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Boot-up and performance issues, looking for input.


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#1
CorgiHop

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Hi, normally I'll figure out these interesting little problems myself or have friends give me input but I've been stumped on this particular problem. I'm computer knowledgeable but not what you would call tech savvy.
I initially noticed an issue with my self built computer several months ago, it was a build that was done fairly cheap and to fit my needs; gaming and the occasional reports and essays.

My specs are:
P5N-D AsusTek mobo
4gb of DDR2 333mhz Kingston RAM dual channel
Intel Core 2 Duo E7400 2.8ghz
Nvidia GeForce 9800GTX+

The issues that I am receiving that I've noticed is during boot-up it will fail to load the gui and stay at a loading screen for windows or a black screen. This will occur through several start ups and eventually succeed in a normal load up after two to three times. This also does not occur if I am shutting down and restarting immediately, only during intervals of one or more hours that the computer has been powered down.

The other issue I have noticed is decreased performance. Most noticeably if I have Firefox opened and open several tabs or windows, something I do often when searching for information or general bookmarks, it will slow down the opening of new pages progressively until the browser takes 10-20+ seconds to respond. Completely closing Firefox and making sure it is not running in task manager does not remedy this, only a complete system reboot will.

Both of these issues have occurred between two hard drives and multiple complete reinstalls of the OS

Diagnosis and remedies I have attempted:
At first I was believing that my hard drive, which was reused from an old build was failing and had bad sectors. Which I replaced because I needed more space available to me. This did not fix the problem.
I ruled out malware due to multiple harddrives and reinstalls having the persistent problem as well as no detection on Anti-virus and multiple scans.

I then made the assumption it could possibly be the RAM. I made sure that the RAM was properly connected to the mobo and it was connected properly without any build-up or gunk on the connectors.
I also ran memtest86 to see if there were any failures in the RAM itself. The full amount was detected and passed as operational after two complete tests.

The only thing left that I could see having these issues and be hardware would be my mobo or processor. I ran a torture test on my cpu with Prime95, I only ran it for about 20 minutes instead of the recommended 10hours. I figured that if there was an immediate error it would not pass as long and crash the program.

I have no clue how to properly test the mobo for any errors and do not have the extra parts or funds to rampantly start replacing everything haphazardly. I and several friends who at least know basic computer functionality and fixes haven't been able to give any light to my issue. So I'd be grateful to anyone that could give me a suggestion and testing procedure I can do to find out what exactly is causing the issues, thanks. :D
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#2
phillpower2

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Hi CorgiHop :D

I also ran memtest86 to see if there were any failures in the RAM itself. The full amount was detected and passed as operational after two complete tests

For conclusive results you need to run a minimum of between 5-6 passes.

I ran a torture test on my cpu with Prime95, I only ran it for about 20 minutes instead of the recommended 10hours. I figured that if there was an immediate error it would not pass as long and crash the program.

Again nothing can be learned from not allowing testing to run until completion.
Please provide the details of your PSU, make and model.
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#3
CorgiHop

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PSU is: Ultra 650W ATX PSU. Model #: Ult-LSP650P.
I would have run both Prime95 and memtest86 longer but was on limited time that day. Took about 60-80 minutes per test on memtest86 and a 10 hour recommended for Prime95 and had needed it later that night. I can try to rerun both when I can to get a more concrete verification.

Could a faulty PSU cause performance issues from memory intensive usage? It only seems to be an issue with many tabs being open as I haven't noticed anything similar during various games that should take up a fair amount of memory as well.
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#4
phillpower2

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PSU problems can manifest themselves in various ways so they can be difficult to pinpoint as the cause.
From your specs 4gb of DDR2 333mhz Kingston, at the risk of sounding stupid should it be 667Mhz as in is
listed on the MB specs DDR2 800/667/533 Non-ECC,Un-buffered Memory Dual Channel memory architecture.
Have you ever attempted overclocking by adjusting voltages etc?
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#5
CorgiHop

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Ah, yes, sorry. It is 667Mhz. The specific model number for the RAM is Kingston KVR667D2/2GR.
I've never tried overclocking or adjusting anything of the sort. (Something I've thought about but didn't want to risk without an excess of funds in case I screw something up. Although submerged Overclocked units in non-conductive liquid look cool. :D )
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#6
phillpower2

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Have you had time yet to run the full Prime95 and memtest86 diagnostics and if so what were the results please.
Something else you can do is run the Crucial system scanner and see what it recommends, no purchase is required;
http://www.crucial.c...ner/?click=true trying another stick of a different brand of Ram is another option if you could possibly loan one.
The reviews for your PSU are mostly positive (there are always bad PSUs and reviews) and the symptoms you describe do appear to be memory related.
Can you provide your HDD details, make , model, storage capacity and present available storage capacity please.
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#7
CorgiHop

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Crucial Scanner wasn't able to detect anything about the RAM but did give me suggestions for new RAM based on the mobo specs.
Swapping out the memory would be the first thing I'd do, but amidst the old components I have I could find anything compatible.

I have two HDDs, a main and one for storage: Maxtor S TM3500320AS SCSI (Maxtor 500gb, Available: 130/465gb) and ST310005 28AS SCSI (Seagate barracuda 1TB 7200RPM 3.0Gb/s: Main drive. Available: 797/931gb)
The Seagate is the drive I have my OS installed on. There shouldn't be any errors as I replaced it after this problem occured, thinking it could have been bad sectors and needing more space anyway. It did relieve some issues as my old drive was having issues as well, but did not fix them.

I did run memtest86 for several hours yesterday but it had only gotten to 4 tests complete with no errors, so I suppose I need it to run longer. I'll try doing Prime95 later tonight.

I was guessing it was memory related but didn't want to risk spending money and it not doing anything for the issue if it turned out it was an issue with the mobo or cpu. Should I just order RAM to replace it and hope that it is a remedy to the problem? I was really hoping to find some method of testing it instead of just swapping out from an educated guess.
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#8
phillpower2

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Crucial Scanner wasn't able to detect anything about the RAM but did give me suggestions for new RAM based on the mobo specs

This was why I suggested it, what specification of Ram did it recommend?
I asked for the HDD information to check whether it may have been a lack of available storage space on the HDD so this can almost certainly be ruled out now.

I did run memtest86 for several hours yesterday but it had only gotten to 4 tests complete with no errors, so I suppose I need it to run longer. I'll try doing Prime95 later tonight.

These tests are best left to run overnight, it is rather frustrating otherwise.

I was guessing it was memory related but didn't want to risk spending money and it not doing anything for the issue

Agreed about spending money and why as I suggested if you could loan a stick of compatible Ram it would be helpful.
At this point no further suggestions until you have done the CPU and Ram tests to the max.
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#9
CorgiHop

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Crucial is suggesting:
4GB kit (2GBx2)
DDR2 PC2-6400 • CL=6 • Unbuffered • NON-ECC • DDR2-800 • 1.8V • 256Meg x 64 • • Part #: CT2KIT25664AA800
Got it? Rate it.
(0 Ratings)
US $63.99
Qty:
kit part image
4GB kit (2GBx2)
DDR2 PC2-8500 • CL=7 • Unbuffered • NON-ECC • DDR2-1066 • 1.8V • 256Meg x 64 • • Part #: CT2KIT25664AA1067
Got it? Rate it.
(0 Ratings)
US $95.99
Qty:
kit part image
4GB kit (2GBx2)
DDR2 PC2-5300 • CL=5 • Unbuffered • NON-ECC • DDR2-667 • 1.8V • 256Meg x 64 • • Part #: CT2KIT25664AA667
Got it? Rate it.
(0 Ratings)
US $63.99
Qty:
kit part image
4GB kit (2GBx2)
DDR2 PC2-8500 • 5-5-5-15 • Unbuffered • NON-ECC • DDR2-1066 • 2.0V • 256Meg x 64 • • Part #: BL2KIT25664AA106A

4GB kit (2GBx2)
DDR2 PC2-6400 • CL=5 • Unbuffered • NON-ECC • DDR2-800 • 1.8V • 256Meg x 64 • • Part #: BL2KIT25664AA80E
Got it? Rate it.
(0 Ratings)
US $74.99
Qty:
kit part image
4GB kit (2GBx2)
DDR2 PC2-6400 • 4-4-4-12 • Unbuffered • NON-ECC • DDR2-800 • 2.0V • 256Meg x 64 • • Part #: BL2KIT25664AA80A
Got it? Rate it.
(1 Ratings)
US $82.99
Qty:
kit part image
4GB kit (2GBx2)
DDR2 PC2-6400 • 4-4-4-12 • Unbuffered • NON-ECC • DDR2-800 • 2.0V • 256Meg x 64 • • Part #: BL2KIT25664AR80A
Got it? Rate it.
(0 Ratings)
US $86.99
Qty:
kit part image
4GB kit (2GBx2)
DDR2 PC2-6400 • 4-4-4-12 • Unbuffered • NON-ECC • DDR2-800 • 2.0V • 256Meg x 64 • • Part #: BL2KIT25664AL80A
Got it? Rate it.
(0 Ratings)

In short: DDR2 PC2-6400, DDR2 PC2-8500, DDR2 PC2-5300

Memory Type: DDR2 PC2-6400, DDR2 PC2-8500, DDR2 PC2-5300, DDR2 (non-ECC)
Maximum Memory: 8GB
Currently Installed Memory: 4GB
Total Memory Slots: 4
Available Memory Slots: 2

I ran MemTest86 overnight. It scanned 8 times over 14 hours and didn't pick up any errors. It does worry me that it ran 8 tests without any errors. Could the RAM still be an issue even if it hasn't picked up any errors?

I'll do a scan with prime95 tonight to see if it pick up any cpu errors.
Do you have any other suggestion on testing CPU other than Prime95 or what settings I should be specifically using?
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#10
phillpower2

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Whilst your Ram is not the highest recommended for your MB it is certainly capable of the performance you require of it + clearing 8 passes of memtest86 almost certainly rules out a weak Ram stick, strange as it may seem there is an outside chance that your MB just doesn`t like this particular Ram, if this is the case it is an awkward one to solve if you cannot loan a different brand but same spec of Ram to try, lets look at the options below 1st;
Not so much of a CPU stress test but provides a comprehensive and easy to understand report which includes the CPU
http://www.cpuid.com...ares/cpu-z.html
Download and run Belarc-Advisor http://www.belarc.co...e_download.html this does take some time to do a full analysis of your entire system so I would run it when you are off to bed, work etc.
Belarc does not repair or change anything it again provides a comprehensive and easy to understand report and makes recommendations on what needs to be done to improve or repair your system and its performance, this includes both hardware and software, right down to telling you that having more than one AV programme damages system stability.
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#11
CorgiHop

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I ran Prime95 for 11 hours and it didn't crash or give any errors. So I suppose that rules out a CPU instability issue. I do have CPU-Z and have used it to get information on any specifics I need to confirm.

I'll run Belarc-Advisor tonight and see if that gives any recommendations. Is there any specifics I should be looking for in the scan or will it be obvious in what it's telling me?
Aside from that the only likelihood is that the mobo is just having issue with this specific model of RAM?

I do have Microsoft Security Essentials along with Bitdefender 2011, but Security Essentials is disabled and I keep it in case I need a secondary scan on something. I was planning on getting Kasperky after Bitdefender ran out because I heard it was generally more efficient and reliable; although I haven't researched much into it.

Edited by CorgiHop, 23 April 2011 - 05:18 PM.

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#12
phillpower2

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Sorry CorgiHop getting my programs mixed up :D Sandra Lite is the more appropriate of the 2.
http://download.cnet...baf20e72fc8d074 please use this instead of Belarc-Advisor, click on the Tools tab and then the Analysis and Advice at the Hardware tab.
The CPU results are good news + having 2 AVs installed but only one actually running should not cause you any issue, consider Avast (available free) when changing your AV program.

EDIT: You may need to download Sandra Lite and then run it as Administrator.

Edited by phillpower2, 24 April 2011 - 03:13 AM.

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#13
CorgiHop

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Hehe, yea I thought it was odd because Belarc-Advisor took barely anything to load up and give a report. I was worried that the CPU was the issue because it was the only piece in this build that I felt I could have damaged while putting everything together. Most nerve racking part of the installation.

I'll run Sandra Lite sometime later today or tonight when I can give it a couple of hours of analysis, since you implied it may take a few hours.
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#14
phillpower2

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Ok I will look out for your next post, thanks for the update.
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#15
CorgiHop

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***** Start of Report *****
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

<<< Computer Overview >>>
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Tip 2546: Large memory modules should be ECC/Parity.

<<< Mainboard >>>
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Notice 224: SMBIOS/DMI information may be inaccurate.
Tip 2511: Some memory slots are free so the memory can
be easily upgraded.
Tip 2546: Large memory modules should be ECC/Parity.

<<< Processors >>>
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Tip 210: CPU 1 [Processor 0, Core 0, Thread 0] :
Mainboard supports faster CPUs, so the CPU
can be upgraded when needed.
Notice 224: CPU 1 [Processor 0, Core 0, Thread 0] :
SMBIOS/DMI information may be inaccurate.
Warning 236: CPU 1 [Processor 0, Core 0, Thread 0] : Vcore
higher than rated maximum. Check Vcore
setting!
Tip 210: CPU 2 [Processor 0, Core 1, Thread 0] :
Mainboard supports faster CPUs, so the CPU
can be upgraded when needed.
Notice 224: CPU 2 [Processor 0, Core 1, Thread 0] :
SMBIOS/DMI information may be inaccurate.
Warning 236: CPU 2 [Processor 0, Core 1, Thread 0] : Vcore
higher than rated maximum. Check Vcore
setting!

<<< Buses and Devices >>>
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Tip 1202: PCI : nVidia C55 Memory Controller : Device
does not support bus mastering.
Tip 1202: PCI : nVidia C55 Memory Controller : Device
does not support bus mastering.
Tip 1202: PCI : nVidia C55 Memory Controller : Device
does not support bus mastering.
Tip 1202: PCI : nVidia C55 Memory Controller : Device
does not support bus mastering.
Tip 1202: PCI : nVidia C55 Memory Controller : Device
does not support bus mastering.
Tip 1202: PCI : nVidia C55 Memory Controller : Device
does not support bus mastering.
Tip 1202: PCI : nVidia C55 Memory Controller : Device
does not support bus mastering.
Tip 1202: PCI : nVidia C55 Memory Controller : Device
does not support bus mastering.
Tip 1202: PCI : nVidia C55 Memory Controller : Device
does not support bus mastering.
Tip 1202: PCI : nVidia C55 Memory Controller : Device
does not support bus mastering.
Tip 1202: PCI : nVidia C55 Memory Controller : Device
does not support bus mastering.
Tip 1202: PCI : nVidia C55 Memory Controller : Device
does not support bus mastering.
Tip 1202: PCI : nVidia C55 Memory Controller : Device
does not support bus mastering.
Tip 1202: PCI : ASUS MCP51 Memory Controller 0 : Device
does not support bus mastering.
Error (1200): PCIe : No devices found. : No devices found.
Error (1200): PCIe : No devices found. : No devices found.
Error (1200): PCIe : No devices found. : No devices found.

<<< Power Management >>>
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Notice 224: SMBIOS/DMI information may be inaccurate.

<<< Displays and Display Adapters >>>
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Tip 314: Video Adapter : NVIDIA GeForce 9800 GTX/9800
GTX+ (128 SM4.0 1.75GHz, 512MB DDR3 2x1.12GHz,
PCIe 2.00 x16) : Video BIOS is too old.
Check for an update.
Notice 2539: Video Adapter : NVIDIA GeForce 9800 GTX/9800
GTX+ (128 SM4.0 1.75GHz, 512MB DDR3 2x1.12GHz,
PCIe 2.00 x16) : Disabled environment
sensors have been enabled. Check readings.
Tip 2221: Video Adapter : NVIDIA GeForce 9800 GTX/9800
GTX+ (128 SM4.0 1.75GHz, 512MB DDR3 2x1.12GHz,
PCIe 2.00 x16) : Driver is not certified.
Tip 319: Video Adapter : NVIDIA GeForce 9800 GTX/9800
GTX+ (128 SM4.0 1.75GHz, 512MB DDR3 2x1.12GHz,
PCIe 2.00 x16) : A refresh rate of at least
75Hz is recommended. Increase it if possible.
Tip 314: Video Adapter : NVIDIA GeForce 9800 GTX/9800
GTX+ (128 SP 1.75GHz, 512MB DDR3 2x1.12GHz,
PCIe 2.00 x16) : Video BIOS is too old. Check
for an update.
Notice 2539: Video Adapter : NVIDIA GeForce 9800 GTX/9800
GTX+ (128 SP 1.75GHz, 512MB DDR3 2x1.12GHz,
PCIe 2.00 x16) : Disabled environment sensors
have been enabled. Check readings.
Warning 300: Monitor/Panel : Generic PnP Monitor : Unknown
monitor. Install the driver for the monitor
(or similar model) for optimum performance.

<<< Physical Disks >>>
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Warning 3100: Seagate ST31000528AS (1TB, SATA300, 3.5",
7200rpm, NCQ) (C:) : S.M.A.R.T not enabled;
consider enabling for safety.
Warning 3103: Seagate ST31000528AS (1TB, SATA300, 3.5",
7200rpm, NCQ) (C:) : Acoustic Management
enabled. Peformance may be impaired.
Warning 3100: MAXTOR STM3500320AS (500.1GB, SATA150, 3.5",
7200rpm, NCQ) (E:) : S.M.A.R.T not enabled;
consider enabling for safety.

<<< Printers and Faxes >>>
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


<<< Ports >>>
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


<<< Game Controllers >>>
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Error (1000): No devices found. : No controllers present!

<<< Audio Devices >>>
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Warning 710: MIDI Output Devices (Playback) : Microsoft GS
Wavetable Synth : Driver may be obsolete.
Check that it is the latest version.

<<< Mice and Track-balls >>>
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


<<< Keyboards and Tablets >>>
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


<<< Pen and Touch >>>
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


<<< Environment Sensors >>>
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Error (8100): No devices found. : Could not connect to
device; check connection and device driver.

<<< Information Displays >>>
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


<<< Operating System >>>
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Tip 1300: Enter your company name or "Home" instead of
"Unknown".
Warning 1316: This copy of Windows contains Product
Activation Technology.
Tip 1324: .NET Framework 1.1 not installed. Install to
run legacy .NET applications.
Tip 1327: Java Runtime Engine not installed. Install it
to run the current Java applications.

<<< Memory Usage >>>
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


<<< Processes >>>
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Tip 1601: explorer.exe (Windows Explorer) : Program
consumes a large amount of memory.

<<< Modules >>>
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


<<< Services and Drivers >>>
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Tip 2130: Background Intelligent Transfer Service :
Service may be disabled on Home/Professional
OS version.
Tip 2130: Offline Files : Service may be disabled on
Home/Professional OS version.
Tip 2130: COM+ Event System : Service may be disabled
on Home/Professional OS version.
Tip 2130: TCP/IP NetBIOS Helper : Service may be
disabled on Home/Professional OS version.
Tip 2130: Windows Image Acquisition (WIA) : Service may
be disabled on Home/Professional OS version.

<<< Users and Groups >>>
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------



<<< Fonts >>>
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


<<< Media Devices >>>
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


<<< DirectX >>>
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Tip 2221: Direct3D 9 Devices : NVIDIA GeForce
9800 GTX/9800 GTX+ (\\.\DISPLAY1) :
Driver is not certified.

<<< OpenGL >>>
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


<<< Logical Drives >>>
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Tip 1821: Hard Disk (C:) @ Seagate ST31000528AS (1TB,
SATA300, 3.5", 7200rpm, NCQ) : Label (name)
drive.
Warning (1829): 3.5" 1.44MB (A:) : Cannot obtain drive
information; check that a disk is in the
drive and it is correctly formatted.

<<< File Types >>>
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


<<< Environment Variables >>>
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
***** End of Report *****

That's the log that Sandra Lite gave me. I was confused with it at first because it doesn't report any problems in the scanning window if you choose to save a text file.
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