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Random system crashes and re-starts with XP Pro

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May 18, 2009 4:59:45 PM

Hello all, this is my first post, and any help would be greatly appreciated

A month ago I built this system:

ASUS P5Q-E Motherboard

Intel Core2 Quad Q8200 processor

HIS (ATI) HD 4850 video card

I started off with 2GB DDR2 1150 (2x1G) OCZ and the Microsoft memory test passed) and then opted for my current RAM: 2GB DDR2 1066 (2x1G) G. Skill (thought it might clear up my blue screen problems). RAM voltage is manually set at 2.0V

WD Black 500G HDD. I have a new version of this HDD coming - either to solve problem or provide RAID capability

Sony media card reader (mentioned 'cuz it takes drive letters C thru G; my system files are on H:. I do have 7 partitions for programs and files (photos, music, back-up, etc)

Plextor DVD-RW

Airlink 802.11g wireless card - replacing a Netgear 311T (Super-g) card - the driver for which had constant memory access crashes.

PC Power & Cooling Silencer 750 PSU

ANTEC Solo Case

Noctua CPU Cooler and case fans (CPU temp=104F ; MB temp=76F)

I installed Windows XP Pro with SP2 from an original 2002 disc. I installed all windows updates and then drivers (ASUS/Intel, ATI). In the first week, I went back to near initial state on System Restore and then re-installed all programs. All updates (windows >70), including ASUS and ATI are current.

Initially, there were issues/program crashes for Photoshop Elements (fixed via Adobe forum), ATI (support programs - fixed by deletion and updates), and Netgear (card & drivers removed).

Since that first day, I keep getting random system crashes and re-starts.
Occasionally I get a BSOD with memory dump or the IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL messages.

My usual action is punt - format C; and re-install; but I have photos and music files that I was hoping not to have to copy and re-install. I don't know if can trust Partition Magic if move it from the main drive and then format that drive

Anyone got any advice?

do I replace more hardware? which: video card? CPU? MB?
I see another thread re: the Q8200 and memory dump = a CPU issue or a red herring?

is there a software fix?

Thanks for any suggestions/advice.
May 19, 2009 7:09:04 PM

UPDATE:
I've been using the event viewer (per forum posting) to research the various crashes this unit has had. I went thru the resolution for Error Code BCCode : 0000008e and found no evidence of Backdoor.Haxdoor in the registry.

The system crashed again while scanning for viruses (ESET NOD32 Antivirus) and gave the Error code 000000c2 - which lead me to Microsoft's Help & Support Center Article ID: 939868 - You receive an error message when you access a Web-based program on a Windows XP-based multiprocessor computer. This also fits the crashes that sometimes occur when using a browser (Firefox & Chrome)!
Amazingly the resolution provided in the article is: To work around this problem, limit the computer to a single processor.

Has anyone else had problems with XP Pro and Core 2 Quad CPU's? where can I look for solution ideas?

Would a Core 2 Duo improve stability (until Windows 7 - which I hope has better quad core compatibility)?

Thanks again.
May 19, 2009 9:37:55 PM

At this point I would suspect a couple things.

First, I have seen several postings people were have stability issues with this board, make sure you have the latest BIOS installed.
Try raising the RAM voltage to 2.1, or set the speed of the memory back to 800.
800/1066...makes very, very little difference on Intel systems, very little.

Whether the CPU is single, dual, quad....should have absolutely no bearing on anything. There are literally millions of systems out there running XP and multi-core processors without a hitch. I have been running XP Pro for years with dual and quad core setups, both AMD and Intel, with no problems.

I am leaning towards this being more of a board issue than anything.
May 19, 2009 9:47:08 PM

+1 to upping the RAM voltage to 2.1v. I don't trust the Microsoft memory test either. I would run memtest86+ overnight to test for RAM errors. Upgrading to SP3 wouldn't hurt either. If you end up re-installing the OS, I would slipstream SP3 into your install disk.

http://www.maximumpc.com/article/howtos/slipstream_wind...
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