Computer Problem

My new build sometimes suffers from an unusual problem. After leaving the machine idle for a while it sometimes is jumpy when I come back to it. What I mean by this is that if I move the cursor around the screen it gets caught up and then continues its track in regular intervals. It's almost like the computer is freezing momentarily and then proceding and the freezing again. I checked the temps and everthing seems to be fine. I have the newest drivers for the graphics card and an up to date BIOS. Heeding the suggestions of other TG Forums members I ran Memtest86+ which did not return any errors. My machine is an Allendale E6400, Asus P5B, 2gigs of Corsair XMS2 PC2-5400c4 RAM and a Sapphire X1800XT. Does anyone have any ideas on what could be causing this annoying problem?
60 answers Last reply
More about computer problem
  1. Any ideas guys?
  2. I get stutters like that when my CPU is running both the anti-virus and some other goofy disk checking application.

    Not sure what is going on with your system, though. Does it happen right after boot, or after several minutes? Maybe you have 2 anti-virus apps running and/or loaded.
  3. are you sure its not a mouse issue? i had a microsoft optical mouse that worked great with no pad but when i upgraded to cordless logitech it acted like that on wood desk until a got a mouse pad.just something to look into
  4. Did you check you power options in the control panel. When you state "leaving the machine idle for a while", is " a while" long enough for your hard drive to power off?
  5. No it is not a mouse issue as the whole system locks up

    I am not running multiple virus programs

    And it happens after a long while, I got to class and come back and the machine does the weird lock up thing.

    Any other ideas?
  6. Try going to control panel-mouse properties-and click on the troubleshoot button. It's a long shot, but it's free.
  7. Thanks for the tips guys, but its deffinitely not a mouse problem as the whole system stutters... typing playing games, anything.
  8. the hard drive is the problem
  9. Quote:
    Did you check you power options in the control panel. When you state "leaving the machine idle for a while", is " a while" long enough for your hard drive to power off?


    You really ought to check these.
    It is most likely the problem.
    Also depending on chip.
    Some go into halt states is this laptop or desktop?
    Regardless I wouldn't worry.
    It comes back after like 5 minutes right?
    The deeper "sleep" it goes longer it takes to wake up.
    Disable hibernation options it should fix this if you perceive as a problem.
  10. The computer is set to never enter standby and never turn off the HD. Only thing it does is let the monitor enter power saving mode after 20mins.

    It is a brand new self built desktop machine built around an E6400.

    I don't know if it returns to normal after 5mins as I've always restarted but I will give it more time to recover next time.

    Do you think it could still be a HD problem even though I don't have any powersaving options enabled?
  11. Quote:
    Do you think it could still be a HD problem even though I don't have any powersaving options enabled?


    I don't honestly know, but I could see it being a HDD issue maybe even some HDD thing where it auto-sleeps.
    Regardless see what happens if you give it a few minutes etc.
    Hopefully that'll do it.
    I think the E6400/conroe has halt states and will go to idle states but I don't know if it's by default or only in laptop models.
    I think I've had machines before where it just took a few minutes to wake up.
    Honestly I'm at work all day everyday lately and don't spend anytime on my home computer so can't remember.
  12. Try the TaskManager to see if it is a process eating up your CPU time.

    If not, what's your power supply? Any chance you can swap it with a friend to see if it's the problem?
  13. Quote:
    The computer is set to never enter standby and never turn off the HD. Only thing it does is let the monitor enter power saving mode after 20mins.

    It is a brand new self built desktop machine built around an E6400.

    I don't know if it returns to normal after 5mins as I've always restarted but I will give it more time to recover next time.

    Do you think it could still be a HD problem even though I don't have any powersaving options enabled?


    It could be the Restore option doing something, and if the drive has bad sectors or even a bad partition, it might stutter the whole system.

    If the HD is about to die, it will act somewhat similar to your symptoms. I had a drive die, and it was a pain because everytime the CPU tried to access the dying drive, it would click, whir, and pretty much slow down everything to a crawl, until it finally got the info it needed. After the HD died, everything ran fine, except for the dead HD, of course.

    Oh, and the HD didn't just die, it started to lose clusters left and right, and even had missing partition chunks, where it was recognized as a "Known" OS, but no real partition label (FAT16, NTFS or anything).
  14. Something like that happened to me before, it was my paging file going berserk on me. I would be doing stuff, and then my computer slows to a crawl. I go into task manager, and I see my paging file is up to 1.5 GIGS... memory leak anyone??

    That happens rarely to me, but it could be something with the O/S or a program you have. Might want to look into that.
  15. Defragmenting pagefile can help also.
    Hmm a pagefile issue makes sense.
    If pagefile gets messed.
    Sometimes to conserve power etc.
    Windows/system might write it all pagefile.
  16. exact system specs would be nice.....
  17. OK it just started doing it right now as I was reading this thread. I guess that means that it does it randomly and not after being idle for a while. Also I have been back at stock speeds for some time. About the hard drive idea, by HD light is blinking indicating that it is being used by something as my system is studdering. Also, I noticed that the drive sounds a little loud to me when it is accessed, it makes loud clicking noises, much like my old Dell c. 1999 makes. I have the task manager up right now and the CPU usage of one of the cores is hovering at 11% while the other core is at 0. Also, my Kernal memory says that about 5700 out of 8500 of it is paged, is that the page file usage? Well there are some more symptoms for you guys to work with.

    My complete specs are:
    E6400
    Sapphire X1800XT
    Asus P5B
    2gigs Corsair XMS2 PC2-5400c4
    WD2500KS 250 gig HD
    500 Enermax Liberty modular Power supply

    Thanks for your help guys.

    It doesn't look like any processes are using the CPU, but it still says CPU usage is at 11%. Finally I have been attributing the hard drive noise to the fact that my case is aluminum mesh in the front and does not stop noise.
  18. well, be certain about the sound you are hearing. If yu are, indeed, hearing "clicking" sounds coming from the HDD that isn't good. A HDD gone bad like that could cause those symptoms that you are experiencing because system process and whatever else is running int eh background could be attempting to access the HDD and their inablity to do might result in a freeeze.

    Just be certain that it is your HDD that is making those sounds though.
  19. Well accessing my HDD normally doesn't cause any problems and its not a loud clicking noise, its that subtle background hard drive noise that you hear on old computers. The thing that was strange though is that when I am having the problem the hard drive is continually in use as displayed by the HDD light.
  20. Have you tried running simple defrag and optimization programs on your HDD?
  21. No I have not, what kind of optimization programs are you talking about?

    This computer is not more than two weeks old though and when I installed windows I did a full format (not the quick option) so I didn't think that it would be necessary yet. Are there any programs to test the drive?
  22. disk defragmenter

    Also, what kind of mouse/keyboard do you have? Is it wireless?
  23. Neither my mouse or keyboard are wireless.
  24. I seen it happen when the HDD spins up and down, do asmart test on it or download a diagnostic program from the major HDD companies, you might just find something
  25. What's a smart test? I am kind of new to all this.
  26. I am leaning towards that or the GPU....
  27. I was thinking GPU myself. The problem started when I was still using the original drivers. I updated the drivers and got a strange error message but the install continued and the problem remains. Should I uninstall the old drivers under the device manager tab (is there a better way to do this?) and reinstall the new ones? Remember the symptoms of the processor being loaded around 11% and the hard drive being continually accessed when the problem is occuring, could these sypmtoms still point to a GPU problem?

    By drivers I mean't the video drivers. I installed ATI's latest.
  28. I was going to ask if the driver install went smooth but since it didn't that may very well be what your problem is. I would uninstall the drivers and just install the latest ones.
  29. OK I'll try that, but the problem occured with the old drivers as well so I don't know if it's going to fix it.
  30. Quote:
    the hard drive is the problem


    I agree. It sounds very similar to a problem I've had. The trouble turned out to be a poorly seated HDD power cable at the PS (modular cables).

    I'm guessing my issue was heat and strain related since it happened after about 10 months, but cable seating is a common problem on new builds.
  31. Quote:

    I updated the drivers and got a strange error message but the install continued and the problem remains. Should I uninstall the old drivers under the device manager tab (is there a better way to do this?) and reinstall the new ones? Remember the symptoms of the processor being loaded around 11% and the hard drive being continually accessed when the problem is occuring, could these sypmtoms still point to a GPU problem?


    It seems like something is using your cpu and your harddrive. You should check to see what is utilizing your cpu (use task manager and click processes then check to see what program is using your cpu).

    But according to what you said about your harddrive, that could be a part of the problem.

    To diagnose parts, if you can find someone with a pc to test your parts on, I would test the graphics card and power supply in a different pc. That is assuming you can find someone nice enough to let you test them.

    You may want to check all of your connections in your pc. Inside and out. There may be a cable that's loose or a card isn't seated properly.
  32. Not sure if anyone recommended, and I'm not sure if this will help:

    Data Lifeguard Diagnostic for Windows

    That should help determine if the WD HD is having problems, in windows. The have other versions to run it in dos.
  33. Thanks for all the ideas guys. I uninstalled the old graphics drivers and reinstalled catalyst 6.8, on install it says "zero display service error" but installs anyway, and the computer seems to run fine. I don't know what could be causing this error, any ideas? I watched the task manager when the problem was occuring and none of the processes listed were taking any CPU load, although it said the CPU was loaded 11%. Could this be some malicious software? I rean my virus program and adaware. I'll check the connections in the case and run the data lifeguard. Thanks for the ideas guys and keep them coming if you think of any more. The most annoying part about this is that the problem only happens once a day or less, so I can't immediately tell if its fixed.
  34. we'll keep our fingers crossed for you
  35. a S.M.A.R.T. test "reads" the harddrive for statistics like access time, power up status, rotation delays among other things, try going to www.westerndigital.com and look for hard drive utilites or diagnostic software, it should root out any problems.
  36. By the way, does anybody have any idea what "zero display service error" means. I get that when I install the latest catalyst 6.8 drivers, although everything seems to be working fine afterwards.
  37. I did alot of research on this error for you and this is what I found. It only happens with ATI cards (as I have found no example of it happening on any Nvidia cards). I happen to find one person who explained, in detail, what he did to get rid of the error.


    my system is a dell dimension, 1 gig ram, 9700TX Radeon card, and for the past three years i have downloaded and installed just about every driver for this card that has been posted on this site; the ATI's, the Omegas, and the DHzeropoint drivers. And I might add, without a single problem, until recently.

    I downloaded and installed the latest 6.3 zero point drivers, and like I do prior to any driver installation, i removed the ATI ccc and then the drivers, booted in to safe mode, ran the driver cleaner and rebooted, cancelled out the wizard both times, and then manually installed the new zero point drivers, and during installation I received the "zero display service" error.

    I clicked out of that error window and finished the installation and rebooted, and the drivers appeared to have installed correctly, and i could see nothing related to the "zero display service" error. But this bugged me, so i uninstalled the drivers, went through my safe boot, clean drivers out, reboot, reinstall, same error message. Hmmm?

    let it go for a couple of days and in the mean time did some searching on the web...all kinds of theories on what causes it, to no one knows why or how to solve the problem, with the most recommended method seeming to be that if you reformat and reinstall you get rid of the problem. and this leads me to believe that my solution is the only answer, as the reformat verifies why.

    I then uninstalled the zero points and reinstalled the latest ATI 6.4's, and again the "zero display service" error popped up. This really had me going now.

    I was checking all the various properties and driver versions and happened to open up DirectX 9c and checked my "Display" tab only to find out that AGP Acceleration was disabled, and i could enable it with the button, but on reboot it was disabled again.

    i finally decided to go looking a little deeper in to the computer and started checking out the "inf" files, and i found one "OEM.INF" file that was left over in the system from the zero point drivers.(you could have a different OEM for a previous set of drivers left over in your system too?)

    i deleted this oem and the pnf that goes with it, rebooted, unstalled the drivers, booted in to safe mode, ran driver cleaner, reinstalled the ATI's and no error.

    you might have to go through with a righ click on all of your OEM.INF files and check to see if you have any video driver files left from a previous install, and delete them.
  38. Wow thanks Phreejak, you have been a huge help. I have just one more question, how do I check these inf files and if I find an OEM.inf file there how will I know that it is associated with the old drivers. Thanks again a million. :D
  39. well, I know that, sometimes, you can open them with notepad and they might say something about the driver - just right-click, open with notepad

    But, to be clear, we wouldn't have arrived at this if we didn't go through all these suggestions that everyone mentioned so it is to their credit as well.
  40. Ok cool, but where do you find them?
  41. you can either use the search function OR, they'll probably be somewhere like C:\windows\system32 OR C:\windows\system32\drivers.
  42. Thanks man!
  43. Glad to hear that you might have found the problem.

    Great job, Phreejak.

    This is what a helpful forum is all about.

    :D
  44. Update: I was able to find a few inf files left over from ATI so I added .old to them to keep them from being used. However, when I reinstalled the video drivers it gave me the same error, so at this point I've about had enough. As far as the main problem goes, I defragmented the HDD and made sure all the connections were solid... I'll wait to see if it happens again. You guys have been great, very helpful. If you happen to have any other ideas, let me know. Thanks.
  45. Alright guys, I am still having the problem. I ran a full HDD (Hitachi's data fitness test because WD's data lifeguard didn't have any such functions) and the test did not return any errors. So, as far as that test is concerned my HDD is fine. Do you guys think I should trust this test and assume that the problem is being caused by something else?

    Thanks for your help.
  46. If all hardware is running correctly, the only other things I can think of are drivers, and background services/programs. I run Nvidia so, I can't really say if your ATI drivers are the problem.

    I do remember my dad's old XP2100+ was having that kind of problem. Turns out it was when I told him to get a UPS, since some power surges would end up rebooting his system.

    When we got one, it came with software, which turned out to be a service, so the PC would poll the UPS through the USB. Man... talk about annoying jerky mouse movements. Ended up uninstalling the software, and pulling the USB cord. Heh, that fixed it. :lol:

    So, that was just an example of one service that would cause an annoyance. But drivers on the other hand, can be more tricky to figure out if its causing the PC freezing up.
  47. Thanks for the ideas.
  48. OK it just started doing it right now as I was reading this thread. I guess that means that it does it randomly and not after being idle for a while. Also I have been back at stock speeds for some time. About the hard drive idea, by HD light is blinking indicating that it is being used by something as my system is studdering. Also, I noticed that the drive sounds a little loud to me when it is accessed, it makes loud clicking noises, much like my old Dell c. 1999 makes. .../quote]

    The clicking sounds are enough of a warning for you to backup all of your important files (which I'm certain you have already done). My experience with the "clicking hard disk drive" ended with a computer that finally would not boot up at all in less than a week. I thought, at the time, that it would "self medicate" after awhile, and I wasted time checking and testing every other component, while my hard drive did all it could do to warn me as it clicked its way into a final silence. It was a WD 160GB.
  49. OK it's doing it again and I have some more information to work with. Like I said before, one CPU core is being used about 11% while the other one is not being used at all (according to task manager and AI Suite). However, none of the processes that are displayed by the task manager are using the CPU at all. The hard drive is also being used and the page file usage is around 433 MB. I have 2 gigs of ram so is that page file usage high? If so should I disable the page file and see if that fixes it? How would I do that? On a whim I decided to start up a dual Prime95 stress test while the computer was having this problem and that ran without encountering any errors (I only ran it for a few minutes). Does this mean that I can rule out the processor? What about he fact that my HDD passed the data fitness test and that my memory passed memtest86+? I really do not know what to do from here.

    Thanks everyone for all your helpful ideas, you guys have been really great.
Ask a new question

Read More

CPUs Computer