MSI 790FX-GD70 motherboard
AMD Phenom II X6 1090T Black Edition Thuban 3.2GHz CPU
Western Digital Caviar Black WD6401AALS 640GB 7200 RPM SATA II 3.0Gb/s (just installed to replace previous drive, explained below)
CORSAIR HX Series CMPSU-750HX 750W power supply
G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) F3-12800CL7D-4GBRH
Sapphire ATI Radeon HD5870 2GB (can't find exact model number)
ASUS Black SATA DVD-ROM Drive Model DVD-E818A6T/BLK/B/G
ASUS DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS Black SATA 24X DVD Burner
Linksys WMP300N 32-bit PCI Interface High-speed Wireless-N Wireless Adapter (definitely not causing the problem, as it persists even without this card installed.)
Windows XP Professional 64-bit SP2 (AND I've installed all Windows Updates I could find. About a couple hundred so far.)
My current problem has begun recently. I've had SIMILAR symptoms before, back shortly after building the system, but they simply vanished for entire months at a time. And if they turned up again, they'd just go away again without any real reason (some troubleshooting step would SEEM to eliminate the problem, but since it returned months later, and the same step did not change anything this time around, it apparently was a coincidence.)
My entire system (graphics, audio, GUI) will "stutter," for lack of a better word. The timing of the actual stutters is pretty random, but it doesn't seem to be dependent upon any specific type of activity or program usage. USUALLY it's for only a couple of seconds, but, sometimes it can last 20 or 30 seconds, which is long enough that I've assumed it was completely frozen on a few of those occasions and simply manually rebooted it (but I've seen it "freeze" for 30+ seconds, then come back out of it completely fine). It's been doing it now for about 2 weeks, and I can't find a pattern to it at all. It seems to at least be consistent in that it never goes for more than about 20 minutes without doing it. It won't run smoothly for a full day or anything before hiccuping again.
The reason I'm posting in the "Internal Hardware" section is that I'm almost CERTAIN now that the source of the problem isn't at all software-related, as I've already reformatted the hard drive I was running on, then (when the problem didn't go away) run a diagnostic on said hard drive (using the Western Digital diagnostic tools, as it was a Western Digital hard drive) and found it to contain irreparable bad sectors. Everything would still boot, and the computer was still usable, but I figured that the hard drive failing the diagnostics SURELY meant that my problem must be stemming from the bad hard drive. And yet, I just installed a new one yesterday, formatted it, re-installed Windows, and re-installed all my latest versions of drivers for all my hardware.
Everything SEEMS to run GLORIOUSLY, save for the random system stuttering.
I will try to list all of the things I've attempted so far that haven't had any effect:
-cleaned all the dust out of the inside of the case (without shocking things, btw)
-cleaned memory contacts and reseated RAM sticks.
-swapped hard drive SATA cable to a different SATA port
-fully updated the BIOS to the latest version, as well as attempted to run on BIOS failsafe defaults
-uninstalled the wireless card
-various software scans, registry cleans, etc that are irrelevant because the probably persists immediately after a hard drive format
So, I realize that replacing every other hardware component in the system would MOST LIKELY end my woes, but it would also leave an unnecessary and gaping wound in my bank account. So, if anyone has any expertise that could help me possibly just replace the item at fault, I would be EXTRAORDINARILY appreciative.
(I cannot actually rule out software being the source of the problem. However, if it is, I haven't the slightest clue what it would be that could possibly be causing this. Windows... system drivers, that's ALL that's on the hard drive now, besides Avast antivirus to keep the virii at bay.)
Edited by Silverfyre, 14 April 2011 - 09:18 PM.