Screen('OpenWindow') getting stuck when external soundcard connected to PC

Hi All,

I am having an issue presenting a visual stimulus on a second screen, but only when I have an external sound card (ASUS U7 MKII) connected to my PC, running Windows 10. I am running Psychotoolbox 3.0.16, on Matlab version R2019b.

When I run the command: Screen(screenNumber,‘OpenWindow’), with screenNumber = 1, corresponding to the main screen of my PC, the output is ans = 0, followed by several PTB-INFO lines, and all seems to run fine. However, if screenNumber = 2, corresponding to a second screen connected to my PC, the Screen(screenNumber,‘OpenWindow’) command only prints : ans = 3, produces a black screen, and gets stuck there. The only way to exit this is to close matlab.

The two screens are Dell U2415 (same model). I have been running these commands until now without issues, with the same settings, but with the previous version of this sound-card (ASUS Xonar U7) connected. So I think there is something about this new sound card and how it interacts with matlab/psychotoolbox that I am missing. I need to have this external sound card connected because later in this script I use it to present sounds via PsychSound.

Any help on this would be greatly appreciated, and I’m happy to provide more info if I missed something. Thanks a lot!

Your version of psychtoolbox is several years old, try if the problem still occurs eith the latest version. Also, make sure your graphics drivers are up to date.

Hi dcnieho,
Thanks for the quick reply! I’ve tried it now with the newest Psychotoolbox installed (3.0.18), and the graphics drivers seem up to date. However, the problem is still there.

Its working now! Uninstalling the drivers for the sound card fixed it. Running the soundcard without drivers now. Thanks a lot for the help though!

From looking at product description / reviews of that sound card on some shopping site, it seems that the ASUS U7 MKII doesn’t need specific audio drivers, as it is a USB audio class 1/2 compliant device, so the OS already ships drivers for the actual sound.

The extra software one can install apparently contains various badly written bonus crap, meant to appease video gamers, which can interfere with graphics/display and input. Essentially computer sabotage included in the price. That might explain the otherwise baffling connection between a USB sound card and the Screen() malfunction, two things that should be entirely unrelated.