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Windows Crashing - Hardware or Software?

By balltheheed ·
Hi,
Im having a real nightmare at the minute, and I just cant fix the problem myself (ive tried for months). Hopefully someone on here can assist!?

Hardware profile:
Intel Pentium D processor 3GHZ
AZUS P5ND2 737 SLI Motherboard
1 gig ram and a few other bits and pieces that I can find out if necessary.

Software profile:
Windows XP with SP2 pre installed.

Basically ever since I built the PC it has kept on crashing. When I had Zone Alarm Internet Security Suite, it would crash once it had downloaded an update, so I got McAfee.

Then once I installed McAfee it would crash on the black Windows XP loading screen (first after bios). So I uninstalled that.

However the 2nd problem still occurs now and again, requiring a system restore, even though nothing new has been installed.

I dont know if its a problem with the hardware (it is all on auto settings, temps look fine etc) or a software problem with XP (or a driver) crashing when Windows tries to load.

Can anyone help or has anyone ever had a similar problem and managed to resolve it??

Thanks in anticipation,
Nick.

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by balltheheed In reply to Windows Crashing - Hardwa ...

PS I have a SATA primary drive (for XP) and a normal serial drive for my docs etc - if thats any help?

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by Reb00t In reply to Windows Crashing - Hardwa ...

If you're using a powerstrip, change it out or use another circuit all together to plug the machine into to test it. Sometimes some machines just don't get clean power and it ends up corrupting their registry and other vital files.

Also, try swapping your SATA drive and other IDE drives.

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by balltheheed In reply to

Poster rated this answer.
Hi,
Thanks for the comments, I'll try swapping the hard drives at a later point in time ( I have over 200gb of stuff to back up first). I have however changed the the power circuit but that didn't help.

Thanks,
Nick.

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by AmberHaze In reply to Windows Crashing - Hardwa ...

Since it sounds like this is a built system rather than a commercial one, I have two questions for you, What size Power supply did you put in it, and how much cooling do you have? (and is there any channeling to keep processor heat away from memory, video, and HD?

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by balltheheed In reply to

Hi,
That is correct, I build it myself. The power supply is 450w and I have the normal CPU fan, the power supply fan and also a case fan (on the side) which seems to shift the heat. I guess that channeling is created from the rear and side fans?

However i'm not sure the fault is to do with heat as the problem normally occurs when im booting up for the first time (i.e when i get back in from work)?

Thanks,
Nick

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by Nivek R. In reply to Windows Crashing - Hardwa ...

Nick, I'm sure you've tried all of this, but I didn't see it posted and saw your question still unresolved. I recently purchased different Asus motherboard, and I know it came with some diagnostic utilities that I loaded into Windows. Don't know if it told me much more than temp, etc, but if you're on auto settings, all temps look fine, and all of your hardware is compatible, you may be looking at a software issue. If you only have one DIMM, or your DIMMs came as a set, and your BIOS can see the RAM, that would likely be ruled out. If you have the latest (compatible) firmware for your SATA drive, it should be OK, too. I'm assuming you've booted into safe mode? If you can operate in safe mode without crashing, the problem's got to be with a driver or the software. I'd tend to lean that way anyway since your computer acted differently with ZoneAlarm than it does with McAfee.

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by balltheheed In reply to

Hi,
Yeah im starting to think that it's probably software too (although its just a gut feeling). I havent updated the firmware for my hard drive (i'll get that now) and I havent updated the bios or other drivers as yet (to keep changes to a minimum) but i'll try them all later.

I tried something a friend told me - booting with SOS (msconfig -> boot.ini -> /SOS) turned on (it removes the XP splash screen where mine crashes) but nothing happens I just see my XP version number and it hangs.

Safe mode works every time. So does that lean more towards drivers?

Thanks,
Nick.

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by purple713 In reply to Windows Crashing - Hardwa ...

I would start at the event viewer and check the logs to see what the error messages are. Then I would change the startup and recovery options (Right click on My Computer, Properties, and go to the Advance Tab, and select settings under start recovery). Uncheck Automatically restart. There is a possibility that you are getting a blue screen but not getting a chance to see if before the system reboots. If you get a blue screen, email me back and I will look it up for you.

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by balltheheed In reply to

Hi,
Im sorry to say this but Event Viewer means nothing to me. I can load it and look through the errors etc but I just dont know what to look for.

The computer doesn't shut down. It just hangs at the first XP (black) screen and the loading bar just keeps going round. Like I said above I managed to turn the screen off to see if it stops at a particular driver etc but I dont even think it gets that far?

I have also tried to simulate "Safe Mode" by removing all check boxes in the System Configuration Utility (msconfig), and it still refuses to load. Is there anytihng that I can't turn off from there that wouldn't get loaded in Safe Mode?

Thanks,
Nick.

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by balltheheed In reply to Windows Crashing - Hardwa ...

I don't know if this is counting my chickens but...

I have just installed the latest chipset drivers from the ASUS website and the computer went again. So I booted up in safe mode and decided to install all the other individual drivers I have managed to get my hands on: I started with the graphics card driver and hey presto it's back.

The motherboad box states "NVIDEA nForce 4 SLI Intel Edition Chipset" and the graphics card is a SPARKLE NVIDEA GeForce 6 (6600)

Could there be a conflict there? I dont actually know if it's fixed as i'll have to wait for the intermittent fault, but fingers crossed!

If the problem is fixed I'd just like to thank everyone for their help.

Nick.

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