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Pc Nightmare


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#1 Vamos

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Posted 26 December 2005 - 07:33 AM

I have had a custom-built Systemax Reliance PC running on Windows XP Home since Feburary 2004, and recently it has been behaving horribly. It will often instantaneously restart itself for no apparent reason (particularly when playing high-powered 3D games or when using iTunes), and after doing this it will repeatedly get 'stuck' during the start-up process and will not boot properly again unless the power is switched off at the wall and it is left to 'calm down' in this state for several minutes. I don't remember exactly when it started behaving this way but I do remember first noticing it when playing The Sims 2 in the first few months of 2005. Each time it 'crashes' like this, the problem seems to make itself worse - initially it would seldom get 'stuck' when starting back up again but this now happens every time. If I restart the computer under normal circumstances, there are no problems with the start-up procedure.

I had initially considered that overheating might be the issue, but on several very cold days recently where the CPU has been icy cold the problem has recurred.

There is also another problem which may or may not be related - sometimes after logging into a user profile on Windows XP, the programs that are set to load on startup will load but when I try to load any other programs, the system will get 'stuck' for several minutes but will eventually open all of the programs I've asked it to in one big burst. This also sometimes happens after any single application crashes and closes for whatever reason.

A third, unrelated problem that I'm having is that I cannot install the latest driver (see here, driver dated 12 May 2005) for my Creative Soundblaster Audigy 2 sound card. When I try to run the installation program, it tells me that "Setup could not detect any Sound Blaster Audigy 2 on your system. Please ensure that your Sound Blaster hardware is properly installed before running this Setup program. Setup will now exit." I've never had any problems when downloading drivers for the sound card before, and the sound card is working perfectly fine, as it always has been.

I hope you can understand my explanations since I'm not all that good at explaining things clearly. If you need to know any more about my system to help me, just ask :thumbsup:

Thanks.

Edited by Vamos, 26 December 2005 - 07:34 AM.


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#2 acklan

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Posted 26 December 2005 - 07:49 AM

Are all you antivirus and antispyware up to date and activily scanning? Have you yo run disk cleanup laterly. Have you checked the Event Viewer for and error report?


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#3 Vamos

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Posted 26 December 2005 - 12:32 PM

I turned off 'Automatic Restart' in the System Errors options and now when it shows me the blue screen of death, I can see that it's a 'STOP' error, somehow related to 'nv4_disp.dll' - a file related to my graphics card driver. I've now tried using various different versions of the driver, past and present, both from MSI and nVidia (my card is an nVidia GeForce FX 5200, which I kind of wanted to upgrade anyway) to make the problem go away but it still recurs. Also concerning is the fact that I was earlier able to recreate the problem whilst the graphics card was disabled in the device manager :thumbsup:

As for the Event Viewer, I got this:

Event Type: Error
Event Source: System Error
Event Category: (102)
Event ID: 1003
Date: 26/12/2005
Time: 17:09:37
User: N/A
Computer: SYSTEMAX
Description: Error code 1000008e, parameter1 c0000005, parameter2 bfc7e9bd, parameter3 f2fc0ab0, parameter4 00000000.

For more information, see Help and Support Center at http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/events.asp.

Data:
0000: 53 79 73 74 65 6d 20 45 System E
0008: 72 72 6f 72 20 20 45 72 rror Er
0010: 72 6f 72 20 63 6f 64 65 ror code
0018: 20 31 30 30 30 30 30 38 1000008
0020: 65 20 20 50 61 72 61 6d e Param
0028: 65 74 65 72 73 20 63 30 eters c0
0030: 30 30 30 30 30 35 2c 20 000005,
0038: 62 66 63 37 65 39 62 64 bfc7e9bd
0040: 2c 20 66 32 66 63 30 61 , f2fc0a
0048: 62 30 2c 20 30 30 30 30 b0, 0000
0050: 30 30 30 30 0000

#4 acklan

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Posted 26 December 2005 - 01:26 PM

Do you have a firewall running? Try disabling it to see if that helps.
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#5 Rimmer

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Posted 26 December 2005 - 07:37 PM

I was earlier able to recreate the problem whilst the graphics card was disabled in the device manager


How were you able to view the problem if your graphics card was disabled?

From what I've read in a quick Google this is either driver or hardware related. Most likely culprits being the graphics card, sound card, RAM or CPU. Try these ideas:

Remove (delete) your sound card from Device Manager. Then shutdown and physically remove the card. Reboot and run the system without sound. Any changes?

Do a CLEAN install of the video drivers as follows
  • Go to the manufacturers website and download the latest drivers.
  • Download Driver Cleaner PE (2.5MB) from here and place it on your desktop.
  • Uninstall your display drivers via the Windows control panel (only the display drivers!!) then reboot into Safe Mode.
  • Once in safe mode, open Driver Cleaner, click 'Tools' and select 'Cab Cleaner', click 'Start' and wait till it's finished. When finished click 'Close', next select your make of graphics card in the drop down box and click 'Start'.
    Once finished, reboot into normal windows mode.
  • Install your new drivers. DO NOT let Windows do it for you via the wizard, cancel the wizard and double click your driver file that your downloaded.
  • Reboot.
Test your RAM:
There is a free RAM diagnostic called Memtest86 which you can download from here Memtest86.

Use it to create a bootable floppy disk. When you reboot with that floppy in the drive it will automatically run a memory test. Let it run at least overnight, unless errors come up right away, and then examine the error count.

If you don't have a floppy drive you can make a bootable CD:

Download the required file (the iso image) from this link Memtest86 on CD.

Inside the zip file is a file named memtest86-3.0.iso

Extract (unzip) that file to a folder on your hard drive. Do not use WinRar to unzip it unless you turn off the 'extract iso files to a folder' option. Winzip or Ultimate Zip are Ok.

Burn the iso file as an image using your CD burn program.

E.g. Using Nero:
In the main interface (titled "Nero Burning ROM" not "Nero Express"), click on File->Open
Browse within Nero to the folder containing memtest86-3.0.iso
Change "Files of type:" to "Image Files [*.nrg, *.iso, *.cue]"
Double-click on memtest86-3.0.iso, make sure "Write" and "Finalize CD" are selected, and burn.

When the CD is burnt put it back in the drive, shutdown the PC and reboot. MemTest86 should start automatically.

:thumbsup:

Edited by Rimmer, 26 December 2005 - 09:19 PM.


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#6 Vamos

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Posted 26 December 2005 - 08:42 PM

If you look here, you can see an example of one of the BSODs I'm getting. I've had a look around the web using Google and it seems I'm not alone. Everywhere I look, however, a different solution is suggested. :-o

It looks like replacing my graphics card with a new ATI model might fix the problem entirely, but I'm rather fond of nVidia's cards.

I'll try your Driver Cleaner suggestion ASAP, Rimmer, thanks for that. I'm not too sure about that memory tester though.

#7 Rimmer

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Posted 26 December 2005 - 09:15 PM

Typo in my Driver Cleaner link - http://www.drivercleaner.net/

I'm not too sure about that memory tester though.


In what way? I've used Memtest86 on many PC's with success, and it's included in our list of recommended freeware here at BC. Recommended Freeware

Edited by Rimmer, 26 December 2005 - 09:18 PM.


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#8 Vamos

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Posted 27 December 2005 - 09:55 AM

I'm about to start trying some of the many possible solutions I've been given, but first I'll show you another STOP message I got after a crash this morning whilst browsing the internet (no high-powered activity involved):

PFN_LIST_CORRUPT

0x0000004E (0x00000007, 0x0002AFB3, 0x00000001, 0x00000000)

Does that help to shed any light on the problem?

#9 acklan

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Posted 27 December 2005 - 10:09 AM

If you read the following article, in suggestion four it suggests you run a memory test like [Rimmer[/b] suggested. Please do.


http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=291806&sd=RMVP
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#10 Vamos

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Posted 27 December 2005 - 01:58 PM

I ran Memtest86 and let it do 1 pass and no errors were found. I'll try the Windows Memory Tester later on.

I tried the Driver Cleaner earlier, but when I pressed 'Start' on the Cab Cleaner it didn't do anything for a while and then came up with another different STOP message (which alarmed me, considering I was in safe mode):

IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL

0x0000000A (0x000004C8, 0x000000FF, 0x00000000, 0x804FDC37)

I'm really getting worried now. I'm off to try the Driver Cleaner again. I removed a lot of dust from the inside of the computer but that doesn't seem to have made a difference either :thumbsup:

#11 usasma

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Posted 27 December 2005 - 03:46 PM

I like nVidia cards and see no reason to switch (I don't like ATI).

The memory test needs to run for several hours (at least 2) to be effective (I set it up when I go to bed - and then check it in the morning).

Here's some of my research (conclusion at the end):


BugCheck Code: 1000008e (c0000005, bfc7e9bd, f2fc0ab0, 00000000)
http://www.osronline.com/ddkx/ddtools/bccodes_59k7.htm

STOP: 0x0000008E (0xC0000005, 0xBFC7E987, 0xF221AACC, 0x00000000) with the error occurring in (not caused by) nv4_disp.dll
From http://aumha.org/win5/kbestop.htm :

0x0000008E: KERNEL_MODE_EXCEPTION_NOT_HANDLED
(Click to consult the online MSDN article.)
A kernel mode program generated an exception which the error handler didn’t catch. These are nearly always hardware compatibility issues (which sometimes means a driver issue or a need for a BIOS upgrade).

* “STOP 0x0000008e” Error Message During Windows XP Setup {KB 315335} Win XP
* Games: “Stop” Error Message That References Nv4_disp.dll {KB 325730} Flight Simulator, other games (wth Nvidia-based video adapter)
* Your Computer Stops Responding When You Use the Highlighter Feature & the Font Color Feature {KB 829578} Win XP


STOP: 0x0000004E (0x00000007, 0x0002AFB3, 0x00000001, 0x00000000)
http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=291806&sd=RMVP

STOP: 0x0000000A (0x000004C8, 0x000000FF, 0x00000000, 0x804FDC37)
http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?...b;en-us;Q314063

Problems with:
Playing games
Profile logon
Sound Card
Video driver

All of the STOP messages have one thing in common - driver issues. While one of the errors occurred in the nVidia driver - this doesn't mean that the driver is at fault, just that the error occurred there.

This could be an error in the driver itself, or in the way another driver tried to access your video card driver.

So, the first step is to try to repair the video driver. If that doesn't work, then it's time to check the other drivers (sound, motherboard, Windows Update, etc)

In order to completely remove the nVidia drivers, please download and use one of these free driver removal tools:

http://www.majorgeeks.com/download.php?det=806
http://www.majorgeeks.com/download.php?det=3233
http://www.majorgeeks.com/download.php?det=3214
http://www.majorgeeks.com/download.php?det=865

Then, go to this link and download and install the latest WHQL certified drivers for your video card (WHQL is required while troubleshooting driver problems because they are certified by Microsoft to work with Windows): http://www.nvidia.com/object/winxp_2k_81.98.html

If this doesn't solve the problem - then we'll move on to working with other drivers.

Also, please search your system for files named "mini*.dmp" (without the quotes). The * stands for a date format - for example: mini122705-01.dmp is the first (-01) dump file created today.

If you find any, please read this article about checking dump files and run the tool. You can post the results here for us to analyze. http://forums.majorgeeks.com/showthread.php?t=35246
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#12 Vamos

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Posted 27 December 2005 - 04:49 PM

I've now run tests using both Windows Memory Tester and the Memtest86 (about 15 minutes on each).

Windows Memory Tester threw exceptions (Trap 00000006) and hence ceased to function at seemingly random intervals, and in doing this it trashed the screen with a load of details about the errors which I have no hope of remembering. After crashing in this way it ceased to respond to key presses. On a couple of occasions I noticed that it found errors briefly before crashing. At no other point did it find errors.

Memtest86 worked better, though on the last time I tried to run it it stopped testing due to an 'Unexpected Interruption - Halting'. It threw up some error details, but all I can remember is something like 'Type - Gen. Prot'. It think it found an error right before this happened, and I can't remember it finding an error at any other time.

Due to these crashes, I don't think I'd even be able to run the tests overnight because they'd just crash after a short while :thumbsup:

I thought it was about time you all knew exactly what my computer is and has, so here is an Everest report detailing pretty much everything (note that it was made whilst no nVidia video driver was installed at all).

My search found no mini*.dmp files, by the way.

Edited by Vamos, 27 December 2005 - 04:52 PM.





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