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Diagnosing an issue with an old P4 based computer.

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July 30, 2009 5:40:32 PM

I apologize if this is the wrong place to ask this, but i couldn't find a more appropriate forum section.

I'm attempting to troubleshoot an old P4 system, that doesn't want to work correctly anymore.

In it is a Asus P4S800
an Intel P4 3.06 ghz
and 2x1gb sticks of Kingston value ram.
There are also 2 hard drives 2 CD rom drives, and a floppy.
All this is running off some generic 350watt PSU which ran things fine for years.

Right now it doesn't have a Videocard since i cannibalized it for another computer after the issues started.

The symptoms are very strange. First on installing windows on a freshly reformatted harddrive the installation freezes every time it's supposed to reboot. As far as i can tell it does everything it's supposed to do. But when it tries to reboot it fails. Manually rebooting it allows the windows installation to finish, without any problems and it works fine up until i try to install the drivers for the graphics card.

I believe the card was a 7600GS, but that shouldn't matter as it's working great in my wifes computer where i installed it to test it, and since left it there as it was an upgrade for her.

What happens is upon rebooting after installing the nvidia drivers, the computer takes a long time to load windows, and then wants it loads up, the mouse is unresponsive bouncing every few seconds to whereever i've attempted to move it. At first i thought perhaps it was a bad driver installation, or that my old HD had corrupted sectors.

A new windows installation (with the exact same reboot issue), on a new HD later, i installed a different set of drivers and it seemed to fix the problem... for about 24 hours. Then the issue happened spontaneously and that's when i figured it was the GFX card... Three days later that card is still happily chugging along in my wifes computer.

I have another graphics card laying around somwhere i could use for this thing, but i have no idea what the problem could be. What would cause the computer to run but run terribly, with the mouse skipping and everything taking 5X as long as it should?
July 30, 2009 5:51:47 PM

I had a problem with my mouse bouncing around and the computer lagging like you said.
I have GTX260 Core216.
The computer would lag like hell and when it was lagging a error message popped up and said the display driver has quit responding. so i updated my drivers and it fixed it after some fighting.
so i think its a problem with your video card driver.
July 30, 2009 6:00:22 PM

I'd believe that if it were not working on my wife's computer with the exact same driver. I downloaded it from Nvidia directly.
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July 30, 2009 6:19:23 PM

^ that may be true, but I'm sure your wife has a different motherboard. As a newer driver on an older card and motherboard, it could have produced some conflict with the motherboard. You should try and test it with the same driver version you had when it was stable. It could also just be that the motherboard is crapping out :D .
July 30, 2009 6:53:00 PM

to be perfectly honest i don't think it was entirely stable when i used it last... i kind of figured that had more to do with an old OS install on it.. I haven't looked at the thing in a year, since i got a new PC myself. I wanted to set this one up for my kids though, since it's a pretty nice little machine for websurfing, and games aimed at kids their age.

I also tried my wife's Vid card in the machine with the exact same error... i suppose it's possible that the mobo just hates all recent nvidia drivers, but it seems more likely to me that it's a hardware issue.. I'm considering replacing the mobo, but could it also be a processor or ram issue? 50$ to buy an old 478 mobo wouldn't bother me, if it fixed the issue... getting a new mobo just to find that my old RAM which is now more expensive to replace than newer ram, would piss me off.
July 31, 2009 3:19:16 AM

Axil said:
I'd believe that if it were not working on my wife's computer with the exact same driver. I downloaded it from Nvidia directly.

Well lots of times when you install the new driver... it doesnt completely remove the old driver and therefore it would be still causing problems... if you can i would format the drive and install windows fresh,, and i bet itll run like a champ then.
August 7, 2009 3:11:32 PM

Sorry if i wasn't clear, i did reformat the drive before installing windows.

*edit* anyway, i ordered a new powersupply, we'll see if that makes any difference.
!