I am thinking about buying a new PC. Naturally, I want to get the most for my money. I don't use my PC for anything other than general tasks. I listen to music and I want the best sound system, play a lot of poker and a few other games, email, research, basic accounting and load and store photos. I am not interested in web cams or any type of communications other than email and infrequent IM.I know that all the extra add on stuff will be preinstalled with trial versions. I can use pcdecrapifier.com to get rid of most of it. I have not had good luck with Norton. I am now using Windows Essentials. It seems OK. Anything better? Are the subscription antivirus programs ever worth paying for?My present PC is HP a6530f. Works well but has an unsolveable sound issue. Been through 3 experts without success. If I could solve the sound issue wthout spending any more money I would be satisfied with my present PC.
3 experts that have made good suggestions. I tried and still have probs
Hi, I'll be happy to help you with some advice
and also happy to look at what the sound issue could be on the HP machine as well
thank you for the detailed description - in terms of your requirements it sounds like the audio is the most important part of the system to get right - are you looking for pure audio quality rather than surround sound systems for example?
to answer the question on subscription anti-virus applications I think that they are not really worth paying for in addition to the load or bloat they can add to a system
using Windows Essentials and combining this with regular Malware scans (using Malware Bytes Free edition for example) is a good way of keeping things secure and also minimal
Thanks for the opinion on antivirus. Surround sound is really not an option. I just want great sound from desk top speakers. If you can help get rid of my sound issue I would be gratefull.
You're welcome - so we want great audio quality from desktop speakers. What is the current sound issue you have?
I have a persistent, some times frequent and sometimes occasional "machine gun "stuttering sound when using any audio. Can you access my previous conversations with other experts?
let me check
it looks like this is the issue and the experts communication?
If so, I will go through all that and work out what the issue may be
is it ok to come back to you later today?
I can also provide some details on a good, value for money replacement specification
Yes. Please see if you can solve my sound problem and explain in terms that I can understand. If you can help, I would consider reformatting....Then, a new PC would not be necessary.Later, EddieB
Thanks Eddie, will send an update through later
Hi Eddie - just wanted to check a couple of things quickly that I couldn't see in the previous thread
how close are the speakers to any potential interference source
such as a wireless router etc?
also - can the PC Speaker Beep be muted to rule that out as a potential cause
if you right-click the Volume icon and choose Playback Devices
and drag PC Beep to 0
Still looking into the issue more but just a quick couple of thoughts
I have a cable box and a Roku. Had the problem b4 Roku. I will try 0 beep. I have checked earphone connect to PC. Still happens there.
ok - let me know
still got plenty of info to research so will come back to you later
I've had internet radio on with sound off. Must not be interference. Didn't think so. I know the louder the sound turned on the louder the machine gun stutter sound. Please keep trying.
no problem - thanks for the update, is a bizarre and curious issue!
will keep trying
just a quick audio question - was Vista always on this PC or has it run any other operating systems? Just wondering if the issue was present on a different operating system at all.
The audio chipset that the HP machine uses does seem to have caused similar issues with a lot of machines ever since the Windows Audio engine got recoded with Vista/7
also - did you have any type of budget in mind for a new machine
I bought this from HP online. Vista was already installed.
My budget depends on getting the best for the money. I would not be afraid to spend $600 to $700 if necessary. I would prefer not to spend more than $500.
thanks - I don't want to recommend anything excessive but good to know
would you need new screen etc or just the tower unit replacing in that event?
monitor is good. I am ready for a new keyboard. Mouse works fine. I could probably use an upgrade on speakers. I am using Creative now, working OK
ok that's good
pretty sure under $500 would be ok
Probably get one from BestBuy, without service contact!!. I have learned my lesson.
yes I know what you mean
on your current machine, can you go to Device Manager?
Start, right-click Computer and choose Manage
when that loads up choose Device Manager and expand Sound, Video & Game Controllers
right-click on the Realtek Audio, choose Properties and then select the Driver tab and let me know the version number
couldn't find it in the previous chat unfortunately
are the creative speakers you are using at the moment just Left - Right speakers or are they a surround sound model?
R and L
ok thanks - have a few possible resolutions based on that chipset and some issues
going to put them all together as I go through them over next hour or so
ok - been looking at a lot of chipset information and trying out a few things
when convenient can you see if these options make a difference at all?
Open Mail and choose Show Message Sizes from the View menu
sorry - ignore that
Under Control Panel > Sound > Playback Devices > Properties on Speakers > EnhancementsTurn on 'Immediate Mode'Control Panel > Sound > Playback Devices > AdvancedSet quality from 16/bits 44khz to 24 bits 48 khzChange Power options on the PC to High Performance
that's the right one
also, do you have Realtek Audio Manager listed as a program on your system?
if so, that should allow us to reprogramme the outputs
so for example we could change the audio input (blue connection) to be audio output and then connect the speakers to that connection
and see if the sound is still present or not
let me know if that made sense
Also have been researching a potential replacement PC
I agree that perusing Best Buy would be a very good option and they have some very good machines available
something like this would be a very nice machine and suit the requirements
or a similar HP
will be offline for a few hours
let me know your thoughts and if any progress on the existing sound issue
Turned on immediate mode...quality was already on 24/4800. I found a realtek HD audio manager.
I will get back to you in the morning..
No problem - let me know how it goes
Good Morning Steve, Been listening to internet radio and heard the sound after about 20 min.
Is Lenovo a common PC brand? No customer reviews. HP looks good. Has good reviews. Much difference between my HPw2007 monitor and a newer model?
Thanks - will work on the audio issue some more
Lenovo is what IBM are now called
they are good, solid machines
The HP does look a good system
I don't think you would see much improvement on a newer monitor to be honest
no problem, working through some more audio options now and will come back to you
Something else to try on the audio option - Control Panel --> All Control Panel Items --> Power Options Select "Change Plan Settings" on the power plan you are using will take you to Control Panel --> All Control Panel Items --> Power Options --> Edit Plan SettingsSelect "Change advanced power settings" which will bring up a Power Options settings box Expand "Processor power Management" Expand "Minimum Processor state" Set to "100%"
forgot to ask as well whether the Realtek Audio Manager was able to change inputs and outputs so that if the speakers were connected to a different port if that made any difference as well?
processor state already 100% can't find input/output connections
ok, let me see if I can find a guide on the Realtek Audio Manager
This should be the guide
p.11 mentions the option to use different jacks and change them to playback functions
Let me know if that works at all
I appreciate all your effort to help me with my PC audio problem. I think it's time to make that trip to BestBuy. This input/output stuff exceeds my level of techno-competence. Is there a better speaker set up that I should consider? The HP a7-1254 looks like the one I'll look at first.
Is there any chance of exporting my audio problem along with other data from my present PC?
My reason for considering the a7-1254 is the fact that I can't find any reviews on the Lenovo.
Understood - is strange that no reviews on the Lenovo but the HP is a good spec
for speakers & audio quality I would look at a good 2.1 speaker setup
which is a Left/Right speaker set with a bass unit as well to provide better response
Something like the Corsair SP2200 gets good reviews and is very well priced
there are a couple of options when it comes to exporting data
either manually copying documents etc
or we could create a virtual image of your existing machine which would also capture the audio data
and then this could be started up as and when required on your new PC
that would also be a good way of ensuring all settings are captured for easy reference on the new setup as well
VMWare offer a free converter and player for such a task (I've used it when consolidating servers several times)
Let me know your thoughts
I went to BestBuy yesterday and checked out the HP p7-1254. It sure looks good.
Can we try 1 last effort to repair my my PC? Is it possible to reformat and setup Windows 7 without any thing else, to see if the problem is in the settings or other software?
it would be possible to do a repair install of Windows 7
this is the closest method possible to reinstalling Windows 7 which doesn't affect the other applications/documents etc
unless you want to do a reinstall from scratch and see if that resolves the audio issue?
I want to use the whatever gives us the best chance of success. Whatever it takes to determine whether the problem is hardware, software or settings. What about just going back to factory restore? If it is hardware maybe we can replace the bad component.
yes - we can do that, would need to ensure everything is backed up in advance though
I can put some details together as to where documents/emails etc are stored so we can do this?
Whatever it takes to make it right. Will that will be the definitive ultimate measure? I just want to be through with my PC issues!!
Without spending $500
yes, that would be the definitive step to checking the issue
Let's getter done so we can settle up.
ok - what e-mail program do you use?
Ok, I'll work out the best way to do a complete backup and come back to you shortly with the details, is that ok?
I have an appointment this morning but I'll be back by 10:00
I have carbonite if that helps any
yes - Carbonite is good
just want to make sure we have a local copy as well
ok - what time is it there now?
0730. Where r u?
UK at present
ok, that's fine
will put someting together ready for when you get back
the areas to backup will largely be the following locations
Outlook Data Files
and Windows user files
Outlook Data Files should be included in the Windows User files location but is always best to double check
if you load up Outlook and go to File-->Account Settings-->Data Files
Select your mail account name and then choose 'Open File Location'
this will take you directly to the location where the files are located to allow you to take a copy of them
The other location we need to look at is on the system drive, usually called Drive C
if you go to Start-->Computer and then open up drive C
there should be a users folder
and under that should be a folder with your Username
if you copy the Username folder this should include Documents, Downloads, Favorites, Pictures & Videos which should be everything we need to backup
if you are happy that all your Documents are stored here that should then be everything we need backed up
We can do a final check of document locations etc before committing to the rebuild as well
Finally made it back home. I have the Username file. Where should I put it and how should I copy it.
I told you email was Outlook, that is incorrect. It is actually Windows mail
It doesn't have Account Settings on file tab. Sorry
do you have a USB drive at all?
Don't understand.Got a USB port.
ok, we'll need some mechanism to backup the files before we do the reinstallation
so usually, would be a USB hard drive (or memory stick)
failing that we might have to burn to CD/DVD?
ahh..now I understand. Probably go to Walmart and get one
I have blank cd
won't it take several?
they're useful things to have - may depend on how much space it would take up
if you right click your username folder and choose properties the size should be listed there
memory stick = flash drive?
yes, flash drive
would just fit on a blank DVD if is has a DVD burner?
Have cd burner. Let me make sure I have blank cd..brb
rough calculation that will take 6 or 7 CDs
I have blank dvd+R. and burner. never used it
ok - that should be a good option
is the burner connected?
I believe so
ok - so if you put the blank DVD in the burner
Windows should automatically detect it and give some options
Dindn't detect. I opene d windows DVD maker found options
ok, what options are available?
Choose play back setting
temo file location
ah ok - sorry think that's my fault
if you close Windows DVD Maker
and go to Start-->Computer
double click on the DVD burner
this should open up a blank disc
I see window says disc title :todays date
ok, what is available with format options?
I have a window that says ..drag files to this folder to add them to the disc
ok - that is what we want
so if you open the username folder in a seperate windo
highlight the username and press Ctrl + C (which will copy it)
and then in the DVD window press Ctrl + V
a copy of the folder should appear on the DVD
must be doing something wrong ..can't make that work
ok, how many blank dvds do you have?
just want to be sure that if we mess one up we have another one to use
back in a couple of mins...
Now I have a window 'files currently on the disk (13)
what files are now on the disk?
HP internet shortcuts...accesories, HP home,pc discovery,soft war and driver dowload
are you able to remove those?
a copy of the folder should appear on the
I don't understand highlight user name
if you go to the Start menu and choose Computer
then open the C drive
What are you reffering to?
it's the username folder on the system, apologies I think I'm explaining it badly
if you go to Start
and type c:\users in the search box
then press enter
not as badly as I am understanding. you doin ok
that should display some folders?
thanks :) you're very forgiving!
OK I have the users file open
ok, so in the users file
there should be a separate folder with your actual username on?
yes I c it
ok - that is the folder we need to copy to a DVD
just looking to see if there is a quick Microsoft video....
this has a good video showing the process actually
Giving up on dvd burning.I'm going to WalMart to buy a flash drive..
ah ok - no problem
so when you have the flash drive this should be the next step
select your username folder (the one under c:\users)
right-click it and choose Copy
open up the flash drive in Start-->Computer
then right-click and choose Paste
this should give you a copy of the username folder on the flash drive
if you open it up you can check that the folders etc have copied
(you should see Download, Documents, music etc all there)
that would just leave Windows Mail to backup....
If you go to File-->Export in Windows Mail
you can then choose Windows Contacts
which will let you export the Contacts
and then repeat the procedure but choose File-->Export-->Messages
Back them up in Windows Mail format
details & screenshots are here as well
Once all that is done we should have a backup of your mails, and the User folder which has your documents etc in
If you can double check the documents on the USB drive and are happy they are saved
the next step would be to check you have all the discs for any programs you need to reinstall
if so, would be rebooting with the Windows DVD in the drive and choosing the Install Now option when it boots up
it's Windows Vista isn't it?
once you start the reinstall we'll lose the ability to chat I guess
one thing I wanted to check was whether you had the drivers disc for the HP machine?
Same probs I had with the dvd. When I try to copy and start to download Window opens that says "the action cannot be completed bcause the file is open in another program. Close the file and try again"
ok, it's possible that it's trying to copy some of the hidden and system files that are in that location
the easiest solution will be to create a new user
login to the machine as that user
and then copy your user file to the usb disc
as nothing can possibly be in use then
so if you go to Start-->Control Panel-->User Accounts
you can create a new user account there
then logoff from your current user
and login to the new user account
go to c:\users in the new account
and then copy your username folder to the usb disc
if that doesn't work, I'll write a custom script to do the copying
Let me know if the user account works
will be offline for a couple of hours as have to drop by the office
I set up a new user acct. I think that I have copied my user name file to flash drive. How can I be sure that it copied correctly?
if you have the flash drive connected
go to Start-->Computer
and open up the flash drive
what folders are listed on the flash drive?
Good Morning Steve,
club application, ED, Ed copy, Louie, san disc secure access, run club san disc, RunSanDiscSecureAcce
Ok, and is the user folder called Ed?
When I go c:\user thisis what folders i c
Ok - Ed and Louie sound like usernames
so those folders have been copied to the flash drive
if you open them up on the flash drive, do you see Documents folders etc?
I see club application, ED, Ed copy, Louie, san disc secure access, run club san disc, RunSanDiscSecureAcce
ok, and if you double click on Ed
what does that then show you?
links music pics
so that sounds like it has copied things correctly
if you went into Documents does it show the document files you are used to?
looks like my documents file
were you able to backup the Windows Mail messages/contacts ok?
where should I look?
they would most likely be on the desktop I would imagine
if there's nothing obvious we can redo the exports
under program files i c my all programs list
or most of it
ok, let's do a new export of Windows Mail and make sure we have a copy on the flash drive
is Windows Mail loaded?
When I double click ED I get
mjsync auto runs
When I double click Louie I get
all are empty
what capacity is the flash drive you picked up?
if I go to Louie double click documents i get my document list
Have to go thru louie>links>documents> I get my document list
ok, that doesn't sound quite right
sorry - just want to be certain we have a copy of all your data before we reinstall
Have to go thru louie>links>documents> I get my document list
just to clarify Ed & Louie both use the machine?
Louie is the other user I created
right - so I'm 100% Sure
Ed is the main user
all documents etc
Louie is the test user we created to take a copy of Ed's folder?
ok - so Louie actually has 'no' data of his own
under louie there are no downloads or documents but there are links
yes, that makes sense if Louie is the test user we created, as he won't have done any work
when i go to links under louie then documents I get my document list
yes, crazily that is how it would work
so the main thing we need to concentrate is the Ed folder on the flash drive
hard for me to explain
that's ok - I think I'm there
Ed is the account you always login with and work from?
yes..I have only had ED untill I created louie
thank you - it's clear in my head now
so, on the flash drive, when you open up the Ed folder you have Desktop, Document, Downloads, Favourites, Links, Music, Pictures, Searches, Videos
ok, for some reason Ed hasn't copied quite right
let's try this way
if you go to the Start menu
and type transfer in the Search box
does an application called Windows Easy Transfer load up?
if you are in Windows Easy Transfer this may do a backup for us
do you have 'Start a new transfer'?
i have u
all under you can transfer:
can you hit next there?
iget close all programs
then it should ask where to transfer files to
are you able to go past that without closing all programs?
says just answer
the only program i have open
ok, we'll need to try closing those down and stepping through Easy Transfer
just putting the instructions together
so, once all other applications have closed continue with Easy Transfer
you should get a prompt to choose 'What do you want to use to transfer items to new computer'
the last option should be 'external hard disk or usb flash drive'
select that and you should get a screen which says
'which computer are you using now'
choose 'this is my old computer'
it should then scan the user accounts
might take several minutes here
you can choose Customize on Ed
and verify what it will backup
then with the checkbox next to Ed ticked
you can add a password XX you want to the backup
but easiest thing is to leave a blank password
and choose Save
are the instructions complete? I will print instructions and close ..Get back to you in an hour or so...TY Steve
let me know how it goes
I have followed directions and removed the scan disc
andclosed out allprograms
inserted the scan disc
the same stuff came up
club app,ED,Edcopy,Louie, etc..
so I didn't select any of those and I went to ED on the left side under folders and from there I can open contacts,desktop,documents,downloads, favs,links,music, pics searches
did I finally get it right?
not exactly..under folders is desktop, ED, public computer
hp ,factory image
if i click ED i get
contacts,desktop,documents,downloads, favs,links,music, pics searches
yes not the Removabl disc(j) that is the flash drive
The easy trans seemed to work properly
the same stuff as b4
club app,ED,Edcopy,Louie, etc.. comes up
the necessary data does not come up
when i click on scan disc in computr
i have to go to ED on the left side under folders
I am going to shut down for a while prob about 2 hours and start the easy transfer process again. I'll tell you the results when I come back
ok - thanks
in the meantime, I'll make a custom script that we can use to copy the data as well
just want to be absolutely sure that we don't risk your data
Almost have the script ready - just wanted to check what drive letter has been assigned to the flash drive
can you let me know what is shown next to the flash drive when it is connected
does it say E: Removable Disk or F: Removable Disk for example?
It is (j)
thanks - will make sure my script uses J
Sorry I have been away so long. I didn't know whether I had loaded up my new flash drive so I did a format on the flash drive. Took a very long time
should have the script ready in 5-10 mins
ok - the script file is here
if you click that it should download to your machine
I can't click that link
ok - if you go to wikisend.com and choose Download
it will prompt you for a File ID
use this 594236
and that should download the file
did that..got the run/save clicked run ..nothing happened
ok, can you repeat and save it to your desktop?
2012/05/10 15:04:22 ERROR 123 (0x0000007B) Accessing Source Directory C:\Users\ED\Desktop\“C:\Users\Ed”\The filename, directory name, or volume label syntax is incorrect.
got this from desktop shortcut
ok, that is strange
just checking the command
ok, can you go to Start and type CMD in the search box
this should load up the Command Prompt window
ok got it
does it currently show c:\users\ed?
now type this command
robocopy c:\users\ed j:\backup /MIR
and press enter
system can't find path
does the prompt change?
not recognized internal external command
ok, if you leave the command prompt window open for now
the flash drive is definitely being given the letter J?
without the stick inserted there is no lettre j..when i insert stick
NUMBER 1(j) shows
ah ok, put the stick in and double check it comes up as J again
can you go back to the Command Prompt window now
and once there type j:
and press enter again
hopefully the prompt would change now
now type c:
it should change back to c:
ok - that's fine
now - let's try this command
system cannot find the path specified
sorry, meant this command I'm just about to add
Robocopy C:\Users\Ed J:\TheBackup /MIR /XA:SH /XD AppData /XJD
ok - might take a while but this should now be backing up from the Ed folder to the J:\Backup folder
ok still loading
all through back to C :\Users\Ed
now type J:
and the prompt should change
then type \Mybackup
sorry - ignore that last bit
when you have the j:> prompt
type cd \mybackup
can't find path specified
ah - sorry my fault
try cd \thebackup
now J \thebackup>
ok - that looks good
now type dir
and it should list some folders
9 files 11Dirs
ok - and you should see folders like Downloads, Documents etc?
no downloads but documents, fav,links,music,pics
just want to check a couple of things
if you type cd \documents
and when the prompt has changed type
you should see a list of your documents scroll up?
I'm confused again back to J \thebackup>
ok - so the prompt currently says j:\thebackup>
is that right?
so now type
and the prompt should then change to j:\thebackup\documents
can't find path
hmmm, this is confusing
if you type exit
that should close the Command Prompt window
ok, if we go to start-->Computer
and double click the J drive
got backup 5/10..... File Folder
ok, is that folder thebackup listed?
ok, double click that folder
and let me know what is displayed now
ok, double click on Documents
got list of my documents
think we are there now with the files
now we just need to backup e-mails
can you load up Windows Mail?
go to File-->Export
and choose Messages
this should prompt you for a format to export to
format exchange win mail
choose Windows Mail
then it will ask you to choose a location
select the browse button
not an option
type it in?
and use mailbackup or similar as the name
yes, try j:\mailbackup
and hit next when done
that should then ask you what folders you want to backup
select message folders
then hit next
I have to delete Deleted Items folder
if you don't want the Deleted Items backed up you can hold the Ctrl key and click each folder you want to backup
this is basically the procedure we are following
export directory must be empty. select empty folder try again
ok - use this as the export directory
finished...think it only exported the sent file
was that the only folder highlighted?
don't know thought i selected all
ok - if All folders was selected then that should be what was exported
about 1500 plus files
can always redo the Export just to make sure
ok - does that sound about right?
I tried but got the select empty again
use that as the directory this time
can i open c:\users\ed\desktop\mail backup ?
yes, you should be able to double click on that and open up
see what contents are listed
exported "sent items" again
and if you open up the mailbackup folder on the desktop, what are the contents
looks like it's all there
ok - that's good
so now we need to backup your contacts
so in Windows Mail
go to File-->Export-->Windows Contacts
select the format as CSV
and once CSV is selected
you need to select which details it will export
i'd just tick everything
call it contacts
and on j: if possible
otherwise just save it to your desktop
saved but i can't find it
ok, if you go to Start and then type contacts in the search bar
hopefully it will show up there?
can only get Windows Contacts same as i get from inbox
ok, when exporting the contacts would it let you specify were they were saveD?
just setting up Windows Mail here
ok - this process should work and allow you to choose the location of where to save the file
can you try that and when you Browse, choose the Desktop folder
had to install CSV opener
got it on desktop
ok, so on the desktop you have your contacts and the mail backup folder as well?
ok - let's get them to the flash drive and I think we're backed up
right-click the contacts file and choose Copy
then go to Start-->Computer
double click J drive
sorry - right click on J drive and choose Paste
can i use send to when i right click?
yes, if J is an option there?
yes but won 't work 0 bytes
ok, what about the mailbackup folder?
can you right-click that and send to J?
checking j drive i have mail backup, The Backup,win mail cantacts
that sounds like we have everything we need
so the next step would be to start the reinstall of Windows
so guess we will lose contact during that point...
if you print this out in the meantime
it goes through the Vista installation
as you want to start from scratch to make sure the issue is totally verified - there is a section where you configure the hard drive. At this point, delete the existing partition and create a new one
otherwise it might not be completely erasing the system
also, make sure the flash drive is disconnected during the reisntallation
that way nothing can happen to the backup in error
OK gonna shut down and follow the How to
I'll be bac in the morning
ok - will be here
Let me know how it goes
Hello Steve, I have decided to learn to live with the "machine gun stuttering sound" that is in my PC. I appreciate all the time and effort that you have put into helping me. I will purchase a new PC some time soon. At that time I will get back to you for help in getting it set up.
Thank you very much!!!
All makes and models of computer hardware supported
No problem, let me know if you ever need anything at all.CheersSteve