Duke4.net Forums: Strange Behavior(s) with Unknown Cause - Duke4.net Forums

Jump to content

Page 1 of 1
  • You cannot start a new topic
  • You cannot reply to this topic

Strange Behavior(s) with Unknown Cause

User is online   Ninety-Six 

#1

(I'm x-posting this from Bleeping Computer; it is my post there as well and I'm just trying to widen the scope looking for help)


Hello. For about the past two or three weeks, possibly a month, this laptop has begun to act very strangely, and in a usually detrimental way. I will list the 10 version in a bit, so bear with me.


I threw up that "possibly" as due to how scattered all the issues are it's extremely hard to tell what is or is not related. That's in fact the reason I have come here; I'm at a total loss as to where to even begin my investigation, let alone carry it out.


The first suspicious thing that I don't think is actually related but I will throw out there due to its timing is some strangeness with our Wi-fi network. Starting about a month ago, both computers in this house (the other is a 7) began having trouble connecting to the extender we use. If it could just be limited to the extender that would be fine but in one instance one of the LAN cards thought the normal network was in fact the extended version? Except it labelled it as "[network name].ext" instead of the normal "[name]_Ext" (note the underscore and capitalization). I immediately thought was some sort of red flag, but flag to what I don't have a clue. From someone with minimal understanding of networking it could run the gambit from an odd glitch to an intrusion.


The next suspicious thing, and the first one that is specific to this computer, is ongoing troubles with some part of the sound system. I'm not sure whether the trouble started with the bluetooth connector, Avast, or some unknown third thing, but what I can tell you is what happened. As a bit of background, the bluetooth-to-headphones (doesn't matter which headphones) has always been rather wonky when it comes to certain applications. On more than one occasion, for instance, I would have cases where, say it's a game, and sound effects would come from the speakers but music would come from the headphones, or vice-versa.

After downloading and installing one of the more recent versions of one of those applications (LZDoom), Avast saw the new version and locked it down for analysis. However in doing so it completely destroyed the sound system. Even when the application was restored the sound was completely dead from all applications the computer over. Had to restart the entire computer to fix it.

When it happened again (I was bug testing), I wondered if there wasn't a way to restart the sound system alone. After poking around in Services, I did indeed find two things related to the audio system. Windows Audio, and Windows Audio Endpoint Builder. I restarted Audio first, and then Endpoint Builder. Before I did so, Endpoint Builder said it had to restart regular Audio with it, which I allowed it to do.

Since then however, the sound system has been spotty at the best of times. There are very frequent and audible distortions within the sound system, from clicks to cut-outs to obvious peaking when it shouldn't be peaking. At first I thought it was the headphones, then the bluetooth connector itself, but no it actually happens with the speakers as well. When coming from a sleep or a shutdown, it's a complete crapshot as to exactly how bad the audio will be. For the extreme ones restarting both (via Endpoint) sort of fixes it but there's no telling how much longer I can rely on that depending on what actually is wrong.


At this point I tried using the Win 10 troubleshooter and was "put in touch" with the fake representative. After running some scans, and this would happen every time she did this except once, I would get an "Unexpected error 0x800xxxxx". I can't remember the rest. But it was every time. I tried to look it up and found people talking about it in regards to failing to update Windows, and when I looked at Windows Update I indeed saw the same error. I tried to force it to install the update, which it actually did with seemingly no issues, even after the start up. However, the terrible audio remained.

And so this is why I waited to report the windows version. As of that update, I am running Windows 10 Pro version 20H2, Build 19042.685. The previous version was not 20H2, but it was still 10 Pro. I believe it was the October update which I installed in November, but if specifics are desired someone will have to point out to me how I can find out what exactly I was running prior to the update.

As I said, however, the audio problems still remained just as severe as before. If anything they're slightly worse as now some programs seem to think the microphone is output somehow?


To further complicate matters, around this same time (but before the update, if I recall correctly) the computer began failing to transition from sleep to shutdown. When I would go to bed I would close the laptop lid, and after long enough the computer would shut down on its own. However, when all this weirdness began that wouldn't happen anymore, and it would remain at sleep.

I started to look through the Event Log for anything of note, and while I found a fair amount of Warnings and a few Errors, only a few of them appeared relevant. That is to say, if they were recurring, only a few started within the timeframe of oddities. One of the frequent was the aforementioned: an error stating how the computer was failing to transition from a sleep to shutdown state. One of the more interesting ones was seeing "[application] experienced Unexpected Error 0x800xxxxx". I pulled up the audio "represenative" to cross-check to see if it was the same error (I suspect it was but) and this was the one time she didn't give me the same error she had before. When she did give it again I was unable to find that event again, nor can I recall the program that was failing.


Things have only degraded since. When coming from a shutdown the system now spends an absurd amount of time at the "Please Wait" screen, far longer than ever before (enough to warrant me leaving it at sleep just to avoid it, which I know puts me on an invisible countdown before a restart is the only way to fix something). One of the Windows Defender components doesn't like to turn on at boot (but is fine if I manually switch it on), the "turn off the display when plugged in" setting reset itself to default (previously never, then spontaneously switched to 10 minutes and I had to switch it back), and just recently, after coming off from the last shutdown, Firefox spontaneously signed me out of itself and forgot all cookies, settings, and noscript whitelist entries.


I tried running an avast full scan, and it said it found a rootkit in the Windows Update section. I let it clean it out, but considering the weird location I can't tell if it's a false positive or not. Either way literally nothing has changed since.


That was the most recent thing I tried, and I am completely lost. I don't know what's wrong, I don't know how to fix it, and I don't even know if all the things I said are related to each other, if only some are, or if none at all.

I don't know if something broke in Windows, I don't know if I'm infected, I don't know if it's all Avast's fault, I don't know if it's all my fault, I don't know anything. I'm usually able to at least investigate these issues but since it's so seemingly random I don't know where to even begin, much less what I can do about it. Any help or guidance is appreciated.
0

User is offline   Balls of Steel Forever 

  • Balls of Steel Forever

#2

Have you tried a blue tooth transmitter like this
https://www.amazon.c...c_yzD8FbR57D1FG
Or a cheap usb dac/amp, which should help
https://www.amazon.c...c_GED8FbEXERY08

And see if that fixes the audio.

I'm thinking something hardware side is broken. Maybe I'm wrong but shouldn't windows defender be off while avast is on, turning windows defender on with other security software typically causes issues. I know kaspersky requires it to be off. My laptop got slower over time, so I swapped the hard drive out with an ssd and did a relatively clean install, with a ram upgrade, and it works fine now.

In short I'm no pc doctor, but I think the internal equivalent of the dac/amp is broken, and the hard drive may be being a bitch.

An external dac/amp, transferring your important files, and a fresh install of windows may be your best bet.

This post has been edited by Balls of Steel Forever: 03 January 2021 - 07:06 AM

0

User is online   Ninety-Six 

#3

I was under the impression that Defender was more a basic internal defense that other windows AVs build themselves around. I mean I could easily be wrong, or that was how it used to be, but I don't ever remember explicitly turning Defender off for Avast's sake on the multiple machines I've used it on, nor having problems result from it.


I'm not necessarily doubting you I just appear to be under a different impression.
0

User is offline   Balls of Steel Forever 

  • Balls of Steel Forever

#4

View PostNinety-Six, on 03 January 2021 - 10:00 PM, said:

I was under the impression that Defender was more a basic internal defense that other windows AVs build themselves around. I mean I could easily be wrong, or that was how it used to be, but I don't ever remember explicitly turning Defender off for Avast's sake on the multiple machines I've used it on, nor having problems result from it.


I'm not necessarily doubting you I just appear to be under a different impression.

You probably have more practical experience with computers then I do.

However from my experience with AV windows defender typically has to be off if the third party antivirus is on
No two avs should be running at once

https://forums.tomsg...me-time.425901/
TIL that windows defender can be used for supplementary scans though

This post has been edited by Balls of Steel Forever: 04 January 2021 - 06:52 AM

0

User is offline   Balls of Steel Forever 

  • Balls of Steel Forever

#5

Also most people don't use dac/amps nowadays, because computer dac/amps are usually up to snuff.

But you just plug that thing in via usb to your pc, and then your headphones to the dac/amps headphone jack and the sound should be fine. It might transmit bluetooth also, with that specific model I'm not sure. The ones with a physical interface might.

Worst case is buy a headphone bluetooth transmitter and connect it to the dac/amp for like $30

This post has been edited by Balls of Steel Forever: 04 January 2021 - 11:10 AM

0

User is online   Ninety-Six 

#6

Would that do anything if I'm hearing distortions from the built-in speakers as well?
0

User is offline   Balls of Steel Forever 

  • Balls of Steel Forever

#7

 Ninety-Six, on 04 January 2021 - 11:13 AM, said:

Would that do anything if I'm hearing distortions from the built-in speakers as well?

I would think so as it's taking usb data not internal dac/amp passthrough, which both speakers and traditional headphones rely upon. It would only be funky if the usb port was broken. Usb only headphones or usb only speakers would be similar to using a usb dac/amp, in case you already have usb headphones or speakers and can try those instead.

Usb only headphones/speakers would have an internal dac/amp. Bluetooth do too, but the bluetooth is coming from the bluetooth transmitter inside the laptop, and it sounds like that may be shot to shit too.

The headphone jack is always directly connected to the internal dac/amp.

Like I said, I think the internal dac/amp is broken.

This happens in older computers, and was more common and an easier fix when computers had dedicated sound cards.

if you still think it's software try usb booting with a linux distro (debian or ubuntu are pretty easy, both install and gui wise) and test the audio through that fresh install. If you create a bootable usb, you can demo either simply through the usb device and it won't reformat the hard drive.

https://ubuntu.com/t...dows#1-overview

https://unix.stackex...e-using-windows

I use balena etcher for the iso.

EDIT: Also a dac is just a digital to analog converter and an amp amplifies that analog signal for an output, both speakers and headphones use analog signals to make sound and require a dac/amp.

Computers used to not have a dac/amp pre installed or were shit as you needed sizable hardware to get audio out, or something protected from signal noise, which older pcs couldn't figure out.

Sometimes those dacs pre installed still go to shit

This post has been edited by Balls of Steel Forever: 04 January 2021 - 04:07 PM

1

Share this topic:


Page 1 of 1
  • You cannot start a new topic
  • You cannot reply to this topic


All copyrights and trademarks not owned by Voidpoint, LLC are the sole property of their respective owners. Play Ion Fury! ;) © Voidpoint, LLC

Enter your sign in name and password


Sign in options