Hey guys, I dont now if this is the most appropriate forum or catagory for this issue, so feel free to move it.
first, my system specs:
Windows Vista Home Premium 64bit
Intel Core Quad 6600 2.4ghz
eVga 680i Mainboard
6 GB of Mushkin RAM (one 2GB pair and a 4GB pair)
BFG nVidia GTX 260
3 Seagate Barricuda 7200.11 Drives (80GB (system) and two 500GB (storage))
PC Power and Cooling 600Watt PSU
i think thats all thats relevant... everything is just over two years old, except the grphx card, which replaced my old 8800GTX ultra that failed about 6 months ago.
now for the issue(s) (im sorry if its too long, or detailed. im not sure whats relevant or not, because i have the feeling this is a cumulation of many different problems)
about a week ago we had a huge storm in my city, we had a blackout and my computer thus turned off (i wasnt using it, it was idling) i started it up, and to my surprise it wouldnt boot. it would get past the bios and give me a black screen. so i restarted, and let it sit for about an hour. when i got back, it had loaded the login screen. i typed in my password, hit enter, and waited about 45 minutes for it to load the desktop. it was doing this funny thing that ive seen before: it lags horrendously, but is responsive: if i click on my computer, for example, it would open it, but after about 20 minutes of loading. i had a hunch it was a disk thing, so i loaded up a defrag utility (which took about 3 hours in my PC's state) and run it. i went to bed.
in the morning my PC had a blue screen of death. i cant remember what it said, but the computer would no longer boot at all, no matter how long i waited. so i installed a new copy of vista on another disk, and from that new install (which ran flawlessly) i ran a variaty of defrag and disk checking utilities on my other system drive. it was mightily screwed up, that much i remember. after all the tests, i booted on the old vista install and it worked. i formatted out the second install of vista and went on a maintinence/upgrade spree on the newly revived OS, installed a bunch of windows updates, cleaned my regestry, and ect. it worked fine for that day.
the next day i woke up and started up aa game (dragon age i think) it worked for 10 minutes, then started doing this odd thing where it would "crackle", both the video and audio would stutter, it would get worse over the course of about a minute, when it would freeze. i hit ctrl/alt/delete and waited about half an hour for it to respond, it did eventually, i closed dragon age, and it kinda locked up at desktop for another 20 or so minutes. note that during this episode, the cursor worked, and i could operate any program or window that was open, trying to load anything new would freeze it up. i eventually restarted and to my dismay, it would do this stuttering/crackling/locking up thing constantly, on the desktop. so, afraid my disks were failing, i took them in to my shop. they ran various tests (like seatools) and informed me my disks were perfectly operational. the guy had a hunch my video card was damaged (which i was not happy about, having had a GPU fail on me 6 months earlyer) or that it was overheating, which i didnt want to believe, as my system has never overheated in my last 2 years of operation (i watch my temps every once and a while, GPU never goes above 80 degrees C) i went home, plugged in the disks, and to my surprise, the PC worked perfect again. i played a few games and went to bed.
the next morning i loaded up dragon age. it did that thing where it plays for 10 min perfectly, then locks up and stutters. i would close it, and desktop would work perfect. i browsed, watched a movie, listened to music for a few hours and it worked perfect. trying to play the game again brought on the same issue, bu this time i had to shut it down manually. of course, now im scared the GPU has gone, but im puzzled cuz it works perfect except in games. my last GPU fail was rather catastrophic.
now when i try to turn the PC on again, it loaded a black screen. rebooting made it hang at the "verifying DMI pool data" message. i looked this up a little. most sources say its a bios thing, and its happening due to new hardware. the only thing i did before the message appered was reseat my GPU, because that had mysteriously solved some issues for me in the past. they say to reset DMI in the bios (i cant find anywhere in my bios to do that) flash the bios or reset CMOS (which i dont know how to do) or execute some code using the vista install disk repair function. i decided to try that, so i insert my vista disk, and to my utter dismay, it loads me to a black screen! it shows the black and white "windows is loading required files" and then the colour "microsoft corp" loading bar, but after that the screen just goes black.
so thats where i am now. i cant load any boot disk (ive tried memtest and seatools) and i cant get past "verefying DMI pool data". after that, i guess i could use help figuring out whats happening with the stuttering and hanging issue.
ok, i got it to boot. i tried the vista disk again for the 60th time and for some reason, god only knows why, it worked. so i opened command prompt and tried something suggested on another forum: i typed in BOOTREC.EXE/FIXBOOT and restarted. it worked. so now i need someone to explain the variaty of little demons my computer is suffering under.
last night the thing worked beautifully. i played like 3 hours of dragon age and did some photoshop work without a hitch. i opened my case and dusted it out really good, and left it open for good measure. ive eliminated heat from the equation i think.
this morning i get on the computer, open a game, and 10 min later it freezes on a loading screen. i restart.
now begins a funny cycle... it gets past the bios and gives me a black screen. i restart again and it gives me the DMI pool hang. (just like the first time) i load up the windows disk and try to do the BOOTREC.EXE fix, but it doesnt detect windows! i reboot again, and it does. i use the fix and im good to go. it crashed again, about 10 min later and exactly the same cycle: i need to reboot 3 times to get the vista disk to recognise the OS installed.
now, it crashed a third time, but this time, nothing could get it booted. it always gave me a black screen, in a variety of different places. i turned it off, went to work, came home, booted up and lo and behold it loaded up flawlessly. like really, ***. my game stuttered a few times but never crashed, just got close.
this is weirding me out. i think ill soon just reformat my drive and reinstall vista... but id rather not loose all my installs and settings... however i think im going to go crazy before i fix this.
I had something like this before too. Fortunately for me I had extra parts laying around to test them to see where the problem was. My computer got "slightly" fried in the storm. If you havent tried reinstalling I guess you could try that first. It doesn't sound like a software issue to me though. it sounds like crossed signals, I started with swapping memory out and worked all the way to the CPU. Changed motherboards that was it. You might even want to try a different powerstrip if you havent already.