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63 posts

Master Geek

#22106 16-May-2008 21:33
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Hi, I've been trying to help my friend out with his new PC but I'm getting nowhere.

He's just bought a custom-built PC from C1 Shoppingmall ( and specs are as follows:

500GB Seagate HDD
2x2GB G-Skill DDR2-800 RAM
2.66GHz Wolfdale Core 2 Duo
8800gt 512mb Graphics
Vista Premium 64-bit

When he starts it, it will go to his desktop, everything will run fine, then suddenly nothing can be clicked, and soon the cursor also freezes. No chance to Ctrl+Alt+Dlt or bring up task manager. This freeze was initially happening after about 30 seconds, but after taking out one stick of RAM it lasts as long as 5 minutes before freezing (may be coincidence). This started happening before we changed any settings, the PC is still as new.

I have tried taking out the RAM and putting back in, leaving one stick out as mentioned above, and having a look at the BIOS on startup (didn't really know what to look for though). I've emailed C1 about it, hopefully he won't have to ship the PC back to Auckland, as from Dunedin to Auckland the overweight charge will be brutal. Made sure everything is plugged into PSU, everything looks right, I'm truly at a loss as to why this is happening.

Oh, and freeze doesn't happen in Safe Mode, which leads me to believe it's nothing to do with hardware and is related to Vista or drivers?


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1528 posts

Uber Geek


  #131357 16-May-2008 23:18
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Gee thats gota suck. Brand new computer and all.

Thats a risk of building ya own pc is the configuration will not have been tested to the wazoo for compatiability etc, unlike the brand name PC's...

For it to freeze, I guessing could be any of these:
-Not enough memory
From what ya said, does not sound like this is the case, but as another test, go into the startup tab, and select: 'Run'....then type in: 'msconfig'...and have a look in there what programs it says are runnig on the: 'Disable All' button, save and reboot and see if the pc runs with that change...if so, its something at startup, within that menu, for which ya can then test 1 by 1 to find out which is the problem...

There may be software or hardware conflicts...1 not playing well with the other...

-System is running too hot/ineffective cooling
Has the system got adeqete cooling?...does it have enough fans, heatsinks etc, are they correctly placed to distribute airflow effiecently?

-Not enough power
Is there enough power for all the installed components?

What is the model and specifications of the motherboard? it compatiable with the memory and cpu installed?

Thats just some possibilitys I guess...hope that helps give ya somewhere to look.

HTPC: Silverstone LC16M | abit IP35 Pro | Intel Quad Q9400 2.5GHz | Corsair 520HX | Samsung SH-S203D DVD Writer | NVIDIA GeForce GT 240 512MB RAM | 2 x 750GB Western Digital Caviar GP HDD | 4GB DDR800 RAM | D-Link DWA-547 Rangebooster N 650 Desktop | Blackgold BGT3540 | Microsoft Remote Control & Remote Keyboard for Windows Media Center | Windows 7 64bit

Mobile: Nokia N97, Nokia N900, Samsung Galaxy S, HTC EVO 3D, iPhone 4S, Samsung Galaxy S III (current)

895 posts

Ultimate Geek

  #131360 16-May-2008 23:47
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Is there anything in the event viewer?
You might need to go into safe mode to view it if it keeps freezing



63 posts

Master Geek

  #131403 17-May-2008 10:55
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Ok, we did try disabling some programs at startup but I'm not sure if we disabled all, I'm getting him to try that just now.

C1 claim to have tested it before sending, must have been less than 30 seconds though so not too happy with that, should have done a more thorough test.

The case is a Thermaltake Soprano and I think from memory at has 2 x 120mm fans and 1 x 90mm side fan. A check in MSCONFIG says that all monitored temperatures are fine. Fans and heatsinks are everywhere, and I doubt it's overheating.

The power supply is 650W, which I believe to be more than enough to run the components.

The mobo is an XFX MB-N680-ILT (LGA775, nForce 680i LT, DDR2 800, 2x PCIE x16, Audio, SATA, RAID, Gigabit LAN, 1394, ATX, Core 2 Duo Supported) It supports Core 2 Duo's and supports the DDR2-800 RAM, so that doesn't seem to be the problem.

Not sure what the event viewer is, but if it's that Vista error reporting thing that seems to think all is well.

This morning he tried a Vista performance repair, and he did some error report which said that DXDIAG (which we had run) had caused an error. His PC then lasted about half an hour before he tried running DXDIAG and it once again froze.

At this rate I'm thinking perhaps Vista is to blame, and perhaps XP would have been easier...

63 posts

Master Geek

#131493 17-May-2008 18:24
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An update - after disabling all startup programs, it's been going fine for 30 minutes now (it's breaking it's record for longest time without freezing) so it's looking good now that we may be zeroing in on the cause. I'm going around to his house soon to help with finding out the culprit.

Also, he looked at event viewer and it said "Performance strings in the performance registry are corrupted". I'm just about to Google that now in case it's an issue.

176 posts

Master Geek

  #131514 17-May-2008 19:41
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Well you'll want to download the latest motherboard drivers and nvidia drivers for vista 64. You can fix performance registry corruption by rebuilding it (google it)
The dxdiag error may indicate dodgy graphics or audio drivers.
Any reason he chose vista 64? If all else fails download the latest mainboard/sound/vga drivers to disk (make sure all vista64) and reinstall vista, using the downloaded drivers. Then run windows update.
I'm sure C1 checked that the pc powered up for a few seconds. Thats stable isn't it?  )

63 posts

Master Geek

  #131522 17-May-2008 20:55
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Still no success. At this point we're looking at just letting C1 deal with it, if they'd correctly tested it before sending, they would have realised this. We tried disabling the startup programs 20 at a time, but repeatedly froze every time. We didn't get through all of them as we got an error, followed by a BSOD, then we had to insert the Windows disc and run a repair.

BTW he chose 64-bit so it would use the whole 4GB RAM and he can add more in future.

895 posts

Ultimate Geek

  #131533 17-May-2008 22:34
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The even view can be accessed by typing event viewer into the start search

Details on it here


63 posts

Master Geek

#131538 17-May-2008 23:19
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Yeah he did that, gave some registry corruption error but it's not what I think is the cause, C1 can deal with it.

635 posts

Ultimate Geek
Inactive user

  #131549 18-May-2008 08:15
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BSOD's are mainly hardware, thought they can be driver related too.

Most of the time it is PSU or Memory, and since your PSU is quite grunty I am thinking memory.

Have you tried running MEMTEST86+ ? Let it run for like 12 hours.

That will test the memory.



1819 posts

Uber Geek


  #131572 18-May-2008 11:16
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Have you tried pulling the gfx card and seeing if it could be realted to the nividia drivers.

Also you have directx issues? So reinstall that too.

Hope you find something that works for ya.

544 posts

Ultimate Geek

  #131628 18-May-2008 18:22
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Definatly check that the BIOS is the latest revision. I just built myself a new PC a couple of months back with an E8400, one of the new Wolfdale CPUs and had problems.
Mine was solved by upgrading the BIOS, as it wasn't compatible with the new 45nm Wolfdale chips.
You may find the same thing.

Other than that, just make sure all drivers are as up to date as possible. Sounds like it could be software/driver related, as you disabled some stuff and then it was alright for a while.

When the cursor freezes, are you able to hit Caps, Num Lock or Scroll Lock and have the light switch on/off on the keyboard? If it doesn't change, then that would suggest a hardware lock.

Personally, I don't think Vista is to blame here. With the x64 version, drivers cannot be installed unless that have been WHQL approved by Microsoft. While some people see this as a form of Microsoft 'control', its actually there as a form of quality assurance. Microsoft confirm that the drivers aren't going to cause instability issues with Vista etc.
Try a different video card as well. Sounds like that could be it if he opens DXDIAG and then it locks.

176 posts

Master Geek

  #131637 18-May-2008 19:41
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I think C1 should pay for the shipping and fix the problem, they assembled and 'tested', it isn't working as it should.

63 posts

Master Geek

  #131663 18-May-2008 21:56
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Vorbis: I think C1 should pay for the shipping and fix the problem, they assembled and 'tested', it isn't working as it should.

Definitely, and they will, it's simple Consumer Guarantees Act, he paid for it and it isn't working, I'll be filling out one of their "Return Material Authorisation" things tomorrow for him to get the repair process underway. It'll mean another two or so weeks of waiting until he finally gets a working PC :( 

3282 posts

Uber Geek


  #131673 18-May-2008 23:03
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That's the problem you have by not buying locally.

Something could have happened to it in transit from Auckland to Dunedin.

63 posts

Master Geek

  #131799 19-May-2008 15:45
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I don't think it happened during transport, seems to be driver related. Besides, buying locally in Dunedin means PB tech, and that would had a few hundered extra $ onto the cost

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