High disk activity suspected in Music app playback skipping

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Resource Monitor

The song I was just listening to started skipping and I don’t know exactly why. Just that the only thing in Resource Monitor that I could find is a spike like the ones above. Particularly the second highest spike in disk activity.

If it’s disk activity then it would be either:

  • Samsung hard drive
  • External Maxtor USB drive

I always suspect the external to be the bottleneck based on previous experiences with performance lags on Windows 8.

Prescription

Close all apps. If that doesn’t work, try logging off [Windows] by going to Start and clicking on your name on the upper right, then click Sign out:

Press the Start key on the keyboard, swipe from the right [if you’re on a tablet], or

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Click Sign out to log off your user account. This will terminate the current user session and start you off with a clean slate in terms of what Windows loads from the user profile when you login. It saves a reboot and thus less wear and tear on moving parts like hard disks if you don’t have a solid state drive (SSD).

  • Close apps
  • Log off
  • Reboot
  • Shut down

If I really want to go the extra mile I’ll disconnect the drive and test. But it probably won’t get to that. The drive, I believe, is USB 2.0. Will need to verify that later.

Root Cause

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Ran into the issue again today and noticed the song is still downloading. I’m not sure if the song yesterday was having the same problem.

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Receive/Transmit appears fine for a 10MB Ethernet connection. The bottleneck is in the cross connect cable from the computer’s NIC to the DSL Actiontec modem

WWAHost.exe is the process I check under the Overview tab in Resource Monitor.

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When I check that I’ll also get another process in the Network tab that I’ll check called BackgroundTransferHost.exe.

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Don’t think it’s a network issue on my end since regular internet is working and the TCP Connections and Network counters appear normal (above). It’s either with the ISP and/or XBOX in the cloud.

The only thing I could see Windows developers do to remedy situations like this would be to better buffer the packets as they come down. But in this case it’s just easier to play another song and wait for the song to download. In this case, I waited until the download box disappeared. Then it played fine without skipping.

Solution

Wait for song to download. You can play another song in the meantime. Once the download box disappears go back to the song exhibiting the problem earlier and play.

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