Every now and then my PC located in the bedroom emanated a sound at random intervals, probably caused by an application playing a short media file. And I noticed it twice when entering the bedroom which I thought was a mere coincidence. But it wasn’t actually! Guess what’s the relevance here?

Control Panels – Sounds was the first place where I checked. It was not the Sound Scheme as it was already set to "No Sounds".

With almost a dozen applications running and I didn’t want to disturb them, I fired up the excellent Process Monitor right away, configured the filters so that any entry with ".wav" in the Path is captured. It may not necessarily be a .wav file, but I had a suspicion that it could be, in this case. So I included ".wav", to start with.

After leaving it in Capture mode for about 5 minutes, Process Monitor displayed some relevant events.

WNA1100.exe is the Netgear configuration software that came with my Netgear WNA1100 (Wireless-N 150 USB) Adapter. This software seems to run the ConnectToInternet.WAV file located under the Netgear directory. It’s obvious that the WAV file is played whenever the system / Wi-Fi adapter establishes connection to the internet.

Why the Intermittent Sounds?

The wireless router was located in the first floor of the building, and the signal strength was way too low in the bedroom which is one floor down, and several bends away from the router. The signal strength was fluctuating very often, causing several connect/disconnect sequences within a span of 10 minutes.

No internet access when the signal strength is at its lowest

Access: Local and Internet when the signal strength improves.

Later on I noticed that the sound was certainly reproducible whenever the bedroom door was opened…. that’s when the signal strength improved by 2 points.

For now, I simply disabled the audio and pop-up alerts by right-clicking on the Netgear icon in the Notification area, and disabling the option "Enable Internet Connected Notification" via the context menu. I’m now planning to relocate the Wi-Fi router to improve coverage. Otherwise an additional Wi-Fi Router for the ground floor or a Wi-Fi repeater would be in order.

And if you think what I did was a roundabout way….. believe me it just took 5-7 minutes to track down the source application that caused the sound. Is your PC playing a random audio in the background and that has got you at your wit’s end? This guide can help.

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  1. TN
    said this on Tuesday, October 6th 2015 12:52 am

    ANy suggestions besides .wav. I am using the .wav, but procmon is not finding anything and I am still hearing a blip every minute or two. Sometimes two in a row very quickly. Checked the Mixer for applications, but nothing showed up. Set system sound to none and that didn’t make any difference.

  2. TG
    said this on Monday, September 21st 2015 10:14 am

    Oh my gosh! Like John I was being driven INSANE by Pidgin’s noises. Thank you thank you thank you!!!!

  3. projectkennedy
    said this on Wednesday, August 26th 2015 2:51 pm

    Hi I’ve tried this but I can’t seem to get it to work or record any processes. Can you provide a more detailed step by step guide? It seems as if some steps are missing or there is an assumption that the user has used the program before and knows what to do. How does one start capture mode? are the other filters supposed to be on?

  4. Keshav
    said this on Tuesday, May 19th 2015 11:24 am

    Thank you. You are awesome

  5. John
    said this on Monday, May 4th 2015 1:11 am

    I’ve shared your page with my friends. PIDGIN was constantly making noises, similar to “Add Hardware / Remove Hardware” in Windows 8.1 Pro. After taking your advice, I was able to quickly identify the culprit. Stopped all Pidgin processes – No noises!

    You just saved me a lot of headaches! Cheers!

  6. jason
    said this on Wednesday, March 11th 2015 8:06 pm

    you are a genius

  7. Noel
    said this on Monday, January 6th 2014 4:55 pm

    Probably, this is the stupidest question you must have ever received, still here it goes.

    I am facing similar issues and I set up audio filter as you mentioned in the first and press button ‘Add’, do I hit apply and then OK? Or I should just hit Add and leave it as it is?

    I have like 9 million processes running, thats what it shows on the bottom ‘status bar’ of the process monitor.
    Could you please explain what am I doing wrong?

    Thanks a million in advance

  8. JCM
    said this on Wednesday, November 20th 2013 10:51 am

    Oh god thank you! This was probably my problem. I had also set my computer to no sounds in an effort to make the sound quit, and it was still appearing. I have the same wireless connection hardware, and the option to change it was there. Now that I think of it, the sound did not occur when I had the usb unplugged. I hope this works. It should.

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