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Curious OS behavior after hardware upgrades

Last response: in Systems
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March 12, 2009 3:01:58 PM

Hi all. I originally posted this over in the Windows XP forum, but have since "determined" (I believe I've determined it, anyway) that the OS is not really to blame. Here's what's happening:

-I can boot up just fine. I have this PC dual booting WinXP and Ubuntu. Both boot like champs.
-In WinXP, I can activate one program normally, but as soon as I do, the OS "freezes". I put that in quotes because it's not a true freeze. I can move the cursor with the moust but can't click anything and the prog that I opened becomes inactive.
-I can resolve this, however, by CTRL-ALT-DEL and opening the Task Manager. Once TM is open, I click it once (nothing happens) then click it a 2nd time and everything is fine. I can run XP for days thereafter without anything strange happening.
-In Ubuntu, my first click is useless, but the 2nd click works fine and, again, I can run the OS for days thereafter without anything strange happening.
-Even though these OS issues are not exactly the same, they seem similar enough to me to rule out the OS as the culprit here. Also, I have installed both 32-bit and 64-bit XP on this build with the same results, so I'm pretty well convinced that the OS is not to blame.

This started happening after I upgraded most of my components (pretty much everything but the hard drives). I've ruled out the hard drive as the problem by installing on multiple drives. It seems like it has to a hardware problem, but I'm stratching my head as to what it could be. Here are the specs:

ASRock A780GXE/128M
GSkill DDR2 8500 RAM (2GB x 2)
AMD X2 5000
Cooler Master RS550 550w PSU

Someone previously suggested that this was a power/heat problem. I've set up a sensor applet in Ubuntu that loads on startup and have noticed no change to vcore or CPU temp.

This is mostly a nuisance, but I'm really curious what the problem is. Anybody got any ideas?
a b B Homebuilt system
March 12, 2009 5:30:45 PM

Backup your files, wipe everything out, reinstall. You've got all sorts of config files and ini files and registry entries and drivers that still believe you have the old hardware.
March 12, 2009 7:48:18 PM

Thanks for the idea. I formatted the drives before I did installs on either of them (sorry for not being specific about it). One of the drives had never had an OS installed on it, it had lived as purely a data storage drive until I tried it (still did a full format to it anyway).

Could it be the RAM? The more I think about it, the more likely it seems this is the culprit.
Related resources
a b B Homebuilt system
March 12, 2009 8:16:09 PM

Could be. The good news is you can easily test that for free. Download memtest86 and give it a try.
March 15, 2009 6:39:57 PM

Hmm, no problems reported on memtest86, got a pass. This one has me scratching my head.
a b B Homebuilt system
March 15, 2009 8:10:21 PM

Me too :( 

OK, so it's not a software thing, since it's happening in more than one O/S.

Not RAM, not HDD either.

I guess the PSU and motherboard are left as suspects.

The PSU is easier to test, so I'd start with that. Can you borrow another PSU and give it a try?

!