Virus scanners and other background nasties
Oct 13, 2011 at 6:41 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 8


Headphoneus Supremus
Jun 10, 2009
Hi All,
    I'm not here to start OS wars - been there, got the t-shirt, and it goes nowhere - but I've had some very crappy results since buying my new Tosh laptop and opting for 64-bit Win 7. I had the Win 7 beta on my old netbook - no problems that I can recall - but I suspect things like my antivirus and possibly the Windows search engine are thrashing my hard drive at startup - not sure why that would manifest itself as noise (and I'm talking major static) into my USB DAC, but it does. The biggest problem is that its intermittent, and not necessarily restricted to startup.
    I shrunk my partition and installed Linux Mint 11 - accessing exactly the same music and .flv files via the mounted NTFS partition from Linux, I have absolutely no problems with noise. Zero. Zip. Nada. If there is 'noise', its inaudible and that's just the way I like it.
    I'm sure there is a fix in Win 7, and I was initially willing to kill processes until I could narrow it down to one (hopefully) single cause, but I'm at the stage now where I'd prefer to simply boot into Linux and listen to music. I'm also unwilling to disable my antivirus simply because it causes audio problems.
    Passing this on in case others are currently tearing their hair out. Chances are its not your gear or your music files.
Edit :
Configuration - Toshiba Satellite C665, Core i3, 4GB RAM, Windows Home Premium (64-bit), Foobar2K
Oct 13, 2011 at 10:08 PM Post #2 of 8
As I understand it you have MusicStreamer II+ into the E9 as your set up and I can also attest that there are some severe noise problems with this setup as I also have the same (the straight II version of the HRT). I have all but eliminated noise via this by doing the following:
Turning off the onboard sound in the BIOS
Setting all performance parameters in the 'power options' to maximum to prevent Windows trying to conserve power and therefore sending noise through the system as it starts totally unnecessary processes.
and by buying and installing JRiver MC16. All I now get is the very occasional click when running audio through Jriver. However, it does partially return when I stream sound from the internet (youtube, etc). Neither Foobar or Winamp alleviate this problem. I can happily run either kernel streaming or ASIO (via ASIO4ALL) in Jriver to get superb sound. If you do run ASIO4all set the latency to maximum for best results.
I do not have any issues with my E7 connected as the DAC to my E9. The sound is not quite as good as using the HRT but it's pretty  damn close.
I have argued on other places on this forum that this is definitely a W7x64 problem and have had these claims dismissed. I will state once again that this is a 64bit W7 problem and MS are doing nothing to produce a fix.
Oct 13, 2011 at 10:25 PM Post #3 of 8
I just discovered a few days ago using linux sounds better using my sound card's coaxial output to my DAC but I'm not sure about USB since I don't have a USB receiver. I think the benefit is it loads completely into ram since it is so small like 200mb compared to windows 7 x64 that is 10+gb. I installed fatdog x64 puppy linux into windows 7 x64 and now I can either boot to windows 7 x64 or fatdog x64.
If you have to use windows 7 x64 then a fat32 ramdisk partition inside my ntfs boot c:\ + mpxplay (configured to prebuffer from ram) seems better than streaming from my c:\ and using foobar. Basically using fewer cpu resources and less ram is the key it seems.
Never use a virus scanner because it harms the audio stream by running in the background and always actively automaticly eating cpu resources and ram.
Basically stripping down windows 7 or linux, and disabling cpu resource and ram consuming apps is a big key too. 
Oct 13, 2011 at 11:34 PM Post #4 of 8
Thanks for the feedback, guys. I'm seriously considering getting a 16-GB USB drive and setting up mpd Linux again - super primitive, but the quietest, 'blackest' solution I've found yet. With my netbook, I could remove the hard drive completely, boot of the USB and run a couple of commands - voila, music all afternoon. 
Oct 13, 2011 at 11:47 PM Post #5 of 8
You can also run foobar2000 under wine.  Works really well - including all plugins & can use WASAPI.  Debian 64bit.  Just wish foobar would run natively under linux.
Oct 14, 2011 at 12:12 AM Post #6 of 8

You can also run foobar2000 under wine.  Works really well - including all plugins & can use WASAPI.  Debian 64bit.  Just wish foobar would run natively under linux.

Yeah, but its yet-another-layer. I know what 'WINE' stands for, but it still feels like an emulator to me - was tempted to mess around with Virtual Box, but I'm inclined to want to just keep it simple. holden4th's contention that it is a bug in WIN7-X64 is interesting, but I'm way too old and lazy to spend any more time on that when I know it will all work seamlessly in 64-bit Linux Mint 11.
Oct 14, 2011 at 12:16 AM Post #7 of 8
Hearing you.  Haven't found anything quite as configurable as foobar though - and even though its another layer, it still runs pretty seamlessly.  Nice to have the option anyway.
Oct 14, 2011 at 12:20 AM Post #8 of 8
Never experienced that issue with my toshiba satellite l655d or my acer aspire 5742g. It's probably the installation itself. Download an oem copy of windows 7 64bit and use the os code which came with your computer to activate. Reinstall windows. Should fix the issue.

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