PC locking up, tried a bunch of things

This is a discussion on PC locking up, tried a bunch of things within the Tech Board forums, part of the Community Boards category; I haven't posted here in awhile nor have I been in the technology loop for a few years as I ...

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    PC locking up, tried a bunch of things

    I haven't posted here in awhile nor have I been in the technology loop for a few years as I tend to build nice systems that last years so I don't need to pay attention to what's powerful and fast.

    Anyhow, I don't know how to cover all the important points without being long-winded so if you want a log file of some sort please ask me which one so I can produce it for you.

    My problem is, my computer randomly freezes on full-screen videos and World of Warcraft(the only game I play right now), and when I say it freezes on those, I mean instantly. In wow, I don't even see the log-in screen(or if I do, it freezes before loading the game world). The picture goes scrambled and the sound starts skipping really fast. This lasts for a few seconds then the sound stops and I have to force a shut down. As well, the next 2-3 start ups, windows wont load, but it will by about the 4th or 5th try after a lock up.

    I just got done solving why my computer took so long to boot into Windows(we're talking 15 minutes literally, or longer) and that was from a hard drive detected by BIOS but not listed in the administrative area of storage devices and hard drives. So I unplugged that drive and at least now Windows boots fast again so I can keep trying different problems.

    I've reinstalled Windows 64 7 Ultimate about 3-4 times in the past week or so to no avail. I attribute this to not being able to boot from the CD. I'm using an illegitimate copy for now cause I plan on buying Windows when I build a new computer soon anyways. But that's not that point.

    So I found an article that tells you how to get around this by rearranging the boot folders and files on the CD you're going to burn before you burn it, but it was very vague and I couldn't figure it out(have 6 DVDs on hand atm).

    I can browse windows fine, nothing is overclocked and the side is off of my case. Taking a small 200mm house fan for cooling yourself off and sticking it right on the video card/cpu area doesn't seem to help.

    A friend that runs a computer repair shop says it could be a root kit or MBR nuisance but since I don't know how to get these CDs to boot after post so I can deleted the partition then format the fresh one before install, I'm not sure if that's it or not. I also don't have another computer at the house(despite having 3 total) to put my video card in or use a video card from one of those, same for ram.

    Core 2 Duo e8500 3.16ghz
    4gb DDR2 1600 Dominator
    1gb 420 stream EVGA nVidia GTX 280
    320 Serial ATA 2.0 x 2, 500gb MyBook external
    EVGA 780i 3x SLI motherboard.

    If you need any documents or logs or such please let me know. Although my gut tells me something is either cooked on the board(I did have it overclocked to 4ghz for awhile, but bumped it down to 3.5 when I started playing wow), or I have a bad sata controller.

    At the same time, it'll go PMS on me and let me play till early hours of the morning for a couple days, then go back to locking up again.

    There are no BSODs or error messages, just straight up rainbow colored lock ups with frozen sound.
    The world is waiting. I must leave you now.

  2. #2
    C++まいる!Cをこわせ! Elysia's Avatar
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    On how to boot Windows from a DVD, I'd recommend you boot from a USB drive. Simple, fast and easy.
    Simply have a Windows source available and download Microsoft's USB tool.
    You could try underclocking various components, such as CPU and GPU.
    Quote Originally Posted by Adak View Post
    io.h certainly IS included in some modern compilers. It is no longer part of the standard for C, but it is nevertheless, included in the very latest Pelles C versions.
    Quote Originally Posted by Salem View Post
    You mean it's included as a crutch to help ancient programmers limp along without them having to relearn too much.

    Outside of your DOS world, your header file is meaningless.

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    > Microsoft's USB tool
    That's the one that requires the Windows ISO as well as the USB tool, correct? Can I use Western Digital's MyBook's? I don't think I have a thumb drive that large(no use really!).

    I'll toy with underclocking as well.
    The world is waiting. I must leave you now.

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    C++まいる!Cをこわせ! Elysia's Avatar
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    It is possible it requires an ISO; I do not recall. Nevertheless, it is easy to create an ISO with a number of freeware programs. So that shouldn't be a problem.
    Any usb drive large enough to house the size of the Windows installation (and given that you can boot from usb drives too, of course) should do the trick.
    And you know, a usb drive large enough to hold Windows installation will probably not even cost $10.
    Quote Originally Posted by Adak View Post
    io.h certainly IS included in some modern compilers. It is no longer part of the standard for C, but it is nevertheless, included in the very latest Pelles C versions.
    Quote Originally Posted by Salem View Post
    You mean it's included as a crutch to help ancient programmers limp along without them having to relearn too much.

    Outside of your DOS world, your header file is meaningless.

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    Yeah the ISO issue isn't a problem. I'll try with the MyBook first, then if that don't work I'll get a thumb drive tomorrow. Thanks for the tip, I didn't know 8s came down so far. ^_^
    The world is waiting. I must leave you now.

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    Captain Crash brewbuck's Avatar
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    Not an uncommon problem with those cards. It can sometimes be solved by removing the video card and baking it in the oven at around 375 degrees for 10 minutes.

    No, I'm not kidding.
    Code:
    //try
    //{
    	if (a) do { f( b); } while(1);
    	else   do { f(!b); } while(1);
    //}

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    Quote Originally Posted by brewbuck View Post
    Not an uncommon problem with those cards. It can sometimes be solved by removing the video card and baking it in the oven at around 375 degrees for 10 minutes.

    No, I'm not kidding.
    Hahaha. It does seem very video oriented. I'll take it to computer doctors tomorrow and see if Jeff and I can strip it down and jerry-rig it. LOL.
    The world is waiting. I must leave you now.

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    Ok some questions...

    Do the video and audio lock up at the same instant?
    If so... it's most likely to be bad memory.
    If there's a time difference it might be the video card is shot.

    Do you get any beeps during startup?
    You can often look up the beep codes on the web and decipher them to know what's wrong.

    As for booting the DVDs ... how did you make them?
    If you burned the ISO with the Windows tool or Magic Iso they should boot.
    If not it's likely you have the ISO on your disk as a static file.
    Also note that most motherboards now support popup boot menus (usually on F5 or F8) during POST so you can select.

    And no... don't be putting your video card in the oven... That's supposed to fix bad solder on the surface mount chips... more often than not it has the exact opposite effect... melting away good solder. When it doesn't destroy the chips that is.

    Try different memory...
    Try a different video card.
    Try a different power supply.

    It's probably something fairly simple...

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    Ok some questions...

    >> Do the video and audio lock up at the same instant?
    Yes.

    > If so... it's most likely to be bad memory.
    All 4 sticks are always showing up.

    >If there's a time difference it might be the video card is shot.
    Once in awhile, when it freezes, I can budge my mouse about 4 times before it ultimate locks up for good, but it's like stop motion animation(WHILE the sound goes wonky). This isn't as often however.

    > Do you get any beeps during startup?
    Nope.

    > You can often look up the beep codes on the web and decipher them to know what's wrong.
    Yep know about that.

    >As for booting the DVDs ... how did you make them?
    Download ISO, extract ISO with Magic ISO to desktop folder(Magic ISO freeware only allows 300mb), burn to CD everything untouched with Windows.

    > If you burned the ISO with the Windows tool or Magic Iso they should boot.
    I set my bios up, configured to make it think the only thing it has is a CD-ROM(everything else is disabled). I get invalid system disk with the CD in.

    > Also note that most motherboards now support popup boot menus (usually on F5 or F8) during POST so you can select.
    Same as above.

    > Try different memory...
    have, but DOA from years ago

    > Try a different video card.
    have but wrong PCI version.

    > Try a different power supply.
    Have but super old and only like 350w(mine's 850)

    > It's probably something fairly simple...
    Most likely, but not simple finding it when you dont have parts to swap out.
    The world is waiting. I must leave you now.

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    Registered User whiteflags's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by brewbuck View Post
    Not an uncommon problem with those cards. It can sometimes be solved by removing the video card and baking it in the oven at around 375 degrees for 10 minutes.

    No, I'm not kidding.
    It's... not surprisingly hard to find something to baste silicon in...

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    Right now playing wow flawlessly. I don't get it.
    The world is waiting. I must leave you now.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shadow View Post
    Ok some questions...

    >> Do the video and audio lock up at the same instant?
    Yes.

    > If so... it's most likely to be bad memory.
    All 4 sticks are always showing up.
    That unfortunately doesn't mean they work properly. The POST memory test is really just aimed at sizing the memory, it's not a thorough diagnostic. If memory serves it only checks ever 1024th cell... The windows DVD has a memory test diagnostic on it that is quite exhaustive, give that a try for about 8 to 10 hours... Also make sure your memory is set to defaults ("Auto" in most BIOS settings) while diagnosing problems; you can always get fancy later.

    >If there's a time difference it might be the video card is shot.
    Once in awhile, when it freezes, I can budge my mouse about 4 times before it ultimate locks up for good, but it's like stop motion animation(WHILE the sound goes wonky). This isn't as often however.
    This sounds more like memory than anything else.

    A video lockup would have your screen fill with garbage but you're program might still be running, since it doesn't execute in video space... sounds more and more like main memory to me.

    >As for booting the DVDs ... how did you make them?
    Download ISO, extract ISO with Magic ISO to desktop folder(Magic ISO freeware only allows 300mb), burn to CD everything untouched with Windows.
    When making the DVD are you making a "Bootable DVD"? You can't just write the data out, you need to include a boot loader or it's just another data disk... Burn Aware does a nice job with this...

    > If you burned the ISO with the Windows tool or Magic Iso they should boot.
    I set my bios up, configured to make it think the only thing it has is a CD-ROM(everything else is disabled). I get invalid system disk with the CD in.

    > Also note that most motherboards now support popup boot menus (usually on F5 or F8) during POST so you can select.
    Same as above.
    That's not going to work. The DVD's boot loader starts the setup process and copies the files to your hard disk... no HD, no Setup.

    Make a bootable DVD... loader at 17C0 for 8 sectors, no emulation, then use your system's boot menu to load it with all drives and hardware active.


    > Try different memory...
    have, but DOA from years ago

    > Try a different video card.
    have but wrong PCI version.

    > Try a different power supply.
    Have but super old and only like 350w(mine's 850)

    > It's probably something fairly simple...
    Most likely, but not simple finding it when you dont have parts to swap out.
    Get them. Seriously, you can get a dirt cheap PCIE card for under 20 bucks, a gig of ram for 15, etc. just for testing.

    One thing you can do right now is run MemTest it with just 1 blade of memory... try each one in turn. Odds are 3 will pass the test, one won't.

    What happens if you are not careful is that you fall into a pattern of "Functional Insanity"...
    Trying the same failed things over and over again, expecting a different result.

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    Thanks for all the help, approaching sleepy time for this guy. I will try all your suggestions tomorrow and if I turn up one that solves it I'll be sure to provide thanks to the person who suggested it.

    Thanks.
    The world is waiting. I must leave you now.

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    C++まいる!Cをこわせ! Elysia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CommonTater View Post
    This sounds more like memory than anything else.
    From my experience, bad memory usually results in a BSOD.
    Quote Originally Posted by Adak View Post
    io.h certainly IS included in some modern compilers. It is no longer part of the standard for C, but it is nevertheless, included in the very latest Pelles C versions.
    Quote Originally Posted by Salem View Post
    You mean it's included as a crutch to help ancient programmers limp along without them having to relearn too much.

    Outside of your DOS world, your header file is meaningless.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Elysia View Post
    From my experience, bad memory usually results in a BSOD.
    Not always... If the bad cells are in a section used by kernel code, it can and does just haul off and crash the system.
    After the kernel is running, bad memory usually causes an error that is detected and can lead to a BSOD.

    Trust me on this one... the kernel developers are counting on good memory as much as anyone else.

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