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Help me pinpoint problematic hardware

Last response: in Windows XP
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August 1, 2010 11:20:18 PM

Hello..
I didn't know where specifically to put this but I put it here because the issues are in XP32.
I'm suspicious of either the HDD or the GPU but not 100% sure it's either.
Specs:
Q6600 @3.4 true120
EVGA 780i FTW
3GB Kingston Hyperx 8500
EVGA 9800 GTX
320 GB hitachi drive
1000W PSU

So here are the problems I'm currently having:
-A lot of hiccuping/small freezes/lockups. When alt tabbing at certain times to change to a differnt program it takes it a while to get "free"
-On gta4 startup page with sketched characters, there are hiccups with the sketched characters..instead of smooth panning the character moves then jumps, and so forth.
-at the startup of batman AA, the first logo is broken and freezes for 3 seconds. recently it's been to the point where it's starting the Eidos and hold for 15 seconds. Though music in WMP will keep playing..
-In gta when on independence fm radio station, and shuffling from song to song (pressing N or M) the song being played goes in a loop for 2-3 seconds, like a broken record, then the next song comes up.
-At certain times in gta the games freezes/hiccups for a second or 2. But as well right when Niko gets paid for a successful mission and it's saving.
-Gom player will lock up on a 2GB 1080p movie to the point where It won't let me load the taskmanager (ctrl/shift/esc) to remove it. the only solution is trying to pause the movie. It won't let me alt tab to another running program/folder even though the popup window showing it .The only way to get out of the situation is to stop it which has a delay, then alt tab to the taskmanager and stop the player.
-I don't know if it's normal but in gta4 the screen is constantly loading the surroundings. Meaning, when I go to a location the street/building detail is constantly being loaded. for instance, when I drive fast and crash the system is still loading the street/buildings. showing it blurry, then the walls, & streets load up..
-NFS most wanted has an error and locks up. if I don't alt tab quickly out of the game the system freezes up.
-anything running in the bottom right of the screen (taskbar ?) and stopped with task manager doesn't go away unless I run the mouse over it..not sure if this is a bug.
-closing gom player takes 3 seconds, and freezes pc.
-HD was checked with spinrite, showing it clean as a whistle and although most of the issues seem HD related i'm surprised SR showed it with no errors. I'm not totally convinced its the HD and have suspicions it may be the GPU, or both. What kind of tests can I do to rule them out?
-HDD is defraged bi monthly.
-The pc is after a clean install about 3 weeks ago.
-In the control panel>nView desktop manager, all but the "desktop mangement" and "profiles" tabs are greyed out. There used to be
a physx icon as well in the CP with the last video driver I used (before format/reinstall) which was v180 something, and the new install uses v257.21 doesn't shows that icon in the CP..
-In firefox if I open a tab and goto a website it will also hiccup/freeze.
any help appreciated
August 2, 2010 5:08:52 PM

Thoughts anyone?
What software can I use to check the GPU and HDD?
August 2, 2010 5:58:48 PM

Well, theres always the replacement test. Replace each component with another one systematically and drill out the ones that arent the issue. If you do not have interchangeable parts. Try the following.

To test the GPU, Try running a full screen AVI movie/Video. (File extension of .avi). This is high graphics, but low CPU/Hard Drive. (Usually and based on your setup),

To test Processor, go to www.dvdvideosoft.com and download their "Full Package" deal. (I have it and its GREAT). Now try to convert the AVI file into a MP3. This is low GPU and HDD, but high Processor. If this skips, it means your Processor might be bad.

To test the hard Drive, take a Large file, and copy and past it from point A on the hard drive to point B on the hard drive. (Make sure its a copy paste, and because its the same hard drive, make sure its a larger file. Now play Solitaire or some other simple windows game. (low GPU/Processor game). See if it skips.

These arent foolproof, but they should help you narrow your choices.
Related resources
August 2, 2010 5:59:44 PM

Do all of these issues happen after you re-insalled Windows?
Did you get all of the drivers installed, including the chipset and any storage drivers?
August 6, 2010 3:14:04 PM

Sorry for the delay in reply...it started about 2 weeks into the install..

Ok so did the copy paste of a 5gb MKV file from partition to partition, and opened pinball, as solitaire is not my thing...It didn't skip at all, but the time it estimated it to transfer grew..and when I didn't touch the PC it settled to 7 minutes or so from 16..But it did hiccup on opening pinball kinda hung for 1/2 a sec. I have a feeling it may be both the HD and GPU.

I did play a heavy video file with WMplayer classic and it seems to handle it better than gom player VLC, or WMP 11.Just it seems like I can't do anything for 2-5 seconds when it's opening it. Klite codecs installed FYI.

Also now in BAA, when loading the game I make sure I have a folder open so I can put the focus on that as it will heavily freeze up if I let BAA take focus.. for at least 10-15 seconds+. Then after it loads the main screen ( I give 1 minute or so) I alt tab into the game..

I did download the software and did an MKV to MP3 on the movie while playing it and it had no hiccups whatsoever. I did though play the 5gb video file with WMPc and played another file with WMP11. The video with WMP was in slow motion..don't know what that means..Just trying to give info.

I can hardly play a 1080p video without the audio and video syncing properly. Specifically M2TS files which bring the system to a halt.
Also The problem is not so much playing the files but the way the system is in slow motion when you want it to do something. If a video file is playing in WMPc and I click on another video to open in it in WMP it will do it very slowly...

Btw, How can I kill the HD? I don't want to start arguing with them about this and that etc..I want to come in with :"the drive is dead, replace it please". I thought about sanding down the power cable flipping it over and starting the pc like that..would this short anything besides the HDD though?
August 6, 2010 4:19:15 PM

ok, try this.

Run a defrag on the system (even if you have it auto-defrag)

Then Download and run the registry tool in Ccleaner (run it as many times at it takes for it to return NO errors) from:

www.download.com/ccleaner

THEN download Advanced System Care from download.com(usually found on the front page) and run the "Disk Cleaner" AND "Disk Doctor"

Just a bit of an add on to this, i currently run the EXACT SAME settup apart from the 9800 (i have 8800) which is why im so baffled by your issues. BUT, one step at a time, and we can figure it out.

As for shorting the HDD, i dont know that it would short.

Additionally, the more i think about this and the more information you give, the more i want to say its the processor.

Let me know what happens :) 

(I have used all of these functions myself, so they shouldnt harm or do anything to your computer that would harm your information)
August 6, 2010 4:57:35 PM

Will do the above tonight and will post tomorrow . Thanks for your time and effort..
I sure hope it isn't the cpu but will see. I have some trauma with this PC. Before the EVGA 780i I had the Striker II Formula board. Every 3 months or so I take apart the PC and clean it for dust. I did that, put it all together and had post issues. Took it apart again and came to realize bent pins in the socket. Bought the Evga..after a little while the board was giving me heat issues. Specifically the SB NB. took out the heatsink to regoop it, and come to realize a mosfet chip stuck to the thermal pad. Sent in the board and was told bent pins in the socket as well. I documented the board with video and photo before sending so IMO it was during shipping that caused the issue. ANyways, If it is the cpu I won't touch it till I get some money just in case I have to replace the MB. We'll see though..
Will let you know soon. Nice software that ACS...
August 6, 2010 5:02:03 PM

Maybe will just reformat again...what do you think? It's annoying to reconfigure the system again. I did once tried acronic true image to make an image of the drive with all software installed but it didn't play nice..
August 6, 2010 5:07:44 PM

If you are going to start fresh, id say literally start fresh. Do not transfer settings through the file and settings transfer wizard. Move all of your necessary (wanted) files to an offsite location (external drive) and then do a complete reformat. I do not know if it will fix the problem, but who knows, if your willing, it couldnt hurt to try.

As for the driver installation, start with the motherboard driver, processor driver, graphics driver, audio driver (if not included in motherboard) and then whatever other drivers you need. This will ensure that the system is installed from the ground up instead of random pieces.
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