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Toshiba Sattelite Laptop PSAA8U-02000U sounds distorted when CD/DVD or recorded music on laptop is played. What would cause this? Could I update the sound drivers or get a new sound card? Please advise. Mike

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The sound card is built in to the motherboard so replacing it basically means a new laptop so thats not usually a option. The good news is thats not your problem so your wallet is fairly safe.

If you are seeing this during playback that will mean one of a few causes. a bad CD, a bad drive, or not enough system resources.

The first two are easy to check. Just play the same cd's on other machines. Sometimes if they are home made you can get problems with media or the sound encoding. If you get the same problem on the other machines your laptop is fine. If these are commercial cd's or dvds then the problem is likely your system resources. It is possible that you have a drive problem but we need to rule out the system stuff which is the usual cause. In can also be from a overheating or already damaged cpu.

Basically the system resources are ram and cpu. Both of those are limited so if they run out or get close then you get all sorts of wierd problems. The usual cause for both is viruses or spyware. Those will slowly eat up all the resources. When they get bad enough everything will be slow including moving the mouse. Prior to that they generally go unnoticed and only something that uses a lot of resources such as a game or playing a dvd will psh it to the point you notice it. The easiest way to check is to look at the task manager ctrl-alt-del and see what the cpu Usage is. As an example I'm typing this I have pdfs open as well as a few other windows and pieces of software. My cpu usage is between 0 and 3%. Thats about normal for most of my machines.If I had a virus it would be much higher around 75-100%. If you look at the cpu colum everything should be 0 other than system idle which should be highest, then taskmanager. If you see anything higher then you need to check it out and see what it is. You can search for the image name on google or bing and find out if it is legit or not. The next guilty programs to look at are things like MSN. Those start up with the computer and can at times cause the slows. Basically unless there is a life threatening situation to do so you never need to have most things load at start up. So if you see the option to start when windows starts uncheck it. Also look at your startup menu on the main menu. start-all programs-startup. any program in this directory will start when windows starts. Usually you find speed loaders that really don;t speed up anything or programs or reminders. You can freely copy anything in and out of there. So you can remove things and copy them back in if you need them. Usually you never notice them not starting. Things like adobe speed loader and office toolbar are usual finds. The problem with these are they try and do updates before windows is really running so you see it as starting slower. By looking and checking these out you will most likely find or fix the slows which can cause the sound issues.

The next things to check for or get your tech to check are an overheating cpu or bad ram. These are things you can check yourself.
When a cpu overheats or gets hot it tries to protect itself by slowing down. So you can try to play a cd right when you first boot for the day so everything is cold. If it plays fine then get worse and the exhaust or bottom of the laptop are more than just warm you should look at getting the cooling system blown out or cleaned. Ram problems usually show as blue screen of death. Thats the blue colored screen that pops up and says you have a problem and to contact your admin. Those show up when you work the computer more or use more ram. They can cause the slows but that is rare.

Finally you may have a drive motor failing in the cd drive. That could cuase it to run slow but again this is uncommon.

This is a bit to read but I would check for a virus/program or the cpu heating. The rest are much less likely.

Posted on Jul 16, 2010

  • mmgarcia10 Jul 16, 2010

    this also happens when I play anything with sound. I tried to play an internet video (new) and it was the same...:(

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