Crash of 2.0.3 upon launch in Win XP

I have been experiencing “blue screen” crashes upon launch of newly installed Audacity 2.0.3. The PC is running Windows XP Professional Ver. 2002 with SP3 and 1.0 GB of RAM. Previously, this PC ran Ver. 1.2.6 just fine. The crash appears to follow a scan for VST effects, although following the Release Notes, I have modified the audacity.cfg file to by-pass the VST scan. I still get the crash. Windows mini-dump files could be retrieved, but I don’t know what to do with them.
Additionally, I have installed a new Lame program. I have also tried Audacity version 2.0.2, but it crashes similarly. I have created more empty space on the C: drive, but that has not helped. Several iterations of 2.0.3 uninstall/install have not resolved the problem.
Incidentally, version 2.0.3 runs fine on another, newer PC with more RAM running Windows Vista Home Premium.
Suggestions for fixing this situation are welcomed.

Blue screen crashes are almost always due to driver problems. Most probably a sound card driver, (though it is not impossible for it to be some other driver).
If Audacity was working previously on this machine then it could indicate that the problem has arisen from an updated driver, in which case you may be able to roll back the driver to an earlier version.

Have you ever knowingly updated the sound card driver?
Are you able to roll back the sound card driver to an earlier version?

There is a FAQ here Audacity Manual that gives a link to “Whocrashed” which is a program that might figure out from the dump where the problem is.


Many thanks to steve and Gale Andrews for very helpful suggestions. I have run “Whocrashed” several time after recurring crashes, and it reports:

This was probably caused by the following module: emu10k1f.sys (emu10k1f+0x1F61C)
Bugcheck code: 0xC2 (0x41, 0xFFFFFFFF85AF1000, 0x56F1, 0x3FF76)
file path: C:WINDOWSsystem32driversemu10k1f.sys
product: Creative SB Live! Driver (WDM)
company: Creative Technology Ltd.
description: Creative SB Live! Adapter Driver

The PC is a Dell Dimension 8200 (circa 2002) running Win XP Professional as outlined in my initial post. I did locate a newer driver “patch” for the “Creative SB Live! Value(WDM)” sound card at the Dell website. This updated my driver from version dated 11/02/01 with a newer version 3515.0.0.0 dated 3/4/02. The driver install took a LONG time, ~ 1 hour! I checked that the installation looked OK - the sound card plays. But alas, trying to open Audacity 2.0.3 again results in a blue screen crash, and “Whocrashed” reports the same thing (with different addresses, or course).
I am having trouble locating any driver newer than ~11 years old, but maybe that is to be expected with my old sound card. I am about ready to regress back to Audacity version 1.2.6 if a solution does not materialize.
I have seen suggestions that I just need a newer version of the emu10k1f.sys file, but I wonder about that.

If you have 64-bit XP you could try .


I still have not located any newer drivers for the Creative sound card than I reported above. Meanwhile, my experience has been that the newer versions of Audacity (2.0, 2.0.3, 2.0.4, and even 1.3.14) all crash upon launch on my old Dell PC. I did a reversion to version 1.2.6, and it continues to work fine on the Dell Dimension 8200.
BTW, version 2.0.4 has a lot of nice new features that I can see on my four year-old HP laptop running Win Vista.

Audacity has to move forward and support newer devices. It could mean support for older devices cannot be maintained if the manufacturers of older devices discontinue supporting them.

Anyway if you would like to try, do either of these versions launch?


I recently built a HTPC that I stuck an old Soundblaster card into, and ended up installing the 3rd party driver from here:

FWIW, I didn’t use Audacity on the system and ended up reconfiguring it as a Linux machine, but from the week or so it was running under Windows the sound drivers certainly seemed rock solid.

SIGNIFICANT progress to report. First, Gale, with the version 3515 driver in place, I tried Audacity 1.3.7. The program does open, but at my first click of the input level meter a blue screen crash occurs. At that point, I did not bother with Audacity 1.3.6.
I was intrigued by Shaky’s 9/10/13 post and checked out the website at the URL he provided. After seeing indications that a part of the kX project did indeed address the technology level of my old Creative sound card, I proceeded to install it. It is impressive with all the bells, whistles, and knobs! And it passed the first tests of NOT crashing the computer and playing sound.
Next was the crucial test of installing Audacity 2.0.4 and testing it. First, Audacity 2.0.4 opened and was stable. Initially, I could not get the Audacity input level meter top operate. After some amount of fiddling to get the kX mixer settings right, I began seeing full function in Audacity 2.0.4.
So it appears that my issue is resolved. Thanks to Shaky for the lead on the kX project! BTW, the kX site has a forum, and there
have been some past discussions of Audacity. I have not had time to digest much of that.

OK. My reason for mentioning those two builds is that 1.3.7 included support for Windows DirectSound and 1.3.6 did not. I thought Windows DirectSound might be a problem.

Yes thanks to Shaky too from me. :sunglasses: I made a note of that site , and it’s noteworthy that they were supplying updated drivers for certain legacy Creative products up to 2009 (much longer than Creative were).

However not all Creative products were covered - for example X-Fi.


Yes, that’s a pity, I’ve noticed that too. Although, my X-Fi stream audio seems to be special in that it is rather Audigy based and has an older chip set than the other X-Fis. However, I don’t fiddle around with my drivers lest I am out of sound…

Pleased to be of help.

I recall maybe sometime 2007/8 trying to reinstall an XP machine with my old soundblaster card; constant blue screen of death seemingly no matter what Creative driver pack I installed. A disgraceful level of support.

And frankly surprising since when I listen to recordings I made when the card was in my main PC I am always struck by how good it sounds. I now use an Asus Xonar D2 soundcard that on paper has far superior specifications but I subjectively prefer my Soundblaster recordings, and I wonder whether theoretically lower sound quality imparts a quality analogous to the saturation effects known from certain analogue equipment like EQs?? That is almost certainly superstitious nonsense, however. :smiley:

certain analogue equipment like EQs

Or linear tape – or Rupert-Neve sound consoles.

It may not be just you. Super wide-band audio channels also make distortion more apparent. Distortion products always go up (harmonic distortion) and full 20KHz bandwidth audio channels can carry a lot of distortion.

I went to a demonstration of sound quality and was treated to different problems that sound systems can have. The operator played a most pleasant sound track and then told us it was recorded by very good quality older equipment none of which was capable of anything over 15 KHz.