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Vista freezing problem

NightslyrNightslyr Registered User regular
Okay, this is getting annoying.

I've had a Vista Business system for about 8 months now. This is the same system that I've bitched about in the employment thread months ago. Long story short: my XP system shat the bed, so I payed around $400 to have it rebuilt. Unfortunately, I had my coworkers build the thing before I knew the depths of their incompetence (I naively thought that they'd do better work building a new system instead of trying to troubleshoot and repair a used system). So, the thing has never worked right from day 1. I've had BSODs from the beginning. I bought an additional fan, as I thought the problem was it overheating, but that wasn't the case as the BSODs continued.

Now, instead of BSODs, I'm getting frequent freezes. I only have 30 minutes or so of useful time before it freezes completely. I don't think it's a virus, as I scan my system fairly regularity. I also don't think it's a power supply problem. I'm thinking it's either a hardware problem or that one of the BSODs fucked Vista up severely.

Is there anything I can do/check before going for a complete reinstall of the OS? Is there a way to check hardware issues without cracking the machine open?

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Posts

  • tracertongtracertong Registered User
    edited October 2007
    Your memory is fucked. This Im 99% sure of.

    tracertong on
  • jlrxjlrx Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    Nightslyr wrote: »
    Okay, this is getting annoying.

    I've had a Vista Business system for about 8 months now. This is the same system that I've bitched about in the employment thread months ago. Long story short: my XP system shat the bed, so I payed around $400 to have it rebuilt. Unfortunately, I had my coworkers build the thing before I knew the depths of their incompetence (I naively thought that they'd do better work building a new system instead of trying to troubleshoot and repair a used system). So, the thing has never worked right from day 1. I've had BSODs from the beginning. I bought an additional fan, as I thought the problem was it overheating, but that wasn't the case as the BSODs continued.

    Now, instead of BSODs, I'm getting frequent freezes. I only have 30 minutes or so of useful time before it freezes completely. I don't think it's a virus, as I scan my system fairly regularity. I also don't think it's a power supply problem. I'm thinking it's either a hardware problem or that one of the BSODs fucked Vista up severely.

    Is there anything I can do/check before going for a complete reinstall of the OS? Is there a way to check hardware issues without cracking the machine open?

    If you want troubleshooting help from those of us who are technically inclined, I really suggest you give some computer specifications, ram (amount+speed) video card, motherboard, processor, hard drives, all additional cards that are plugged into the system, and software (any AV software?)

    jlrx on
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • NightslyrNightslyr Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    tracertong wrote: »
    Your memory is fucked. This Im 99% sure of.

    One of my coworkers did mention something about my RAM possibly being the wrong kind of RAM, whatever that means. I'm also weary about it being a rogue process eating my CPU. That's what killed my XP system -- there was a rogue Windows process which kept using all my CPU (I think it was a svchost process) that I couldn't fix. First thing tomorrow I'm going to watch the task manager to see if something similar is happening.

    Nightslyr on
    PSN/XBL/Nintendo/Origin/Steam: Nightslyr 3DS: 1607-1682-2948
    Switch: SW-3515-0057-3813 FF XIV: Q'vehn Tia
  • jlrxjlrx Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    Nightslyr wrote: »
    tracertong wrote: »
    Your memory is fucked. This Im 99% sure of.

    One of my coworkers did mention something about my RAM possibly being the wrong kind of RAM, whatever that means. I'm also weary about it being a rogue process eating my CPU. That's what killed my XP system -- there was a rogue Windows process which kept using all my CPU (I think it was a svchost process) that I couldn't fix. First thing tomorrow I'm going to watch the task manager to see if something similar is happening.

    NEED DATA, give me data, you cant get past the POST if you dont have the "correct" ram.

    jlrx on
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • NightslyrNightslyr Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    jlrx wrote: »
    Nightslyr wrote: »
    Okay, this is getting annoying.

    I've had a Vista Business system for about 8 months now. This is the same system that I've bitched about in the employment thread months ago. Long story short: my XP system shat the bed, so I payed around $400 to have it rebuilt. Unfortunately, I had my coworkers build the thing before I knew the depths of their incompetence (I naively thought that they'd do better work building a new system instead of trying to troubleshoot and repair a used system). So, the thing has never worked right from day 1. I've had BSODs from the beginning. I bought an additional fan, as I thought the problem was it overheating, but that wasn't the case as the BSODs continued.

    Now, instead of BSODs, I'm getting frequent freezes. I only have 30 minutes or so of useful time before it freezes completely. I don't think it's a virus, as I scan my system fairly regularity. I also don't think it's a power supply problem. I'm thinking it's either a hardware problem or that one of the BSODs fucked Vista up severely.

    Is there anything I can do/check before going for a complete reinstall of the OS? Is there a way to check hardware issues without cracking the machine open?

    If you want troubleshooting help from those of us who are technically inclined, I really suggest you give some computer specifications, ram (amount+speed) video card, motherboard, processor, hard drives, all additional cards that are plugged into the system, and software (any AV software?)


    I'll be able to give an in-depth list tomorrow morning - I'm more or less stuck in bed at the moment, writing these posts on my PS3. Here's what I can list off the top of my head:

    CPU - Athlon 64 dual core 5000+
    Graphics Card - EVGA GeForce 8600GT
    RAM - 2GB, dunno the speed at the moment
    Motherboard - a Biostar (I'll get the details tomorrow morning)
    Antivirus - Avast!, which is up-to-date

    Nightslyr on
    PSN/XBL/Nintendo/Origin/Steam: Nightslyr 3DS: 1607-1682-2948
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  • jlrxjlrx Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    thats the answer right there, the PS3 is enimating hazardous radiation and destroying your PC slowly, as well as other aspects of your physical health. burn it....

    on another note, start looking for a bios update first and foremost, have all mobo settings at default, have you tried a fresh install of vista at any time since you received this system?

    jlrx on
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • victor_c26victor_c26 Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    Also, boot Memtest off a bootable CD and let it run for a while, and the entire night if you can.

    Memtest tests for faulty/dying RAM.

    victor_c26 on
    It's been so long since I've posted here, I've removed my signature since most of what I had here were broken links. Shows over, you can carry on to the next post.
  • CronusCronus Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    victor_c26 wrote: »
    Also, boot Memtest off a bootable CD and let it run for a while, and the entire night if you can.

    Memtest tests for faulty/dying RAM.

    It does sound like a memory problem. Vista does have a handy built in memory checking utility that you can load on bootup. An even quicker way to check would be remove one stick of RAM and see if you still get the problems and if so swap. However if your friend built the system as poorly as it sounds you may only have one stick in there to begin with.

    It also sounds like the video card is either over heating or seated incorrectly. The memory could also be seated incorrectly.

    Give the above a try and then report back and we can go from there.

    Cronus on
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    "Read twice, post once. It's almost like 'measure twice, cut once' only with reading." - MetaverseNomad
  • NightslyrNightslyr Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    Unfortunately, I don't have the Vista CD. My coworkers are idiots -- they ran out of XP licenses, so they used a Vista Business license for my computer. I believe they used the disk on someone else's computer as well, as I was never given the CD.

    I have run the RAM test (twice). Vista itself suggested it to me after a couple of my BSOD crashes. It didn't detect any errors.

    I ran Avast! overnight in safe mode. No freezes, and it didn't detect any viruses.

    I'm looking at the running processes in task manager right now, and everything looks fine. CPU usage fluctuates between 2% - 6% and physical memory is between 34% and 35%.

    For the curious, the last program I installed was EVEmon, and I doubt that would cause such issues.

    I've looked in the device manager, but I can't find anything that will give me details on the motherboard or RAM. Is there another place to find this info? And, of course, they never gave me any of the documentation or anything. They never to to our customers, either.

    Is there a program I could download that would give me CPU and/or video card heat info? Or info on the RAM and motherboard? Should I still look for a bios update? I'm assuming mobo = motherboard.

    Nightslyr on
    PSN/XBL/Nintendo/Origin/Steam: Nightslyr 3DS: 1607-1682-2948
    Switch: SW-3515-0057-3813 FF XIV: Q'vehn Tia
  • NightslyrNightslyr Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    Sorry for the double-post, but it looks like the freezing problem may be due to Avast! Everything was working fine until a few minutes ago. Thankfully I still had the task manager open, so I could see that the Avast antivirus service spiked to 90% CPU usage. I waited a few minutes, but it didn't clear itself. Thankfully, this was the first time I was able to use my mouse (probably because the task manager was open), so I was able to end the process. Doing that ended the freeze.

    So...I should probably switch to AVG, huh?

    Nightslyr on
    PSN/XBL/Nintendo/Origin/Steam: Nightslyr 3DS: 1607-1682-2948
    Switch: SW-3515-0057-3813 FF XIV: Q'vehn Tia
  • acidlacedpenguinacidlacedpenguin Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    in during suggestion to go without AV software, instead using UAC and BitDefender with windows firewall.

    acidlacedpenguin on
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  • jlrxjlrx Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    DO NOT GO WITHOUT AV SOFTWARE!

    trend micro pccillian 2007 - running for 6 months no problems (vista ultimate) go for that, or get rid of vista

    jlrx on
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • jonxpjonxp [E] PC Security Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    jlrx wrote: »
    DO NOT GO WITHOUT AV SOFTWARE!

    trend micro pccillian 2007 - running for 6 months no problems (vista ultimate) go for that, or get rid of vista

    Why would he get rid of Vista if the AV is the problem?

    "Uhoh! The lockmaker made a lock that doesn't fit my house right! Let's buy a new house then."

    jonxp on
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  • jlrxjlrx Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    jonxp wrote: »
    jlrx wrote: »
    DO NOT GO WITHOUT AV SOFTWARE!

    trend micro pccillian 2007 - running for 6 months no problems (vista ultimate) go for that, or get rid of vista

    Why would he get rid of Vista if the AV is the problem?

    "Uhoh! The lockmaker made a lock that doesn't fit my house right! Let's buy a new house then."

    I meant it would be better to downgrade to XP again as opposed to go without AV software - not having AV is NOT a good idea at any time no matter what.

    jlrx on
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • RandomEngyRandomEngy Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    That's false. After running with anti-virus for years and years without it ever finding anything (or having any virus symptoms), I feel comfortable enough in my computing practices to run without it.

    RandomEngy on
    Profile -> Signature Settings -> Hide signatures always. Then you don't have to read this worthless text anymore.
  • jlrxjlrx Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    RandomEngy wrote: »
    That's false. After running with anti-virus for years and years without it ever finding anything (or having any virus symptoms), I feel comfortable enough in my computing practices to run without it.

    You are absolutely incorrect and the sort of person in whom the core problem lies.

    "I had AV for years and nothing ever happened, so I dont need AV" thats the kind of stupidity that leads to billions of dollars being lost every year through cyber-attacks. if you are running without AV (this includes antivirus, antispyware, firewall, the entire set of protection) you are just waiting to get abused, and you will get abused eventually.

    jlrx on
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • RandomEngyRandomEngy Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    What vector? Malware gremlins don't break into your house and install trojans on your system. The people who contribute to the botnet and spam problem are those that run unpatched systems/ browsers, visit a lot of shady websites and run a lot of shady programs. AV can help mitigate the problem if you expose yourself to it, but the best defense is (as said many times before) practicing skeptical computing. I am just tired of constantly wasting computer resources on a problem that in all likelihood I'll never see. For instance a bunch of people running AVG ran into problems with TF2 using the kernel paged pool. AV programs are by nature very invasive and resource intensive. Anyway I'm pretty sure there's less chance of me getting a virus than the average person that runs an AV app.

    RandomEngy on
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  • CronusCronus Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    jlrx wrote: »
    RandomEngy wrote: »
    That's false. After running with anti-virus for years and years without it ever finding anything (or having any virus symptoms), I feel comfortable enough in my computing practices to run without it.

    You are absolutely incorrect and the sort of person in whom the core problem lies.

    "I had AV for years and nothing ever happened, so I dont need AV" thats the kind of stupidity that leads to billions of dollars being lost every year through cyber-attacks. if you are running without AV (this includes antivirus, antispyware, firewall, the entire set of protection) you are just waiting to get abused, and you will get abused eventually.

    As much as I can see your point jlrx I agree with RandomEngy. I do still have an AV installed on my Vista box, although not running constantly, I can see not needed an AV program. As long as you have a firewall up you are good from random attacks. Most viruses come from people opening attachments or downloading random files online.

    If you know what you're doing you don't need to run an AV. For the average person I would say that an AV program is recommended.

    Cronus on
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    "Read twice, post once. It's almost like 'measure twice, cut once' only with reading." - MetaverseNomad
  • jonxpjonxp [E] PC Security Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    jlrx wrote: »
    RandomEngy wrote: »
    That's false. After running with anti-virus for years and years without it ever finding anything (or having any virus symptoms), I feel comfortable enough in my computing practices to run without it.

    You are absolutely incorrect and the sort of person in whom the core problem lies.

    "I had AV for years and nothing ever happened, so I dont need AV" thats the kind of stupidity that leads to billions of dollars being lost every year through cyber-attacks. if you are running without AV (this includes antivirus, antispyware, firewall, the entire set of protection) you are just waiting to get abused, and you will get abused eventually.

    While I, personally, do not run AV software, I am well aware of everything that happens on my system and network, and am extremely well versed in computer security (take that to mean what you will).

    However, I do strongly agree that the vast majority of people should run AV software.

    Downgrading to XP to run the software is not necessary, when there are free or cheap solutions available.

    jonxp on
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  • jlrxjlrx Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    jonxp wrote: »
    jlrx wrote: »
    RandomEngy wrote: »
    That's false. After running with anti-virus for years and years without it ever finding anything (or having any virus symptoms), I feel comfortable enough in my computing practices to run without it.

    You are absolutely incorrect and the sort of person in whom the core problem lies.

    "I had AV for years and nothing ever happened, so I dont need AV" thats the kind of stupidity that leads to billions of dollars being lost every year through cyber-attacks. if you are running without AV (this includes antivirus, antispyware, firewall, the entire set of protection) you are just waiting to get abused, and you will get abused eventually.

    While I, personally, do not run AV software, I am well aware of everything that happens on my system and network, and am extremely well versed in computer security (take that to mean what you will).

    However, I do strongly agree that the vast majority of people should run AV software.

    Downgrading to XP to run the software is not necessary, when there are free or cheap solutions available.


    I dont recommend downgrading either, I only mean it might be better to run xp as opposed to vista without AV, and I dont advocate using AV software that bogs down your system.

    Frankly, anyone who is telling you if you know what your doing, you dont need it is just asking for trouble, its like sticking your head in the sand. Maybe nothing will ever happen to you - but you are responsible, and legally liable when you actively choose to do something that could make your computer a puppet in an attack. If it is hijacked for some DOS or used for something else, which you would never know, you will take the blame , if only because you should have had something to protect yourself.

    jlrx on
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • RandomEngyRandomEngy Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    No, it's like installing bars on all your windows and using 7 locks on every door when you live in a quiet neighborhood.

    The amount of protection should be proportional to the amount of risk you're exposed to, especially when that protection has costs associated with it.

    RandomEngy on
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  • scootchscootch Registered User
    edited November 2007
    vista comes with a memory test, get into boot menu, f9 I think. there is a mem test option from there.

    scootch on
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  • jlrxjlrx Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    RandomEngy wrote: »
    No, it's like installing bars on all your windows and using 7 locks on every door when you live in a quiet neighborhood.

    The amount of protection should be proportional to the amount of risk you're exposed to, especially when that protection has costs associated with it.

    guess what, your on the internet, the neighborhood is bad, oops.

    jlrx on
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • RandomEngyRandomEngy Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    jlrx wrote: »
    guess what, your on the internet, the neighborhood is bad, oops.

    You don't magically get viruses by connecting to the internet. The comparison in concern to your actual risk and what kinds of measures to take against it is completely valid.

    RandomEngy on
    Profile -> Signature Settings -> Hide signatures always. Then you don't have to read this worthless text anymore.
  • jlrxjlrx Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    RandomEngy wrote: »
    jlrx wrote: »
    guess what, your on the internet, the neighborhood is bad, oops.

    You don't magically get viruses by connecting to the internet. The comparison in concern to your actual risk and what kinds of measures to take against it is completely valid.

    No, you dont magically get them, but you can get them without knowing, you can get them from seeing an image file in certain instances or simply visiting a website, and staying update on all your patches isn't going to guarentee you much because many times a fix breaks something unintended.

    Fact is you believe you are "careful" enough to not need AV, and no matter what the case may be your mind is set. Here's hoping you dont regret it, and here's hoping some doldrum doesnt take what you say as a good idea.

    jlrx on
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • jonxpjonxp [E] PC Security Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    jlrx wrote: »
    RandomEngy wrote: »
    jlrx wrote: »
    guess what, your on the internet, the neighborhood is bad, oops.

    You don't magically get viruses by connecting to the internet. The comparison in concern to your actual risk and what kinds of measures to take against it is completely valid.

    No, you dont magically get them, but you can get them without knowing, you can get them from seeing an image file in certain instances or simply visiting a website, and staying update on all your patches isn't going to guarentee you much because many times a fix breaks something unintended.

    Fact is you believe you are "careful" enough to not need AV, and no matter what the case may be your mind is set. Here's hoping you dont regret it, and here's hoping some doldrum doesnt take what you say as a good idea.

    Actually, staying up to date on patches can and will save you. It is extremely rare for a regular patch to break something unless it took advantage of the flaw being patched. Basically all viruses/worms that utilize a remotely exploitable (no user intervention required) bug get their hole from reverse engineered patches. Trojans are what you actually need protection from, especially if you are the "I don't believe in paying for games/software/operating systems/porn" type.

    jonxp on
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