Old 27th November 2002, 19:23   #1
Sandman2012
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Odd computer problem

I've been having comp problems for over a month now and I thought I'd ask for help here from some of you who have a good amount of comp knowlege.

A little over a month ago I purchased a Geforce4 ti4400. After about a week I started having problems with my comp freezing at various times. I tried putting my old vid card back in, but still had the same problems (I actually returned the Geforce until I can figure out what's up with my comp, so all the hardware in there now is the same as when the comp worked fine). I re-formatted the harddrive, re-installed windows, still had the same problems right off the bat, with no other programs installed except Windows (consistent problems: Sound card won't install properly, Outlook Express freezes upon loading, System Restore freezes upon loading, IE6 freezes after entering password for certain websites like Yahoo!, Civ3 freezes upon loading...in all cases hitting ctrl-alt-del to end the task, then re-starting the same program fixes the problem).

Fortunately my comp is under a great warranty for parts, so I've tried many things .I put in a new power supply. Still the same problems. I put in a new mobo. Still the same problems. A new HD. Still the same problems. WTF?!? How do the same problems arise when practically all the hardware has been replaced?!? Does anyone have any ideas what the problem could be?

Specs:

AMD Athlon 1100mhz Processor
SBlive 5.1 sound card
TNT2 vid card (AGP)
Linksys ethernet card
WindowsME
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Old 27th November 2002, 19:42   #2
Atmo
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Have you tried it with all the cards out (except video) and just one hard drive?

Thats what i'd be trying first, perhaps even dropping the fsb back to 100, and running the ram at really tame timing (3-3-3).

Have you installed the latest stable via 4in1 (assuming its a via chipset board)/sound/video drivers?

Do you know the temps of the cpu??

Lastly (even though i believe the problem is fixable) have you tried a different version of windows?
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Old 27th November 2002, 19:58   #3
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sounds like it could be your ram, but that would not explain why you hare having problems installing your sound card. Also try running windows update, there could be an update for your problem. If these all fail to fix your problem try another operatiing system. But like atmo said, try taking all the cards out and leave only your system hd in. Then one by one add all the cards back in untill you discover which card is causing the comp to crash.

First off try different ram, or try your ram in a different dimm slot.

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Old 27th November 2002, 20:14   #4
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try taking out the soundcard. the lack of drivers ***could*** be causing the other errors. i've had similar when i accidentally fried a network card, and windows wouldn't recognise it any further than "it's a network card"...

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Old 27th November 2002, 21:00   #5
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Quote:
Originally posted by Atmo
Have you tried it with all the cards out (except video) and just one hard drive?

Thats what i'd be trying first, perhaps even dropping the fsb back to 100, and running the ram at really tame timing (3-3-3).

Have you installed the latest stable via 4in1 (assuming its a via chipset board)/sound/video drivers?

Do you know the temps of the cpu??

Lastly (even though i believe the problem is fixable) have you tried a different version of windows?
Right now I'm running the comp with nothing but the vid card and the ethernet card. I'm not sure what you mean by fsb and running the RAM ( are these BIOS settings?). I have the latest AGP and INF drivers. I don't know the cpu temp, but I am running the comp with the case open. I even tried having a house fan blowing on the CPU to see if cooling was a problem. This did not work. I have not tried a different version of Windows. I plan on upgrading to XP soon, but only after I figure out what's wrong with my comp.

Quote:
Originally posted by Nofx Guy
sounds like it could be your ram, but that would not explain why you hare having problems installing your sound card. Also try running windows update, there could be an update for your problem. If these all fail to fix your problem try another operatiing system. But like atmo said, try taking all the cards out and leave only your system hd in. Then one by one add all the cards back in untill you discover which card is causing the comp to crash.

First off try different ram, or try your ram in a different dimm slot.
The new mobo I was sent had a new RAM chip in it, and I tried running the comp without the extra 128 mb of RAM I had added. Still the same problems.


Quote:
Originally posted by zootm
try taking out the soundcard. the lack of drivers ***could*** be causing the other errors. i've had similar when i accidentally fried a network card, and windows wouldn't recognise it any further than "it's a network card"...
I took out the sound card. Currently I have just re-formatted (yet again) and re-installed Windows with only the vid card and ethernet card in it. Next I will try taking out the ethernet card and see what happens.

Thanks for the responses so far guys. I will keep you posted and hopefully things will be well soon.
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Old 27th November 2002, 21:14   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by Sandman2012

Right now I'm running the comp with nothing but the vid card and the ethernet card. I'm not sure what you mean by fsb and running the RAM ( are these BIOS settings?). I have the latest AGP and INF drivers. I don't know the cpu temp, but I am running the comp with the case open. I even tried having a house fan blowing on the CPU to see if cooling was a problem. This did not work. I have not tried a different version of Windows. I plan on upgrading to XP soon, but only after I figure out what's wrong with my comp.
Well unless the hsf is on backwards, has too much (or no) thermal paste, or the cpu fan has stopped working its pretty safe to say its not a heat problem.

As for the fsb (front side bus) and ram timing adjustments, check your motherboard manual for how to change the bios (or jumper) settings.

A safe bet is to write all the settings down, then just load bios defaults and see how it goes. If it fixes it, make a few changes until the problems start happening and you'll be able to work out whats causing it. If it doesnt, just set it back to where it was originally.

If you're planning on upgrading to XP soon, see if you can beg/borrow/steal someones XP cd and just do a quick temporary install.
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Old 27th November 2002, 21:21   #7
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Thanks again Atmo. I had already tried running the BIOS with the "optimal defaults" loaded. That's how my machine is running right now. Still problems.
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Old 27th November 2002, 21:26   #8
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Is there a standard default setting??

Optimal default is usually a high performance setting (fairly agressive ram timing etc).
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Old 27th November 2002, 23:20   #9
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well.. i think now its not hardware.. if youve done all these things and your still getting errors its prolly windows.. well it could be your cpu.. but you kinda have no way of finding out..

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Old 27th November 2002, 23:42   #10
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Have you checked your drive for bad clusters? sounds to me like you have a pre-fetch problem ie not loading or freezing on loading?thats what I would figure,but a re-install should have fixed this,so if it still does it with all cards removed or preveious setup and it happened since that card ...hardware damage has occured some where...I'd suspect check your drive or it's interface/driver which is in bios I think? Just looking at what would be obvious to me, not that much help I know. Take it you did follow anti-stat procedure's? if not you could have flashed a mossfet ...
not much help but all I would figure plus most of what the other guy's say ( well I'd get there eventually)
Still reckon check your drive clusters for some reason..dunno just keep getting that thought.
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Old 28th November 2002, 08:52   #11
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I tried running the comp with the new mobo (with a new processor), the new RAM chip, and the new hd, and no cards other than the vid card (the old one that worked fine before) and still had the same problems, even after a format and clean install. I'm leaving on a business trip for a couple of weeks right after Thanksgiving, and when I get back I'm gonna see if a friend can lend me another vid card to try out the comp with that. If that doesn't work my next option is to ship the comp to Gateway's techs in South Dakota. Their Case Management department said if they can't fix the problem they're going to give me a whole new computer! Thank god for warranties. This is frustrating, but ultimately it will be fixed one way or another.

And a friend has a copy of Windows2000 for me when all is done. Yay!
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Old 28th November 2002, 09:10   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by Sandman2012
I tried running the comp with the new mobo (with a new processor), the new RAM chip, and the new hd, and no cards other than the vid card (the old one that worked fine before) and still had the same problems, even after a format and clean install.
This ones got me stumped, normally if you eliminate all other possibilities the problem shows itself, but you've eliminated everything but the vid card and windows me.

It's possible that the vid card has been damaged due to esd, but its unlikely.

Personally, if you can wait a while, i'd send it back to gateway and cross your fingers they cant fix it. Cant beat a brand new pc for free.
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Old 28th November 2002, 09:19   #13
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The problem has been starting you in the face the whole time, yet nobody seems to have noticed it...please observe:

Quote:
I started having problems with my comp freezing at various times.
Quote:
AMD Athlon 1100mhz Processor
SBlive 5.1 sound card
TNT2 vid card (AGP)
Linksys ethernet card
WindowsME
Your problem has nothing to do with hardware (assuming that the processor has adequate cooling)...I had Win ME once, and you know what it did? Crashed/froze at random intervals for no apparent reason, that's what. I recommend switching to Win XP, or if you're prejudiced against XP, then to Win 2K or at least Win 98 SE, and then see if the problem is fixed...I bet it will be.
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Old 28th November 2002, 09:25   #14
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Since sandmans pc was running fine before all this (with WinME i assume) it should run fine with me now. Especially on a fresh install.

Like i said earlier, it may be worth trying a different version of windows, but i believe this problem can be fixed.
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Old 28th November 2002, 09:29   #15
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Atmo, I am stumped as well. I'm no hacker, but I know my way around my comp's software and hardware enough to usually be able to troubleshoot problems as they arise. When I return from my trip I'm gonna try another vid card, and ship the comp to Gateway if that doesn't work. Unfortuantely, with my trip and the possibility that my comp will be gone for a while after that, I may not be here for a few weeks. Thanks again for all the suggestions.

And yes, a new comp for free would be nice.

Some1, I realize that WindowsME has certain problems, but I have had ME running smoothly on this comp for almost a year and a half, and these problems only started happening recently. Also, I would think that a clean install would have at least temporarily solved any problems I was having if it was a problem caused by WindowsME. I do plan on changing my OS soon, but I do not think it is what is causing this particular rash of problems. I may be wrong, and as I said, a friend is getting me a copy of Win2k so I will try that when I get back.
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Old 28th November 2002, 09:41   #16
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If you can't find what it is it's the power supply. Weird and strange problems like this are often the power supply. Esp if you use a nwer processor or something which takes more juice. You should have at least a 350W PSU in your system and preferably more. I have a 550W but that's just a bit of overkill.

Also look at youe IRQ settings, Windows is really bad at setting everything it can to one IRQ. In my bios theres an option to use individual IRQ's for just ISA cards, so if a lot of devices are sharing, (say IRQ 4), I set IRQ 4 to be used only for ISA cards and Windows will reassign the devices to different IRQ's. You also have to select 'Non PnP aware OS' in the BIOS. Well that's just a thought.

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Old 28th November 2002, 09:48   #17
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Normally i'd agree, but sandman already has a new power supply (420 watt antec if i remember correctly).

If it was an irq sharing problem, it should have gone away with all the cards removed.
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Old 28th November 2002, 09:51   #18
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I initially tried a new power supply (Antec TruePower 430 watt), but that was with the old hardware. It didn't fix anything, so I returned it and put the old power supply back in. Perhaps I should try again with the new hardware. Best Buy has a no-questions-asked 14-day return policy, so I can put one in and if it doesn't help, return it.

I will check the IRQ setting, though with only the vid card installed I wouldn't think it would be an issue.

[edit] Atmo keeps beating me to the replies.
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Old 28th November 2002, 10:05   #19
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have you tried updating the BIOS?

DO NOT PM ME WITH TECH SUPPORT QUESTIONS
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Old 28th November 2002, 10:06   #20
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Quote:
Originally posted by will
have you tried updating the BIOS?
I updated the BIOS on the old mobo. Didn't work. The new one came with the most recent BIOS in it already.
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Old 28th November 2002, 10:09   #21
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Try the sudden impact technique.

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Old 28th November 2002, 10:11   #22
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Quote:
Originally posted by Phily Baby
Try the sudden impact technique.
Use of a hammer or hatchet voids the warranty.

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Old 6th December 2002, 04:10   #23
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New power supply, same problems. Tomorrow I start hitting people up for their old vid cards to see if that's the problem. Then I just start hitting people.
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Old 6th December 2002, 04:32   #24
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If its not the vid card, then i cant see what the cause would be.

Everything else has been swapped out or removed.
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Old 6th December 2002, 04:34   #25
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Quote:
Originally posted by Atmo
If its not the vid card, then i cant see what the cause would be.

Everything else has been swapped out or removed.
Ghosts.
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Old 6th December 2002, 05:14   #26
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Tried the new OS yet???
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Old 6th December 2002, 05:20   #27
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Quote:
Originally posted by Some1
Tried the new OS yet???
Just got in from Denver tonight. I pick up Win2k and hopefully a vid card tomorrow.
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Old 6th December 2002, 05:26   #28
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Quote:
Originally posted by Sandman2012
Ghosts.
Attached Images
File Type: gif mappamundi.gif (7.2 KB, 163 views)

For the freedom to express myself in my own way without fear of being censored or banned.
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Old 6th December 2002, 05:30   #29
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hester, you made a pic just for me. :blushes:
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Old 6th December 2002, 05:37   #30
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Quote:
Originally posted by Sandman2012


Ghosts.
you're cursed. sorry.

i don't suck, right?
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Old 6th December 2002, 05:40   #31
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Quote:
Originally posted by Sandman2012
hester, you made a pic just for me. :blushes:
The question is, will other people get it?

"Can I play with it?
NO! You can't possibly enjoy it on as many levels as I do. The colors, children! Look at the colors!"

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Old 6th December 2002, 05:42   #32
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Quote:
Originally posted by hestermofet


The question is, will other people get it?

"Can I play with it?
NO! You can't possibly enjoy it on as many levels as I do. The colors, children! Look at the colors!"
I didn't

i don't suck, right?
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Old 6th December 2002, 05:44   #33
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Quote:
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"Can I play with it?
NO! You can't possibly enjoy it on as many levels as I do. The colors, children! Look at the colors!"
"Glaven."
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