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Fixing Choppy Audio/Video Playback

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My girlfriend's PC is an amalgamation of old and new parts. The ten-year-old motherboard went south and needed replaced, but the IDE hard drives were still in good shape. Seeking to merge the old with the new, it was upgraded from a 750MHz AMD Duron processor on a decade-old Gigabyte motherboard (hot when AGP first debuted) to one of the newer Intel Core 2 Duos with a Gigabyte S-Series motherboard. IDE is on the way out, replaced by Serial ATA, so I had to look specifically for that in whatever motherboard I was going to buy.

We put the thing together, fired it up, installed Windows XP Pro, got everything else on there, and she started happily plugging away on the upgraded monster (slipped a Geforce 7950GT in there to replace the 3dfx Voodoo3 too, to feed her growing gaming habit). Everything seemed ready to cook.

As an avid online-TV watcher, it wasn't long before she discovered the sound and video in the stuff she was watching would stutter often, though it seemed to smooth out as things played on. I initially chocked it up to buffering issues, but when it started happening in offline videos and music in Windows Media Player and iTunes, I knew something was amiss.

We tried updating sound hardware drivers, but that didn't help. Then we defragmented the hard drive, but to no avail. I even replaced the IDE cable, but nothing changed. I had narrowed it down to only happening when the C drive was being accessed, though. She tested it by playing a video file, then in the middle of it, she initiated a file copy from her laptop through the LAN to the afflicted machine's C drive and sure enough, as soon as the HDD activity LED lit up, the sound started getting choppy. Even Windows start up and shut down sound events were affected.

After a few minutes of tireless searching (hey, I'm good), we stumbled onto a couple very specific fixes other users fighting this problem had reported.

The first was to see if Windows had reverted the Transfer Mode between the hard drive and motherboard from the more common and faster DMA back to the slower but more reliable PIO. Windows switches automatically to PIO after a number of disk errors are reported, as it's apparently a more stable reading method. Problem is, since it is slower, it can cause glitches like what we were experiencing, and it's particular to IDE drives, so I wouldn't have seen this before on our other machines, which use SATA exclusively.

To check for this, go to Settings-> Control Panel-> System-> Device Manager-> IDE ATA/ATAPI Controllers-> Primary IDE Channel-> Advanced Settings. Look under Device 0 and it should be set to "DMA if available." If it says "PIO only" instead, change it, click OK, save settings, and reboot. This may resolve your issue, though if the disk is really going bad, Windows is likely to change it back to PIO after some time, and you may want to look into getting a new hard drive.

However, in our case, both HDDs were already set to DMA, so that was a dead end. Then the other solution arose, which is a little more involved. It involves editing the registry, and if you're not completely sure what you're doing here, you may want to ask someone more knowledgeable to help you.

Click Start, go to Run, type in REGEDIT, click OK. Navigate to the following key:
{4D36E96A-E325-11CE-BFC1-08002BE10318} (make sure you match the key exactly, as there may be many similar surrounding it).

Expand this key/folder and you'll notice a number of subkeys, numbered 0000, 0001, 0002, and so on. There may only be a couple, though there could be several. Click on each one and look for the item "DriverDesc" in the right pane, and to the right of that, find the ones that say "Primary IDE Channel" and "Secondary IDE Channel." If it says anything other than that, you are in the wrong subkey.

Once you identify the Primary IDE Channel key, scroll down in the right pane till you find MasterIdDataCheckSum and/or SlaveIdDataCheckSum. If you know for sure whether the drive you need to fix is set to Master or Slave, delete the appropriate key (MasterIdDataCheckSum for Master, SlaveIdDataCheckSum for Slave). If you don't have any idea, it can't really hurt to delete both. Windows will simply re-identify this information on the next reboot.

We deleted both the MasterIdDataCheckSum and SlaveIdDataCheckSum for the Secondary Channel and the MasterId for the Primary Channel; I suspect the Slave drive had both in this case because, on the old motherboard, each drive had its own IDE port, but the new mobo only had one, so both had to share a cable/port.

After deleting the keys and closing the registry, she rebooted the computer, and has been enjoying her shows online ever since, with nary a skip in about two hours of nonstop playback. She even retested the file transfer during a show to see if it did anything, and playback was still fine.

Seems like I nipped another bug. Maybe now I can get back to work *smirk*.

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About Mark Buckingham

  • Kyle

    Hey, I’m having this exact same problem and followed the steps up to and through the registry portion. The only problem with completely following through with the instructions given is that there aren’t any subkeys with the description of “Primary/Secondary IDE Channel”. Of the four subkeys my computer displays, there aren’t any with MasterIdDataCheckSum or SlaveIdDataCheckSum to be deleted. I’m moderately confused on what to do from here to fix this problem, needless to say. Any help would be greatly appreciated!

  • Did you try the other fixes described earlier in the article? Even tho they didn’t work for us doesn’t mean they won’t work for anyone.

    Further, what operating system are you using? XP, Vista, or something else? That might make a difference in terms of where the reg keys are located, how they’re organized, or whether they’re there at all. The systems we were working on were all running WinXP SP2 or SP3.

    It’s also worth noting that the problem seems to have returned on our affected system. Haven’t had a chance to run through the fix process again to see if it’ll eliminate it again. Hopefully I’ll find a permanent fix soon. Might just be the IDE drives, and/or that they have to share an IDE cable/port. I’ll post any new findings as they come up.

  • Kyle

    Yes, I tried all the previous fixes before I actually found this article, haha. That’s when I started searching Google for other possible fix and thought your article was a God-send. I’m working with Vista right now. This computer’s a recent purchase, and I’m not all too familiar with the OS.

    Everything runs smooth, the only problem is similar to what you were having with your mentioned machine. Only if I multitask, that’s when the choppy sound and video-playback hit. If I do absolutely nothing but watch the movie or listen to the music, it’s fine for the most part with the occasional skip.

    I followed the instructions in regedit down to the IDE ATA/ATAPI controllers subkey area, and that’s where it all stopped being exactly as you described it. Which I can see making sense, now. You were on XP where as I’m using Vista.

    Also, I’m not sure if it makes a difference, but this machine has 4 hard drives on top of two external. No cords are shared, though. Two SATA and two IDE. I’ll keep checking up on this page for any further information!

    Thank you a lot for looking into the problem, this is literally the only useful page on the subject out of 50 pages of search results.

  • David

    I had this exact problem. Your fix worked well. Thank You. I also need to reinstall my SigmaTel audio codec.

  • brendan

    dude you fixed my computer, i love you

  • Glad it’s worked out well for most of you. 🙂

    As for the Vista system, it’s possible the keys are there, but in a different area. You could try hitting Ctrl+F (or go to the Find command under Edit on the top menu) and type in any of the specifics from above, like DriverDesc, Primary IDE Channel, or MasterIdDataCheckSum, and search the registry to see if they might be there hiding somewhere.

    The only version of Vista I have is on an all-SATA computer (no IDE), so it’ll be a little tricky to find out more. Let me know if the registry search turns up anything interesting.

  • Joe B

    I couldn’t be more excited right now. You are a lifesaver. I’m a musician and none of my multimedia worked for the past couple weeks. It was really frustrating but now it’s fixed! Thanks!

  • Dave

    OMG! THANK YOU! My system runs so much more smoothly now and the audio is perfect. This fixed a couple of other problems I had with multimedia applications crashing on exit too. It’s even loading windows faster! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

  • Mark Buckingham

    Excellent news! Glad to hear this helped someone else out there.

  • thanks a million for this solution! i couldn’t simply reinstall windows because it’s a netbook that doesn’t have a cd drive and also didn’t come with a copy of xp. the audio is very important, as we do a podcast and it is crucial. anyway thanks, the problem is fixed!

  • Taylor

    holy cow ive been trying to figure this out forever, audio and video playback are impeccable, thank you.

  • Sara

    THANK YOU! My computer started playing videos and music in a terrible, choppy way out of the blue, and as a consequence I was unable to listen to any tracks without being disturbed by the minute breaks. Yours registry key deletion fix worked, my computer is functioning like a dream again. Bookmarking this for future reference!

  • Cole

    NO! I got so excited when I saw this. I had the same problem as you but I tried this and it is still not fixed. I tried both your solutions and it didn’t help. Does anyone know any other possible fixes? I have tried updating drivers, closing other programs, slowing playback speed, and both these solutions already.

  • Mark

    How old is the hard drive? Is it IDE or SATA? Eventually we pulled the main C drive, a 10-year-old IDE drive that was showing its age…just slow to boot, access, and everything else. The new drive installed was SATA and all has been fine since then. You could migrate your existing drive’s data to a new drive using a program like DriveClone, and not have to start all over reinstalling Windows and everything else.

  • Cole

    The main hard drive I am using is one that I pulled out of an external hard drive cuz it stopped working. The external hard drive was only a couple years old. It is an IDE hard drive. The slave drive is about 5-10 years old and is also IDE but I wasn’t running anything off of it so idk if that affects anything.

  • Cole

    And also, I re-installed XP on the current slave drive a couple weeks ago before I pulled out the other hard drive out of the external and had the same problem on that hard drive even though it was fine before i reinstalled XP on it.

  • Mark Buckingham

    First thing I’d try is unhooking the power connector to the secondary drive, and boot without it in the equation.

    From the sound of it, you reinstalled XP on the older slave drive? The age of the drive alone could be an issue.

    I pulled the old drive we had the problem with and put it in another machine to test Vista on, and it seemed to handle it just fine, so the problem may be a little random.

    Another thing to consider….the drive that caused skipping was originally a slave drive in the original machine, and when the main drive died, I repartitioned it and used it as the main drive. Was okay for a while. Then we upgraded the mobo, video card, processor, added a second IDE slave hard drive, etc. and reinstalled XP. THEN it started acting goofy, booting slow, and so on. Perhaps it was the hardware changes, the HDD jumper settings, or that the new motherboard didn’t have the same IDE bandwidth budget or something.

    Not sure if anything there helps, but comparing your setup to this one could reveal something.

  • Cole

    I unhooked the power to the secondary drive and booted with only the main drive (the one from the external hard drive). Same problem. I went through your steps again, everything set to DMA, I deleted the registry keys you said and restarted, same.

    To clarify, the old hard drive came with the computer. XP was installed on it. It worked fine for years then I started having problems with windows so I re-installed it. Thats when trouble started. A few weeks later I took apart the external drive and put that drive in my computer (only that one) and installed XP on it. Everything worked fine so I decided to hook up the old one as a slave. I then deleted all the windows files of the old drive and just left Documents and Settings and Program Files. After a while I noticed the audio was still choppy after changing to the new drive.

    Anyway, If you come up with anything then it would be greatly appreciated. I will check back some other time maybe. If not then thanks for your help.

  • Mark Buckingham

    That’s odd. If it worked fine prior to that drive being re-introduced to the equation, but is still stuttery without it now, I’m not sure what the problem would be.

    I know when I removed the old drive here, I did a secure erase on it before using it again for anything else. Given that it was also booted up again in an entirely different hardware environment, it’s hard to say which of those two things would have had a greater effect.

    If I come across any other ideas, I’ll post them here.

  • Laurie

    I have the same problem, but I’m using Vista and can’t complete either fix.
    With the first fix, my IDE Channel (there is neither primary or secondary) is set as PIO Mode 4, however, Enable DMA is greyed out (I have separately searched for a solution to this in Vista and have yet to find one).
    The 2nd Fix, again, because I’m using Vista, the subkeys in the registry are different. I have 6 keys (0000-0005 & Properties), all but the first say “IDE Channel” under DriverDesc (the first, 0000, is the controller). But there is no DataCheckSum entries or anything that looks like that, so I’m worried to delete anything.
    If you have found anything out in Vista, or if anyone else has, I’d greatly appreciate your help!

  • Mark Buckingham

    Hi Laurie. Are you sure your machine has IDE hard drives? I would think most Vista machines would have SATA, the newer replacement for IDE. Also, what kind of video hardware does the system have?

  • Jimmy

    Hey Mark,

    Thanks for this article write up.
    I’m having this problem as well an I’ve tried all the tests you’ve mentioned.

    I’m running Vista 64 Bit SP2 with 4 gbs of ram and an Intel Quad Core Processor 2.4 ghz.

    I’ve tried your first solution and was unable to find a primary IDE drive but all my controllers were set to DMA.

    For your second solution, I didn’t see any DataCheckSum entries.

    I have 3 hard drives, all of them SATA and are only about 1-2 years old. I’ve already defragged, and scanned my hdds for spy and malware so I’m stuck.

    The problem seemed to be alleviated for a while when I unplugged my DVD drive but now it has come back.

    Got any suggestions?


  • Leave the DVD drive unplugged? 🙂 But seriously, the drives we had the problem on were all IDE, so the diagnosis for SATA drives might be entirely different. The location of the registry entries might also be different in Vista 64, as we were troubleshooting XP 32-bit.

    I guess the next question would be whether the DVD drive is also SATA. If all three HDDs and the DVD drive are SATA, they might be interrupting each other or pulling too much power, depending on the rating of the power supply. If the DVD drive is IDE and everything else is SATA, it could be an IDE/motherboard driver issue or something similar.

    Just knowing that having the DVD drive unplugged fixes the issue should point you in the right direction. Hope this helps.

  • Matt

    You rock Mark! Step 2, (registry fix) set me straight. Awesome job. Girlfriend had been using my computer for 5 months and brought it to me saying it’s slow to boot, doesn’t play audio/video without chopping, etc… Runs as good as the day I gave it to her. Thanks again

  • Jeff

    I can’t believe this actually worked. I was skeptical, now I’m amazed. Thanks a lot.

  • Ian

    Ive been dealing with this problem for so long… just getting pissed off that i couldnt play guitar with songs that i loaded up on youtube and what not… seriously man i love… i did this while i was at work and proceeded to jump around sprint until i was out of breath your a life saver man.

  • So glad it’s helping people clear up this annoying and apparently widespread problem!

  • Lance

    Seems like a workable solution, however everytime i delete the keys, xp has them back in when i reboot. Any idea as to why? Also both keys were in 0001 and 0002. They both stay out of 0002, but both come back in 0001. I have my registry backed up if i made an error, not sure what to do.

  • The keys get replaced when you reboot and it auto-detects your drives. The keys aren’t supposed to stay gone; what does it affect as far as the video playback issue?

  • Lance

    I dont know how to describe it really, but its just a little skip. Like playing a DVD with a little scratch in it. It happens with any music (i use itunes mostly) and it also happens with videos on the web. I play a few games and I dont notice anything as far as lag or skipping. They seem to play perfectly.

  • How old is the main hard drive in the system? Older might just be having problems streaming if it’s wearing out. Could also be affected by how full the drive is and how long ago it was defragged.

  • Dan

    We have been struggling for weeks with this problem. Worked like a CHARM! Thank you, Mark! Fixed both choppy audio AND video! Nice work.

  • Chaz

    Thanks so much for this post. It didn’t solve my problem (skipping audio playing from a hard drive I pulled from an older machine and put in a newer one w/ XP)..but it did lead me to a solution. My hard drive is an older IDE drvie. My CD/DVD was on the same IDE cable. By putting the hard drive as the last device on the cable so that the computer would see it as the master drive (compared to the CD/DVD), my issue went away. (I also switched the jumper on the hard drive to “Master” and kept the jumper on the CD/DVD drive at “CS”) Hope this helps!

  • Dan

    Than ks for the fix, you dun did it… but… it came back after a windows media player crash

  • I tried everything to fix my choppy video problems on my XP pro – Compaq v5204, and this little trick did it. Thanks a million!!!

  • Glad to see this info is still helping people!

  • tony

    not sure what to do. I’m not real computer savvy, but I followed every step you said and as a Vista user, I ran into the same problems the others did. I can’t find SlaveIdDataCheckSum or MasterIdDataCheckSum. Also, When I tried the first technique, it doesnt give me the option to change it from PIO. can you help?

  • I don’t use Vista, so I’m not sure what else to recommend other than to search the entire registry for those entries rather than that specific location, as noted in an earlier comment (#6):

    “As for the Vista system, it’s possible the keys are there, but in a different area. You could try hitting Ctrl+F (or go to the Find command under Edit on the top menu) and type in any of the specifics from above, like DriverDesc, Primary IDE Channel, or MasterIdDataCheckSum, and search the registry to see if they might be there hiding somewhere.”

  • Stu

    Hey Mark, thanks for the help! The 2nd tip worked for me perfectly. Just curious as to how that works? What is it doing to fix the problem, and what is the problem?

  • I can’t say for sure why it works other than that the drive may be communicating data incorrectly based on that checksum data value. Clearing the checksum and forcing it to rebuild itself could correct those miscommunications. That’s conjecture on my part.

  • Gareth

    I had this problem, and it appeared out of the blue. I couldnt play video/audio without it chopping, and CPU was running at 100%. This fixed it perfectly. I am so grateful for the advice. Its good to find a resolution on the internet that actually works. Thanks Mark.

  • Gary

    Thanks so much for the registry fix. Not only can I watch videos & listen to audio smoothly, but this has also fixed other performance issues I have been having when writing large files to disc.

    This really has made my day. Thanks so much for taking the time to share this information.

  • Gary

    This fix gets even better. Now I can use my computer while burning CDs & DVDs rather than being frozen out during the burn.


  • Even better, Gary. I had no idea so many people were facing the same problems we were. 🙂

  • Jim

    I am so delighted to have this problem finally solved. Thanks a great deal!!

    I have to wonder how the registry got messed up in the first place, but then again, my old computer was owned and operated by someone else before I inherited it. Thanks again, Mark.

  • Phatmac

    Mark, you are my guru! I tried everything, and even reformatted and resinstalled XP with SP3. I was going to toss the PC off the balcony, sure it’s 4 years old, but it should still be able to play its startup sound! Thank you, thank you, thank you!

  • Christy

    I just want to send out a HUGE thank you!!! The guys at Microsoft and Dell did not offer me half the help that you did. You fixed my computer and I am most thankful. You deserve TECH of the YEAR!

  • That would mean MS and Dell would have to actually work at the problem rather than run through the usual suspects and then tell you to reformat. If you know of others who’re having this sort problem, pass the link along! 🙂

  • Hi there,

    I tried the key removal and don’t think it totally worked. I say that because sometimes my videos do play okay, and they are today to a degree, but I still seem to be having some trouble.

    My issue is not just the freezing up while loading more video, which does sometimes happen, but moreso the problem is that videos will play and the audio will be fine but the visual part will be choppy and stuttered throughout. This is really an issue because I watch a lot of dance videos and you can’t enjoy them much when they look more like a slideshow. And the HD vids from my camera barely play at all- very choppy. Music files play perfectly fine other than the occasional blip. Some people blame internet but my daughters Mac plays everything perfect using my wireless, and then the PS3 is in between- plays stuff well but suddenly will get stuck in a loading phase. :o/

    BTW, My computer does do a surprise reboot a couple times a day- don’t know if that is a related issue or not. Any other ideas as to what to try Thanks in advance!

  • Sorry, missing a question mark after “Any other ideas…?” ;o)

  • The random reboots do point to a larger issue. I suspect one of a number of things:

    1. The hard drive is old/going bad, causing both the choppy video and reboots.

    2. The video card is underpowered for the video you’re trying to play back. If the same videos work fine on other systems on the same internet connection, it’s definitely something with that system’s hardware or OS.

    3. Overall age of the system. If it’s more than 3-4 years old — depending on how much use/care goes into it — it might be time to put it out to pasture and upgrade.

    4. Related to #3, if the system is fairly old and hasn’t been wiped and had Windows reinstalled in a while, it could be bogged down with unnecessary processes, junk files, and the like. Back up your important stuff, throw you Windows/restore CD in, and give it a clean reboot.

    5. Defragmenting the hard drive might help to a degree, but not if any of the previous suggestions are the underlying cause. Running a disk check also couldn’t hurt. Both of these can be run by opening My Computer, right-clicking the drive, going to Properties, then looking under the Tools tab.

    Hope that gets you going in the right direction!

  • Thanks so much, Mark-

    This computer was given to me because the previous owner bought a nice new one and this one wasn’t functioning (I think at the time they couldn’t even get booted to the desktop but don’t recall for sure) so I reinstalled Windows XP at the time I received it- about 9 months ago. That being said I’ve still managed to almost fill it up- I think about 8 gigs are free out of 32 at the moment- although most of my stuff is on an external drive (which is also almost full!!) But this weird reboot thing has been happening for quite some time- seems to be getting a bit worse but hard to say- some days it doesn’t do it at all, other days 4-5 times. It seems to happen more when I’m doing a lot at once but then again sometimes it happens when I’m not even technically on the computer.

    I have not been able to test the videos from my new video camera on any other devices- I tried once on daughters Mac but did not have the software necessary installed and since she is lacking space as well I didn’t want to add more to her drive. Of course I can play them back in the camera so know they are fine– the videos that play well on other devices were Youtube and the like. Since I wrote this note to you I did update my video card driver and DirectX (latter had years of updates to do!) and that did help some- I also installed ‘Splash Lite’ and so my HD vids play on there a bit better than they were before but still very choppy. Unfortunately the software that came with my camera works for uploading the files, but crashes when I try to even get to the section where you browse and view the videos- possibly this is also related to my lack of power…

    I will defrag. How do I go about adding power to the video card? Buy a better card or is there some other tip? I have 1 gig of RAM and the system is a 2.6 GHz on an HP e300n.

    I really appreciate you taking the time to write with all the tips. I’ll keep working on it. Maybe someday I can buy a brand-new computer and hopefully not get a lemon! ;o)

  • If the computer is simply shutting down in the middle of doing things, that could be a sign of it overheating. This is especially true if it’s more common when you’re doing several things on it at once, keeping the hard drive, memory, and processor busy — all of which generate heat.

    The computer should be able to manage the heat inside, provided all the fans are working properly (should be one on the main processor, video card, inside the power supply, and perhaps one more on the motherboard somewhere…provided it’s a desktop) and the vents aren’t blocked or filled with dust bunnies. You should be able to clear those out with a can of compressed air. As for the fans, you can see most of them just from opening up the case. Take the side panel off, fire up the system, and see if any of the fans neglect to kick on. The one in the power supply will be blowing air out the back you could feel on your hand; if you’re not feeling anything there, that could be bad. If any of the fans don’t start up, you can get replacement fans for cheap if you know the system model or information about the component it’s related to (processor make, model, speed; video card make, model; etc.).

    Further, if any upgrades to the system have raised its power consumption higher than the power supply is rated to support, that could also cause shutdowns. You’d have to have a professional look at it and see if the combined power usage of the components is overloading the power supply, and see what they’d recommend.

    Overheating is definitely linked to skippy performance. I had a laptop that would overheat a lot when running higher-end games, causing the framerate to plummet. Games, movies, music…anything can get choppy if the heat is building up inside, lowering the performance efficiency of the video processor and main processor.

    Check into the system ventilation — maybe even try running it for a little while with the side panel off to get more air in there — and see if that makes a difference.

  • I kinda wondered about that- it runs pretty quiet compared to my others but then again I’ve always had kinda junky computers :o). I feel a bit of air coming out just towards the top of the back. I’ll open it up and see if any fans are not working.

    I do often see that CPU usage goes up pretty high, although I”m really not doing anything out of the ordinary- really no gaming or stuff like that.

    Thanks again for the tips and advice- I will let you know if I figure anything out.

  • Ted

    Huge thanks! Got hit with some nasty spyware and two days after I removed it, my entire computer became sluggish. Not only was video choppy, but my entire computer nearly came to a halt if I did anything (burned a CD, downloaded a 3 mb podcast, extracted contents from a zipped file, etc.)

    I tried everything suggestion I read online, but nothing worked. Didn’t know if the registry was corrupted, or there was a hardware or software issue, or I some type of memory leak.

    After I followed your instructions for the registry deletions and rebooted, everything appeared to run normally again.

  • Yasmine


  • Cynthia

    Have been living with choppy audio on my XP laptop for ages, that is, until today! Followed your suggestions and found that the secondary ide channel key was set to Master, as was the primary. Deleted the keys, and rebooted…and clear sound has (finally) been restored. Thank you so much!

  • I’m delighted that what started as a simple fix I unearthed has proven helpful to so many. 🙂

  • Jonathan

    You are the man. I wanted to throw my laptop out the window before I found your article. THANK YOU!!!!!!

  • J

    I don’t know if this has been stated before, but Laptops running XP may switch to this mode to conserve battery power. When you have a fully charged battery or are running via an outlet, Windows may not toggle it back.
    This is the explanation I gathered… sorry if this is old information (which it may be :D)
    Anyway, thanks for the article, it’s helped me more than once!

  • Thanks for the additional info!

  • TC Lai

    I recently had this problem – programs slow to launch, video stuttering. Tried everything, even new audio driver. Nothing worked. After running Malwarebytes (and getting rid of some infections – most likely caused by my none-too-PC-literate partner)), and switching off MS Services, it still did not work. Thanks, Mark, for your tip. It restored my PC video playing capabilities upon restart. Now with the other fixes, my PC is super fast, and with proper video/audio playback. Thanks again. :-))

  • Dallas

    Thank You! Thank You! Thank You!

  • AwokeKnowing

    Worked for me!!! fixed. thank you. thank google. mostly you.

  • Aira

    Hey Mark,

    i had the same problem with the choppy music and videos. My laptop used to play them smoothly without misses or skips until i recently updated my Windows.

    I’m running on WindowsXP SP3. I tried doing the first option and hit a dend end since both were running on DMA. I tried the second option and encountered this message “Registry editing has been disabled by the administrator” even if i’m running on an administrator account

    please help….

  • Aira

    i was able to finds scripts that enabled me to edit my registry and did what you said and IT WORKED!!! thanks a lot

    thank you
    my laptop booted faster than usual and was able to play videos and music smoothly

    again, thanks

  • Gary

    I’m back! The same problem has re-emerged, not immediately but about a week after installing a new power supply. I have definitely reconnected my master & secondary hard drives to the same configuration as they were before, which happens to be both on the same data cable. Once again everything slows down while writing to either drive, so if I’m downloading anything pretty much all other tasks grind to a halt, and audio & video playback is choppy once again all of the time. Another clue that this is the identical same problem is that uTorrent reports “Disk Overloaded” – I have a 10Mb connection but downloading at anything over 200kB/s results in the hard drive light staying on all of the time & the Disk Overloaded message showing. Nothing more can be downloaded until the drive I am writing to catches up & the hard drive light starts flashing again.

    I went into the registry hoping to apply this simple fix again, however the MasterIdDataCheckSum and/or SlaveIdDataCheckSum simply aren’t there for me to delete.

    Any ideas are very welcome.

  • Lisa

    Omg! Thank you so much, you finally fixed my computer. I love you lol.

  • Mark Buckingham

    Gary, glad you gave a specific error to work with, as you might find some helpful info here and here, on the uTorrent forums. The latter thread has a post that seems to have helped one user, and reads:

    “ok i got same problem and fixed it hehe this is what you do open utorrent go to preferences then click on advanced from there click disk cache then under basic cache setting click where it says override automatic cache size and adjust it to something higher the 50-100 mb depending on your ram.. then wala its fixed”

    Not sure if that’ll fix it for you, but it’s something to check out.

    And Lisa, thanks. I

  • Gary

    Thanks for the response Mark, I really appreciate it. I mentioned the uTorrent thing as another symptom I experienced along with choppy audio & video playback when I first came here & got fixed a few months ago.

    I’d already tried everything the uTorrent community could suggest last time around as that was the first thing I noticed when I had problems last time. When I subsequently dicovered the audio/video playback problems I was also having is when I found your very helpful article.

    As soon as I applied your fix, not only could I play audio & video smoothly, uTorrent could once again also happily download files without everything grinding to a halt. I’m in absolutely no doubt that the root cause for both issues is the same; writing to disc slows everything down. So if I want to watch a Youtube video or listen to an mp3 clip I can, but only once the whole thing has fully loaded. I’m still at a loss as to why playing video or audio files from my hard-drive is an issue though, unless windows is constantly writing to the hard-drive & this is interfering with the data flow.

    The only other thing I can add is that I was infected with the Conficker worm a while ago. I’m now clean but have no idea if this might have any bearing on the problems I have been having. It’s very possible the problems might have started around the same time I first suffered this infection. (I say the first time as the nasty little thing had wriggled onto my phone’s memory card & I kept reinfecting myself without realising!)

  • Gary, a lot of troubleshooting is figuring out the timing. If the choppiness issues started around the time Conficker got loose on the system, that could be more than coincidence. In that case, I’d recommend trying out some other tools like MalwareBytes.org’s Anti-Malware or ComboFix to make sure everything’s been cleaned up. I can give you more info on those if you like, but Google will get you everything you need. 🙂

    If not that, did you search the entire registry to see if maybe those keys had moved? Also, what OS are you running (apologies if I missed it earlier)? Vista builds some things differently than XP, and I’m sure Win7 has its peculiarities as well.

    Can I assume you also went back to the earlier parts of the article with PIO settings and such, and tried flipping those back and forth?

    Roughly how old is the hard drive? It might just be getting too old for its own good, depending.

  • Gary

    Further to my previous comment, glitches on playback coincide completely with the hard drive light indicator flashing.

  • Lowe

    Hi Mark, Im not sure if this question has been asked asked but im stuck with the instructions you give on Registry Editor. I too have the same problem of videos both saved on my computer and online as well as music being choppy and the audio lagging. When i get to 4D36E96A-E325-11CE-BFC1-08002BE10318 folder and open it i have key folder 0001-0009 including properties. Some of these folder do have “driverdesc” in them on the right side, but thats where im stuck. All of the ones i have only say “IDE Channel” without the word primary or secondary. Also, i dont see anything saying “master….” or “slave…” in either pane. Am i doing something wrong or looking in the wrong place? Thanks In Advance!

  • Lowe, if you’re using Windows Vista or Win7, these instructions may not apply correctly. Could also depend on your system configuration or age of the hardware. Maybe it’s a system that doesn’t have an option for primary and secondary IDE, and thus it only has “IDE Channel.” I have a laptop that’s about 3.5 years old and despite only accepting one hard drive, it still has Primary and Secondary IDE channels, so it may not be specific to form factor.

    Also, if you don’t have ANYTHING that says Master or Slave, that could be something else altogether. I show MasterDeviceTimingMode, MasterDeviceType, SlaveDeviceDetectionTimeout, and so on, alongside the MasterIdDataChecksum in the right pane.

    Take another look, and/or let me know some details about your system make/model and current OS, and I might be able to find out more.

  • Dave

    Thnk you so much. I thought that I had tried eveything there was to fix this and when I read your solution it made perfect sense. I had been having choppy video for some time and when I read your registry solution about IDE controlllers it dawned on me that the problem had started after the replacement of my second hard drive. Followed your directions and VOILA!!, problem solved.

  • Chris

    Thanks…It worked for me too.

  • john

    Was literally about to buy new PC,having been told my memory/power supply/gpu was bad,PC was old etc etc.
    Part 2 regedit fix has completely fixed my problem of choppy audio/video!!
    Many many thanks!

  • john

    But now the problem has returned….and I now can’t find datachecksum to delete?

  • john

    The problem returned because I had run disk check – it appears to undo the changes made.I have redone the changes and all is well again!

    Couldn’t find datachecksum as I was not scrolling down,but trying to expand primary ide channel key(doh!)

  • Ah ha, good catch, John. This may explain why the problem returned for some other users as well. Thanks for posting your find.

  • Micaela

    Hi, i recently reinstalled Windows XP Home Edition over my old XP Professional version because my computer kept restarting and i couldnt find a way of fixing it. (i couldnt get into safe mode or anything)So i managed to install all the dirvers i needed and i managed to get the computer running at a nice speed. I then tried using a 3d program (very light program, can run on bad school computers fine) and when i played back a scene it was very choppy. it would run smoothly for about 3 seconds at a time and then it would “hiccup” for a second, which makes the picture look not to smooth. I thought it was only that program but then i checked WMP and when i played my own videos on there it did the same thing, and also it does the same this when i try to play games. (though when playing youtube videos it’s fine.) I tried your first solution, and it didnt work. I just tried your second solution and it didnt help either… I can give you more info if needed.

  • Micaela, do you know the specs of the system and relative age of its guts? Could be the hard drive is getting old, the cables connecting it to the motherboard are crapping out, or the motherboard itself might be showing its age. Also, did you have any problems in XP Pro with video before the downgrade?

    Could maybe also be virtual memory allocation, hardware acceleration, drivers (I assume you’ve gotten all applicable Windows Updates…which for XP Home is probably a lot), or other system optimization software. Make sure Flash is the latest version, and if it already is and doesn’t work, you can try older versions at OldVersion.com. It wouldn’t be the first time Flash updates caused a problem for someone.

    Kind of a lot there, but let me know if this gets you any improvement.

  • Michael

    Thanks. Regedit tip solve my laptops choppy sound. I had to edit several subkeys though (0001 & 0003)to get the sound back to normal.

  • D. Dixon

    Mark your tip has restored my computer back to it’s former glory. The problems that I was facing left me to believe I had a failing motherboard, power supply, or RAM issue. It is posts like this that have saved consumers valuable dollars from being spent on issues that were never wrong in the first place. Thank you once again for sharing your insight.

  • Osc

    WOW! It worked! Spend many hrs looking for this and asking IT about this issue. They kept telling just re-image your PC or get a new one. THANKS!

  • Jason

    It still works (the registry fix). Thanks a million. Never would’ve figured this out myself. You’re a genius.

  • Bryan

    Dude you’re amazing!!! I’ve been looking for this fix for like 6 months. Thanks dude! I’ll definitely tell my friends about this website if they ever need help on fixing their sound.

  • fabulous Pinay

    You’re a genius! Thank you so much! =)

  • Rumi

    It worked !!! hank you so much.

  • Liam

    Worked for me too. Brilliant!


    thank you thank you thank you.I hunted and pecked for five weeks to soive this issue.I am very new to this whole busness but the way you layed it out I was able to fix it myself.Ihope I dont need you again but if I do I will start here FIRST.P.S.What is URL?

  • Gator, glad the article helped. What did you mean by “what is URL”? A URL is an internet address; were you looking for something in particular?

  • Dave

    I tried this solution, all the way up to when I get to the registry change. When I get to DriverDesc, there are several folders that designate themselves as the “Primary IDE”, and several more that designate themselves as the “Secondary IDE”. How do I know which ones to delete?

  • Dave, look for keys labeled MasterIdDataCheckSum and/or SlaveIdDataCheckSum. If those keys don’t exist, it may be another type of drive, like optical or flash media. If you have more than one hard drive, there could be a couple with checksum IDs. In our test, all the IdDataCheckSum keys were deleted and regenerated automatically at the next reboot. I expect yours would behave the same, but always back up your registry and/or make detailed notes of changes made before committing them and restarting so you can undo if need be.

  • cody1333

    im having the same problem. it says its set to dma if available, then underneath it it says current setting pio…it wont let me change it. does this mean i need a new motherboard?

  • Mark

    Not necessarily…did you read/try the rest of the suggestions in the article? What were the results?

  • Jerrie Richards

    Hey Mark….WORKED..Thanks
    Been searching along time to fix..
    Been fighting the Issues for a month now on my 4 year old Dell XPS M140 Laptop…Nothing Changed to the system except when I put a new DVD in on Sept. 15th, then the audio and video went choppy, whenever hard drive access was happening. I tried to change Hardware Acceleration and Virtual Memory to no avail….

    Just curious why deleting a Registry checksum that is rewritten on reboot fixes the issue ?

    (I recheck the Registry key after boot up and is the same value as before when I deleted it)

  • Mark

    Hi Jerrie. Glad it worked for you! As to why exactly it works, I could only speculate. I was in the same position as many of the commenters here, trying to find a solution, searching all over the web, and when I found one that did the trick, I had to share.

    Generally speaking, my understanding of checksums (at least in other arenas) is that it can represent a sort of validity check on…whatever it’s attached to. For instance, when you download a file from a web site, it can verify that the download completed and that you got what you were trying to get by verifying a checksum once it’s done downloading.

    How that applies to the interface of an entire hard drive? The checksum could be something that interprets communication going in and out of the drive, which would explain the choppiness.

    But again, don’t quote me on that. Just a best guess.

  • Jerrie Richards

    Thanks Mark….
    I defintely would like to master the Windows Registry !!
    I would not of figure this out without help !
    I am an Electronic Tech by trade for 25+ years and understand Checksums in all verification data moves and transfers of Files and Opcodes, but a Registry checksum deletion and rewritten value that applies to the complete hard drive to fix the Audio and Video choppiness is amazing !!
    Your probably finding the Registry fix is more prevalant than the DMA /PIO fix !!
    Thanks AGAIN !!

  • Mark

    Yep, I’ve not heard of the DMA/PIO fix working for anyone that’s commented. Didn’t work for us either. But I threw it in there in case it might for someone.

  • eg

    THANKS A MILLION MARK!!!! I have been dealing with this issue for a YEAR (I have small kids, so time-consuming tech mysteries–esp. with the “old computer”– tend to get the back burner). I was convinced I had a unique issue, bc some (not all) streaming online stuff AND everything I play in iTunes works fine, while any DVD I attempted to play was unbearably choppy (I was convinced that some iTunes update had sabotaged my system so that I would be forced to buy movies & tv only from them!). I tried EVERYTHING under the sun and nothing worked until I happened upon your registry fix. It has not worked in so long and now it does…I can get on with my life! I nearly cried. You are a miracle worker. Thank you so very, very much, and best wishes from our whole family to you and yours.

  • Mark Buckingham

    Thanks eg. Glad to see my findings have brought so much relief. 🙂

  • contra

    Tankz bro..youre’ great..

  • Mike

    This worked for me. I tried everything else to no avail, but this was the trick. Laptop is running great now. Thanks!

  • rahul

    I used to think my lappie was bugged. Your solution worked like a charm. Not only did it resolve the choppy video and audio problem it has improved the performance of my laptop. It is cruising at high speeds again.
    Thank you so much!

  • Amos

    I have a dell XPS laptop. Probably 4-5 years old by now. I used your fixes but to no avail. I recently formatted the entire hard-drive (sata) and tried your fixes but as I said – no go.
    Another related (?) problem is when I play an audio file (or a youtube clip) my system gets extremely laggy (this is a new problem). Quite surprised that a system that’s undergone an entire formatting and re-install has these kinds of problems. I have XP btw.
    Really frustrated here. Any thoughts?

  • Mark

    For a laptop that old, the hardware may just be showing its age. How long ago did the problem start? If it was recent and you’ve done a clean reinstall of Windows and got all the requisite drivers, I’d look at hardware.

    If you really want to keep the system, first thing to check is heat buildup. The hotter it is inside the case, the more the hardware is going to chug. Compressed air or opening up the case and cleaning out all the dust and fuzz balls can only help, but may be too far gone to get it all. My current Vaio is 4 years old and facing heat problems.

    Could also try replacing the hard drive if that seems a likely culprit. If it’s still doing it at that, maybe RAM or the motherboard is reacting to heat or age.

    Typical laptop warranties are 3 years. Anything beyond that is a crap shoot.

  • Amos

    First off – thanks for the speedy response! I should think you’re probably really tired of answering this thread.. 🙂
    Yes, my comp is old but I’m a student and simply can’t afford a new one..
    I’ll check the whole temperature prospect and I’ll try to clean the comp.
    Can’t seem to be able to figure out how to open it though. I’ll check for technical guides.

  • Unstruck Sound

    THIS WORKS. Thank you Mark!

  • Dude. I have been dealing with this for over a month. We thought it was our Firepod, then FireWire card, then the OS (did xp pro reinstall)- and now FINALLY thanks to u, I pinpointed the ordeal!!! Effing PIO!

    This buys us time until we can buy a new internal drive or fix the errors on this one.
    Thank you thank you. We do audio recording and this saves my husbands “life”.

    🙂 🙂
    May the best karma/ holiday cheer come back atcha.

  • Daniel

    Right on Mark! Primary IDE was set for DMA mode but showed currently running PIO. Registry edit did the trick. Excellent!!

  • John

    Thank you so much for that advice, I can’t tell you how frustrated I was. It worked like a charm!!

  • ron

    I have Windows XP and the registry fix worked for me. What a relief! (I don’t know if it’s a coincidence or not but my problem started after running chkdsk.)

  • Andy Warner

    I was thinking for months I’d have to install a Video card and sound card instead of onboard. You’re fix worked fine – Thanks a lot!

  • Tony

    You are the man!!!! Thank you so much!!!

  • Gul


    24 hours on my pc to solve this and you did it in FIVE MINUTES!!!


  • jeffery

    all I can say is thank you very much it was driving me nuts

  • Dave

    Your fix worked great. Thanks so much.

  • jaira

    thank you so much!!!
    a really great help!!!!

  • Mark

    It’s kind of crazy to me that people are still finding this article, but I’m so glad it’s helped so many out there.

  • Seth

    I’m experiencing slow & choppy video streaming. I think your recommendation could work for me.

    I followed the second option of instructions until the “driver desc” part. I can’t find the “Primary IDE Channel” and “Secondary IDE Channel.” I don’t know where to go from there. I am running Windows 7, so was wondering if anyone knows the next steps.

    Thanks for your help.

  • Mark

    I can’t say for sure about Windows 7. You could search the registry for other related terms like “masterid” or “slaveid” or “checksum” and just compare the results you come up with, but before doing anything like that, be sure to back up your registry and/or create a system restore point, since changing the wrong thing in the registry can have some rather sketchy consequences for the operation of the machine afterwards.

  • Mark

    Also, if the machine is new with Win7 on it (instead of an older machine with the OS manually installed), it’s most likely going to come with SATA hard drives, which wouldn’t use IDE connections or channels, thus explaining why you don’t see the specified registry keys.

  • anoop

    i followed your comments as exactly as u said and my system is very fast now!!! The games are very smooth and there is not problem with sounds !! Thanks very much!!!

  • Verniel

    hi! I have this exact same problem. The sound on my laptop is choppy. I tried to go to the Device Manager. It says, the transfer mode is “DMA if available”, but the current transfer mode is PIO. The problem is, the parameter for the current transfer mode doesn’t have a drop down box and I couldn’t change it. It’s fixed to PIO. It seems as if DMA is disabled in my my computer. How do I fix this?

  • Mark

    Verniel, I’m not sure how to enable that if it’s grayed out. Might be something worth Googling.

    That aside, did you try the rest of the information in the article? It may still help resolve your problem without changing out of PIO.

  • goldie

    Thank you so very very much!now i can play videos n audios on my pc with no hassle at all! i m using xp sp3 & solution#2( deleting those master/slaveiddatachecksum keys) actually did the trick for me! and i hv noticed that my computer is running way faster now!…. Greetings from India!

  • l33m3r

    Thank you….this is what i needed…

  • CharlesQ

    The registry fix solved my problem – without a reboot! and I was still in regedit! I knew it when I went to delete another key (the key for the secondary port) and when pormpted to confirm the sound was crystal clear!
    I then opened iTunes while still in regedit – risky business – and played one of the tunes that i had tested with. It played back perfectly!

    Thanks so much – this was driving me nuts!

  • Benjamin Allen

    This worked quite well on the Windows system I have to use right now. Thank you.

  • dc

    Thank you so much, brilliant advice. My computer had dodgy and jumpy sound, was very very slow, couldn’t cope with doing more than one thing at a time after following your instructors it now seems to be running perfectly. Sound sorted and running quick and smooth. Thanks again.

  • Carl

    Registry fix worked for me!! Thank you!!

  • Siddharth

    Your registry method worked for me. Thanks a lot.

  • Soul

    I tried everything suggested above and in other comments on the laptop I’d been given (after a fresh install of Windows XP Home, updated to SP3) – but my video was still jerky.

    One rainy day I sat down and had a play, and after a LOT of diagnosis and testing, it seems the driver for the graphics processor is not DirectX compatable … so by dissabling DirectDraw and Direct3D (via START – RUN – “dxdiag”) my system now runs fine and plays high definition video’s without a hitch 🙂

  • Daryl

    Unbelievable, Thank you so much. Have been plagued by this on my old comp. and just recently on another one. Cheers again.

  • Star

    omg!! I love you, you are my hero!! I was ready to take a hammer to my laptop or flush it, the registry edit fixed the sound on my machine, ty ty ty ty ty ty!!

  • Derrick

    Thank you so much! I thought my computer was done for. That’s how bad it got for me. After trying your second option it worked like a charm. I just want to say thank you!! thank you!! thank you!!

  • Derrick

    I take my thank you’s back. The problem returned the very next day. Boo

  • Greenplastic

    Man, I love you, you saved me!!! Last time i followed your suggestion, i had also done other changes, so i didn’t know exactly which of them was the right one. Now it happened again, and i remembered this page, and i was lucky to find it between my facebook links (i hadn’t saved it on favourites, don’t know why, but now i have, and i also copied the text on a file). My IDE was set to use DMA when available, but it was using PIO. I deleted the keys in the registry, and it’s as new!!!! I checked the device manager and the pc is now using ultra dma5
    Now i can do some work on a dvd, i promised my wife i would do it if i managed to sort it out.
    God bless you!!!

  • ormaynot

    i have a dinasaur- dell latitude c400, the sound has been scratchy and choppy like forever, video playbak is a joke. i tried your second option and i’m listening to my faves as i post this. thanx for the advice- so far so good! you are amazing! i’m gonna check and see if video is doin better now, too. you rock dude!

  • kevin

    it fixed mine too!

  • bobby

    thank you very much was ready to buy a new one and throw this in the pool

  • Sergio

    Dude you rock! I was on Ebay just about to buy a new HD. This worked perfectly. Great job. Can’t believe it took you minutes to figure this out. I was on day 6. lol. Thanks again.

  • Kenneth Steven

    Excuse me sir,

    You are a gent..

    You’ve solved my issue, and saved my family paying for a new PC because we thought this one was goosed (for months). This was the exact problem we had, and the exact solution needed.

    Thank you so much.


  • Martin

    Mark, you’re the man! I’ve had this problem for a long time now. Tried a lot of other tips, most about changing player and downloading a sea of different codecs. This fixed it instantly. Thank you so much.

  • Vitaal

    You are UNBELIEVABLE MAN ….It saved my pc

  • Phil G

    I cannot change PIO to DMA?? Any alternate?thanx PG

  • Melissa


    • David

      I have used this information to fix both the DMA problem one time and now just recently the registry problem. They both worked like a charm……..Thanks sooooo much….This has to be some of the most useful/valuable information that I have found on the internet………THANKS LOADS….

  • auchengyu

    Mark thank you!. you are a real life saver. I have searched for this problem for hours now. since my GMER full root scan, i had that choppy sound, very annoying. the registry deletes fixed my problem. Thank you again!

  • Ryan

    hello, my laptop says it is running DMA ultra 6, but everything even dvds are really jumpy, i am on vista 32 bit , any suggestions? please

  • bill

    followed your excellent instructions – worked immediately after reboot
    thank you so much for sharing the solution

  • PAT

    I did this and now it says my sound drivers cant be located i really screwed up

  • Patrck “Platinum PAT” Warren

    Sound is excellent now no skips or glitches the problem happened last night after i left a recording session open and went to sleep. When i woke up that morning the sounds was horribly distorted your a life saver thanks a lot man.
    Im running windows xp i deleted every thing you deleted i cant lie i was very hesitant to do so but i was even more eager to get my sound working so this worked for me and im not the most computer savy person around so thank again…

  • Steve

    Hey i just wanted to thank you for the fix really greate job you did.

  • Mukund

    I have exactly the same issue. I tried deleting the MasterIdDataCheckSum, but when i restart the systme. I can see this again..

  • Jack

    Hey Mark…

    Thanks for posting this fix. I just knew it would fix my problem, but it hasn’t yet. The machine I am having problems with is a 2003ish Dell Dimension XPS, Pentium 4 CPU 2.8ghz, 2.5 GB RAM, XP Pro SP 3, ATI Radeon HD 3450, 512mb. I use this computer for video editing with an older sftware called Avid Liquid 7.2. I experienced a couple hardware errors while capturing video from a camera with a firewire cable into an external HDD case in which housed a standard WD 250 GB IDE drive. One day after a failed capture and hardware error, several of the videos I played back from that drive (that played fine the day before) were jumpy – both audio and video. I replaced the video card, which eliminated some artifact problems I was having anyway. Then I installed a brand new WD 500gb IDE drive, thinking the drive had gone bad. When I captured new video to it, it too was jumpy. The hardware failure error notices made me think your fix would work.

    The video files I have stored on my C drive still play back perfectly. I then scrapped the whole external firewire drive and attached the new (actually tried both) drive to the IDE cable as a slave inside the computer. Same thing, the main C drive plays back fine, but the secondary drive is jumpy.

    I tried updating sound card drivers too.

    I tried the steps in your article, including deleting all the stuff in the registry to no avail. I realize you may not even be monitoring this thread any more, but any additional sugeestions would be greatly appreciated.



  • slangpdx

    This fixed my Windows XP audio problem after I shut it off without doing a proper shutdown. Thanks !!! I did a screen shot of the registry before I deleted anything just in case.

  • Tom

    Like others on here, I CANNOT believe this fix was so simple! I swapped in a new drive and messed around with the partitions because I have Linux and Windows on my system. The choppy video (online or local) was driving me nuts. This incredibly simple fix gave me my sanity back. THANK YOU!!!!!!!

  • A

    Thanks mate – videos weren’t playing before, no matter what I did, now they are… I just hope I haven’t wrecked or damaged anything on my PC by deleting those keys!!

  • Henry Adams


    I am having trouble carrying out all the steps in your description of the fix. i get to “Expand this key/folder and you’ll notice a number of subkeys, numbered 0000, 0001, 0002, and so on. There may only be a couple, though there could be several. Click on each one and look for the item “DriverDesc” in the right pane, and to the right of that, find the ones that say “Primary IDE Channel” and “Secondary IDE Channel.””

    I find the one named “DriverDesc” but nothing to the right that says primary or Secondary IDE Channel, but I’m pretty sure im in the right place.

    I was also couldn’t find the MasterIdDataCheckSum and/or SlaveIdDataCheckSum.

    Have you got any suggestions as to what I’m doing wrong?


  • Kevin

    Thank you so much!!!! Not only have I not been able to watch a video or listen to audio for years, but my computer was extremely sluggish and constantly freezing up. This fixed everything!! A restart would usually take 15 minutes! It now takes 30 seconds!! Unbelievable. You’re a godsend!

  • Leah

    This is amazing, thank you so much!

  • Curben

    seems to have worked so far, awesomeness

  • Jonno

    Thanks For the fix, Not only does my Audio And video work again, My PC Loads twice a quick cheers again.

  • Matt

    Dude, you ROCK! After five days of trying to fix this extremely annoying problem, I was ready to throw my laptop out the window when I happened upon this page through a Google search. I followed your registry key deletion instructions and now my laptop is running perfectly! Audio and video are back to normal, and Windows is running as fast as ever. A million thanks for taking the time to do this write-up, I greatly appreciate it. You helped me solve a problem I never would’ve figured out on my own, and it was so easy to do. You are awesome!

  • Shawn

    I tried this fix and unfortunately it didn’t work. 🙁 Thanks for the article though! It was very informative and different from normal ones.

  • Shawn

    Actually upon further review the system simply regenerates the checksums upon system restart. I wonder how to fix that…

  • DIane Bartosch

    Thanks! The regedit fixed my problem!! 🙂 I am a happy camper now!

  • Mark Buckingham

    Three years on and people are still benefiting from this. So glad it’s been able to help so many!

    If you tried it and are still having trouble, I’m not sure what else to recommend besides updated drivers or checking to see if it’s a genuine hardware problem. Otherwise, do what I did — keep searching and hopefully you’ll find another solution out on the web.

  • Thank you! Been dealing with this for awhile now, but your fix worked perfectly!

  • Bo

    hey, thanks. really.

  • Bonnie

    too complicated for me. If I upload my videos to you tube will they upload choppy or ok? They seem to be recorded just fine its only in playback that various parts are choppy.

  • Bill

    Good fix. I was having trouble with braking audio on 2 different cd drives. Worked ok from hardrive. Deleting checksum fixed. thanks.

  • Macson

    Thank you! You’re a lifesaver!

  • Zuly

    Uuumm when i type in REGEDIT . it says its not found 😕

  • Thanks very much, Mark. Worked for me. Your page gets very high rank on Google for ‘video choppy’

    For SATA drives, NEVER connect the 4-wire Power Supply plug if the drive works without it.

    A few notes for those still using IDE drives;

    If you put two drives on one IDE cable, and one drive is slower than the other (e.g., ATA 66 and ATA 100), the system will ‘dumb down’ that channel to the slower speed.

    Lots of good info at http://www.mikeshardware.com/howtos/howto_connect_ide_hd.html

    If you have old 40-pin cables, see if you can move up to 80-pin cables (the extra ‘wires’ are just spacers to improve the signal).

    An IDE cable supports two drives. The drive at the far end of the cable (black plug) is often set to “Master” (boot drive – jumper setting) and the one in the middle (gray plug) of the cable is jumpered as “Slave.”

    Some PC’s work better with the drives swapped (Master in the middle). Try both and see.

    CS (Cable Select) is rare (many Compaq PC’s). It sets the Master by which cable plug you use. Unless you’re sure that’s what you want, don’t use CS jumper settings.

    I’m not aware of any damage caused by wrong jumpers, IDE cable plugs, etc. However, you can cause LOTS of problems by FAILING to pull on the plastic PLUG instead of the delicate CABLE when you disconnect a drive or by flexing the PC board connections on the drive for a tight power supply plug.

    There are two IDE channels/cables, marked Primary and Secondary (or 0 and 1) on the motherboard. If your PC takes both SATA and IDE drives, you may have only one IDE channel (only 2 IDE drives). You can add more channels/cables with an IDE plug-in card, but they may be slow and hard to find, or go with an external USB-to-IDE enclosure ($15 and up).

    Each channel/cable has to split it’s bandwidth to provide for each drive on that cable, so it’s smart to put the boot hard drive as Master on Primary and a CD or DVD drive as the Slave on that same cable, AS LONG AS both drives are capable of the same speed (see above).

    Then set a second hard drive as the Master on the Secondary channel/cable, and any other drive as the Slave on that second channel/cable. Look up the spec’s for all your drives and try to match them up so the fast drives are on one cable and the slow drives are on the other. Or, mix-and-match to see what works best for your setup and usage.

    When you copy files from the Primary channel to the Secondary channel, the work is split up; Primary always reads, Secondary always writes. You’ll get slower copies from one drive to another on the SAME channel/cable, since a channel can only do one thing at a time (read OR write).

    Best practice for most users is to have a small, fast (ideally, a solid-state SATA or high-speed IDE) boot drive to hold Windows, installed software, and Windows Virtual Memory (also called swapfile or Virtual RAM; Windows uses this area to offload data from RAM when needed; or you can try putting the Virtual Memory on the second channel drive and may get even better performance. You are the final inspector).

    An occasional clone (image) file is made of the boot drive and is stored on another (data) drive.

    To rebuild the boot drive, you just clone the drive’s image from the backup file to the boot drive — all configurations, drivers, software, etc. are all done, as of the last clone you made.

    If you also keep older clone files, you can go back to an earlier image. This is sort of like ‘System Restore’ on steroids.

    All your data, downloaded files, movies, photos, music, DVD or CD images (stored as ISO files), boot drive clone files, etc., are stored on the second (very large) hard drive and that entire drive gets backed up regularly ($60/year for Carbonite or similar, or to DVD’s, or to another hard drive if it won’t get stolen/burned/wet/etc.).

    Windows defaults for all users’ ‘My Documents’ files will still want to reside on your C: boot drive, so just click-and-drag them (or write a little batch file to do the work if you’ve got stuff strewn all around the drive) once in a while to back them up to the data drive, too.

    Finally, every user should have their own Login ID. That way your girlfriend gets set up as a simple User (she’ll never know the difference until she tries to install some awful software) and you remain a password-protected, full-rights Administrator (kids and guests get their own User-level ID’s, too). That will keep most of the mischief to a minimum, and your personal configuration (settings, Desktop icons, Favorites, and everything else) always remains 100% intact. Maximize your speed by logging off other users.

  • Tom

    Great fix! Thanks.
    XP SP3

  • Mettiina

    I believe you may have just saved me a lot of time, money and stress! I had the exact same problem after changing my mobo, CPU and HDD into faster ones and I was being driven crazy by how slow everything was and how all video and audio started to go choppy after a short while. I tried all sorts of other “fixes” that did nothing, but this one did the trick! Now my PC works like it ought to. Thank you so very much! 🙂

  • Bill C

    I fixed my choppy sound Dell GX520 xp once with your checksum delete fix but the problem came back a month later. I had to apply the fix again. Why is that?

  • Mark

    Hard to say. I’m not sure what causes it to get messed up in the first place. We could fall back on the age old question of “Why does Windows [insert stupid thing Windows does]?”

  • Star

    I used this fix on my old laptop, but now I am using a new laptop (purchased earlier this year) and cannot find the MasterIdDataCheckSum in the registry, pretty sure it is a SATA not and IDE, any help? I am having the audio crackle on my avi play back, [Personal contact info deleted] ty for your help 🙂

  • Mark

    I don’t know that SATA drives will have the same registry keys. This was originally just for IDE drives if I recall correctly (it’s been a while).

    • Tom Beiter

      I have SATA drive and used this method to delete the IDE checksum registry entries and it worked.

  • big guy

    this is a lifesaver, thanks! I had to use the registry delete, and after reboot it was fixed. thanks again.
    big guy

  • Yoep

    Thank you so much, this helped and resolved my issues!


  • Dutta

    Thanks, Dude! You rock!

  • Mandy

    Thank you so much! My friend just gave me a rebuilt laptop and afte a few days, I was having this exact problem. I Googled and yours was the first article I found. I followed the steps and it worked perfectly! You rule!

  • HGC

    Old article, but still relevant. The registry edits did the trick on my XP machine. Thank you!

  • kylepmac

    thanks alot man that worked like a charm thanks for posting. that problem was driving me nuts !!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Pete

    Any suggestions for Windows 7? I get stuck after finding DriverDesc. It only reads IDE Channel, not Primary or Secondary

  • Mark

    @Pete – Not sure about Win7. I haven’t encountered the issue there yet.

  • Pete

    I can’t watch any videos without it stutterring and buffering every couple minutes. Makes sites like Hulu useless for me! HELP!!!

  • Vahid

    Thank you so much, I had this problem but not now.

  • Vicky

    I just want to say how grateful I am to you for posting this fix. It worked brilliantly. I have been struggling for the past month trying to find the cause of being unable to watch any video or internet tv, was on the verge of buying a new graphics card, installing more RAM and signing up for a better broadband provider (basically, flailing around not knowing what to do). You have helped me fix it in five minutes and saved me having to do any of those things which probably wouldn’t have worked anyway!

  • Gino

    Worked pretty well. Still have a little bit of choppy play (don’t know what that’s about) but it is working much, much better now. Just wanted to say “thanks.”

  • J

    You are a genius! Many thanks for the second fix.

  • Cody

    I tried both fixes, but to no avail. I don’t have an IDE, I’m working with SATA. I’m using Windows 7. If I reboot the computer I can get an hour or two without choppy audio. I’m in the midst of catching up on Dexter and desperate to fix this problem. Please help!

  • ashton

    im running xp im seeing all this stuff about something in a different article that could fix my computers choopy audio and choppy video can i get some help its been like this for awhile i need to fix it thanks.

  • Mark

    Try reading the whole article.

  • Nick B

    Awesome! Thank you so much! My audio playback was super choppy and I love my music so I was to the point of pulling my hair out! This worked! Like a dream! Thanks again man!

  • Dan

    Yep Mark,
    Bullseye! I tried every fix posted on the internet concerning choppy video playback.
    Nothing worked till i did the regedit on the primary and secondary IDE channels like you said. Big thanks!

  • Tim

    March 7 2013- newest version of itunes installed, using a Dell cpu about 6 or 7 years old have a Samsung HD103SI ext HDD with almost 1 TB of music. Problem was choppy music at 13 sec and then 25 sec on every song. went thru Blog after Blog to try and correct. Quicktunes, apple, etc. nothing would correct. Went to Samsung site and found this http://knowledge.seagate.com/articles/en_US/FAQ/221435en?language=en_US
    Put in jumper on HDD as described and presto!! drive was to fast for motherboard. Hope this helps someone as its very frustrating..

  • Ryan

    I usually never comment on random articles.. but just want to take the time to say deleting the registry keys worked. Anyone having choppy sound READ THIS ARTICLE

  • Mark

    Hi I have two Primary and secondary IDE.. i recently formatted my boot drive and re installed Windows XP..

  • Elena

    This is amazing! I was so ready to give up after trying hundreds of other methods to fix this….
    Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

  • Fredrick Lamar Mayes

    Thank you for sharing this Blog about the sound issue. I been having a sound issue the past several days and have been having Game withdrawals. Wasn’t able to play any of them because my Computer sounded like it was stuttering, but followed your post to the T and I believe it fixed it for me. I played a few songs and it plays real smooth. Even Microsofts Fix it tool wasn’t able to find this problem and fix it. Anyway, Thank you for sharing this, Even tho it is several years old.

  • happygirl

    After MONTHS of anti spyware, deleting programs, driver updates…etc etc ETC!!!!, your directions for deleting the masterid crap fixed my system!!!! You ROCK!!!

    • El_Tabadour

      I am considering deleting the items mentioned. But not sure if it will fix my issues. May I ask what kinds of problems you were having with your computer before fixing them with this procedure? Thanks!

  • Vaibhav londhe

    This Really Worked Man thanks Thanks ThankS i tried many of softwares but all were shit You Really rock!

  • Mel

    Hi Mark, great info and I hope this resolves the issue for me…but I am finding two Primary and two Secondary channel keys in different folders (all have the MasterId but not the SlaveId) – do I delete all four of the MasterId’s? If not, how do I know which folder to delete the MasterId from for each Primary and Secondary channel keys? Thanks!

  • Kweshon

    Im in 4D36E96A-E325-11CE-BFC1-08002BE10318 and I know Im in the correct folder. I looked over it many times to make sure it was correct. I even used Ctrl-F. But, when i looked into the subkeys (0001, 0002 Ect) None of the DriverDesc’s have any primary, secondary indication. and none of the Subkeys show MasterIdDataCheckSum and SlaveIdDataCheckSum in it. If anyone could help could you email me? pookdawgizawsum@gmail.com Thanks!

  • RAW_Noizz

    Wow. I have no idea how people learn the regisry editor so well but, this fix made my system run so much better that I had to post a thank you. The directions are very clear and the fix is Priceless.
    Thank you ! ! !

  • fiery skipper

    I have the same issue as Kweshon from 2 months ago. Is there a solution?

  • Tom Beiter

    You, sir, are a FREAKIN’ genius! I have searched high and low for a fix for my choppy, jerky sound on my XP pc. I’ve installed, reinstalled and re-reinstalled drivers, downloaded codecs, etc with no change. This fixed it. Thank you very much.

    • El_Tabadour

      I am considering deleting the items mentioned. But not sure if it will
      fix my issues. May I ask what kinds of problems you were having with
      your computer before fixing them with this procedure? Thanks!

    • Ronson570

      Tom I could not have said it better myself, I also want to thank want to thank Mark for this fix. Ronson570

  • El_Tabadour

    I cannot seem to delete those files. I delete them, and they disappear. Then I restart my computer, and look in the folders and they are still there. And my streaming videos are still out of sync with audio/video, and choppy/slow-motion.

    Before deleting them, I exported the 001, 002 folders to my desktop in case I need to put them back. Any suggestions/help would be much appreciated.

    • El_Tabadour

      I deleted those items. But when I go back into the files, they re-appear. So I cannot actually delete them from my registry. I think my problem is that the new Adobe Flash is not compatible with my antique video card which has not new drivers. So the sound is out of sync with the video, and on some sites, both the video and audio are choppy.

  • For the Primary IDE Channel & Secondary Channel I only have the MasterIdDataCheckSum. No SlaveIdDataCheckSum. SHould I jsut delete the MasterIdDataCheckSum?

    • StarDustx

      I had that problem too. I just deleted of the MasterId’s in Primary and Secondary Channel then rebooted. It fixed it for me.

  • BTW, I do not have a 0000 or 00001 or 0002 folder. Mine start at 0003

  • dart

    Did not work for me.
    Even the lowest qualty videos are choppy, slow-mo, out of sync .
    I think there is no solution. Best to burn this computer.

  • Mahnoor Fatima

    AWESOME O_______O (y)

  • Chris Birkbeck

    Didn’t work for me either. Would buying a newer video card help? This one is 13 years old and has been obsolete for about 11 years.

    • eric

      Makes no difference all my stuff is brand new and I am running Haswell and a fast Radeon card.
      It only happens in sites that use the Silverlight plugin.Youtube is fine.I have complained to various site owners/providers about it and also to Microsoft,sent them the site and so far no one seems to have an answer including Microsoft.

  • eric

    Did’nt work for me .In Windows 7 there are no checksums in that part of the registry.

  • jay

    I tried everything to the point that I was going to buy a new laptop. This worked so thank you very much.

  • Kathy Brown

    That’s how my editor looks like, and I don’t see no HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESYSTEMCurrentControlSetControlClass{4D36E96A-E325-11CE-BFC1-08002BE10318. What can I do people, please help me out!

  • sarah

    could someone please PLEASE explain this in a way that I cant understand it. Im not great with computers.

  • Alisuda Rahmani

    In my particular case,.I assumed right,corrupt video files,others are OK.

  • James Blackmire

    I made it as far as this, but I couldn’t find any MasterId or SlaveId files. I’m using Windows 7 OS. http://imgur.com/a/nBpiU

    Not sure if I’m in the right place, or if the files are named differently.