Okay, so for the last few weeks I've been having this weird problem on my primary PC. Almost every time I wake it up from sleep, there's this crackling over the speakers, and it's been getting worse. It happens when the machine is idle, or when it is playing an audio/video file. The video is affected too, and it stutters.
After some troubleshooting, I tracked it down to one of my HDDs. When it is being accessed, that's when the crackling and video stutter happen. This is not my primary HDD, but a large 2TB drive that I use for things like video editing scratch files. There is a piece of backup software that uses it, though, and that tends to run after the machine has been in sleep mode, which explains why that was when I was noticing the problem the most. But any access to this disk (copying a large file, for instance) will cause the problem.
I am currently running a chkdsk in Windows. Interestingly, I had to unmount the drive to do this and despite the fact that the drive is thumping away as it is scanned, I am observing no problems in audio/video playback. This suggests to me that it is not an electrical (ground) problem.
Google is coming up blank on this (may not be using the right search terms), and I'm out of ideas.
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