So I've got this self built Win XP (SP3) machine that has started to go a little wonky on me. I spent the weekend away and came back to find out it had suddenly stopped working for my Aunt who had been using it.
This whole issue primarily relates to I think my memory. The PC has 2x 1gb sticks of Crucial Ballistix bought as a pair. The Mobo is a MSI P7N SLI. HDD is a Seagate 500G.
Initially the issue seemed to be missing "network connections" (1394 and the LAN card where we get internet from the router, a Linksys).
I'd never run into the issue, did some messing around, borrowed a wireless adapter, and managed to get some connectivity allowing me to research the issue. Things seemed to be running a little sluggish in general (opening/closing programs, logging in and such) but I didn't pay that a whole lot of mind.
At any rate, I took the wireless connector back because somehow or another the wired connection seemed to start working. I did have some odd connectivity issues (like I.E. working but not Firefox) but things were working well enough for me to start backing up bookmarks and researching what might be going on.
Jump ahead 6 hours or so and things go to crap. Firefox crashes constantly, withing seconds (at most a minute or two) of opening. It sometimes fails to connect it seems loading no pages, other times it would load pages. I.E. doesn't load anything either.
In the end the computer was rebooted a few times with different settings and upon startup I would sometimes get random programs that would report an error in loading.
At this point I attempt to use system restore to back up to various days over the weekend and during the previous week (although I've had no new software installs). All attempts at this fail, most of them I catch a BSOD but it doesn't stick around long enough to read (it occurs during the reboot at the end of the restore). All restore attempts fail.
Throw in my ubuntu/memtest CD and run memtest+ (v1.7 or such I believe) and it spits out about 1400 errors over 2 passes. Great, it's the memory I figure. To see if I could narrow it down I pull out one stick or ram. Run memtest again, no errors. Swap ram modules, and again no errors. I throw both chips in (they're reversed in order, in that the chipth at used to be in DIMM 2 is now in DIMM0, and DIMM 0 is now in DIMM 2). Memtest runs again, this time 14 passes, with zero errors.
I'm a bit at a loss, I boot normally again and still have the same issues. Firefox refuses to start due to a DLL error (this occurred I think due to failed system restore).
**So I guess my question is: Is this whole situation likely due to bad ram modules, or was the memtest that reported errors a random fluke. Could it somehow be related to the mobo and the DIMM slots used, or could it be the hard drive? I'm a bit at a loss as I've never faced this sort of issue before, and it doesn't help I wasn't present at the onset of the problem either.
**During the 6 or so hours that things seemed to work properly I did complete a virus update/scan that reported no infections.
Sure I've forgotten something but at the moment this is what I can recall.