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Adobe Flash causes sound to stop working in Windows XP

Posted on 2012-03-12
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Last Modified: 2012-06-22
After playing shockwave flash audio content on websites, the sound will stop working a after a period of time.  The amount of time it takes for the sound to stop working is random, but it happens consistently.  It affects all sound, not just flash content.  I having a hard time finding a process that is causing the problem, but the sound will come back while I log off of the computer (the logoff sound plays), so it seems there is something running that's interfering with audio.  

I'm running Windows XP SP3 and the version of Flash is 11.1.  I'm using IE8, although the problem occurs with Chrome as well.  The motherboard is Intel D865GVHZ with onboard sound (Realtek).

Ideally I would like to know if there's a process that I can kill that will bring the sound back.  I'd like to avoid a bunch of software uninstalls/re-installs unless there's a known issue that will be resolved by doing this.

Thanks.
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Question by:DaanO
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Expert Comment

by:dgofman
ID: 37712756
You can try installing ProceXP and keep running as restore window.
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/bb896653

This tool will display all new and dying processes but red and green colors

May be you will find out what process was killed
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Author Comment

by:DaanO
ID: 37714725
Thanks for the suggestion.  I had been using process explorer to try to identify what was causing the problem.  I just tried your idea of running it while logging off, but unfortunately procexp gets shut down fairly quickly after initiating the log off, and most of the processes are killed after that point.  I did notice that the sound is back by the time the Closing Network Connections status box appears, because the logoff sound plays at this time.
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Expert Comment

by:dgofman
ID: 37749985
Can you reproduce the same problems on other machines?
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Author Comment

by:DaanO
ID: 37759259
I have not noticed the behavior on other machines.  Unless someone has some idea of a specific cause, I don't think I'm going to get very far.
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dgofman earned 500 total points
ID: 37759969
May be it's easier for you re-install Flash Player and get a latest one. I will suggest also check if any errors comes from SWF for this you need to download Flash Player Debugger

http://www.adobe.com/support/flashplayer/downloads.html
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Author Comment

by:DaanO
ID: 37774284
Thanks for the suggestion.  I've installed the debugger.  Hopefully this will show some error next time the sound dissappears.
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Author Comment

by:DaanO
ID: 37886449
I uninstalled Flash of 11.1 and then installed the debugger version of 11.1.  The only error it has reported while listening to Pandora was:

TypeError: Error #1009: Cannot access a property or method of a null object reference.
      at wine_300x250b_fla::CompleteAnimation_1/frame235()

Since then then I have not seen that error.  Pandora will still occasionally stall in the middle of playing a song, but instead of it killing all of the sound on the computer, it will skip to the next song after a short delay.   It seems that either the uninstall/reintall process, or switching to the debugger version has made the problem go away.
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Author Closing Comment

by:DaanO
ID: 37886468
The problem hasn't occurred over the last several weeks.  Based on my last comment, it seems that either the uninstall/reinstall of flash, or switching to the debugger version solved the issue.
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