Computer crashes if headset is unplugged

Hello all:

When I unplug my Senheiser headset while using audacity, my brand new windows 10 computer crashes.

What is it that I can do to prevent this?

Currently, I change the microphone and speaker settings manually before unplugging. It seems to help, but I don’t always remember to do this.



Using Windows 10
Audacity 2.1.1 (I am not upgrading to the latest because of an issue with shortcut keys)
Intel i7-6700 HQ
16 GB of ram

my brand new windows 10 computer crashes.

Windows goes blue-screen and restarts?

Did you save your receipts?

Audacity doesn’t have the power to affect Windows, but it’s standing on interface and driver software and those can create serious problems. Windows 10 has the requirement that its software and hardware be Windows 10 Compliant. It’s not just OK that you have Windows headset, it has to be Windows 10.

Check with the manufacturers and suppliers that your headset driver software is up to date and any other change you made to the machine since you got it.

Audacity always goes through the computer system to do anything, so it’s really rough to believe it’s causing problems.


Hello Koz:

Yes, the windows 10 goes blue. Displays something to the effect that it is collecting some information, then restarts.

I am not sure what receipts are…

When I plugged in my Senheiser the first time to this new computer in June, it installed brand-new drivers from Internet, which I assumed are meant for Win 10. But as they saver never assume! So I will do some investigation.

Once thing to note is that, the computer does not crash when Audacity is not running.


am not sure what receipts are…

Those are the documents that allow you to get your money back if the purchase was not satisfactory.

computer does not crash when Audacity is not running.

When Audacity is running, it invokes the audio playback and audio record drivers for your computer. Unless you have another audio production program, you might never get that connection.

The driver software is not the property of Audacity and it has to say specifically Windows 10.


How do the headphones connect to the computer? Are they USB headphones or do they plug into a mic socket on your computer?
If they plug into a mic socket, then go to the manufacturer’s website and see if there are updated drivers available for you computer’s sound card.

If you updated to Windows 10 over Windows 7 on the same machine, it is essential you do what Steve suggests, even if they are USB headphones. Audio drivers can interact with each other, so all the drivers need to be correct. Look on the web site of your computer manufacturer for the latest Windows 10 audio drivers intended for your computer model. If you built the computer yourself, go to the motherboard manufacturer’s site.

WhoCrashed will probably identify the cause of the crash:


Hello Koz:

I do have my receipts for the computer :slight_smile: The Senheiser headset is more than a year old so receipt or no-receipt, it is water under the bridge…

I checked the driver. It said it is the latest, and it is by Microsoft. Then downloaded a software from Senheiser site, which tried to update the firmware on the headset.

However, at this point things starting really going downhill. Windows 10 started crashing right and left with our without the Senheiser headset being hooked up, with our without the Audacity running. In fact, Windows 10 ended up not loading at all.

I finally ended up reinstalling windows 10. In the process of doing that I lost all my apps and programs, so I had to reinstall Audacity.

Now it is like the good old times: If I unplug the headset, no more crashes. Audacity just says it cannot find the device, and I manually change it to the built in mic and/or speaker…

I did not mention this before, but before the crashes started, I used this headset for at least 1.5 months without a glitch.

I have a feeling that with a set of Windows updates, something changed on the operating system that made it susceptible to a crash. I am getting updates now everyday to the new install, and I may end up getting the crashes again. :frowning:


Hello Gale,

This is a brand new computer which came with Windows 10 preinstalled…



This is USB Senheiser headset.

I did check the Senheiser site and found a piece of software they recommended users to run. It did not help.


Thanks for clarifying. I know you said “brand new” in your first post, but I also saw your profile said “Windows 7” (which I changed to Windows 10).

Do you mean the sound card drivers are by Microsoft, or the headset drivers?

On a new machine that came with Windows 10, the sound card drivers really should not be made by Microsoft because those are only generic drivers that are not properly matched to the audio device on your motherboard. Generic drivers should not usually give you lots of crashes, but I really would go to the computer manufacturer’s site and look for Windows 10 audio drivers for your specific computer model.

When you have those, the driver supplier should state the name of the audio device manufacturer. However that does not mean you should go to the audio device manufacturer’s site for drivers, because typically they would supply drivers direct to the computer manufacturer.

If you start getting crashes - or even just strange behaviour - I really would look into obtaining correct audio drivers as above.

If you get crashes, WhoCrashed will often tell you the cause.

There are ways to stop bad updates if for any reason Windows update keeps pushing you back to bad audio drivers: