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Computer Stuttering


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#31
tastethecourage

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Not to interrupt, but I'm having the EXACT same problem as you, o29, to a tee.

It just started a few days ago, and since I'm a freak about my computer, I've been going on non-stop trying to figure out what the heck is wrong with my machine.

I've virtually updated every driver I could, switched back to my old video card, bought a new soundcard, etc, etc. Virus checks, adware checks. You name it, I've done it.

I'm very interested in seeing whether or not a new PSU would fix the problem... (I have an off-brand 400 watt PSU)

Meh.

This is so annoying.

Edited by tastethecourage, 31 December 2005 - 10:43 PM.

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#32
o29

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Well, it's good (and bad at the same time, I feel for you) to hear that someone's having the same problem as I am.

I'm running off my second hard drive right now (which has very few programs installed on it) and it's running fine. I get the occassional stutter when loading a program, but nothing severe. When I boot off the primary hard drive with all of the stuff on it, it gets pretty bad.

I still haven't found a solution yet. I might check the voltages on my old PSU and see if those were bad too. If they're not bad, that would sort of prove that it's not the PSU. I'm just kind of lazy, and rewiring all of the molex connectors isn't very much fun. Just note that I had this problem with my old off-brand PSU that came with the case. After I replaced it with a quality PSU, I'm still having the same problem. It can be claimed that my new PSU is faulty and that the old one was crappy, and both of those may very well be true, but how likely is it that the same problem shows up with both PSU's?

Let me know what you end up doing.

Edited by o29, 01 January 2006 - 02:07 AM.

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#33
tastethecourage

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I'm considering buying a quality PSU... but I'm not really in a position where I can just be throwing money around at things that may be the solution. If I did purchase a nice PSU and nothing was fixed, I'd just become more frustrated.

What really gets me is how sudden this all hit. One night my computer was fine, and the next morning it was like it is now. I don't understand how a problem can just manifest itself out of no where like that, but hey... it's computers. Computers suck. *shrugs*

I'm sure I'll be up late again investigating other causes, heh.

One quick thing to mention - the night before this all started, I installed StarWars BattleFront II. Since I was too tired to play that night, after it was finished installing I took the CD out of the drive, closed my stuff, and shut my monitor off to go to bed. Immediately the next morning... bam. Problem.

The plot thickens. :tazz:
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#34
o29

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Have you tried formatting or booting off another hard drive? Just a guess. Didn't work for me, but who knows?

You can always try buying a PSU from a store that allows returns. Install it, and if it doesn't fix the problem, just return it. I was considering doing that myself.
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#35
tastethecourage

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Meh.

PSU's are much more expensive in stores. I'd rather buy off of Newegg.

I guess the problem is, is if I did buy off Newegg and nothing changed, I don't want to get into the hassle of shipping it back out and whatnot.

This is just so frustrating. I don't want to spend money on stuff I don't need... but I'm not sure if I need it or not.

:tazz:
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#36
o29

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Yeah, I feel the same way.

That's why I'd buy a PSU at a store, and regardless of whether or not it fixes the problem, take it back. If it fixes it, you could order one online and save yourself some money. Of course, though, you'd have to do the work of installing the PSU's multiple times. Just don't return the PSU from the store until you get one off of NewEgg or wherever you order from, that way you only have to install a PSU twice.

Of course, the morality of the whole idea is questionable, which is the main reason why I haven't done it yet.

But as they say, desperate times call for desperate measures.
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#37
tastethecourage

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Interesting idea, maybe worth a try. Not sure.

I'm beginning to worry that it may just be my processor. Sure, it could be the PSU... but I don't know. My gut tells me it's not.

What really gets me is how easily the CPU usage shoots up. What could cause this I have no idea, considering I've ran virus checks, adware checks, and pretty much closed every closable process without it fixing anything.

I live in Arizona, and that causes my processor to run hot at times (idles at around 46/47 C and can get up to 52/53 C under stress)... I'm beginning to wonder... maybe after a long summer this past year the wear and tear added up.

*shrugs*
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#38
o29

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Well I'd hope not. I really don't want to buy another Athlon 64 3400+. It's not the fastest CPU out there, but I really do like it, and paying for another one would hurt my bank account a little bit.

Of course, you could probably still try the return thing with a CPU. Buy it, test it out, then see if it fixes the problem.

I'd think that a stress test would reveal any CPU problems, though. But you never know.

I wish there were easier ways to test every individual component of your PC besides just buying new ones...
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#39
tastethecourage

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You won't believe this.. but...

I did a system restore of the night BEFORE the problems started.

And everything's working perfect again!

...Unfortunately, the computer receives absolutely no internet connection. So I had to restore back to this state... and until I find a way to get the internet back working properly on the other state, I'll be here.

It seems as though the source of our problems is different.... considering you've even reformatted.

Keep you updated if you'd like. *shrugs*
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#40
o29

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Hah, well I'm glad you've sort of figured out your problem. Maybe it's possible that I'm having a software problem, I just can't figure out how that would work. But it's still possible.
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#41
dsenette

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g29...just to echo everything doby said....your voltages are horrible....the only thing that would cause that would be the psu (or in theory...the molex cables from it...but doubtfull) being bad...you should try to rma that psu....if it's still under warranty...it's possible that it's a bad batch...and your old psu..could have just tanked...coincidences do happen
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#42
theosus

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I have been struggling with the same problem you guys have. My computer is one I put together myself, and thankfully had not upgraded anything "hardware-wise" recently prior to noticing this problem. I have been following the board with interest, and hoping to find a solution. Here is the problem I have: For a long while I had a noticable stutter, like a half second pause, about every five minutes. On programs it wasn't so bad, but during video games or watching video/DVD's it was annoying. Tried what I could to rid myself of it (standard replace video drivers, etc.). No success until I ran RegistryFix. Problem found in "VXD" virtual device drivers...problem all fixed...until it returned in its present form. Now lately the whole system stutters badly, graphics/audio stutter, and the mouse even stutters if you move across the screen too fast while other stuff is going on. Audio is bad especially, if, for example, I start a song and then go on to other things. I can't remember it happening all at once, until I got hit with a virus and spent a lot of time removing software and damaged "stuff". I could have caused this myself in the registry or system files I guess...anyone else get hit with "spysheriff"? I have run registryfix,adawre, and numerous other programs...The problem shows up even at windows startup and shutdown screens...because the default startup/shutdown sounds stutter.

Intel Active Monitor shows my temps and power consumption. They are dead on the money, about 46C max with power not really affected, even after running Prime95 for an hour or so, with no warnings/errors. My antec 400W power supply also has a picky socket on it's outside (where the wall plug goes). After several shutdowns for no reason at all, I figured that out and replaced the wall plug. No more unexpected blackouts.

Western Digital (c:\40gb and h:\80gb) Diagnostics did a several-hours check of both drives and comes up Okay. ChkDsk likewise reported no errors. Was thinking the 40gb HD was bad, because it overheated on me twice in my old case (enough to actually shut itself off), but according to the software it's fine. Tried same drives with new cables, no change.

MemTest86 says my memory is fine...except for the one test that "hangs" halfway through. But memtest86 says in its readme that it will hang sometimes, and not mean a failed chip. Have two DDR 400 chips.... (PC3200 i think) 256MB each....I dont think a memory upgrade would hurt, but its not the problem. this system used to run fine on it.

Disconnected componets one at a time (DVD drives, modem, removed one memory chip then the other), thereby invoking the Microsoft "you must activate" dragon... but with no solution. I dont know how to test anything else. I have an Nvida GeForce Mx4000 GPU.... and swapped it out with my old Nvidia Mx440 for about 20minutes to see if it was faulty, but to no avail. Problem happens with audio...even when video not an issue, so I didnt think it was bad video card.

Could it be the CPU? I have a socket 775 2.4ghz chip and could upgrade...but hate to waste it if not the problem. Any way to test it other than prime95? CPU use doesnt really spike over 50% even with the audio problem going on, so its not as if its overloaded.

This is really irking me, like the rest of you. The only thing I havent tried is a reload of XP. I have Home now, and was given a copy of Professional (second edition), with a good key. I hate to wipe out the hard drive and blow all my settings and spend three days returning everything to normal, if it is a bad chip somewhere. I havent done a complete reload in a year or more. It could probably use it.

I have a new SATA drive on order from tigerdirect...I figure if I reload XP on the new drive, and the problem is still there, I still have all my old crap on the old drive and can restore it all simply by switching cables. Any other hints before I waste a day with Micro$oft?
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#43
Doby

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Well guys I am still very interested in resolving your problem but it seems 3 different issues among you.

o29, with your reported voltages I still have to recommend trying another psu, without doing so I cannot be sure of anything. There is another way to check your psu that I think I mentioned before and that is with a digital volt meter and I can guide you.

tastethecourage, the roll back to a earlier system restore point indicates its a driver or some sorta software bug, see if the stuttering happens when in save mode.

theosus, you could run prime longer, perferably 18 to 24 hours this will give the cpu a good workout but with your problems in the registry and virus i think it would be best when you get the new drive ti install XP on it and give it a try, this will most likely eliminate software as the problem and maybe even correct it. Its very hard to trouble shoot hardware when windows is buggy.

Rick
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#44
o29

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This weekend I'm going to buy a PSU at BestBuy (well, I'll make sure to check their return policy beforehand) and see if that fixes anything. I guess I'd really be "borrowing" it so to speak.

I'll report on how that goes.
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#45
theosus

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I fixed my stuttering problem. However, not sure exactly what it was. I added a 200GB Maxtor SATA drive for storage, removed my 40GB c:\ drive, and made my old storage drive (80GB) into my new C:\ drive. I loaded windows xp pro on the newer drive and everything works great, even with norton AV back in place (which is a necessary evil because it seems to bog stuff down, especially during heavy game play, and you can't turn it off). I may plug the 40GB drive back in on my third IDE channel (add-on card), all by itself, you to see if it causes problems. It's nice to have a built-in mirror drive for important stuff.

New problem:
Originally when I had my 40GB western digital as a master, and my 80GB western digital as a slave, they worked fine together. When I first bought the 80GB drive, I tried to make it the master, and it made the BIOS load really slow, so I left it as storage. Now that it is a single drive, on the primary IDE channel all alone... it is doing it again. It takes three times as long for the BIOS screen (actually an intel splash screen for the motherboard...i have to hit esc to see the bios stuff) to go away before I see windows loading. Once windows starts loading it is really quick. Any help on this? It seems to be either this drive, or western digital in general, because there is a set of WD tools I have had to install on every WD drive I bought. I won't buy another one...I love maxtor. plug/format/play and they work. Even getting into setup takes forever now. I push F2 and have to wait so long (on the order of 30 seconds instead of about 10 with the old drive) that I thnk the computer is frozen.
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