I'm running into an issue which I suppose COULD be hardware, but I strongly suspect it is in fact something going on with Vista. I originally noticed (via the sidebar widget) that my computer spikes out on RAM if I try to multitask overly much (ie having an MMO up & trying to watch a movie). Now, as you'll see on the spec's below... this struck me as highly weird, but I shrugged it off and have been sticking to one or the other at a time.
Tonight however, something bad changed. While working in MS Word 2007, the computer locked up. I rebooted (which took forever), and now every time it finishes booting my Physical Memory starts at 50% and climbs 1% per second until it caps out at 100% and everything locks up. I've tried running Scandisk, and AVG virus scan... but didn't really turn anything up.
The only thing "unusual" that happened was the message when I first tried to open the word document (a paper I was writing for class) telling me the document had corrupted and needed repaired.
The pertinent nuts and bolts of what I'm running:
Intel Core 2 Duo E6850 Processor
Corsair Dual Channel TWINX PC6400 DDR2 800MHz [4 x 1024MB]
Two Seagate 320GB Hard Drives (RAID-0)
8800 GTS Superclocked 640MB GDDR3 (Intending to SLI in a second one for Christmas)
EVGA nForce 680i SLI NVIDIA Socket 775 ATX Motherboard (New A1 Version)
Vista Ultimate 64bit
Other bits that shouldn't really matter:
MATROX TRIPLEHEAD2GO ANALOG VIDEO EXTENDER
Three 19' Acer LCD's
DVDROM & a DVDRW
Despite the computer being all but non-responsive, the side bar widgets still keep time and the CPU meter fluctuates occasionally (between 1% and 35%-ish). The mouse cursor moves normally, before and after the freeze~ but I cannot get anything to open after I hit 100%.
Task Manager doesn't reveal any processes or services that look out of place.
If I try and load Task Manager after 100% hits, I'm getting a black screen with an error popup that says:
"Logon process has failed to create the security options dialog.
Failure - Security Options."
OK is the only option besides X... and this looks like an old school win98 window. Clicking OK just takes me back to the desktop.
It sounds like a bad driver. But I don't know enough to diagnose much further. I'd recommend heading over to http://www.msfn.com registering there, and posting in the Vista section. They'll want a dump of the error to analyze.
I would highly recommend a uninstall/reinstall of the Office apps if you cannot find another solution. Office 2007 apps are known to have some major driver corruption issues that occur out of nowhere and they corrupt the application much more frequently than previous versions of Office did. With all of the media driver extensions in Office, its possible that the movie player and Office stepped on each other trying to use the same file and Office never recovered safely.