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Intermittent (!) Issue with Windows 11 Hosted Music Library

  • 7 February 2022
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Background to Understand the Context

I am a very long time Sonos user. I am in the process of moving from a Windows 10 machine to a shiny new Windows 11 machine. (Alder Lake CPU, so Windows 11 is a requirement.) My music library is hosted on the Windows 10 machine, and I need to relocate the music library to the new Windows 11 machine so I can retire the former.

I have a playlist that runs all night in the bedroom and another playlist that runs every morning for hours in the kitchen. These have played without incident for over a decade.

The Issue on the New Windows 11 Machine

Having duplicated my music library on the new machine, I changed the music library folder from //WIN10PC/Tunes to //WIN11PC/Tunes. At first blush, everything works! Every room, every controller, music library, music services.

HOWEVER (dammit). The aforementioned playlists stop playing after a period of time, anywhere from 30 to 90 minutes. It always stops at the end of a track, when the bedroom/kitchen Sonos device goes out to fetch the next track in the respective playlist. Restarting the playlist sometimes works on the first attempt, though sometimes takes a bit of working the controller.

This problem is 100% reproduceable—it has happened every evening for the past week—BUT it happens intermittently. I cannot produce a set of conditions that forces the problem on demand.

At the risk of stating the obvious, the problem occurs when I am not actively using the Windows 11 machine. The problem occurs regardless of how I exit Windows 11: sign out, lock ... or leave the desktop up all evening with a screen saver. The machine NEVER goes into sleep mode.

Before You Ask

I have a lot of IT experience, so I am confident in declaring that my Norton Firewall configuration is rigorously matched from the Windows 10 machine to the Windows 11 machine. The SonosLibraryServer  is set under ‘Program Control’ to ‘Allow’ and there is a ‘Traffic Rule’ to enable TCP port 3445. (As an aside, Sonos is super-tardy in updating their “Configure Norton 360 to work with Sonos” document. It reflects the long-retired music library server that used SMB v1).

Mine is a Wi-Fi setup and signal strength is OUSTANDING at every Sonos device.

As noted earlier, EVERYTHING works flawlessly for tens of minutes. I would say that eliminates the Norton Firewall from the list of suspects, but I’ve been in IT too long to bet on it.

As a sanity check (and I need all the sanity I can get) I relocated my music library back to the Windows 10 machine … and the playlists run all night, just like they always have.

A bottle of 20-year-old Bordeaux to anyone who can help me resolve this!

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Best answer by press250 8 February 2022, 20:31

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2 replies

Userlevel 7
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PROBLEM SOLVED!

The above issue had NOTHING to do with Windows 11 and EVERYTHING to do with the Intel I225-V wired ethernet controller on my new motherboard. The I225-V has a star-crossed history, and apparently the latest Rev3 silicon still has issue(s). Specifically, the I225-V goes into a low-power mode after some period of low-to-no activity, and it is awfully clumsy about coming out of said low-power mode.

The solution: prevent the I225-V from ever going into its fault-prone low-power mode. Edit the adapter properties from Device Manager and UNCHECK all the boxes under Power Management.

Voilà everything works!

Userlevel 7
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It was the fact that my PC needed to always on that convinced me to make a cheap NAS from an old hd and a Raspberry pi. Learnt a lot too..