I have never created a post before in my life regarding a computer problem but I have broken down tonight and decided that I NEED HELP.
Here are my specs
CASE: Antec 900 case (with extra 50mm fan on side)
PSU: Was using an MSI 650 W however I changed to a coolmax 1000 W while troubleshooting (and I am still using it for now)
CPU: Intel Q6600 2.4Ghz not overclocked
Motherboard: MSI P6N sli (not v2)
BIOS: v2.7 (latest)
Graphics: GeForce GTX 275 (1800 mb onboard)
HD1: WD 5000AAKS 500 GB (Primary)
HD2: WD 1002FBYS 1000GB (Secondary, No bootable partitions)
CDROM: Lightscribe DVD RW multi recorder
RAM: (x4) Crucial Ballistix Tracer 2GB 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Desktop Memory
Sound card: X-fi titanium
OS: Windows Vista Ultimate 64bit sp2
Mouse: Razer Copperhead (latest firmware and drivers)
Keyboard: Logitech G15 (latest drivers)
*All drivers are up to date. I am not running any overclocking (not even stock to my knowledge) and nothing is overheating (again to my knowledge and my programs that monitor that kinda thing).
First Signs of Problems
First I must say that problems began approximatly one year ago.
The initial problem was that my gratphics card (GT 8800 with 512 DDR3) finally died on me after only 2.5 years.
I determined it was the culprit and after some research i purchased my new graphics card (mentioned above).
I say this because I recall having a Blue screen of death (from here on known as BSOD) just before my graphics card died (probably the day before).
I quickly associated this BSOD to that particular hardware malfunction.
Windows 7 ultimate 64 bit
I recognize that this is not a Windows 7 section and thus do not expect help on the Windows 7 issues however I must describe the process I followed.
I upgraded to Windows 7 Ultimate the day Windows 7 was released. Within a week or two I had several BSOD's.
I do not know these BSOD's off the top of my head and my log book is not with me so I will just describe the general solutions I found.
The errors seemed to point toward a memory problem or possibly a hard drive problem.
The BSOD's only seemed to occur (99% of the time) while the computer was completely idle.
Usually they occurred at 3 am (the computer is set to be on and up at all times do to filezilla server installed.
I realized that my anti-virus, AVG home, was running a scan at around that time and it seemed to me possibly a hard drive problem. (I had changed to AVG because I figured that AVAST may have been causing the issues but the issues continued without change)
I reinstalled Windows 7 a total of 3 times. Some of which because windows 7 stopped allowing me to even log into a GUI but rather just failing and BSODing. I had to backup files using the command prompt at one point because "safe mode command prompt only" was as far as I could get.
At this point I changed PSU's because I know that several problems could very well be power related.
After over a month of this (one week of which I had 11 errors in that week) I gave up and installed back down to Vista 64 bit (a completely clean install).
Windows Vista Ultimate 64 bit
So here my saga begins
I have done hours and hours of research and I have finally gotten to the point where I am asking you what you think I should do (addressing the internet gods and people smarter than I alike).
I have been having the same BSOD's that I experienced in Windows 7. It usually starts after 2 to 7 days and then it becomes increasingly worse.
1 week ago I had the following problem:
the computer BSOD'ed as I was standing on the other side of the room (nothing was running other than the usual start up etc)
I wrote down the first error (may have been 0x000000A1) but if I recall I believe it was memory related
After the automatic reboot another error occured (something like 0x000000E2)
I waited and after a nother reboot another error occured (maybe F1 not sure anymore they are written down at another location)
I repeated this process a total of 10 times with 10 different errors before holding the power button fro 6 seconds.
Then I booted the PC like normal and EVERYTHING worked great!
even more recent problem:
a friend of mine came by and wanted to play wow on my computer with my roommate. I was not there but they informed me later that nothing on my computer would run.
They would doubeclick wow or firefox and it would load into RAM (as seen in the process listing) but the GUI would never appear).
They said they restarted and that the graphics drivers had to be reinstalled (automagically by vista I presumed)
They rebooted again and vuala everything worked fine and they played for 5 hours with no problems.
The problem about 1 hour ago:
I shut down my computer on Dec 11th.
Everything was working 100%
I brought my computer home in a case I have carried it around in since it was a micro pc (computer humor)
I placed it in the front room ( A) because I didn't want to hook it up just yet it was cold outside and I figured best to let it heat up for 24 hours before plugging anything in.)
Today Dec 12th I decided to plug it up at 11:30 pm.
Plugged everything up: same monitor same keyboard, same mouse, different wall power outlet (obviously), different router/ethernet corde, same ipod, different 2.0 speakers that are low quality.
Booted into vista and low and behold!
Graphics drivers had magically not ran or something
The login page was the default1024x768.
I logged in and changed my res to 1680x1050
at this point the DualCore monitor by MSI (up to date and was working mind you) said that I needed to run as administrator to run the program.
I am the Administrator; I got into user accounts and made sure.
I then noticed Internet would not load because some services could not start.
Low and behold it was the dreaded Access Denied when running services Vista problem that I researched for 30 minutes before system restoring back to Dec 9th (before previous updates).
I am not back online.
NOTE: during this problem my computer reinstalled both my mouse and my keyboard... the mouse reinstalled more than once I think...
ANOTHER problem I recall:
At one time too I had another issue in which I could log in and it would get to the black screen witha mouse and nothing would load. Don't recall what I did to fix it however.
just another note: I have gotten this error with both windows 7 and vista and have yet to figure out what it really means:
"Some processor performance power management features have been disabled due to a known firmware problem. Check with the computer manufacturer for updated firmware."
Also a language pack has the following error:
"Application initialization failed. Last error: 0x80070032"
This may be due to the fact that I installed Russian on this once but the SP wouldn't let me install unless I just had English so I uninstalled Russian (as I would never use it anyways)
THINGS I have done to fix these issues (or determine my problem)
Obviously the first thing I thought was HEY! my ram may be going bad! I ran multiple ram scanners that came up 100% clean including but not limited to the Vista 64 bit and Windows 7 64 bit memory scanners. At one point I recall Vista recovery console (which makes a drive Z: presumably in RAM? not sure, had an 8 hex error code and crashed to the "desktop" which is just a blue screen)
I took out the 2nd and 3rd sticks and used my computer without changes for about 4 days. An error occurred again so I swapped out the 1st and 3rd for the 2nd and 4th sticks. I then had blue screens again. I am back up to 8 GB of ram and the errors occur no fewer or more prevalent than the usually have. This leads me to believe that the RAM is not the cluprit.
I ran Spinrite on my 500 GB hard drive for 48 hours and came up with a clean bill of health. I also downloaded the western digital HD integrety scanning software and it comes up clean for both drives.
This leads me to believe my hard drives are peachy.
a gear is going bad in the thing and the door won't open. Besides that I have seen an error before in sys logs that stated the drive couldn't be read but that was just once. and I don't see why it would cause this many errors but at this point I don't know what it is.
Again I changed to a 1000 W power supply from a 650 thinking I didn't have enough power. I also had 3 different power sources/outlets so it can't be bad wiring in the house or power strip(s).
It works well and really hasn't done anything wrong. All I can say about it.
My computer does not crash while playing games. COD 4 and COD mod 2 work 100% with max graphics and V sync enabled. Honestly that card is a beast. Just beat Mirrors edge too with max graphics and virtually no lag. Doesn't cause BSOD's as far as I can tell. I keep upgrading drivers just in case and it has made not change.
Nforce: My mobo has 650i SLI chipset by nvidia. I install the newest nforce drivers as they are created and this has had little to know change on performance in regards to crashing.
Mobo itself?: I do not know if my MOBO itself could be going bad. I once thought that my north bride may be over heating (as the heat sink for that chipset isn't stationed very well and felt kina warm to the touch. I mounted an actual fan I use to cool the room directly towards the north bridge with the case open for about 12 days and the comp still crashed. Is there an easy way to help test if the motherboard itself is going bad.
Another though is this. I have 4 fans that use LED's. my 8 GB of ram have red LED's on them. My copperhead uses USB 2.0 to light up all pretty like. my G15 has a screen on it. Could this motherboard model itself not be able to handle the sheer power all of my peripherals need? I don't know how to check this.
Drivers: If a driver isn't right I can't find it. I have ran Verifier before with a /scan now with a 100% everything is good. I keep my comp up to date more often than most because I am a network security major.
Viruses: Again, my computer is secure. After multiple wipes and constant virus scans and protections I am 100% sure that there are not malicious software on my computer except for general tools I use to hack/learn with for my courses at college.
That is my plight thus far.
I hope that someone out there smarter than I can suggest something for me
I don't' have the money yet to buy a new MB or HD or RAM so don't just say replace XYZ. I am looking for ways to further narrow down the problem so I don't waist money on 4 things and find out that it was a driver problem.
On the other hand if you are really really sure it is an XYZ hardware problem, it never hurts to voice that opinion as I may scrape up the money to at least try it.
NOTE: I am computer literate. Tell me what needs to be done as if you were talking to a fellow computer geek. I will most likely know what to do or I can figure out how to do what is told to me.
Thanks again in advanced for any help or insight into this problem.
Edited by MattHttaM, 13 December 2009 - 02:09 PM.