Why do I hear crackles or static from my soundcard?

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Although the exact cause of this problem is not known, several workarounds have been developed over the years that minimize the symptoms to a manageable level. Unfortunately, no fix currently exists. Hopefully now that the Dev Team has the full code for the game we use every day, the cause will be found, and a solution will be written into an upcoming Allegiance update. Until then, you can try some of these workarounds.

Single Processor Affinity

The bug might be a thread safety issue. Try this first: After launching Allegiance, enter the Task Manager (ctrl-alt-del). Hit the Processes tab and find Allegiance.exe. Right-click on it and select Set Affinity. Uncheck all but one box (it doesn't matter which) and hit OK. You will have to do this every time you start Allegiance. If you are using Vista you must have admin rights to set the affinity. Click "Show Processes from All Users" and click on "Continue". Now change the affinity.

Creative Audigy Soundcards

If you have a Creative soundcard (Audigy, Audigy2) you can try disabling a "turbo" feature in your registry.

  • Make a backup of your registry just in case!!
  • Navigate to: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Creative Tech\Emu10kx\DriverSettings\Wave\Pin#00000002
  • Set the Turbo value to 0.
  • Reboot

The problem may now be resolved.

If that doesn't work, you can try the following as suggested by mdvalley: Problem background: Back in the old days, computers only had 8 IRQs. When devices came out to start gobbling them up, 8 more were added. In recent years, ANOTHER 8 got added to the lineup, for a total of 24. The thing is, Windows XP shoves everything it can get away with into IRQ 16-23. Unfortunately Sound Blaster cards do not like being up there for some reason, and Allegiance (aka: finder of all hardware bugs) craps out when you turret.

The fix? Get that soundcard back into the lower 16. If you can do this through the Device Manager, great. If you can force the IRQ assignment via the BIOS to give it a specific IRQ, that’s just as good.

Another option is to shuffle the soundcard into another free slot on your motherboard. Most motherboards come with a list of IRQs assigned to PCI slots, so consult your motherboard's documentation if you have it available. If you still can't get your soundcard to the lower 16, try moving other cards to other slots and placing your soundcard into that previously-occupied slot.

Some players have reported success by adding devices individually after a clean format. If you plan on formatting soon, pull out all PCI cards except for your graphics card and install Windows, followed by your chipset/graphics drivers. Shutdown and throw in your soundcard, then install those drivers. Ensure it's on the lower 16 (if not, shut down and swap slots until it is on the lower 16). Once your soundcard is in one of the lower 16 IRQs, reboot and replace the remaining devices one at a time, booting to install the drivers for each separately. It's a slow process, but this should help coax Windows into keeping your soundcard where it is.

** Unsupported Solution **

Please be advised that the following steps can be quite dangerous, and have the potential to render your computer unbootable!! While nobody in our community has run into problems executing these steps (yet!), that should not give you a false sense of security!!

If you decide to heed these warnings and continue with these steps, please make SURE you have backed up all necessary data from your computer so that if things go bad, you can safely reformat!!

Pook recommends using a product such as Norton's Ghost to image your drive beforehand, allowing you to restore your system.

These steps will disable all but one of your cores if you have a multicore processor.

If you were able to force your soundcard to the lower 16 IRQs, chances are your problem has been solved. However if your computer is a pain like mine, you need to eliminate the upper 8 IRQs from your PC altogether.

Here's how:

  • Enter Window's Device Manager
  • Expand the + next to the Computer icon and look for an entry like “ACPI Multiprocessor PC”
  • Right-click it, and select Properties
  • Click the Driver tab
  • Click the Update Driver button
  • Select the Install from a list or specific location option
  • Select Choose the driver to install
  • Select the Advanced Configuration and Power Interface (ACPI) PC option
  • Click Finish
  • Reboot (twice).

When done, you will have 16 IRQs just like the old days.

Unless your computer is crammed with devices, 16 are all you really need. If you have to, you can turn off your serial ports in BIOS to free up some, and your Parallel port if you have a network or USB printer.