Fixing Windows XP CD Playback Stuttering and Skipping

One of our users has a HP desktop that was having issues playing audio from music CDs. The audio was constantly stuttering and skipping. I tried various software playback programs all with the same result.

The solution turned out to be a setting for the CD-Rom drive. The drive was configured to use PIO mode when it should be configured to use DMA mode. Switching to DMA mode resulted in smooth audio CD playback. Here's how to change the setting:

Solving Audio CD Suttering in Windows XP

The steps:

  1. Right Click on My computer, click Manage
  2. Select Device Manager from the list on the left
  3. Expand the IDE ATA secton
  4. Right click on each IDE Channel (you may have multiple Secondaries and Primaries), click Properties
  5. Select the Advanced Settings tab
    Change the Transfer Mode to DMA if Available under each device
  6. Repeat steps 4 & 5 for each Primary and Secondary IDE Channel
  7. Reboot your computer

That should resolve the Audio CD stuttering and skipping under Windows XP.

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