From The People Who Brought You: Static with Catalina Phones – maybe not the phones fault…

OK, I admit it, I like cheesy titles…..

On to the reason for the post.  Way back on July 9th I wrote a post about hardware problems causing static and clicking sounds on Catalina’s.  What we’ve found after some more testing is below:

First the scenario’s we could produce the issue on:

  • MPC Computer with Intel 945 board (various builds and memory configurations)
  • Vista SP1 or SP2
  • Windows 7 RC
  • MOC 2007 R2 RTM all the way up to the latest patches
  • USB Connected Catalina

How we could make it break:

  •  Make a call to the AA (Auto Attendant) so we don’t have to bother humans
  • Open up any CPU, Memory or Disk intensive application
  • Move from window to window

What we heard:

  • Drops in audio – like lost syllables
  • Clicking – primarily when switching screens

Where we couldn’t break it:

  • XP SP2 * probably because of lower system utilization
  • Recently purchased HP desktops or Lenovo laptops
  • Legacy P4 machines with no where near as much horsepower as the test machines

What makes it go away/better:

  • Disable autotuning  (netsh interface tcp set global autotuning-disable)
  • Using TCP instead of TLS
  • Additional Memory (some of our test machines had 1.5 GB of memory, adding more helped for a few hours)
  • Rebooting
  • Killing “Search Indexer” process

So at the moment, we still don’t know the “root cause” but what we have determined is it’s not a MOC problem, and not a Catalina problem.  It’s down to system resources on a particular set of machines.  We’re continuing tests at this point, so far the staff at this client has probably rebuilt the test hardware at least 10 times utilizing different images, OS, MOC builds, and hardware configurations (including SSD drives).

As the issue appears to be relatively tamed the troubleshooting from the OCS side is complete, and we are on to the OS and further hardware configuration.  If (when hopefully) we find a smoking gun I will update here.  Please post back if you are running into anything similar.  Maybe we can compare notes.

-kp

Advertisements

About Kevin Peters

My name is Kevin Peters.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to From The People Who Brought You: Static with Catalina Phones – maybe not the phones fault…

  1. Alex says:

    Hi, Kevin!
    I have couple users experiencing clicking noise during the call, actually it’s not users experience but who they are talking to hear clicking. Both Users have pretty powerful HP workstations with 8-12 Gb RAM, dual quad-core processors, Win XP 64-bit. Replacing Plantronics P-540M doesn’t make difference, obviously…

  2. Kevin Peters says:

    Hi Alex,

    A few questions for you to help narrow this down>
    * Are these users the only one have the problem and have you tested it to see if you can recreate it?
    * Are these users the only ones with the 540-M?
    * Do these users have the same problem if they use a non-usb phone or headset?

    I’ve heard of a few Dell workstations having this same problem, it ended up being a USB issue on the machines, so maybe that is the same problem you are seeing.

    Please post back and let me know!

    Thanks for reading!

    -kp

  3. Alex says:

    Hi Kevin,
    Thanks for response.
    here are answers to your q-s:
    * Are these users the only one have the problem and have you tested it to see if you can recreate it? – So far it’s only 2 users, and I can recreate issue on every call. even if it clicking stops during pause/silence on the line one loud word will trigger clicking to resume.
    * Are these users the only ones with the 540-M? – No all users in the company use Plantronics P540-M. Replacing the phone did not make any difference.
    * Do these users have the same problem if they use a non-usb phone or headset? – not sure about question, all business users have Plantronics P540-M, there is no other option for OCS phone users. If you ask about other end devices, I use CX700 and Snom 870 and did not have any quality issues and clicking specifically.

    I do think it’s PC HW related issue, since those users have supercharged PC’s comparing to the rest of users (8-core, 8-12Gb). I will check on USB drivers forthose PC’s

    • Kevin Peters says:

      Alex,

      Could you please check for CState settings and EIST settings on the BIOS and toggle them from their current state if they are present? I have heard of this issue before (although with Dell) and the CState was the root cause.

      Hope this helps and thanks for reading and sharing!

      -kp

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s