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#1
XManNL

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Help! My PC has become unstable. The "helpful" Microsoft crash identifies the issue as a "device" problem. Well, my device drivers are all restored back to their original configuration before the problems started (I had download updates for graphics card and monitor from MS downloads...).

Symptom: PC will spontaneously reboot.

There are SOME things I can do that I know will generally trigger it, but there are other times (reading email), it'll just crash/reboot. On occasion, system also blames flash.ocx. I've uninstalled flash, and it'll seem a little more stable for a while, but then it'll REBOOT again.

The last crash prompted a Dr. Watson which said... "The instruction at 0x7c910c27 referenced memory at 0x00146df5. The memory could not be "read".

I am also unable to reinstall my Norton Internet (firewall/antivirus). I've tried to do the free virus scans on both McAfee (crashed the browser...and/or REBOOTS), and Symantec (says the Active-X won't download). I spent 3 hours w/ Symantec who gave up basically. On the rare occasion that adaware will run, it just shows the typical cookies, nothing serious. Spybot will show clean.

Anyone have ANY ideas??? Is there a dead spot in my memory? Is there perhaps some odd virus? A bad spot on my disk (though, after some reboots, system will do a chkdsk). EEK!

Edited by XManNL, 16 April 2005 - 12:13 PM.

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#2
Samm

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Could be any of the 3 things you suggested actually.

If you can get an up-to-date virus scanner on there, then try scanning it in safe mode. You may need to install the anti virus itself in safe mode also, if it lets you.

Download a copy of memtest86 to test the RAM. That one at least is fairly simple to eliminate

Same with drive - check it for bad sectors etc
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#3
XManNL

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Thanks for the reply. I have downloaded several memory tests, and the machine has failed them all. But, I can't get the machine to reboot when I take my chips out to try to determine which may be bad. It just beeps at me.
This morning, I just recalled that the unit came w/ 2 "dummy" mem chips, to fill all 4 mem slots. I suspect that is why it's beeping, so I'm going to try to find the 2 dummies, and go from there.
Thanks!
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#4
Samm

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Do you have a Pentium4 system with Rimms in then?
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#5
L3vidog

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I would just reformat , but if you have any important information try and back that up onto a disk or floppy before you reformat.
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#6
The one

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Agreed just reformat backuping up data
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#7
Samm

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I would just reformat , but if you have any important information try and back that up onto a disk or floppy before you reformat.

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L3vidog & The one :

Backup is an excellent idea & I would also strongly advise that this is done.

HOWEVER, the RAM has failed all the memory tests so theres no point at this stage reformatting as the reinstall won't succeed with faulty ram still present.

It sounds like the system is using Rimms which is causing a problem when it comes to whipping one of them out.

XManNL
I suggest instead, you rerun the memory test but this time make a note of the address that the ram is failing at. Then switch the 2 modules around & run it again.
If the address is exactly the same the second time around, then it suggests that the ram socket & not the module is faulty.

If however the address changes, you can work out from the 2 addresses which stick is the faulty one.
ie If address on 2nd test is lower that on 1st test, then it would indicate the faulty stick is the one that has just been moved to the front (ie socket no. 1)
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#8
XManNL

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Thanks for the info. Yes, I do have RIMM memory. I chatted w/ the "PC Geeks" at a Best Buy. They don't have the equipment to test the RIMM. So, the idea of swapping the sticks around and noting the address failure is good. In the end, I decided just to buy a new PC anyway....I'm doing digital conversion of my LPs, and this one was slow, so it was a good excuse. Thanks for the help. I'll still poke w/ the old one and see if I can identify which stick is bad, then perhaps replace, and I can use old unit for something I'm sure.
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#9
Samm

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OK mate, have fun with your new system!
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