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Are my programs crashing due to a hardware issue?

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Ok, about a month ago I started having problems where any program I was running in the foreground would eventually crash. I was using Windows XP at that time because the system originally came with Vista but of course Vista liked to hog my Ram. After about a year on XP I had to reformat because I got a very relentless virus. The first time I has XP on there, I had a friend take care of the drivers since he knew what he was looking for. When I reinstalled, my friend was no longer available but after a while I was eventually able to find what I needed to run my computer. About a month ago I installed Nortons provided by my ISP, which quickly found a few unwanted guests that my previous software, AVG couldn't find. Shortly after my computer started having the crashing problems. Most crashes involved games or web browsers with images, flash media, or videos. Thinking that I may have damaged something when I deleted the viruses, I decided to reformat. Unable to go back to XP due to the disc being damaged, I reluctantly switched back to Vista. It froze 3 times during the windows install and had to be restarted each time. When i finally got the OS to load, I found that not only were the problems still there, it now crashed during installations of many types of programs. Windows update, especially, will not work for the life of me.

Now, I did take it into a shop to be checked out. Next day they tell me they fixed it but the guy who fixed it was out to lunch and did not share with anyone as to how he managed to fix it. For about 5 hours it did seem like it was fixed, but lo and behold, the problems came back, and with a vengeance. Crashes happen way more often. Apparently, the guy who "fixed" it is never in, he has always just left or hes off that day. Also, he apparently didn't see the need to inform me as to what was wrong or how he fixed it. All I got was that one of the things he did was update the bios, something I did just the day before. Also he wont call me back when I ask his coworkers to tell him to. I think I basically got robbed on that deal.

Anywho, complaining aside, tell me, does this look like a hardware issue or a software issue to you, and what exactly would you think it would be. My best guess would be either a ram issue or a hard drive issue.

Edited by chompachompa, 07 November 2010 - 10:15 PM.

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    Grumpy Ol' MSgt (Ret.)

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I would just take the machine, with receipt, back to the shop. If he is not there, then one of the other techs will likely take a look at it.
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