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Slow PC, CPU usage 0%, should be doing stuff

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March 19, 2010 5:12:01 AM

So I just put together my own system:

ASUS M3A78-CM MB
AMD Phenom II x4 940
4 GB Kingston HyperX DDR2 1066 CL5

With all this power, the computer does not respond as expected. I double click an application and nothing happens. CPU usage stays at 0. The computer seems to work in little bursts of speed, then when I expect a program to be installing, for example, it acts as though nothing is waiting to execute. It may wait several minutes before suddenly running the program for a few seconds, then go quiet again. I've never seen anything like it.

Does this seem like a hard drive problem in that the computer is always waiting on the drive for data? The drive light is always lit as though it were doing something, but nothing is happening.

Any thoughts?

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March 19, 2010 5:28:50 AM

For what newegg reviews are worth, some people had problems because of using 4x1gb sticks of ram and others had issue with high voltage ram. Looks like the HyperX is 2.3v. That is high when the standard is only 1.8v. Try putting the ram at 1.8v and set it to DDR2 6400 or 800mhz at 5-5-5-18 timings. All DDR2 ram is suppose to be able to run at these settings. That ID the issue or eliminate the ram as a suspect.

Very possible of a HDD issue. Is this a new HDD?
March 19, 2010 5:33:49 AM

Thanks for suggestions. I didn't see that kind of feedback on the ram from Amazon, but I will def check it out.

The HDD is not new. It was working fine on my previous PC. I just recycled it into my new one. Same for the DVD drive. But when installing Win 7 last night it took over 10 hours to uncompress the installation files from the DVD after copying them to the HDD.
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March 19, 2010 5:47:25 AM

On memory, I should clarify:

2 x 2GB Kingston HyperX (2 sticks)
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March 19, 2010 10:52:23 AM

...sounds more like a possible OS issue. I've seen that from time to time, where nothing happens, then suddenly, all the programs start to run as they should.

1066 is overclocked RAM, so there might also be a problem on that side...
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March 19, 2010 11:31:08 AM

Most DDR2-1066 RAM is OC'd -800 RAM that has been tested to run at the higher speed. Two clues: the 2.3 volt requirement and in the BIOS, it identifies itself as DDR2-800 RAM.

Having said that, I don't think that is your immediate problem. I would suspect some kind of oddball configuration problem.

What happens when you reset the BIOS to factory default settings?

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March 21, 2010 2:51:49 AM
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I am having the same issue with a brand new machine I just built.

Gigabyte EX58-UD3R
i7 930
Kingstson 4 GB (2x2GB) DDR3 1600 hyperX
Windows XP Pro SP3

All components new. I've done nothing to change the mobo factory settings. I install XP SP3 with no other apps, and the machine just does not want to respond to anything. CPU usage remains at or close to 0. Memory usage stays flat around 400 MB. Takes forever to boot up even though I have nothing installed on it.

I ran some performance tests on it and the machine did ok - nothing spectacular, but it passed. But the machine is useless for even the most mundane tasks.

Hope we can find a resolution, otherwise I just spent $1000 for nothing. Very frustrating.
March 28, 2010 4:58:40 AM

Hi Everyone! Thanks for your suggestions and advice. This one problem of mine is now fixed and my PC is a blazingly fast, useful-once-again, even-the-wife-admires-it, computer.

And the solution was... drum roll...

replace the freekin hard drive.

After the hard drive was replaced, Win 7 installed and I was browsing the web within 25 minutes.

Here were my clues: everything I said that was happening on my first post was the result of no data getting into the system. The CPU would be a zero if there were not bits flowing in, even the hard drive activity would be a zero if it couldn't send the bits (for whatever reason).

Anyways, if anyone else has similar problems, here's one anectdote for replacing the hard drive as a first test. Heck, if it hadn't been the hard drive, I had 7 days to return it, so how could I lose?
March 28, 2010 4:59:36 AM

Best answer selected by javanic.
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