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Thread: Problems with my system - not quite sure what's wrong




  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Posts
    23

    Default Problems with my system - not quite sure what's wrong

    This problem started as an annoyance, and quickly got worse. One day, games started running much slower on my computer. The specs were:

    Mobo: Asus A78NX Deluxe Rev. 2.0 BIOS
    CPU: AMD Barton 2500+
    RAM: 1 gig (512 PC 2100 and 512 PC 2700)
    Video Card: G-Force ti4600 Video card
    Hard Drive: 80 gig Seagate IDE
    OS: Windows 2000 Professional

    In all cases with City of Heroes, Everquest, and Star Wars Galaxies, as soon as the in game graphics started to come up, there was dramatic slowdown to various degrees, depending on how graphic intensive the game was. As a side test, I tried Unreal Tournament 2004 without connect to the internet and found that it ran very slow no matter how low I turned the settings down This was a change from when I ran it with all the settings turned up as high as possible with little problems. At this point, my computer was fine otherwise as I could download music and surf the net with no problems.

    I started trying to fix the problem myself. I downloaded a tool that benchmarked most everything on my computer and the figures it gave me back told me that all the components on my system tested where they should have. I did a complete hard drive scan at the highest detection settings with Avant Anti-Virus and it found nothing. I defragged my hard drive with Diskkeeper 8 as much as possible. I tried several other free scans from anti-virus programs on the net and they found nothing either. I run Ad-Aware 6.0 and Spybot S&D, both updated to current signatures near daily so I know spyware wasn't the problem. None of these things made a difference.

    I began replacing things. I started with going from Windows 2000 Professional, to Windows XP. The install went well but didn't fix the problem. I flashed the BIOS, and installed an AMD Barton 3200+ CPU, 1 gig of Kingston PC3200 RAM, and 2 80 gig Seagate SATA hard drives. These seemed to work well but I still had the same problems. Things started going downhill from there.

    As an attempt at a solution, I tried reinstalling Windows XP. It wouldn't work. I removed the IDE hard drive and installed on just the SATA hard drives with no luck. I tried installing with just the SATA hard drives with no luck. I flashed the BIOS again with no luck. I tried installing Windows 2k Pro again and that didn't work either. In all cases, I can format my hard drives however I want but, nothing be written to them after they are done. At the point where Windows is supposed to write files to the hard drive to continue on with the windows install, it does nothing. It then tells me on reboot that the NTLDR file is missing which I assume is the first file Windows needs to work.

    I'm unsure as to what I want to do next. Without an OS, I have no access to many diagnostic tools that might help. I'd have no problems replacing components but as I still don't know the cause of this problem, I have no idea where to start. At this point, I don't have the money to make an entirely new system and I'd like to get some mileage out of the parts that I recently purchased as well. Any help is appreciated.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Winnipeg, Canada
    Posts
    848

    Default Re: Problems with my system - not quite sure what's wrong

    It sounds like a ram problem. Run memtest86+ on it for a few hours one stick at a time. What psu do you have?
    athlon xp-m@2456mhz(12x204)
    tt aquariusII liquid cooled/ arctic silver ceramique
    asus a7n8xe-dlx
    thermaltake xaserIII lanfire
    bfg 6800gt
    seagate sataII 250gb/seagate 7200rpm 160gb ide
    samsung dvdrw
    2x1024 kingston hyper-x pc3200/ windows xp pro sp3
    logitech mx518/ logitech wingman rumble
    2x samsung 955df 19"/ canon i960
    creative x-fi fatal1ty 64mb/ altec lansing 251-5.1
    mushkin 550w

    opteron 146 @ 2850 (10x285)
    DFI infinity nf4 ultra
    thermaltake tsunami dream -black
    seagate sataII 500gb
    evga 8600gt oc ssc edition
    samsung sata dvd-rw
    2x1024 ocz black
    logitech ifeel/ nec accusync 75f
    ocz fatal1ty 550w

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Posts
    23

    Default Re: Problems with my system - not quite sure what's wrong

    Thanks for the suggestion Maximus. I tested my memory and stopped memtest after about 200,000 errors from what looked like addresses on both sticks of RAM. At any rate, when I replaced the memory with what was in my box before and ran it again, memtest didn't even twitch. WinXP looks like it's running well now and the SATA hard drives are good to go.

    Now, I'm back to where I started. Most things graphic intensive will slow down my box to a great degree. This problem started spontaneously. I didn't replace or change parts in my system but rather, I shut it down when I went on vacation and when I came back, this problem developed. Are there similiar diagnostic tools for other parts of my system? It seems like my graphics card is the likely suspect although I have a friend who believes my mobo may be the problem. Whichever part is the problem, I don't have the funds to replace everything and I'd like to go part by part.

    Once again, any help is appreciated.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    1,525

    Default Re: Problems with my system - not quite sure what's wrong

    Put the PC3200 back in and raise the memory voltage to 2.8v (you should never mix memory in an nForce mainboard) plus have you checked for viri or trojans?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Posts
    23

    Default Re: Problems with my system - not quite sure what's wrong

    When the initial problems started, I had Avast Antivirus running and it never found anything. I have no idea how good it is but it was free, came with good ratings on a couple review sites, and seemed to work well. I also did a scan with an online virus scanner from Norton and maybe one other with no results. I'm trying to get my hands on an antivirus program (probably Symantec) from my job since that I can get for free too.

    I will try changing the voltage on my memory either tonight or tomorrow. Thanks for the suggestion, Wayout.

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