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Power supply, video card, ram? Beats me...


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#1 FoxtrotMikeLima

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Posted 09 April 2010 - 11:28 PM

Hello all! My computers been acting rather strange lately. During the past month or so, it seems that the problems have been progressively getting worse.

It started out that when I shut down the computer, it wouldn't boot back up. I can restart it as many times as I want, that's no problem. But when it's off and I try to turn it back on... the green lights on, it sounds like it's on, but there's no signal to the monitor.

I thought it might be the ram so I tried every single one. I have 2 gigs in 4 512 sticks. It starts up every time with just 1 gig. With 2 gigs in... 9/10 times it wont turn back on.

I tried every stick. They all work. Then I thought it might be a particular slot. I tried each slot. They all work.

Sometimes it turns on... sometimes it doesn't. Now that it's on with 2 gigs after just trying and trying... I never shut it off. I only restart it.

Then something new started happening. I only notice it on all white or all black windows. At certain points in the screen I can see a red or blue pixel. If I drag the window around rapidly, the pixel turns into a line that accumulates. The only way to get rid of them is to minimize and maximize the window and they're all gone. It's almost like a session of MS Paint.

Then my video games FPS started to get very slow. At times the FPS just completely bottom out. Now even browsing the internets slow. Restarting the computer takes an ungodly amount of time and i'm always afraid it wont make it because sometimes there's even a black screen at the beginning of the start up I never noticed before.

I took it to the computer store... twice. They told me it was fine (although then it was an intermitent problem). Now it's all the time and I was wondering if any of you guys had some ideas?

*I pretty confident it's not drivers or a virus. I've updated all my drivers, I have norton, superantispyware, and malwarebytes. Everythings up to date and clean.

Edited by FoxtrotMikeLima, 09 April 2010 - 11:31 PM.


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#2 MrBruce1959

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Posted 10 April 2010 - 12:12 AM

Welcome to Bleepingcomputer.

There are several things that can cause the problems you are facing here.

Lets take it a step at a time, by me asking you the following questions.

Can you please tell us what you are using for a video card, on-board or add-on card?

Also if you could, please tell us who the vendor is. Brand and model number.

I am now referring to your problem with your computer running slower and slower.

When is the last time you did a disk cleanup and then a disk defrag?

How many programs do you usually have running in the windows system tray at one time?

you could quickly check by typing msconfig in the windows search bar and click on the startup tab of the system configuration menu, to see how many programs are running automatically, try disabling the ones you don't need, by un-checking them, and reboot and see if this doesn't speed things up a bit.

If you want to check your memory for possible errors try memtest 4.0 Here is a link to a website, which lists four mirror web sites to download memtest from. http://majorgeeks.com/Memtest86_d4226.html

You can also use mtinst.exe from Mircosoft's web site for diagnosing memory problems, a reminder though both these programs are ment to be put on a bootable disk, such as a floppy or cdrom, do not run these from within the Windows operating system. http://oca.microsoft.com/en/windiag.asp On this site, look for the download link on the second paragraph. Follow the instructions carefully.

I do not want to make this a long list, so work with what I have suggested so far, report back and we'll go from there.

Edited by MrBruce1959, 10 April 2010 - 12:47 AM.

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#3 FoxtrotMikeLima

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Posted 10 April 2010 - 04:23 PM

Welcome to Bleepingcomputer.

Can you please tell us what you are using for a video card, on-board or add-on card?

When is the last time you did a disk cleanup and then a disk defrag?

How many programs do you usually have running in the windows system tray at one time?

If you want to check your memory for possible errors try memtest 4.0 Here is a link to a website, which lists four mirror web sites to download memtest from. http://majorgeeks.com/Memtest86_d4226.html

You can also use mtinst.exe from Mircosoft's web site for diagnosing memory problems, a reminder though both these programs are ment to be put on a bootable disk, such as a floppy or cdrom, do not run these from within the Windows operating system. http://oca.microsoft.com/en/windiag.asp On this site, look for the download link on the second paragraph. Follow the instructions carefully.


I've got a GeForce 7800 GS. I just did a disk cleanup / defrag the other night.

As for the system tray:

Start up item. Command.

Fast. Fast.exe
CTHelper. CT Helper.exe
CTXFIHLP. CTXFIHLP.exe
Another one has no name and no command
NvCpl. RUNDLL32.exe
dumprep 0 -k. %systemroot%/system32
RCMan. C:\Program Files\creative\mediasource\remotecontrol
NBJ. C:\Program Files\ahead\Nero Backitup
ctfmon. C:\Windows\system32

Those are pretty much the only ones I have absolutely no idea what they are... My trays pretty minimal other than that.

I'm going to go DL memtest4.0 and post those results. Thanks loads for the help!

I downloaded memtest's .zip and unzipped it. Memtest86+4.00.iso gives me the "windows can't open file - select a program from web or list" when I try to run it.

Edited by FoxtrotMikeLima, 10 April 2010 - 04:28 PM.


#4 MrBruce1959

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Posted 10 April 2010 - 05:02 PM

Thanks for coming back with questions about memtest.

You need to burn the iso image to a cdrom, I am going to recommend imgburn for burning an .iso image to a disk because it works and is hassle free, just do not install the ASK tool bar during installation because it is not needed and adds more junk to your browser's menus.

If you need help on how to burn .iso images to disks please check this link http://iso.snoekonline.com/iso.htm (Edit: sorry they changed this page, but it has a list of image burning software and a few suggestions)

Download imgburn and install, open the installed program and it pretty much self explains its self with pictures showing burn iso image to disk as one option, choose image #1 Write image file to disk put a blank cd-r disk into your burner's tray and burn the image to the disk. The disk will now be a bootable one, so make sure the drive you put the cdrom into is selected as first boot device in your BIOS. You need to boot your computer to the disk to run memtest, do not try to run it while you have windows running, it is intended to be run as a stand-a-lone program, meaning run it off the cdrom, not your hard drive.

Here is the link to download imgburn http://www.imgburn.com/

Not to confuse you with my edits (add-ons) but once you have imgburn installed, you can also right click the iso image and a menu should show up, choose burn file to disk using imgburn, again make sure you have a blank cd-r disk in your cd/dvd burner drive and let it burn the image to the disk.

Edited by MrBruce1959, 10 April 2010 - 05:24 PM.

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#5 FoxtrotMikeLima

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Posted 11 April 2010 - 07:04 PM

Alright I downloaded the program but I've got to run out and buy some CD's tomorrow (already 8pm). I'll report back on what the results are.

Btw something I forgot to mention that happens a lot:

The screen saver will be going along just fine most of the time. However, sometimes it'll be running for a few mins, then it glitches for a few seconds, then its frozen solid. It's totally intermittent. I move the mouse and it wont get out of the screen saver mode for about a minute.

Or I'll be playing a game. Everythings running smoothly. Then suddenly my FPS drop to 0. I alt tab the game, and I can hear all the sounds resume like there's no slow down. I enter back in, and it's 0 again and it takes about 15 seconds to alt tab. Sometimes I just see colors over certain things like minimaps instead of flat black like it should be (primarily green white pink lines). I tried restarting the computer, but it doesn't help. It decides when it wants to work and doesn't want to work and there's no duplicating it. It just happens and its becoming more frequent.

Also, for the first time during the above scenario with the game... the entire computer crashed and restarted on its own.

#6 MrBruce1959

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Posted 12 April 2010 - 09:09 AM

Ok I see some things in your startup that can be disabled, however, rather than having you disable them in msconfig, I am going to have you download a program from Microsoft's sysinternal website, the program is called Autoruns this program is quite unique in that it lists everything that is running on your computer, including running processes and startup programs.

The program starts up by default listing everything in one list, however, the program has tabs at the top of the window for each type of Autoruns. The page the link below brings you to, also explains how to run Autoruns, the program does not install, it only runs once from the executable, you have to download it to your desktop, then using a program like win zip, unzip it to a folder you created on your desktop with the name Autoruns, then go to that folder and double click the Autoruns.exe. This program does not install to any directory on your computer, it runs right from the Autoruns executable file you double clicked to start the program.

You can pay special attention to the tab labeled Logon This will list which programs automatically start at windows startup, which will be listed under HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\Current Version\Run By unchecking a feature, it stops it from running the next time you start your computer, this is useful to determine whether you need this feature or not, by restarting your computer and seeing if everything is OK with all your programs and software.

If something goes wrong with a feature or program you disabled, you can always go back into the Autoruns program and recheck it so it starts up again the next time you restart. If your computer shows improved performance and better stability without a feature running, you can right click that feature in the Autoruns program and a menu will pop up, you can either choose properties to find out more about that startup feature, or choose Delete to safely and permanently remove it from your auto startup. This does NOT remove the program its associated with from your computer, it only stops it from auto starting when Windows is starting up.

The reason I am recommending this program to you is because, it is safe to use and recommended by Microsoft to use instead of using the MSConfig.exe command.

I also want to mention, too many programs like to start up, while windows is attempting to boot up the operating system, some of those programs are not needed for windows run properly and actually use up resources (such as RAM) causing system instability (unstable system) and slow down the boot up process as well.

I would not however, stop any anti-virus programs from auto starting, except unless you are trouble shooting the anti-virus program's effects on system stability, I would only disable it to test a possible problem with the program, if system stability improves while anti-virus program is disabled, it means it is a resource hog and consideration should be looked into in finding a better form of virus protection. Something that protects you but does not hog system resources from other programs.

Below is the link to Autoruns from sysinternals.com please read any documentation on this web page and bookmark it for future reference.

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinte...s/bb963902.aspx
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#7 FoxtrotMikeLima

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Posted 13 April 2010 - 12:06 PM

I used the microsoft WMD the other night and got this message.

WMD could not process the system memory map. This occured b/c of defeciencies within WMD & not the computer. As a result not all of the computer memory will be tested. The specific problem was:

One or more memory map entries were aligned in a way that could not bd processed (it didn't say be, it said bd... odd).

Press © to continue. Press any other key to exit WMD.

I pressed c anyway.

Results: I let it run for 6 passes, no errors, but didn't want to let it go over night if it said the memory wasn't being tested anyway.


As for the imgburn and .iso file, now my 2nd cdrom is apparently stuck, and as a result I can only use floppys. I haven't used it in a few months, but I cant help but wonder if this is related or just a strange coincidence. The top rom works just fine. The bottom sounds like its trying to get out, but somethings literally stopping it. I tried prying it with my fingers and a screw driver, but I felt like I was going to break it.

#8 MrBruce1959

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Posted 13 April 2010 - 01:11 PM

To safely open a cdrom drives door and eject the cd tray manually is to use a paper clip straightened out, and look for a small hole below the trays door, insert the paper clip into the hole and push inwards, you should see the tray start to move outwards, if this does not happen right away, it means you missed the mechanism and have to try again.

Once you hit it correctly, the tray should move outwards.
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#9 MrBruce1959

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Posted 13 April 2010 - 01:22 PM

I also suggest you try the AutoRuns untility I mentioned above.
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#10 cryptodan

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Posted 13 April 2010 - 11:30 PM

I would remove all components place them on a rubber mat or a cardbroad box connect all components back up outside the case, and power it on and try that. I am think there is a short some where.




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