Hi again fellow geeks! (so soon)
I've just built my first PC from scratch (ish) with an ASUS P5QPL-AM motherboard, Intel Q8400, Crucial Ballistix 4gb kit and my old (but healthy) Maxtor HDD and PCI Audiophile2496 - graphics card on its way ;) The spec may be irrelevant for my problem but thought I'd declare it to see if anyone has any feelings on the choices I made! The build went swimmingly - my only struggle being jitters about how much pressure I could safely exert on the CPU and motherboard when installing my bad-ass Zalman heatsink!
So the problem is...I use my computer mainly to make music. But, since installing Windows 7 and switching the PC on for the first time, I have a bubbling, crackling noise coming from my left monitor speaker that begins to be heard as Windows 7 is loading up and gets worse when I scroll up and down program windows - it's then almost like a ZX spectrum loading, whirring sound. My audio travels: From Audiophile output into small Yamaha mixing desk, out to powered speakers. There is also a feed from the mixing desk's output back into the Audiophile input. I never experienced this sound using my old PC and this mixing desk. Thankfully, I can't hear the sound from my mixing desk's headphone output.
I am moderately learned about ground loops but have very limited electrical knowledge! The sound I am hearing is the exact same sound I hear through speakers when plugging a laptop into a mixing desk and then plugging in the laptop charger. Could this be a ground loop? A friend has judged it a ground loop and recommended removing the earth wire from a 6-way and then powering all my audio gear and PC with it. How safe do people consider this? I have heard differing opinions.
Please, please, please help if you can!