10-06-2011 06:00 AM
Short version: I've been experiencing similar audio problems as the posters above, but have managed to find a solution that solved the problem. My problem was most definitely a driver issue and was resolved by deinstalling the Intel driver for the IDE ATA/ATAPI-controller and installing the generic Microsoft driver.
Long version: For months i had noticed that my T520 had some minor sound issues, but I didn't mind since I used it for research purposes only. It did become a problem last week when I started using my laptop to transcribe some large audiofiles. This combination of running the file and typing caused the audio to crack, pop and pause, which was extremely agitating.
After reading this and two similar threads I downloaded DPC latency checker and saw red spikes ranging well above 20000us. So I started to systematically shut off every non-essential device to isolate the problem. This approach yielded no permanent result.
Some more online checking brought LatencyMon to my attention, which can isolate the offending driver. It turned out that iastor.sys was the process responsible for the latency issue. This is a disk controller from Intel that governs the interaction between the motherboard and the harddisk(s). After checking to see that I had installed the lasted version and reinstalling it to make sure it wasn't corrupted the latency problem still remained.
What eventually worked for me was deinstalling the Intel driver, rebooting the laptop and letting Windows automatically install the generic driver. Beware however! I have a configuration with only one harddisk and do not know if removing the Intel driver will pose a problem for a setup with multiple harddisks.
For me this method solved the problem. The latency still spikes a litlle, but rarely surpasses 1000us. Even with multiple programms running and streaming audio.
11-10-2011 06:46 PM
I plan on buying this laptop and I really hope the sound issues have been resolved. If I hear popping, crackling or anything else, it is going straight back to Lenovo. Forget about fixing or re-installing or deactivating anything. A brand new laptop should work without problems, period.
11-17-2011 07:16 AM
I have the exact same problem and danish Lenovo Support haven't heard of the problem. They told me to deliver it back.
The company I bought it from would only send a guy to repair it, but I asked them what they wanted to repair, to which he couldn't answer....
So I'm stuck with a new laptop, which performs like an old one.
11-18-2011 03:00 AM
Try to download and install the Chipset driver from Intel:
From what I experience, the Conexant default driver was not really stable and properly written. Try this workaround then, it works for my W520 and overall my sound is more stable.
Hopefully it works for all of you.
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Mark it as solved if the solution works for you, so it could be reference for others in the future
Refunded Set: W510, 4876-A11
Current Set: W520, 4284-A99
Dolby Home Theater v4 (ThinkMix V2)!
12-19-2011 06:48 AM
I bought ThinkPad t510i two days ago, and straight from package, it had same problems with sound caused by insane DCP latency. After few hours I managed to get rid of it by doing following things:
1. Fully upgraded all drivers by using Lenovo - Update and Drivers in Control Panel. It was quite huge package of apox. 900Mb data. This almost fully fixed the problem, leaving only few yellow bars in DPC Latency Checker.
2. By using LatencyMon I recognized source of those yellow bars. For me, it was IDE ATA/ATAPI Controller > ATA Channel 3. Simply, by disabling it, all problems vanised.
I hope it will help someone with same problem.
After my first hours of using ThinkPad I was shocked how bugged it was. As mentioned earlier, that kind of things just cannot happen on brand new laptop with factory pre-installed software. I bought it because I remember few ThinkPads having around 10 years, and still working withour any repairs. Vision of giving my new laptop to the service after one day has driven me mad. I really, really hope it was last problem i had with it. Turns out, that Lenovo is not the same as it was in the past.
01-13-2012 12:39 PM
I've been experiencing similar audio problems as the posters above, but have managed to find a solution that solved the problem. My problem was most definitely a driver issue and was resolved by deinstalling the Intel driver for the IDE ATA/ATAPI-controller and installing the generic Microsoft driver.
Thanks for sharing your solution!
I had the same problem with my T520, the Intel driver (iastor.sys) was causing the latency. Tried your solution of deleting the device and letting Windows install the default driver. That worked nicely, and the audio issues are gone!
However, it has side effects. My DVD drive is no longer working. It's disabled and I cannot enabled it. Also, my hard drive seems to be slower now (I have an SSD). Seems the Intel driver support it better :-(
Guess I have to go back to the Intel drivers....
01-13-2012 02:00 PM
I have to correct myself. The Microsoft AHCI/ATA/ATAPI driver is NOT slower than the problematic Intel driver. Did some benchmarking with CrystalDiskMark and there the MS driver even was a bit faster consistently across all tests.
And I've found a workaround for the DVD issue: Rebooting with the disc in the drive. Unfortunately when not using the drive for some time, it gets disabled and cannot be enabled again. At least I don't know how. With the Intel driver it got enabled automatically when pressing the eject button.
Not nice but I rarely use the DVD drive, so that's kind of OK...
06-14-2012 04:53 AM
I also got a brand new T520 some months ago and discovered the sound problems. A Windows7 64-Bit with 8GB RAM is running on the hardware.
I found several solutions allover the web:
-Disable the ATA-Controller
(I am running W7 in AHCI-mode, so no ATA-Controller are present)
-Disable the Powermanagement
(I have disabled it in BiOS and Device Manager, but nothing helped)
-Uninstall the Sound-Driver coming with Lenovo
(I uninstalled it an let Windows install the native drivers. It did not fix the problem)
-Install an older Intel-Network Driver manufactured by HP
(The driver worked fine with the networkcard - but also did not solve the problem)
-Disable the NVidia-grafic-board in Device Manager
(I did so and switched to the analog port from the intel graphic board for the second display - and also no improvement)
Then I tested, if it might be in case of running two displays on HD-resolution. But even only with the Laptop-Display the problem remained in every solution.
Winamp sound like a walkman running out of power.
Then I uninstalled all the preinstalled lenovo-software. And when I finally removed the
Lenovo Power Management Software
the problems went away. Since then running only the native Windows Power Management everything runs fine.
I don't know if there is a relationship between this step and the others I did before, but I don't want to risk another failure, so I don't want to test further.
First of all uninstall every Lenovo-software. Test if the problem still remains. If so, disable Powermanagement and replace the sound-driver and the network-driver next.
If there is no "mutation" within the hardware from one pice to another the problem MUST have gone. If not, Lenovo's manufacturers don't know what they are doing...
After that, enable everything step by step till the problem again exists
PLEASE let us know, if the solution could be proofed by another user.
09-29-2012 03:06 PM
Just to join the croud as another unfortunate T520 user that will never ever again buy a lenovo
Not only the audio playback is a joke, but the mic doesn't work properly either
With this , pretty much any audio communication like skype becomes impossible which pretty much renders the machine useless in a work environment
So I am not even going to bother listing in detail the problems I have with the audio setup of this machine. After all you guys at lenovo know pretty well the problems. They have been listed extensivelly on this thread and other places as well on the net.
So my only question for the penovo people is: can you please provide the link to the official statement and apology letter from Lenovo on this subject?
10-01-2012 12:52 PM
I've had the same problem, and tried implementing your solution.
Went to device manager > selected the IDE ATA/ATAPI controllers > uninstalled/deleted the previous version of the Intel Mobile Express Chipset SATA AHCI Controller.
Did a restart and let windows do its thing and install whichever driver it wanted. Still getting massive latency.
Any additional steps that you took? This fix didn't seem to work for me.