall. Do this for all of them if there is more than one. It will ask for a system restart. When you log back in you will notice various “Found New Hardware” slugs come up—for DVD/CD Drive, Hard Drive and the IDE channel itself. It will then ask for another reboot. This time if you go through the check again the Content Transfer Mode should be “Ultra DMA Mode 5” (or perhaps other numbers) and it should all be wonderful again.

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