Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Asus Xonar DX Dolby Digital Live (DDL) SPDIF popping noise

I have a Asus Xonar DX which I got for the very specific reason that it has Dolby Digital Live (DDL). DDL is the real-time conversion of your PC audio to a Dolby 5.1 signal. Yes, I know DD is compressed. Yes, I know it lowers audio quality. MEH. It lets me use my old PC speaker 5.1 set which has a DD input. Deal with it.

Anyway, there is an obnoxious issue with the Asus card (and I believe other Asus cards with DDL) where, when using DDL, there is a delay between when a sound is played on the PC and the activation of the DD signal. This results in a distorted popping noise when your receiver first gets the signal. It's especially annoying if your PC is playing short sounds, like it's beeping because then the DD signal is basically going on and off, and results in many popping noises.

The solution is this: Go into the Asus traybar application, go to the mixer, click record, click the eyeball (monitoring) under the mic, and turn the mic volume all the way down. This will keep the DD signal on at all times and fix the popping issue. It may also work to monitor the line-in or aux-in, if the mic doesn't work for you.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Fixing the STOP 0x7B error when upgrading motherboards and cpu, in Windows 7

I recently upgraded my motherboard and, not wanting to have to re-install Windows completely, I tried simply swapping out the motherboard, cpu and ram. MANY people on the internet will tell you that this is impossible and you will have to do a complete re-install. THEY ARE WRONG.

I went from a Core 2 Duo e6600 with a Gigabyte GA-G31M-E2SL to an Ivy Bridge i5- 3570k with a Gigabyte GA-Z77M-D3H.

If you simply do the swap as I did, you will very likely encounter the dreaded BSOD with the STOP 0x7B error. This is due to the hard drive controller being different between the two boards. The fix I did is here. I cannot take credit for this fix, it was originally posted by dcoetzee here.

1) Make sure you know if your old bios had your hard drives running in IDE or AHCI. It should be set the same when you install the new board.

2) Burn a copy of Hiren's boot CD. here

3) Go into Control Panel > Device Manager, and write down all drivers that are named with your chipset. For example, under your IDE Controllers, you might have Intel Series 6 Serial ATA Controller. Update these drivers to a "standard" controller or driver. It should be an available compatible driver type when you try to update the driver.

4) Install your new motherboard/cpu. It's probably best to keep the parts to a minimum for the moment (just your OS harddrives, no unnecessary peripherals).

5) Start up, make sure the IDE/AHCI setting in the bios is the same on the new board.

6) Boot into Hiren's boot CD

7) Select miniXP

8) Open up Hiren's BootCD program launcher

9) Programs > Registry > Fix hard disk controller

10) enter in your windows directory. If Hiren's isn't detecting your drive, make sure the IDE/AHCI setting is the same!

11) run it

12) That shoud be it! Reboot, and you should be able to get into Windows 7. I would immediately put in your motherboard drivers CD and update all the drivers. Also update all the drivers you changed in Step 3. The "Standard" drivers will likely work, but it's nice to have the ones optimal for your mobo.

I spent hours trying to find this very simple fix. I hope this helps someone on the internet find a solution.