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Rather odd CPU grinding speed / Logon performance


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#1
DcD

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Hello all,

First of all, thanks a lot for taking the time to read this. I've been fidgeting around for days trying to fix these problems though nothing has seemed to work. I'm now getting rather frantic about the situation as I've two coursework deadlines for friday!

I've sectioned up what's been done, what's been debugged, what the symtpoms are, and so on below.



PC Spec
Windows XP 32-bit SP2
Intel DualCore E4400 2.0ghz
Abit Fatal1ty FP-IN9
4GB DDR2 PC2-5300 RAM
Nvidia 8600GT 512mb
Dual monitor setup.
450W Win Power - Power Supply
5 Case Fans (Though now all disconnected to rule out power supply)



The symptoms and when it occured.
The problem first arose at random just under a week ago. I turned off my computer, went to bed and then next morning came to booting it up again. The OS loaded up fine, though after starting iTunes and Grand Theft Auto the computer began to lag badly, causing the audio and monitor refresh rate to stutter.

I then rebooted thinking it was a RAM problem of some sort, though this is when the real problems started. The windows boot screen (the logo with the scrolling blue bar thingy) seemed to go on for ages. It lasted for around 30 seconds, and often froze. Eventually it got passed this, though it then proceeded to get stuck and wait for ages on the welcome screen too. Again, it eventually got there and booted into Windows/Desktop, though the audio is laggy and stutters. The logon chime thingy stutters and spits the audio like an old vinyl player.

I fiddled around, checked a few things, altered MSCONFIG and messed around with services and startup items. Though all this was to no avail. After trying to install Warcraft III, I got a BSoD. MACHINE_CHECK_EXCEPTION, which if i'm correct is an error caused by the processor querying hardware, and then getting a fatal, and unrecoverable response.

Thus, I decided to format. Everything went on the HDD and a fresh installation of Windows XP was stuck on. After a couple of hours it all happened again.

I read up on google, searched for hours upon hours trying to find tell tale signs of what it could be. Everything pointed at the RAM. So, I ventured into town and bought two new sticks of RAM. Fitted them, and nothing. The problem still continued. I then removed all PCI cards and peripherals other than the barebones of a working system. This also had no affect.

I then got my old HDD. Installed windows, and placed it in as a single drive. I disconnected the previous one, and began using it. This seemed to fix the problems. So I cast it off as a faulty/corrupt HDD.

And then this morning came around. I booted up and it got stuck on the Windows boot screen and then the Welcome screen. I'm at the end of my knowledge on it.

I've done other things which I'll explain below.



Hard Disk Drive(s)
It can't be. I highly doubt both HDD's, while seperately connected have contracted the same errors or faults as one another to cause the problem. In terms of malware of a virus, here's a Hijackthis log of what's crackin off now. However, surely everything was wiped and deleted when I formatted (deeply) the drives?



RAM
After swapping and changing and debugging and switiching and swapping and testing and debugging every bloody combination of four sticks, I'm pretty sure this isn't the problem.



Power/Temperatures/Overheating
AbiteQ (abit's status monitoring program) shows no signs of overheating or volt shortage. Everything is at it's optimum and the temperature was around 18ºC with the fans. Without them at the moment it is running at 29ºC. Which is still very low for Intel.



CPU
In my opinion, this is the most likely hardware to be causing the problem. The boot sequence shows that it is possibly churning up as soon as it has to process anything of any size. The system boots into safe mode fine. Though whenever it attempts a normal boot, regardless of the services/programs being booted upon startup, it freezes and goes into the carryon.

The task manager is showing 99 percent CPU usage on System Idle Process. Though on the performance tab, it takes around 50% usage to even load, and play a song on iTunes.



UPDATE
I've read a Microsoft article about dual core not being fully supported (unless patched). Perhaps this is the case, I'm installing it now. I'll keep you updated as to whether it does anything or not.

Yep, as I thought. No change.

Edited by Rorschach112, 02 November 2008 - 11:40 AM.
removed log, read the rules please

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#2
123Runner

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Welcome to geeks to go.

The hijack will do us no good in this forum. It is only used in the malware forum (when requested).

Since you say it works in safe mode ok, then I suspect at this time a hardware issue.
Go to device management and see if there are any ? or ! for driver issues.

You can also test the memory using memtest86 (link in my signature). You need to let it run a couple hours.

Did you ionstall any new hardware or software?
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#3
DcD

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Thanks 123Runner. And thank you for your speedy reply.

The hijack will do us no good in this forum. It is only used in the malware forum (when requested).

Sorry about the HijackThis, just thought it'd do no harm if it was there anyway.

You can also test the memory using memtest86 (link in my signature). You need to let it run a couple hours.


I tried briefly to use memtest86. However, I only used my Macintosh to write the bootable CD, which failed.

Since you say it works in safe mode ok, then I suspect at this time a hardware issue.
Go to device management and see if there are any ? or ! for driver issues.

Did you ionstall any new hardware or software?


There have been no new or uncommon hardware or software installations that could have caused this. Well, not that i'm aware of. There are however two unknown devices in 'Other Devices' that have a ! to the left. These are 'SM Bus Controller' and 'Other PCI Bridge Device'. I've absolutely no idea what these are.

Both currently say:
"The drivers for this device are not installed. (Code 28)

To reinstall the drivers for this device, click Reinstall Driver."



I'll go and try memtest86 again.


Just a quick update:
I forgot to mention in the pc spec in the first post:

I've two SATA 250gb Seagate Baracuda HDDs.

Edited by DcD, 02 November 2008 - 11:32 AM.

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#4
123Runner

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There are however two unknown devices in 'Other Devices' that have a ! to the left. These are 'SM Bus Controller' and 'Other PCI Bridge Device'. I've absolutely no idea what these are.


These are probably important.
You need to run the mother board CD and install them from their. If you do not have the CD, run everest from my link and find out what board you have. You have to get the chip drivers installed.
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#5
DcD

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There are however two unknown devices in 'Other Devices' that have a ! to the left. These are 'SM Bus Controller' and 'Other PCI Bridge Device'. I've absolutely no idea what these are.


These are probably important.
You need to run the mother board CD and install them from their. If you do not have the CD, run everest from my link and find out what board you have. You have to get the chip drivers installed.


I'm sure I already installed the chipset drivers, but sure. I'll go and do that now.

Update:
Those two devices have cleared up from installing the chipset.

Edited by DcD, 02 November 2008 - 12:12 PM.

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#6
DcD

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Okay. How odd.

After installing the chipset drivers it seems to have cleared up. I actually just managed to extract files from a 100meg RAR archive, listen to iTunes AND talk on msn.

Could this have REALLY been the problem??

I'll reboot and test the boot shortly.
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#7
123Runner

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Most definitely a place to look is the chipset drivers. The comp requires the mother board drivers to run properly.
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#8
DcD

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Wow. The boot worked. Like, quickly!

Thank you so much for your help 123Runner, I really appreciate it. You are truly a God.

Kind Regards,
Rob
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#9
123Runner

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Thanks for letting us know.
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