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#1 2013-10-06 00:57:02

nightmareci
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Registered: 2013-10-06
Posts: 3

[SOLVED] System works, but system skips or stutters occasionally

I've just installed Arch on my laptop, and occasionally the system halts for a fraction of a second or a few seconds and any sound that's being played while the system halts keeps getting repeated until the halt stops. (The sound repeating is much like a broken record.) The halting is especially bad in games; I have Cave Story+ installed in Linux-native Steam, and it halts very frequently if no keyboard or mouse input is being sent to the computer, but the moment a keyboard key or mouse motion/button is activated the halting stops, and if I keep sending keyboard/mouse input non-stop halting doesn't occur at all. I've read various pages online trying to diagnose and fix the problem, but nobody has managed to fix it. I believe it has something to do with the audio driver ALSA uses for my sound card; the sound card is a Realtek ALC268, and sound does work with the automatically set up snd-hda-intel driver.

Here's some links of pages describing my problem, but with no fixes:
http://forums.linuxmint.com/viewtopic.p … 0&p=394708
https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+sour … bug/550482
http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=1471262

Some extra information: A long time ago, in the 2.6.x kernel days, my system didn't have occasional halts, but then an update started causing halts in some version of 2.6.x. I had the halting issue up until I installed Linux Mint 14 Cinnamon. I recently tried installing Lubuntu 13.04 (overwriting the Linux Mint 14 installation) but the halting issue returned, and the halting issue is also present in my current Arch Linux install. Also, I'm not using PulseAudio in my current Arch Linux install.

Last edited by nightmareci (2013-10-06 22:24:09)

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#2 2013-10-06 01:12:20

graysky
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Re: [SOLVED] System works, but system skips or stutters occasionally


CPU-optimized Linux-ck packages @ Repo-ck  • AUR packagesZsh and other configs

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#3 2013-10-06 01:40:00

Amanda S
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Registered: 2013-09-21
Posts: 276
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Re: [SOLVED] System works, but system skips or stutters occasionally

Sounds like it's not an issue with Arch since it happens on all the distros you said.

Just so we're on the same page, you're not using the same laptop from when Linux-2.6 was released, right?


If it ain't broke, you haven't tweaked it enough...

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#4 2013-10-06 01:56:32

nightmareci
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Registered: 2013-10-06
Posts: 3

Re: [SOLVED] System works, but system skips or stutters occasionally

I've been using the same laptop since some version of Linux 2.6; it's a Compal JFL92.

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#5 2013-10-06 02:17:22

Amanda S
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Registered: 2013-09-21
Posts: 276
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Re: [SOLVED] System works, but system skips or stutters occasionally

Although it seems like a decent hardware it could not be up to the task of the latest software.
I had similar problems when my old drive was dying, it had more than 4.000 bad sectors.

How old is the HD?
I'd suggest you to install a disk utility and do a S.M.A.R.T. check on it.

sudo pacman -S gnome-disk-utility

Run the program and select "SMART DATA". You'll be prompted to enter your password. Then, see if there's already any bad sector, and do a complete scan even if no bad sectors are reported.
On my old 320 GB drive it took about an hour to check everything.

If there's no bad sectors than I suggest using Gnewsense, last time I used it it had 2.6 Kernel, and it's sponsored by FSF.

http://www.gnewsense.org/

Last edited by Amanda S (2013-10-06 02:18:42)


If it ain't broke, you haven't tweaked it enough...

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#6 2013-10-06 20:57:52

nightmareci
Member
Registered: 2013-10-06
Posts: 3

Re: [SOLVED] System works, but system skips or stutters occasionally

I've discovered a fix. I read various documents related to the audio driver my hardware uses (even downloading the source code for the version of my kernel), and discovered an option to pass to snd-hda-intel, enable_msi=0; disabling MSI with that option fixes the stuttering/skipping/halting issue I had system-wide. To disable MSI, put the following in a text file located at /etc/modprobe.d/alsa-base.conf (you'll probably have to create the file):

options snd-hda-intel enable_msi=0

This fixes the stuttering with an ALC268 sound card in my Compal JFL92 laptop. Also, when MSI is enabled, there's an IRQ-related message for the Intel HD Audio driver in the output of dmesg; this message isn't present when MSI is disabled:

[    5.230055] snd_hda_intel 0000:00:1b.0: irq 47 for MSI/MSI-X

Here's the output from the command "sudo lspci -v 2>/dev/null | grep -A 10 Audio" for my laptop with enable_msi=0, which might help others find this post in internet searches; you'll notice the line containing "Capabilities: [60] MSI: Enable-", indicating MSI is disabled:

00:1b.0 Audio device: Intel Corporation 82801H (ICH8 Family) HD Audio Controller (rev 03)
        Subsystem: COMPAL Electronics Inc Device 0025
        Flags: bus master, fast devsel, latency 0, IRQ 20
        Memory at f8400000 (64-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=16K]
        Capabilities: [50] Power Management version 2
        Capabilities: [60] MSI: Enable- Count=1/1 Maskable- 64bit+
        Capabilities: [70] Express Root Complex Integrated Endpoint, MSI 00
        Capabilities: [100] Virtual Channel
        Capabilities: [130] Root Complex Link
        Kernel driver in use: snd_hda_intel
        Kernel modules: snd_hda_intel

And lastly, the Vendor Id of the ALC268 in my JFL92 is 0x10ec0268, Subsystem Id 0x14c00025, Revision Id 0x100003 (these three Ids gotten from the start of /proc/asound/card0/codec#0).

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#7 2013-10-07 19:11:44

Amanda S
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Registered: 2013-09-21
Posts: 276
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Re: [SOLVED] System works, but system skips or stutters occasionally

Good to see you fixed it! big_smile


If it ain't broke, you haven't tweaked it enough...

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