3 Weeks, I can't figure out what the issue is.

Ok, This issue has been ongoing for about 3 weeks and I am having no luck finding the cause. The hardware I'm Using to the best that I can describe it the build is a little over a year old and I don't remember exact models anymore...
-AMD 5000+ CPU
-Gigabyte Motherboard
-EVGA NVidia vidio card
-160GB Sata drive
-650 Watt PSU

The issues... It started 3 weeks ago, I thought I had a virus and tried(unsuccessfully) to clean it. I didn't really try all that hard and just decided to reload windows. I then find out that I've also got a bad stick of memory, tested via memtest 1 stick at a time to find the culprit. I got that replaced and have since still been unable to get windows to load and work correctly.

I have lost count of how many times I have reloaded windows. It is totally random how it fails. One time I'll get as far as getting everything updated and installed and then the next day I start getting corrupted files. Another time I start getting blue screens and unbootable as soon as chipset drivers are installed...

So, this looks like hardware failure, why'd I post it in Windows XP discussion - it only happens when I install windows. The only windows OS that I have access to is XP and I've tried installing from a friend's disk to verify that a few superficial scratches on my copy weren't the cause - his fails also. So I take that to mean most likely my HD is failing. I'm not getting any SMART errors though... For verification, I load up Ubuntu - The live cd runs perfectly. I go ahead with the full install to the hard drive expecting similar issues as Windows - this also runs perfectly, no errors, no freezing, nothing. I'd be happy with this if my games would run on Linux. At this point I think maybe something is sticking around and not getting reloaded, I use linux's dd command to over-write the drive several times and go back and low level(slow)format back to NTFS and reload windows - again, I was running windows update and it freezes and then blue screen and non-bootable again.

I'm at a loss as what would cause this, Any suggestions here?
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  1. sorry for the problems but you need to turn the updates off, I was going through the same thing and figured out the updates hotfixes were causing a lot of issues, turned them off and not a problem to speak of, and you have the right idea to Zero the HDD before the install, but if you installed Ubuntu it has already rewrote most of the sectors so the data won't be corrupted from an earlier install, but as a second thought have you tried WINE?, just a thought
  2. Odd but I have almost the same thing happening but I have not even got past the load screen for XP after it copies the install files and I go through the CD-Key and all that, it just reboots and tells me to run the last know configuration... I booted with The Ultimate Boot CD 4 Windows v3.5 and its fine no problems, I have gone ahead and installed Ubuntu 9.4 and reformated all 4 HDD's to EXT3 and no problems what so ever, now I have XP running in a VM when I need to do Windows things and otherwise most my games work with TransGamings Linux Gaming App or just using Wine. I wont a Full install of XP as a Host system though as even with all the gaming software tools and the VM install I cant load some of my all-time faverts like MechWarrior 4 Mercs and man do I need a good old Mech Fix.
  3. haha, I know the feeling. I tried Cedega and Wine but I can't get RB6 Vegas 2 to run and that's the one I most commonly play right now to blow off some steam with co-workers.

    I found the issue last night though. I was running in Linux and just on my gmail. I went to check off a few emails to delete and the screen froze but not completely like windows, I was still able to move around. After a few seconds it went all grey and then after 10 or so I hear a couple clicks from my computer and it snaps back to working. As soon as I heard I knew - Hard Drive.

    I start moving data around on my file server and free up a HD from it. Replace the one in my gaming system and load up the XP cd - I have a stable system now.

    It seems really odd that Linux was able to run when Windows didn't, that it just somehow handled the hardware differently that allowed it to run and not get all the corrupted files that I saw in XP. Meh, I was able to run around in Vegas2 this morning and kill lots of people so I'm happy!
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