Distortion and fuzzy noise problems with Audigy 2 ZS on Windows 7

In my on going struggle with Creative and their Soundblaster Audigy 2 ZS I've now come across a new problem that manifested a couple of weeks ago. I'm not entirely sure why it started happening then, maybe it was the heat? Maybe after 7 or 8 years the card is finally starting to die.

Now sometimes after resuming from sleep, any sound has distortion and noise in it. So far I'm restarting the Windows Audio service to get things back to normal.

There's a couple of ways to restart services in Windows Vista or Windows 7. The quickest way is to open an elevated command prompt by pressing Start, typing cmd right-clicking on the cmd program when it shows up, right-click and select 'Run as administrator'. Alternatively to right-clicking and selecting the option you can also hold CTRL+Shift and click instead, both should elevate.

Once its open, type the following, giving a short pause to allow the system to stop the service:

net stop audiosrv
net start audiosrv

The sound should now be back to normal.

You can also restart the service, by typing services.msc into the Start Menu (you won't need to elevate this), alternatively it can be opened via the Services tab in the Task Manager. Then find the Windows Audio services, right-click and select restart.


Comment from: john [Visitor]
5 stars

muchas gracias.

I can keep my audigy2 in there for now thanks to your tip.

17th September 2010 @ 01:41
Comment from: David [Visitor]
5 stars

Awesome. This bug after S3 wake-up was driving me crazy. Thanks!

18th April 2011 @ 10:10
Comment from: Kim [Visitor]
5 stars

Thanks, been using Standby in the last month, and just started noticing this problem. Been restarted my PC, which had made Standby mode rather redundant!

Glad to see the Audigy 2 not giving up yet!

An excellent solution, however have you found any permanent workarounds?

29th September 2011 @ 06:12
Comment from: Mayan [Visitor]

Thank you VERY MUCH, Fixed the problem. You're my savior! Actually i had this problem for years and I was waiting for a corrected driver to adjust the trouble. I assigned this command to a shortcut control by hot-key fro comfort // Windows 7 x64 //Audio card: Audigy2 ZS // Driver installed: SBAX_PCDRV_LB_2_18_0017 (07-09-10) (latest drivers available) // Symptoms: Fuzy sound after waking up windows from sleep or standby //

9th October 2011 @ 02:41
Comment from: Michael [Visitor]
5 stars

Wow, this is amazing! Thank you! For years I have just been restarting my computer when this happened!!

30th April 2012 @ 16:36
Comment from: Jon [Visitor]
5 stars

The solution worked perfectly! Thank you!

16th June 2012 @ 16:56
Comment from: JF [Visitor]

Amazing! I was ready to toss my sound card in the trash and buy a new one, thanks for this solution!

22nd August 2012 @ 20:12
Comment from: Bart Grefte [Visitor]
Bart Grefte

I recently started running into this problem as well, already figured out the restart Windows Audio-service workaround before I ran into this page. Glad I'm not the only one.

It's weird though.

My Audigy 2 ZS Platinum had been catching dust for years (I still don't understand why I stopped using it). Then I put it in my not so old pc with Windows 7 x64 where it worked fine for the first couple of months. Then this problem started occurring.

One moment sound sounds fine, then all of a sudden it's distorted. Restart the Creative Audio service: works fine for about a minute, then it's distorted again.
Restart Windows Audio-service, which also restarts the Creative Audio service, all is well again. Till the next time...

Coincidence or not, I am also using sleep (suspend to RAM) mode and started using it months before the problem started occurring.

Is this related to the problem and is there a permanent fix?

24th October 2012 @ 08:27
Comment from: Bart Grefte [Visitor]
Bart Grefte

Hmm, it's no longer just distortion.

Just now sound disappeared completely.
Restart of the Windows Audio service fixed it.

22nd December 2012 @ 08:52

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