Totally useless on a brand new Windows 10 laptop

Unfortunately, despite all my efforts to keep my laptop running, my old windows 7 laptop fried and all the files had been deleted for some stupid reason. However, I didn’t really lose too much, as I have most of my stuff stored on an external drive.
Well, the other day my dad purchased a brand-new Dell laptop with Windows 10 on it, but I don’t like it at all. Suffice to say, it has the worst sound quality ever, and and to make matters worse, Audacity won’t even do a single thing on this system!
What I did was to install the latest .exe version (2.1.3) from online. Since I had not installed it on this system previously I couldn’t have reset my preferences, though they’re all backed up on that ext. drive.
Now when I run Audacity, absolutely nothing happens. Well, more specifically, anytime I open literally any file, my laptop tells me straight: “Audacity has stopped working, Windows is checking for a solution to the problem”. Now this is a brand-new laptop, with only 3 percent free of almost a terabyte. Even after running it in Compatibility mode with Windows 7 settings, it still is totally useless.
I use Audacity quite extensively as a blind person (yes, I did install Jaws), and when one of my favorite programs is totally useless I guess I have two horrible options.

  1. Downgrade to windows 7 which I’d prefer to do, though I don’t know if this is possible because Windows 10 had been installed clean onto this brand-new laptop with nothing on it before. Or, 2) If I can’t get windows 7 I’d either get a Mac, or if that fails, I’d kill myself. I mean, I hate the fact I can’t even use Audacity at all on a brand new laptop! I guess Microsoft should be screwed or…

    So, from all this, do any of you have suggestions to try to get this working? It has installed the latest Microsoft updates, and the program opens fine, but it isn’t until I literally click the Import button that the crash occurs.


PS. I am delighted, however, that Google Chrome works really easy breezy. now just to get Audacity to cooperate… barely possible I’d take it.

Hooray for backups :smiley:

From here I hope:
That is the official Audacity website and it links to the genuine certified programs on FossHub (official CDN for Audacity).
We are not responsible for what other sites deliver.

Compatibility mode is not required. We build Audacity on Windows 10.

How exactly are you opening files? Do you launch Audacity first and then use “File menu > Import”? If not, try doing that and let us know what happens.

I simply use the Open command (CTRL+O) which pulls up with “Select one or more audio files”.

Thinking about it further, this too could be the sight of the issue.
For some insane reason my Local Disk (or most of the folders on it) show up with “Access denied” when I try to modify or copy files, such as plugins or preferences if I were to do that. I’ve enabled the administrator account even though I’m the single user on this system - another glitch in Windows 10!
I’ve tried Import / Audio, and it also crashed in the same way, but this time, it didn’t crash until I either closed the file (ctrl+w) or exported as Wav. It also happens whenever a file is open and I try to quit.
Does that help a little?

If by the “worst sound quality ever” you mean a fake-surround-sound reverb-effect created by the sound-card, that can be switched off. It’s an enhancement in Windows audio playback. I think the “virtual” (fake) surround-sound is enabled by default on new computers …

There was no option to disable enhancements, but I did successfully turn the weird effects off by reverting to the High-definition audio device (not the Realtek).
Every three seconds, however, it would turn off, and whenever my screen reader would start speaking it would make a deafening boom as it booted up againn. I did quite a bit of research on the matter and found that the registry in the power settings of the device needed to be changed from its idle-time of 3 seconds to off (0), and since my Dad actually is in IT he was able to help me with that.
Oh and I thought of yet another possible cause for the problem.
On my old windows 7 laptop, I had 4 gb of Ram. On this new one I only have 2 Gb, which I think sucks. Obviously I can’t really add more Ram but I’ve tried managing the size of the Paging file on the C drive so that it uses up to 300 gigabytes. Even then, Audacity still crashes at the exact same point.
So, does it have a virus? Or what?
Fingers crossed
I don’t really care if I need to get a new laptop. In fact, I’d prefer that.

IMO changing the registry and/or changing audio drivers are more likely to be the source of your Audacity problems than a virus.

Before doing anything drastic, (like buying a new laptop), try another audio editor, such as Ocenaudio, to see if the problems are specific to Audacity.

Rather than buying a new laptop, it should be possible to revert to factory-settings on Windows 10, which equals reinstalling the Operating System, which should undo any changes to the registry.

If you do that, bear in mind a reset will loose all the software you’ve installed, and all the windows-updates which have occurred since the computer left the factory, which could take hours to reinstall.

Well, because I am blind, reverting back to factory settings would actually be worse for me because I wouldn’t be able to use the computer at all. Plus it would end up making the headphones sound tinny again, which I seriously cannot stand.
Plus I’m afraid Ocenaudio may not be the most accessible with Jaws. However, another audio editor Studio Recorder from American Printing House for the Blind, does not crash. The only thing is, I have a demo of SR, which means that I can’t export or save to other file formats. I use Audacity for recording my project made with SR (using Wasapi’s Loopback) and saving it as a Wav or MP3. However, even when trying to generate a tone, Audacity still crashes.
I’m trying as many things as I’m thinking of and still can’t isolate the problem… but who knows, it may be related to Dell laptops, we might never know for sure.

That seems very low for a Windows 10 machine. Is this a new laptop?

Do you use the audacity4blind mailing list?
We are happy to try and help you as much as we can, but there are people on the audacity4blind mailing list that know much more about accessibility issues and particularly about using screen readers with Audacity. Information about how to subscribe to the audacity4blind mailing list can be found here:

Yes, it’s totally brand-new, having just gotten reformatted after my dad took it home from the store.
I did know about the Audacity4blind mailing list, but this isn’t my biggest concern. Thanks for offering though.
I also had other people try it on other Windows 10 computers and they all crashed the same way. Note they all work in the IT department at the college I go to. They’ve concluded that it’s a Windows 10 issue even with 2.1.3 and that it’s best ran on Windows 7. But again, if you try running it with compatibility settings, it doesn’t change anything.

I don’t think it is “a Windows 10 issue” as there are in excess of 10 million Audacity users on Windows 10 that don’t have this problem.

That’s interesting. What is the common factor there other than Windows 10?

Unfortunately, I have no idea

What is the common factor there other than Windows 10?

Are the other people with this problem all part of the same university system?

having just gotten reformatted after my dad took it home from the store.

You reformatted your just-out-of-the-box Windows 10 machine?

Why would you want that?


Well, thing is, the laptop wasn’t working at all when my Dad bought it from the store. So he reformatted it, and everything I’ve done from that point onwards was after that reformatting. Hope that makes more sense.
I’m pretty sure they all had different brands of laptops when they witnessed Audacity crashing, but Windows 10 never grants the default user administrator rights which I think absolutely sucks. Maybe that’s why it crashes, who knows. However, when I try to run Audacity as an administrator, it crashes as well.

The most common cause for Audacity crashing is if there are problems with the sound card drivers. Windows 10 is particularly fussy about having the correct drivers. There’s a page in the manual about updating the sound card drivers:

Note that just because basic playback works in an audio player does not mean that the drivers are OK. Audacity is a multi-track recording and editing application, so it is much more demanding of the computer sound system than a simple media player. The drivers must be the correct ones for the hardware (which usually means downloading them from the laptop manufacturer’s website), and must be for the version of Windows 10 that is installed (32-bit or 64-bit).

Also, if you have 64-bit Windows 10, then you really need to get more RAM. 2 GB is the absolute minimum for 64-bit Windows 10 to run at all, let alone do any productive work.

Well, I’ve also heard that if you are using Jaws 17 or earlier, for some reason Jaws will cause Audacity to crash. At least on Windows 10. Upgrading to Jaws 18 for some reason will fix it according to what I’ve heard. I’m pretty sure my sound drivers are ok.