So I've been dealing with some major computer errors for a little while now. At first I thought I had found a way around them... but as everyone knows, a way around doesn't fix the problem, only hides it until it comes back.
Well, it's come back.
I started to get (seemingly) random "BAD_POOL_HEADER" blue screens, and the computer would shut down. After a little probing around, the error started to come more consistently whenever I would use Windows Media Player. That in mind, I downloaded a free player (KM Player... it's okay), and got rid of all links to WMP. And things were good for a little while.
But now the problem has returned, especially when I boot the computer. Often it will attempt to boot, have an error shortly after loading Vista, and the blue screen out with the same "BAD_POOL_HEADER" warning.
Now I believe I've found the source of the problem... which is two-fold. First, my computer is getting up there in years. It's almost 3 years old now, and has had a myriad of programs installed, uninstalled, and so on. I have never reformatted or reinstalled Vista, so I'm sure by now things are getting pretty confused on the inside. However, that's not really a reason why the computer would blue screen out, only a reason why it boots so slowly.
The main problem I believe to be is my video card... an NVidia GeForce 7900 GS. Since I got it, I noticed that any time I would right click on the desktop (to change a setting, for example), the monitor would flash and glitch. I thought this was just "one of those things," and never thought too much of it. Additionally, a few months ago during a Windows update, a new driver was provided for the card... at the time, I installed the new driver, and the computer crapped out. Thinking it was a Windows issue, I rolled the computer back to a previous point and ignored the new driver. Thinking perhaps it was about time I tried it again, I recently tried re-installing the driver. You know what happened? "BAD_POOL_HEADER" again, and while it downloaded the driver, it was unable to install it.
All this has brought me to my conclusion... (1) it's time to re-install Windows (possibly upgrade to "7"), and (2) it's time to buy a new video card.
My question really is: "Does that make sense to those 'in the know?'"
It seems almost a little too logical to me... the screen flashes, WMP can't play videos, and I can't update the driver... the problem must be the video card. But that seems too much like what any idiot who knows how to push a few buttons would think... and being that I'm just that idiot, I remain a little skeptical.
So what do ya'll think? Does that make sense? Is that the best place to start... replacing the video card? Or is there something else I should try before I buy any new parts? Any help or suggestion would be really appreciated!
Here is my system info:
Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium (32-bit)
Version: 6.0.6002 Service Pack 2 Build 6002
System Type: X86-based PC
Processor: Intel(R) Core(TM)2 CPU 6600 @ 2.40GHz, 2400 Mhz, 2 Core(s), 2 Logical Processor(s)
BIOS Version/Date: Phoenix Technologies, LTD ASUS P5N-E SLI ACPI BIOS Revision 0602, 4/25/2007
SMBIOS Version: 2.4
Installed Physical Memory (RAM): 3.00 GB
Available Physical Memory: 1.48 GB
Hard Drive (C:\): Hitachi HDT72525032VLA SCSI Disk Drive (298.09 GB)
Hard Drive (B:\): ST315003 41AS SCSI Disk Device (1.36 TB)
Hard Drive (B:\): ST350063 0AS SCSI Disk Device (465.76 GB)
If you had another video card laying around, you could easily determine whether or not it's the video card... that's part of the basic troubleshooting process. When you think you have a faulty piece of hardware, you try swapping out that piece of hardware and see if the issue persists. It's not a case of an idiot pushing buttons... it's sound troubleshooting.