When any sound file (or CD or DVD) is played, randomly the stream stutters—the sound, sounds like a short automatic gun firing for a second. From reading about similar instances a cause of this problem is often DirectX (DirectPlay) losing track of its buffer and having to run through it again to catch up. The stutter sound is DirectX doing that.
A suggestion to solve this problem is to map the sound controller to a unique IRQ as automatically sharing an IRQ can interrupt DirectX for too long—a few milliseconds is all it takes. However, not all BIOS's support this choice, which is the case for this laptop. So the solution seems to fall to the sound driver having to do DirectX's job. I believe many multimedia drivers wrap DirectX to tightly control its functionality, particularly in game apps.
A step to resolve the problem is probably to find what it is that interrupts the stream. I'd greatly appreciate any ideas how to do that and any suggestions that might eliminate the stutter phenomenon.
The mobo is an ASUSTek M6Ne version 1.0 with 2GB ram and XP Pro. All patches/updates applied, except SP2. The audio controller is an Intel 82801AA/AB/BA/CA/DB AC'97. The driver is version 5.1.3552.1. Hardware acceleration is off and do not map through this device is selected—changing these properties hasn't made any difference though.
Thanks in advance