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My Comp is done.


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#1
mtDNA

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Hi All,

Well, here it goes:
A few weeks ago my computer started acting funny, with unusual flickering of the screen, which progressed into a strange lock-up that screwed up my screen into a blocky, unreadable mess. This only occurs when playing games, so I assumed it was my video card (Asus Radeon 9600XT). I pulled it out, put it into my roomate's computer and it functioned fine. Once I put it back in, my system wouldn't boot up, even in Safe Mode.
I then tried reloading windows onto a spare hard drive, and my system worked fine, except for its new 20GB capacity. So I put my old HD back in (Western Digital SATA 120GB), and tried to format and reload Windows (XP Professional w/Service Pck 1). This would freeze every time it would try to access my HD...
So, I made a boot disk using Western Digital's Diagnostic Software, and this said my HD had no errors. After this, my system miraculously booted up. I tried running the Windows version of this Diagnostic software, and it said there was an error, to check the cables and contact customer support.
I am not sure if this is the problem, due to all the other issues I've had; I believe it might be my Motherboard (MSI KT6Delta), but how can I tell?
Anybody have any ideas as to what might be causing all of this educational yet annoying BS?
Any help would be much appreciated!

Thanks.
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#2
admin

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Hi mtDNA, welcome to Geeks to Go! :D

You say the computer worked fine with the 20gb hard drive. <_<

If so, it must be either the hard drive, or something on it. Have you run a thorough virus and trojan scan?
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#3
mtDNA

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Thanks for the welcome - and the advice.

I'm going to give the scan a try, but one thing I wanted to mention is that the 20GB harddrive was an ATA drive, whereas my usual HD is SATA...it has me wondering if the motherboard has somehow decided not to support SATA. I tried switching between the two ports on the board, but no luck.

I'll give the scan a try and let you know what happens.

Thanks again!
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#4
admin

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Also, check to see if new SATA drivers are available for your board. SATA technology isn't very mature yet.
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#5
mtDNA

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I did a full scan using my Norton Antivirus software, as well as another online scan - these both came up negative. I then tried downloading the latest SATA drivers from the motherboard manufacturer, and it enabled me to succesfully scan my HD using the Western Digital Diagnostic software...the tests came back with no problems.
Tried re-installing windows at this point, and I didn't have a problem until I did a windows update, at which point my computer crashed again. Is it time to return the motherboard?
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#6
admin

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Try running this memory test: http://www.memtest86.com

Installation
===============
Memtest86 is a stand alone program that cannot be executed under windows and must
be loaded from a floppy disk.

To install Memtest86:
- Extract the files from the zip archive
- Open the directory where the files were extracted and click on "install.bat".
- The install program will prompt you for the floppy drive and also prompt you to
insert a blank floppy.
- To run Memtest86 leave the floppy in the drive and reboot.

NOTE: After the boot floppy has been created you will not be able to read the floppy
from windows. This is normal.
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#7
mtDNA

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I started to run the memory test, and it got about 60% complete before freezing in a way similar to the way windows is freezing - all chopped up and unreadable, like a frozen 8-bit nintendo system. I've tried it again, and it froze at 40%... What do you think this means?
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#8
admin

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Well then it's definitely a hardware problem. Either RAM or motherboard. If you have more that one stick of RAM try running the test on them one at a time. If changing the RAM doesn't make any difference, you have a bad motherboard.
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#9
mtDNA

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Just wanted to let you know I'm still waiting to hear back from the place I bought the components - dropped off the motherboard, CPU and Ram for testing, and should hear back tomorrow. I'll post what their findings are once I get them.

Thanks again for all the help.
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#10
--ESCOBAR--

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I was kind of having the same problem a little while ago..... ended up being the motherboard!!!
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#11
mtDNA

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Well, this is unbelievable. The technician I was supposed to pay $30 to diagnose the exact problem says "Your computer's fine". I told him I wasn't paying. This is insane. I'll post back when I bother him more.
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#12
admin

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Two weeks later, and they say they couldn't find anything wrong. <_<

Ask him to run memtest86, if he's worth his salt in computer knowledge he'll know what it is, and how to interpet the results. If not, don't walk, run away. :D

If you want, have him reply to this thread. :D
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#13
mtDNA

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Well, good news then bad news. I got my computer back, free of charge (Yay!), but still no idea of what was wrong with it. I did a fresh install of WinXP no problem, but when I installed the AGP drivers for the mobo, I began getting the crashes (especially when running a demanding app like UT2004). A few of my friends and the computer store thought it sounded like a heat-related issue, so working on this assumption I thought maybe there wasn't enough power to cool my graphics card's fan. Installed a new power supply(450W from 360W), and the crashes disappeared.
So, it appeared the problem was solved...BUT...
I started the computer numerous times last night without incident, however this morning that changed: I can no longer boot up windows, not even in safe mode.
I give up. My computer hates me.
So, is this the same problem, or something totally unrelated? I just want to drop this thing out of a window.
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#14
admin

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So, is this the same problem, or something totally unrelated?

Yes. <_<

The hard system crashed could have corrupted the Windows installation, or it could be totally unrelated.

Try restarting the computer using "last known good configuration":
1. Start Windows, or if it is running, shut Windows down, and then turn off the computer.
2. Restart the computer. The computer begins processing a set of instructions known as the Basic Input/Output System (BIOS). What is displayed depends on the BIOS manufacturer. Some computers display a progress bar that refers to the word BIOS, while others may not display any indication that this process is happening.
3. As soon as the BIOS has finished loading, begin tapping the F8 key on your keyboard. Continue to do so until the Windows Advanced Options menu appears. If you begin tapping the F8 key too soon, some computers display a "keyboard error" message. To resolve this, restart the computer and try again.
4. Using the arrow keys on the keyboard, scroll to and select the Last Known Good Configuration menu item, and then press Enter.
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#15
mtDNA

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This really is fustrating. Windows XP will not start using any of the choices - safe mode, safe mode with networking, last known good config, etc.

Anybody want a possessed computer?
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