Rangecast FAQ
[FAQ-1033] Windows Sound Freeze


Page Type: SYMPTOM


SUBJECT

The Windows Sound system has become non-responsive.


OVERVIEW

The Windows Sound system has become non-responsive. This is a Windows Operating System failure, not an application problem. However it may be triggered by a bad sound card, and may be cured by replacing it.


SYMPTOMS

All Senders are frozen and inoperative until the Sound Freeze condition is cleared by rebooting the PC.

The Rangecast Watchdog process should detect the condition and automatically order a reboot within 30 minutes (unless the option of automatic reboots to clear technical problems has been intentionally disabled on the PC via Rangecast Configuration). If automatic reboots by Rangecast have been disabled, this symptom will appear:


[FAQ-1136] Rangecast start page 'counting down' with a very large value on the timer

When Rangecast is started (either manually by someone using the PC, or automatically when the PC boots up), the entry screen (with start/stop/configuration buttons) has a 60-second countdown timer, and will automatically launch the software after 1 minute. However, if Rangecast has detected a technical problem that entirely prevents operation, and either (a) a reboot does not clear the problem or (b) the Rangecast software has been instructed to never reboot the PC, the timer will count down for 30 minutes (the display countdown shows seconds - this is 1800 seconds) and retry only every half-hour.



TEST

To confirm that the Windows sound system is in this frozen state:

1) Open the Windows Sound panel (usually available as an icon on the desktop; if not there, Sound can be accessed via the Windows Control Panel)

2) Select the Recording tab. Now click anywhere in the Sound window.

3) If this problem is occurring, there will be no audio level meters on the right side of the Sound panel (such meters are usually present for every input when on the Recording tab)




4) With further mouse clicks in the Sound window, and possibly after a considerable delay, the window may grey out and the application title bar will report "Sound (Not Responding)"



4) Click the [X] box to attempt to close the panel. If this problem is occurring, an error message will appear stating "Windows Shell Common DLL is not responding." offering an option to "Close the program."



Note: The failure is reported in the Windows Event Viewer Log, in Administrative Events, as Application Hang.

If Rangecast software is launched while this problem is present, the first sender to launch will freeze (clock stopped) with the message "Test Audio Ports - Pass 1", and other senders will show the message "COM PENDING" (clocks running). After several minutes, the software will automatically close and attempt to reboot or relaunch (depending on settings).


METHOD

1) The Rangecast software usually fixes this problem with an automatic reboot. If this feature has been disabled on the PC, then a manual reboot is necessary.

2) If the problem recurs, there may be a defective sound card triggering the failure in Windows when the Rangecast software attempts to access the input audio channel, and removing or replacing the sound card may provide a long-term fix.

To do this, it may be possible to isolate the card causing the trouble by disabling them all in Device Manager, then opening the RECORD tab in the Sound panel. One by one, enable the cards and try opening the Sound panel. When the bad card is enabled, then the Sound panel will probably freeze. Removing or replacing that card may prevent the problem.


Rangecast FAQ - ID 1033 - last updated 02 August 2017     Images shown - [block]