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On the verge of break point!!

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by noelg24, Jan 30, 2008.

  1. noelg24

    noelg24 Terabyte Poster

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    I thought all my problems were over after I replaced the power supply but a few weeks later and the gaming machine is starting to give me more sodding headaches...

    Everything was working fine up until about a couple of days when it just suddenly hung with the sound skipping and the graphics going off...

    After a restart it was fine...but then it started to do it more and more...I never use the gaming machine for internet purposes but because I had to install Gears Of War it needed updates done to it...so I did that and it was roughly after that the problems started. So I decided to remove the updates that were recently done...that still made no difference.

    Tonight I bit the bullet and re-format the machine...first I tried installing a copy of XP Home (from when I built my PC 4yrs ago lol) and it didnt even did a reboot after the initial install of files before a BSOD appeared!! So then I decided to install Vista Ultimate 32bit...that eventually installed...I was able to put the graphics and sound drivers on (may I just quickly before re-formatting I had updated the graphics and BIOS and yet nothing changed), but after a reboot of the sound card again it hung upon reboot (this also happened before re-formatting).

    So a few things i have done so far: removed one of my graphics cards (as its in crossfire mode), this didnt help, removed 2 sticks of my RAM (I have 4GB in total) again no difference even after swapping them over. I also swapped out my DVD writer (it seemed the response to get a disc working on the other one was just too slow even tho they are both the exact same make and model and SATA). I know its not the PSU cos thats brand new and its not the sound card cos thats also fairly new...so my last option is the hard drive and the reason I say this is because I have noticed how the hard drive will just suddenly become very noisy when I dont even play a game on it and its left on plus from all the re-installing of OSes lately and reboots it hangs for a while on POST before it shows the details of the HDD as the drive makes a whirring noise for like 5 seconds before kicking into gear. And to make matters worse I couldnt even boot into safe mode!!

    Well there you have it...luckily I just bought a new 500GB external hard drive which should arrive tomorrow or friday...and when it does im moving all my data from the 500GB HDD sitting in my machine and then I will swap the internal HDD from my gaming with my main machine (the main machine has a Samsung spinpoint whereas the gaming has a Maxtor...dont ask!!). Then we will see if I was right in swapping the HDDs or not. After that I dont know...perhaps mobo or CPU...

    Here is my gaming machine spec:

    Asus M2R32-MVP mobo
    AMD 64 X2 6000 (3GHz)
    4GB DDR2 6400 RAM (2GB Elixir and 2GB GeIL)
    Maxtor 500GB SATA HDD
    Samsung DVD-RW 18x SATA
    2x ATI Sapphire HD2600XT (although just one is in there now)
    Creative X-Fi XtremeMusic sound card
    Thermaltake 700W modular PSU
    Antec 900 case

    Any ideas most welcome :biggrin and I will see what else can be done...but for now it seems whatever OS I install the machine just doesnt like them for some strange reason....
     
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  2. Sparky
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    Sparky Zettabyte Poster Moderator

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    Updated driver for the SATA controller perhaps? :blink Or even a duff SATA cable.
     
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  3. noelg24

    noelg24 Terabyte Poster

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    shouldnt the BIOS update do the SATA controller update? but thats worth a try I guess...and the cable too...hmmm didnt think of that...
     
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  4. Sparky
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    Sparky Zettabyte Poster Moderator

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    Yeah, but remember there is a Windows driver on top of that as well. Cable might be worth a shot, Ive had that problem a few times but with the older IDE drives.
     
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  5. noelg24

    noelg24 Terabyte Poster

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    True true mate...well im giving the cable one a try now as we speak...its installed the sound drivers just rebooted so we'll see how it goes when I try the graphics drivers next...but im looking for the controller drivers in the meantime :biggrin Thanks mate
     
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  6. greenbrucelee
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    greenbrucelee Zettabyte Poster

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    In my amazingly experience opinion lol I would agree with Sparky that it sounds like a controller or cable problem possibly both.

    I have just done a practice exam where the question was the hard drive isn't responding as it was earlier on you have just updated the driver blah blah blah what can you do to resolve this? try a newer cablle and a new driver if poss.
     
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  7. noelg24

    noelg24 Terabyte Poster

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    The A+ is fantastic :biggrin well its installed the graphics drivers fine now...rebooted and it seems to be ok...I have also put my CPU back to its normal 3GHz speed as opposed to being overclocked to 3.4GHz...when I know the machine is in neat working order I may overclock it again :biggrin
     
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  8. Sparky
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    Sparky Zettabyte Poster Moderator

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    LOL, you kept that bit quiet mate. :biggrin

    Yes I know overclocking is all the rage just now with you gamers but it also adds instability to a system.

    How old do I sound right now? :blink
     
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  9. noelg24

    noelg24 Terabyte Poster

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    yeah u sound old...put a cork in Grandad lol...:biggrin

    Seriously tho with regards to the overclocking I think I will leave it...I mean now that I have changed the cable it seems to working perfectly fine...man why is it that the simplest things always cause the bigger problems? lol...thats IT for you eh!

    By the way ASUS dont have any new SATA controllers for the motherboard I use...but looks like the swapping of the cable is doing the trick for the time being...so touch wood it will be fine for a long time :biggrin I'll be adding reps for you guys later cheers
     
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  10. Sparky
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    Sparky Zettabyte Poster Moderator

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    Glad the problem is sorted mate :thumbleft
     
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  11. greenbrucelee
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    greenbrucelee Zettabyte Poster

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    I have never had problem with my ASUS board, although I have neve done a bios update for it as I have had no need yet, but atleast yours is working again. I bet its a releif.:D
     
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  12. Mathematix

    Mathematix Megabyte Poster

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    I had this very same behaviour nine months ago, and it turned out to be a faulty memory stick. Simply swapping around memory sticks as you've described will not solve the problem. Run memtest86+ on one stick at a time to pinpoint the faulty module.

    I'm pretty sure that this is your problem.

    [edit]

    well, maybe not.

    [/edit]
     
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  13. noelg24

    noelg24 Terabyte Poster

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    It is a relief so far...:biggrin swapping the DVD drive has certainly helped cos its responding quicker than the other one did...
     
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  14. greenbrucelee
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    Good idea there by Mathematix run memtest 86 to see if there is a memory problem.
     
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  15. noelg24

    noelg24 Terabyte Poster

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    No I can honestly say its not a memory problem but thats always a good idea :biggrin
     
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  16. TimoftheC

    TimoftheC Kilobyte Poster

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    Noel,

    Seeing as you’re an "overclocker" have you ever tried the Prime95 torture tests?

    Prime95 is a bit like the old SETI software as it does a lot of number crunching tests on a bit of data, only Prime95 is looking for some super prime numbers (never really found that bit out:oops:). Anyhows, the software comes with some pretty rigorous testing tools that test the heat, cpu and memory of your PC - you just set one of the tests off and leave it running for a few hours.

    Is a good way to test how stable your system is, especially if you overclocking. Not sure how useful it's going to be seeing that you seem to have fixed your problem, but hey, might be useful to know.

    The main site for Prime95 is here: -

    http://www.mersenne.org/

    There are few other sites out there as well.
     
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  17. Modey

    Modey Terabyte Poster

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    Orthos is a good one for stress testing and will quickly show up deficiencies in cooling or RAM as it really pushes the system hard.
     
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  18. onoski

    onoski Terabyte Poster

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    Noel, I belief you might have fixed the issue. What was the issue was it the DVD drive or the hard disk cable? Anyway, well done.
     
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  19. noelg24

    noelg24 Terabyte Poster

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    It was the hard drive cable...cos I swapped the DVD drive first and still the same issue occured...I managed to get Juiced 2, Call Of Duty 4 and Gears Of War back on the machine and they play fine...luckily for me I had my saved games backed up (except for COD4) so at least I didnt have to start the game all over again :biggrin

    Thanks for the offer regarding those testing apps, if I decide to go back to overclocking then I will think about getting them.
     
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