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Clean install of windows 7, but system is still freezing and crashing


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#1 Dr. Bond

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Posted 05 May 2013 - 09:38 AM

I am running an AMD Phenom 9150e Quad-Core, 1.8 GHz (single hard drive)

4 GB ram

Windows 7 pro 64 bit

Service Pack 1

 

This machine is about 5 years old and was originally running Windows Vista. It began crashing and freezing a few months ago and I toiled with it for a while, ultimately deciding that it wasn't worth trying to clean and repair my registry. So I opted to wipe it clean and start fresh with Windows 7.

 

I'm not certain that I successfully wiped it clean. This was the first time I'd ever installed a new OS. I went through the installation process and when it asked me which partition to put it on (I only had 2 available, the primary and secondary. I mistakenly installed the OS on the secondary which didn't have enough space for the OS. My problems persisted and the memory failed the diagnostics test.

 

I decided to reinstall the OS, this time deleting the secondary drive altogether and wiping the primary. I wanted to ensure that the hard drive was truly wiped clean and I followed a tutorial to wipe the HDD manually, but was unsuccessful. The system came back with an error saying that it couldn't wipe the drive. So I proceeded with the installation and wiped the drive within the installation process.

 

My problem still persists. On occassion my computer will freeze causing me to hard reboot. Other times it will simply restart on its own, and still other times it will crash altogether (blue screen) and conduct a data dump "to protect from damage".

 

I've run the hardware diagnostics several times, each passing across the board. I'm tempted to replace my memory, but it only failed that one time. It passess consistently now and I'm wondering if the initial failure was caused by an impropper OS installation.

 

Regardless, I don't know what to do at this point or what my next troubleshooting step should be. Any guidance is greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance.

 

Frustrated.

 

 



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#2 dc3

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Posted 05 May 2013 - 10:11 AM

Since this computer is five years old it would be prudent to go to the manufacturer of you hdd and download and run their diagnostic tool to rule out a possibility of the hdd being a problem.

 

Is this a retail or a OEM copy of Windows 7?

 

Did you install the chipset drivers (most important to do first) and all of the others?

 

Since this is a fresh install I would suggest using a program like Darik's Boot and Nuke to completely overwrite the hdd, it's free.  This will effectively provide you with a clean slate to start from.  Since you have have the installation disc you can perform repairs which will not effect your added programs of data, I would suggest that you wipe the hdd, reinstall the operating system using only one partition.

 

Once you have done this and installed all of the drivers let, with this done we can assume any other problems will be hardware related.


Edited by dc3, 05 May 2013 - 10:14 AM.

Family and loved ones will always be a priority in my daily life.  You never know when one will leave you.

 

 

 

 


#3 Dr. Bond

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Posted 05 May 2013 - 05:01 PM

Hello again,

 

You've helped me recently and I really appreciate it.

 

My copy is an OEM copy (recommended by our IT tech at work).

 

As I have to ask, "what are chipset drivers" I'm inclined to say, "no, I didn't install them".

 

Thanks for the tip on wiping my hdd. I'll look up Darik's Book and Nuke after dinner. Forgive my naivte, but how will the installation disc enable me to perform repairs without effecting my added programs or data? If I understand correctly, I aim to wipe my computer clean. I thought this meant backing up what I have and starting fresh. Am I mistaken? Is there a way for me to do this without deleting the rest of my programs? It's not a problem if I have to. Everything is easily reinstalled and there's not much as I wiped my computer just a couple weeks ago. I've not accumulated much since then. Maybe I misunderstood you. Either way, I have something to do now and hopefully these are the crucial steps I've missed.

 

Thanks so much for your help. I'll report my progress/status back once it's complete.



#4 dc3

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Posted 06 May 2013 - 08:29 AM

The chipset is on the motherboard, you need drivers for these.

 

Please post the make and model of the motherboard, and I will find drivers for that board.

 

If you haven't installed the drivers, then let's do that and then see if there are still problems.

 

Did this OEM disc come with Service Pack 1?

 

Once the drivers are installed you will need to activate your copy of Windows 7 and then install SP1 if you have not already.  You should also allow the Microsoft updates.

 

 

 

Forgive my naivte, but how will the installation disc enable me to perform repairs without effecting my added programs or data?

 

For information on this I'm going to suggest that you read the article found here.  Disregard the information pertaining to creating a disc.


Edited by dc3, 06 May 2013 - 09:59 AM.

Family and loved ones will always be a priority in my daily life.  You never know when one will leave you.

 

 

 

 


#5 Dr. Bond

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Posted 07 May 2013 - 08:40 PM

Wow, ok. I'll try posting this again. I began earlier and was about to close it out when, I hit the tab button (oops, back up) then the "back" button (wrong again). In attempts to try and recover my session, I hit the "x" and closed my browser. It was like stumbling and trying to catch yourself only to fall in, well... something worse. "I can't believe I just did that" was all I could say.

 

Ok...

 

I don't recall installing anything outside of the step-by-step automatic installation, certainly nothing mentioned about drivers. So I think you're on to something here.

 

I ran the DX Diagnostics to get the information, I hope this is correct.

 

System Manufacturer:

     HP-Pavilion

System Model:

     NC686AA-ABA a6700y

 

If that isn't the correct information, where do I look for it? Do I have to pull the casing off my tower and read it from the board directly?

 

I don't know if this information will help either, but just in case:

 

BIOS: Phoenix - AwardBIOS v6.00PG

Processor: AMD Phenom 9150e Quad-Core 1.8GHz

RAM: 4GB

DirectX Version: DirectX 11

 

Yes, the disc came with Service Pack 1. I didn't know what was a separate installation process. I believe I recall that I activated Windows 7, so if the SP1 installation was part of that process then I should be ok on that end, but I don't know. The my system, computer properties list me as running SP1. Does that mean I'm good to go there? And I believe I allowed the automatic updates. I did encounter a situation last week when not all the updates would install. It seemed the security updates were the only ones with an issue. I clicked "web help" and was directed through microsoft.com to download something to fix that error. I haven't had a problem/notification of update errors since. But I thought I should mention that here in case it offered a clue.

 

Should I go ahead with Darik's Boot and Nuke and reinstall my OS at this time? Or is it possible that simply installing the drivers is all that is needed? Thanks again for all your help.



#6 dc3

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Posted 08 May 2013 - 09:29 AM

Let's see what happens with the installation of drivers needed for this computer.

 

Your motherboard chipset driver and others can be found here, your download is the V15.4 at the bottom of the downloads there.

 

Try this and see if this helps.

 

Did you check to see if this computer is compatible with Windows 7?

 

You can run a scan to determine if it is compatible here.

 

Please use the following link to provide us with information about your computer so that we can assist you.

How to Publish a Snapshot using Speccy


Edited by dc3, 08 May 2013 - 09:33 AM.

Family and loved ones will always be a priority in my daily life.  You never know when one will leave you.

 

 

 

 


#7 Dr. Bond

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Posted 09 May 2013 - 06:05 PM

Ok, I downloaded the drivers without incident. My system hasn't crashed since the download, but this was just last night. So I'll give it a couple days.

 

I never thought that the computer itself might not be compatible with my OS. I thought simply meeting the requirements was enough. I'm learning a lot here.

I ran the compatibility check and the only items that failed were a copy of Adobe Photoshop 6.0 (no surprise there, it's ancient) and Adobe SVG Viewer 1.0 (again, ancient)

I installed the update for Photoshop successfully, but it still failed. I don't think there will be any getting around this. The same goes for SVG Viewer. Adobe has discontinued it and the most recent update is for Windows XP. I installed the updates regardless and reran the compatibility check. Still failed.

I really need Photoshop, so if I can avoid trashing it until I can afford to purchase a current version, or at least a CS6 Subscription, then that would be preferable.

 

Below is the URL for the snapshot. I was expecting an actual screen shot of the results to be posted here. For some reason however, it didn't want to behave for me according to the instructions. When I went to R-click > paste, "paste" wasn't available. So I had to simply copy the URL.

 

http://speccy.piriform.com/results/vy4R0o5uO0zeO7TfQMfYfZV


Edited by Dr. Bond, 09 May 2013 - 06:08 PM.


#8 dc3

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Posted 10 May 2013 - 10:59 AM

I was expecting an actual screen shot of the results to be posted here. For some reason however, it didn't want to behave for me according to the instructions.

 

This is exactly what should be seen.  If you click on the link you will understand that this works quite well.

 

Hopefully the drivers have resolved your issue, please let us know how it is working.


Family and loved ones will always be a priority in my daily life.  You never know when one will leave you.

 

 

 

 


#9 Dr. Bond

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Posted 10 May 2013 - 04:23 PM

So far so good. My system hasn't crashed once since I installed the drivers. At this point I'm optimistic. Again, thank you so much for your help. I've learned a few things as a result and I wonder if there's anything more I can do to show my appreciation besides simply posting it here.



#10 dc3

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Posted 11 May 2013 - 09:26 AM

If the drivers were the only cause of the crashes then this should be the end of your problem.  Let's wait until the first of the week to be sure that this issue is resolved. :thumbup2:


Family and loved ones will always be a priority in my daily life.  You never know when one will leave you.

 

 

 

 


#11 Dr. Bond

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Posted 14 May 2013 - 05:12 PM

Hey, I LOVE that quote! To be honest, I didn't know it was Groucho Marx who said it, I thought it was Woody Allen. Regardless, funny quote.

 

Ok, it went a few days without incident. Then yesterday evening I plugged in a USB microphone and it crashed on me 10 minutes later. I rebooted it and it crashed moments after. I haven't touched it since.

I just tried to boot it up and I'm getting nothing now. The power is on, CPU is running, but my monitor remains black. I have no idea if it's at the User Log on screen or not. I've tried a hard reboot multiple times and I'm getting nowhere.

 

Last night I was thinking that maybe the crash coincided with the installation of the microphone software and that maybe its drivers aren't compatable with Windows 7. I went to the company website to check, and it claims to be compatable with Windows 7. The instructions I found for the installation when I first installed it a few weeks ago were for XP. These installation instructions were different. At this point I'm wondering if the microphone caused the crash of it it's purely coincidental.

 

How can I get my computer to boot up for further troubleshooting?



#12 Dr. Bond

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Posted 14 May 2013 - 08:03 PM

Ok, I killed all power to the computer and let it sit for a couple of hours (more out of frustration than anything). I just booted it up and logged on, then it froze... reboot... nothing...   reboot, log on... running. I've been digging around to check and see if all my drivers are up to date. I ran Speccy to see if it would help me with this. A guy at work recommended the free version of driverfinderpro.com to scan my drivers. I downloaded this but I haven't run it yet. I thought I'd ask you about it first.



#13 CascaLonginus

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Posted 14 May 2013 - 10:35 PM

I did not read all the correspondence with the other guy, so I don't know if you covered this yet, or not, but when you install windows, you should be deleteing all partitions, recreate the partition, for the entire disk, format the HDD, and then reinstall windows. This will get rid of all information on the HDD, and if hardware is not the issue, then you should have a working computer.

I do not know the rules on posting links in this forum, but here is a link to a tweak guide that has step by step instructions for installing a new OS.

Download the regular windows 7 version, it's free, and read the section on installing windows, I have found it very useful in the past.

 

http://www.tweakguides.com/TGTC.html

 

If after correctly following the instructions in the guide for formatting, and installing windows does not work, then your problem is with hardware.

(Remember to delete both partitions, and recreate only one, for the entire drive)



#14 Dr. Bond

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Posted 15 May 2013 - 09:25 AM

Thanks for the feedback.

The first time I installed Windows 7 I had two partitions, the primary and one other. I cleared them, or so I thought and mistakenly installed the OS on the second partition. Unfortunately I discovered after the fact that there wasn't enough memory available on that partition. I read somewhere, maybe I misunderstood, that if the partition the OS is installed on is too small then the setup will automatically create a new partition. Regardless, after I booted up, my system crashed. So I ran a diagnostic and my RAM failed the test. I reinstalled the OS, this time completely wiping my primary HDD and deleting the secondary partition altogether. I now only have the one, completely wiped with Windows 7 installed. I ran the hardware diagnostics again a few times and my RAM hasn't failed again. I still suspect this may be an issue, but I'm not sure.

I installed the chip drivers as suggested above and everything ran fine for a few days. Then, Monday I believe, I plugged my USB digital microphone in and tried to record. Moments later my system crashed again, and I had difficulty getting it to boot up properly. Yesterday evening it booted up and ran for me without difficulty during which time I scanned my drivers and they're all up to date.

I looked up the manufacturer of the microphone, thinking this might be the source of my problem, and their support page posts installation instructions for Windows 7. This is plug and play device, so I expect that its drivers should've installed just fine. Just to be sure, attempting to eliminate it or single it out as the cause, I deleted the microphone from my audio devices and rebooted my system. So far so good. Tonight I'm going to plug it in and try to install it per its instructions for Windows 7.

Beyond that, and possibly replacing my RAM, I'm at a loss. If you have any thoughts, guidance or suggestions that I haven't considered then please let me know. Again, thanks for your help.


Edited by Dr. Bond, 15 May 2013 - 09:25 AM.


#15 dc3

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Posted 16 May 2013 - 01:41 PM

Let's run Memtest 86 to see if any of your RAM modules has a problem.

 

If Memte86 finds a module not working correctly you will need to determine which one it is.  To do this remove two of the modules and run the test again.  The RAM slots should be of two different colors, pull two of the same color.  If the problem doesn't recur pull those modules and repeat the process with the other two modules.  Once you find which pair has the error run each module by itself to determine which one is at fault.

 

1. Download - Pre-Compiled Bootable ISO (.zip)
2. Unzip downloaded memtest86+-....iso.zip file.
3. Inside, you'll find memtest86+-....iso file.
4. Download, and install ImgBurn: http://www.imgburn.com/
5. Insert blank CD into your CD drive.
6. Open ImgBurn, and click on Write image file to disc
7. Click on Browse for a file... icon:
8. Locate memtest86+-....iso file, and click Open button.
9. Click on ImgBurn green arrow to start burning bootable memtest86 CD:
10. Once the CD is created, boot from it, and memtest will automatically start to run.

The running program will look something like this depending on the size and number of ram modules installed:


main_menu.jpg

It's recommended to run 5-6 passes. Each pass contains very same 8 tests.

This will show the progress of the test. It can take a while. Be patient, or leave it running overnight.

testarea_cu.jpg

The most important item here is the “errors” line. If you see ANY errors, even one, most likely, you have bad RAM.


Family and loved ones will always be a priority in my daily life.  You never know when one will leave you.

 

 

 

 





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