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[Tech Support] My computer hitches ...

ElvenshaeElvenshae Registered User regular
... and then restarts.

Okay - so here's what's happening.

I start up my computer (Windows Vista 64-bit), and it will run fine for an indeterminate amount of time - sometimes 5 minutes, sometimes an hour or two. I have not noticed any correlation between this time period and what I am doing on it - sometimes it'll last for an hour while playing D&D Online, sometimes it'll start nigh-immediately. Anyway, after this initial period, it will begin to "hitch."

Everything will momentarily pause - the cursor, the game I'm playing, the web-browser, my Excel spreadsheets, whatever - for a second or two. If there is sound playing, it will replay the last second or so of sound in loop until the computer resumes. Sometimes, it will last longer, but the usual "hitch" is about a second. Then, my computer will resume working.

My computer will hitch repeatedly for an indeterminate amount of time - sometimes, five minutes, sometimes, an hour; again, no observed correlation yet between what I am doing and how long this will go on (e.g., surfing the PA forums the other day, it shut down almost immediately; playing D&D Online the other day, it let me complete a newbie quest [so about 30 minutes of playtime]). At some point, my computer resets as if I had pressed the reset button - back to black screen, power goes off, power comes back on, Windows reboots, etc.

When Windows comes back up, I will occasionally get a message stating that there was an error in the video card driver (recently installed a new Nvidia GTX 460, after my 8800 from several years ago started to go). I had recently updated to the August 9 release (280.26), and thought that maybe the problem was there. So, over a couple days (preparing for a new baby arriving in the middle of next month, so my troubleshooting has been slightly protracted), I variously rebooted into safe mode, uninstalled the current drivers, restarted in safe mode, installed the new drivers, ran a test (still resetting), and tried again.

Two days ago, I repeated the safe-mode process, except I reverted to the June release of the drivers (275.33). Last night, I logged into D&D Online as a test, and got about 10 minutes of standing around in a tavern before the hitching started, and about 30 minutes total before my computer reset. So, the previous drivers didn't solve the problem.

My case temps vary between the high-20s and the mid-30s, so I don't think temperature's a problem, but I am not ruling it out. The video card's got its own fan, obviously, which I have tried setting both to "auto" speed and "80% of Max" speed without measurable changes.

The hitching may have started before I installed my new video card; I can't actually recall when it started, but it has been getting worse; only recently has it started rebooting my computer.

So, PA Forums, what should my next troubleshooting step be?


For what it's worth, I've run full-scans from both Norton 360 (which I have up-and-running all the time) and Malwarebytes (which I only run as-needed), and both have come up negative. (Norton likes to find tracking cookiees.)

Elvenshae on


  • EvilMonkeyEvilMonkey Registered User regular
    edited August 2011
    Found an interesting thread on tomshardware (although with Win7x64 instead). Unfortunately the only answer I saw while skimming was to RTM the 460.

    Edit: Possibly multiple threads where the solution was to replace the 460, didn't verify if the threads were created by the same person/people.

    EvilMonkey on
    [PSN: SciencePiggy] [Steam]
  • ElvenshaeElvenshae Registered User regular
    edited August 2011
    Thanks for that link, EM.

    I went ahead and started the tech support process with EVGA; we'll see where that gets me.

    Elvenshae on
  • QuantuxQuantux Registered User regular
    Make sure to check the event log for disk errors, bad sectors/blocks/whatever can cause this exact issue. Windows goes to read/write from the disk and everything else goes to halt waiting on it. Also, check CPU temps. Your CPU can still die a horrible flaming death while the ambient case temp hovers at room temperature.

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  • ElvenshaeElvenshae Registered User regular
    Sorry - CPU temps are listed right next to the case temps, and are never more than a few degrees different.

    The two critical errors in the past 7 days - both related to "DriverFrameworks-UserMode" in the System log. There are 15 Errors in the last hour, most of which (12) are from "Perflib."

    They all seem to coincide with turning on ym computer. Their descriptions are:

    None of that really means anything to me. Similar errors appear to have happened in the past few days, as well - but, again, they all seem to coincide with start-up times.

  • MetallikatMetallikat Registered User regular
    I'd second Quantux's suggestion. Do you have a spare (good condition) hard-drive you could swap in to test?

  • joshgotrojoshgotro Bloat much? Registered User regular
    Having an issue with my Windows Vista laptop dropping from my WEP wireless connection at least three times a day. Is there a way to get Diagnose and Repair from the Tasks list in Network and Sharing shortcut to the desktop?

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  • ElvenshaeElvenshae Registered User regular
    edited August 2011
    Metallikat wrote:
    I'd second Quantux's suggestion. Do you have a spare (good condition) hard-drive you could swap in to test?

    Unfortunately, no. [EDIT: Unfortunately, I also do not have a spare tower / rig to swap the card into to help that half of the testing.]

    Memtest and the hard disk check both turn out normal.

    EVGA's tech support indicated that it might be an issue with a conflict between the normal audio drivers and the HD audio drivers (related to the HDMI output), so they had me disable that. That has resulted in fewer crashes, but it still hitches, so it's not a complete solution.

    Elvenshae on
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